Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute
Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute
Home News Forum Guestbook Site Map  
  The Institute
 

History
 

 
 

Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute has entered into its 25th year of socially relevant and academically fulfilling research and interventions. It is an opportune time to take a trip down the memory lane and identify the various milestones it has crossed and the developmental task it has successfully completed on its way to emerge as a reputed research center in the country.
Reducing 25 years of an Institute's life to a few lines or a few sheets of paper is a daunting tasks More so, because it enfolds within its past the lives and stories of all those who have contributed to its growth, thus increasing the history manifold. While attempting such a task, although, one is guided by organizational memories that have survived.

What does one put to paper - the history of the Institute which it no doubt has accumulated, the squabbles it has hidden in its memories or those glorious moments when all differing viewpoints and all different clans came together as one. It is good to begin from the beginning. Going before its formal registration as G.B. Pant Social Science Institute in 1980, one remembers the Institute functioning from an old building with only four functionaries including the then Director Prof. A.D. Pant. Like any new birth, that of the Institute also came about only after some pain and trouble -in this case the bureaucratic ones during which Prof. S.C. Dubey decided to quit. The Institute's registration under the name of Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute was its resurrection with a new identity but the same essence. The building changed and the years went by but the Institute endured.

Since its inception the Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute (GBPSSI) has been a center of creativity and excellence -a mantle it has donned with grace, emerging out of depths of knowledge. The Institute has suffused its members with an enthusiasm that reflects its youth, optimism and the steady movement towards its purposes. The Institute came to exist as an autonomous body on 14th March 1980 and on 3rd April Prof. A.D. Pant took charge as its first director. In the last 25 years it has lived a life of its own and has established its unique identity among other academic institutions in the country by playing a catalytic role in building a corpus of knowledge and theory relevant to the understanding of socio-economic problems of India. Beginning primarily, with a research orientation, the Institute has forayed into teaching also, thereby taking a more active role in the attempts to effect a change and accepting its responsibility to create human resource for this purpose.
 


(Left to Right) Shri K.C. Pant, Prof. A. D. Pant

The GBPSSI was visualized as a national level social science research institute with a special emphasis on multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary study of developmental problems of Uttar Pradesh and neighboring regions. The aim of the Institute to quote one of the former Directors "has been to create a corpus of knowledge that would playa seminal role in the social transformation of Uttar Pradesh". The objectives of the Institute relate to conducting socially relevant research as well as providing training and consultancy services to scholars, teachers and institutions. It has aspired to become a storehouse of knowledge and information as reflected in its various endeavors. In this, it has sought to collaborate actively and extensively with both national and international agencies and institutes.

 

Prof. S. P. Nagendra Performing Bhoomi Poojan on the land for Auditorium

The GBPSSI was visualized as a national level social science research institute with a special emphasis on multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary study of developmental problems of Uttar Pradesh and neighboring regions. The aim of the Institute to quote one of the former Directors "has been to create a corpus of knowledge that would playa seminal role in the social transformation of Uttar Pradesh". The objectives of the Institute relate to conducting socially relevant research as well as providing training and consultancy services to scholars, teachers and institutions. It has aspired to become a storehouse of knowledge and information as reflected in its various endeavors. In this, it has sought to collaborate actively and extensively with both national and international agenThe Institute was moulded and nurtured by a line of eminent persons functioning as its directors, each of whom has brought with them their characteristic ways of looking at and dealing with things and invested their best for it. Their ways may have been different from each other, ranging from the warmth and personal interest, besides his deep scholarship that was the hallmark of the first Director Prof. A.D. Pant's relationship with members of the Institute, somewhat reserved yet deeply informed ways of the second Director Prof. S.P. Nagendra, to the intense focus on growth and infrastructure development and his single-minded zeal to get more for, and from, the Institute of Prof. Janak Pandey. Yet they all synergized to take this Institute to greater heights.

In the last 25 years, the Institute has experimented with a diverse nature of research and knowledge generating activities reflecting its commitment to interdisciplinary perspectives and an integrated approach to the study of developmental, educational and cultural aspects of nation building, particularly those related to the state of Uttar Pradesh. The first five years saw the Institute strengthen its research activities followed by a diversification of activities in the next ten years that brought it closer to the people. Thus, these years saw the Institute taking up three important activities that have become the markers of the Institute over these past years. These are organization of rural outreach programmes, networking with various organizations and institutions, working in both formal and informal sectors and establishment of a Museum of Man.

With the growth of the Institute also dawned the realization that it is not enough only to be a knowledge organization but that knowledge needs to be made socially useful. Through the Institute's efforts at interventions it has endeavored to fulfill its responsibility to society and give more expression to the 'social' aspect of being a social science Institute. With this objective in mind, four rural stations have been established, one each in all the four directions of Allahabad district.

