ICSSR’s new vision: make research relevant to policy


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: ICCSR and its vision document IMPRESS

Mains level: The newscard highlights the need of policy imperatives to accurately target its beneficiaries. This can be achieved with the help of making social researches more tactful.


For Policies to be impactful and ‘IMPRESS’ive

  1. For making research projects move from “pure ideological research” to one that is in sync with policy imperatives, the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) has suggested key measures
  2. The apex social science research body has formulated a blueprint of key areas for future research.
  3. It has sent a vision document called IMPRESS (Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences) to the government.

Why such move?

  1. Social science research should focus on areas that can link research to pressing policy needs of the time.
  2. Social science is close to society and research in it should contribute to solving the problems we face.

Identifying Thrust areas

  1. The document shared with the government identifies many thrust areas.
  2. These include research proposals on public-private partnerships, food security, Make In India (a key policy initiative of the present government), federalism, regionalism and its implications, etc.
  3. Significantly, one of the thrust areas mentioned in the document is the idea of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and State legislative assemblies, another idea supported by the present government.
  4. Fake news, paid news and media ownership also figure among the thrust areas for research.
  5. These also include agrarian issues, farmers’ distress, agricultural growth, poverty alleviation, revitalization of manufacturing, trade and investment policy, liberalization and lost opportunities, etc.


Indian Council of Social Science

  1. Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) was established in the year of 1969 by the Government of India to promote research in social sciences in the country.
  2. Its one of the important function is to advise the Government of India on all matters pertaining to social science research as may be referred to it from time to time, and take such measures generally as may be necessary from time to time to promote social science research and its utilization.
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