Making out a case for original research in history

Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: "Standards of history research and thesis papers have come down to such an extent that no original contribution is being made by researchers as is evident in the non-publication of theses submitted in the past two decades", says historian T.P. Sankarankutty Nair.

Prof. Sankarankutty Nair has every right to say this after a long innings as a teacher and researcher of repute.

He has specialised in Indology and Indian Culture, Modern Indian History and Kerala Studies.

His research work, `A tragic decade in Kerala History -- 1799 to 1809', was selected for the Dr. K.P. Panikker Prize of the University of Kerala for original research.

Prof. Sankarankutty Nair has published nine books and presented 120 papers in a teaching career spanning 30 years.

Some of the books such as `A History of China in Malayalam,' `Modern India: Society and politics in transition,' `Udyogamandal or Eloor' and `Velu Thampi Dalava' (Malayalam) have been widely acclaimed.

Prof. Sankarankutty Nair, who retired from service recently, feels that researchers should pay more attention to original research in history to gain a contemporary understanding of the socio-political developments of our times.

There have been occasions when researchers have been in the dock for plagiarism, one of the main reasons the non-publication of thesis papers, he says.

He took the lead in setting up the Centre for Inter-disciplinary Studies much before the University Grants Commission launched the projects in universities.

"Inter-disciplinary studies have become more relevant now," he said.

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