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Institute for Social and Economic Change

(ISEC) multi-disciplinary social science research institute established by Prof. V.K.R.V Rao in 1972, funded by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and the Government of Karnataka. The thrust of the institute is to integrate the social science research skills in initiating, complementing, participating and furthering the social, economic and political changes of the societies with an emphasis on equity and justice. Prof. Raos vision was to build purposeful interactions within social science disciplines as well as with other life science streams to create a strong interdisciplinary work. ISECs concern for the social and economic welfare of the poor and disadvantaged groups reflects strongly in the large number of studies it has undertaken to understand the various dimensions of poverty and human development. Analytical and applied research studies particularly in policy-related areas have also been areas of priority at ISEC. Central, state and local level governments have come to rely on the Institute for evaluation of various policies and programmes. ISEC has also developed some very prestigious and valuable research linkages. In order to promote core-funded activities at ISEC, Prof Rao got the support of the Union Ministry of Agriculture to house one of its three agro-economic research units i.e. the Agricultural Development and Rural Transformation (ADRT) at the Institute (the other two are housed at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad). The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also established the Population Research Centre (PRC) at ISEC. .[1] ISEC is the biggest research Institute amongst ICSSR sponsored interdisciplinary research institutions. The research and academic activities of the institute are structured under eight centers covering the areas ranging from Economics, Ecological Economics, Agricultural Economics, Population Research, Sociology, Health, Education, Political Science, Public Administration, Decentralization and Rural Development. The research under the centres is collectively discussed and monitored through statutory bodies. ISEC has a well qualified faculty of forty five from different areas of social and life sciences. With the help of Facultys scholarship and with national and international collaborations, ISEC is on the path of establishing its position as a Centre of excellence in the field of social sciences. Some of the collaborations are with: NORDIC Centre, Netherlands, Maastricht University, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UNFPA, UNDP, USAID, European Commission, The Swedish C-Dot, DANIDA and Ford Foundation. In the honor of Dr.V K R V Rao ISEC has instituted a visiting chair, presently held by Prof.Ashutosh Varshney, Professor of Political Science at Brown University. ISEC has a strong and unique programme for training social science students for their PhD. The students are taken for the course from an open advertisement and after a rigorous scrutiny of about 12 out of 300 applicants the students are undergo training for one year. ISEC provides fellowships to the students and up till now about 200 students have obtained their Ph D in Social Sciences through ISEC. ISEC has the state of art infrastructure that includes one of the best libraries, Data Bank, Digital Sources of Information, Excellent Seminar halls, Auditorium, Students hostel, residential accommodation and well furnished Guest House. It is rightly recognized that policy-making in India requires a great deal of systematizing and active lobbying of scholarship. Aware of practical difficulties in connecting research to policy, ISEC from the very beginning has established itself as a credible and accountable institution to provide policy feedback to the Govt of India and the State Governments. Besides, ISEC has regularly contributed and assisted central, state and local governments by providing advice on important issues.

 
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