ICSSR North-Eastern Regional Centre, Shillong

 

The North Eastern Regional Centre of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (NEHU-ICSSR) was established in the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong on 4th March 1977. NERC is a collaborative venture of the ICSSR and the NEHU. It meets the academic need of all the eight states in the North Eastern Region, viz., Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.
   

Aims & Objectives
   

The establishment of regional centres of the ICSSR is part of a process of evolving a policy and action frame for social science research in the country. In the initial phase of the establishment of ICSSR (1965-73), the ICSSR Headquarters played a crucial role in promoting and coordinating research and the dissemination of its results. As the ICSSR’s activities expanded, it was felt that some of its promotional and information gathering and disseminating activities should be decentralized so that the ICSSR could be brought closer to the social scientists of this region. The aims and objectives of the ICSSR Regional Centres are, therefore, congruent with those of the ICSSR headquarters, namely: (a) promotion of social science research; (b) formulating its major thrusts in relation to the needs of the country and the impelling demands of the inter disciplinary developments; (c) training and assisting social scientists in conducting research and (d) developing basic infrastructure facilities for researchers.

The following objectives of the North-Eastern Regional Centre emerge from the above-mentioned aims of the ICSSR organization as a whole:

1. Training of young social scientists in Research Methodology;
2. Providing assistance to social scientists in doing their research;
3. Sponsoring research projects relevant to the existing social, political, economic problems of the  North Eastern region;
4. Providing basic infrastructure facilities for social scientists interested in research;
5. Dissemination of information about the programmes of the ICSSR;
6. Sponsoring research in regional languages;
7. Acting as a link between the ICSSR Headquarters and the social scientists within the region;

Activities
   

While keeping the above-mentioned objectives as a main thrust, the NERC performs the following activities and keeps in touch with the social science scholars all over north-east India:

1. The Centre provides Study Grant to the registered doctoral students to visit libraries within the region.
2. It provides financial assistance to organize seminars, workshops, conferences etc. on the themes related to North-East India;
3. Provides financial assistance for minor research projects up to a sum of Rs.20,000;
4. Coordinates the Partial Doctoral Assistance and Centrally Administered Doctoral Fellowship of the ICSSR.
5. Organizes Seminars, Conferences and Workshops on Research Methodology etc.
6. Conducts the following Lectures Series (a) NERC-NEHU Annual Lecture Series, (b) NERC Special Lectures.
7. It also publishes books, monographs and the Annual Report of the Centre.

  The Centre is at present functioning from a rented building located at Nongthymmai, Shillong, near the NEHU Mayurbhanj Campus and its permanent campus is in Mawlai, Shillong. The Centre has submitted a proposal for the construction of its office-cum-guest-house complex. ICSSR, New Delhi has released so far Rs.25 lakhs and the construction work will start soon on receipt of further grant from the Centre. NEHU has sanctioned a plot of 5 acres to the NERC. The Centre’s mandate covers all the eight states of North-Eastern region. Its activities cover undertaking, aiding, promoting and coordinating research on the problems and process of social transformation of the States of the North-East with a view to formulating strategies and programmes for speedier development of the region. It provides academic and professional guidance to agencies, institutions and individual scholars engaged in social science research. It also offers, on request, advisory and consultancy services. Further, it acts as a ‘clearing house’ of ideas and information on research in social sciences.
  
  The Centre is equipped with Telephone, Fax, Computer, Reprography and E-mail facilities. Its library, which is fast expanding at present, has a collection of around 5,000 books on various social science disciplines particularly on North-East. It has more than 300 unpublished seminar proceedings sponsored by the Centre in the last two decades. Some of the activities performed by the Centre during the last 25 years of its services in the North-East are as follows:

Study Grant
 

Right from its inception the Centre has awarded Study Grant facilities. So far more than 200 registered doctoral scholars from all the eight states of NE India have visited libraries in North-East in connection with their Ph.D. work.

Seminars/Conferences/Workshops/Training Programmes
 

The Centre has sponsored more than 300 Seminars/Conferences/Workshops all over North-East India in  last 25 years. The seminar proceedings are kept in the NERC Library which is one of the main attractions for the research scholar. The Centre every year sponsors annual conferences of the professional organizations such as NEIHA, NEIPSA, NEIES, NEIGA etc. Apart from sponsoring the programmes, the Centre also organizes seminars and conducts trainings and workshops on research methodology. Some of the notable seminars recently organized by the Centre include:
1. Peace in Assam: Problems and Prospects held during October 2001 at Guwahati.
2. Constraints in Development of Manipur held during 18-19 October 2001 at Imphal, Manipur.
3. Cross-Border Human Movement: Refugee Crisis in North-East India held at Shillong during June 2001.
4. Development Constraints in Nagaland at Kohima during March 2002.
5. Partnership for Development: Holistic Approach to North-East at Gangtok during May 2002.

Projects
 

The Centre has undertaken the following projects:
1. Evaluation of Adult Education Programme in the State of Assam and Meghalaya completed in 1991. 
2. Validation Survey of Not Covered (NC) Habitation Identified During 1991-93 for Safe Rural Drinking Water Resources in the States of Meghalaya and Mizoram (Report in 3 Volumes each) – completed in 1993. 
 
The Centre has so far published 25 books and for the current financial year it has planned to bring out at least seven books, most of them are seminar proceedings and project reports.
Once the new office-cum-guest-house building is constructed the Centre has planned to have a specialized Library-cum-Documentation Analysis Unit for the North-Eastern states and the neighbouring countries.