A new entrant to the Institute is struck by its infrastructure - the sprawling greens in the midst of highway traffic and the facilities that few other places in the city can boast of - truly national level. Newcomers are often confronted with notices proclaiming all possible rules from not sitting in someone else's chair to not sitting at all to while away time - all manifestations of the work culture that has evolved in these past years. But talking of work culture, can the warm and caring attitude of Prof. A.D. Pant be forgotten when he covered up and at times even actively fought for, the misdemeanors or even squeamish with the law, of his employees. Or the long debates that Prof. S.P. Nagendra had on philosophical or religious matters with the so-called repositories of knowledge on these issues. Nor can be forgotten the frequent parties or the single-minded determination and the enviable ability to get things done the way he wanted to.

The Institute also has a presence beyond its boundaries. This presence has been felt by the girls of Asepur for being able to organize their own learning despite several odds, or labourers at Shankargarh, Beharia and Sansarpur. The confidence which reflects in the eyes of members of women's groups, the pride which the Gram Pradhan feels while hosting our students and the smiles which show up on their faces at Sahabpur in playing their musical instruments and reciting their saga of freedom struggle, have been a testimony to the fact that the Institute has attempted to make a difference in the lives it touches and has succeeded. Looking back we discern a host of initiatives, which have blossomed into full-fledged and productive programmes and have become entwined with the Institute's identity. Examples abound. The Manav Vikas Sangrahalaya is one, and the uniquely structured Rural Development Programme is another. The Manav Vikas Sangrahalaya or the Museum of man is an attempt to recreate the saga of the stages through which humans, as we know them now, have gone through. Not remaining confined to only an academic endeavor, it has also become a place to be visited, especially by school children. The Institute has also brought together representations of ethnic and folk cultures, rare collections, models, artifacts and rural/urban settlement exhibits in this museum which depicts the history of socio-economic change and struggles. It provides a rich historical and anthropological understanding of local life, struggles, aspirations and development processes in the region. The characteristic feature of "immersion work" of the MBA-RD programme seeks to make the students gain first hand information of what it means to live in an Indian village without most of the facilities we take for granted before they plunge into the task of managing rural development. And the students have always returned with a new zeal to work with the rural folk.

The Institute has forged close work relationships with organizations like the Planning Commission, UNICEF, World Bank, ILO, NISTADS, ICMR, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation along with various ministries and departments under the Government of India and the Government of Uttar Pradesh especially ones related to planning, rural development, women and child development, education and culture, social justice and empowerment. It has collaborated with the Indris Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal. It has also developed professional associations with international bodies like the Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam and the Indo-Dutch Programme for Alternatives in Development (IDPAD) and through the ICSSR, with social science institutes and organizations in France, Russia and Vietnam. The Institute has also nurtured a long-standing relationship with the University of Allahabad, each providing learning opportunities to the students / research scholars of the other through various educational programmes. An example of one such programme is the Statistical package for Social Science Data Analysis (SPSS) training imparted by the Institute to those engaged in research. The other is the annual conference of PhD scholars that is attended by research scholars of various departments of the University of Allahabad apart from scholars of other universities. This conference aims to provide multidisciplinary perspectives and feedback for improvement of research -its conceptualization as well as actual process in the initial stages itself. The Institute often comes alive with vibrant colours brought along with them by the folk performances, which have become a much awaited and appreciated feature.

It has a warm and welcoming ambience, which is proved by the fact that a renowned name like Prof. Jean Dreze chose to live here while working in the city. Hosting him is another of the achievements the Institute is proud of.

The constant endeavor to broaden its sphere of activity and influence has culminated in the setting up of six centers of research towards the latter half of the 90s. These centers are the Center for Development, Planning and Policy, Center for Democratic Processes and Institutions, Center for Population, Environment and Health, Center for Power, Culture and Change, Center for Human Development and the Center for Rural Development and Management.

The Institute has taken up researches that have been aimed at developing a social science knowledge base in order to contribute towards building models of sustainable development and consumption in the face of rapid socio-economic changes taking place throughout the world. In this attempt it has tried not to lose sight of the significant role of cultural processes in development. Some of the major issues with which the Institute has been concerned range from poverty alleviation to promotion of participatory, self-sustainable and efficient public policies in health, education, community welfare, and land reforms, with a view to building human, organizational and social capital.
cies and institutes.

(Left to right) Prof. Janak Pandey, Former Director; Prof. V.R. Panchmukhi, Chairman ICSSR; Justice (Retd.) Giridhar Malviya; Prof R.C. Tripathi, Director of Institute and Dr. Kripa Shankar, Former Faculty
Member.

The Institute has recognized the immense potential of, and placed special emphasis on the social transformation of Uttar Pradesh. Apart from this it has also studied the nature and quality of life of people engaged in the informal sector and also the marginalized and deprived sections of society and explored their potential to contribute in the betterment of their lives as well as society. In this age of rapid technological advancement, the Institute has demonstrated foresight and explored the fallouts of industrialization and its accompaniments and reached the conclusion that technology as a means of social development and transformation needs to be made culturally consonant. The nature and quality of our political society and the framework of political values and institutions have also been studied by the Institute along with a number of studies to analyse the political behaviour of the electorate. Herein can also be included the studies related to the political institutions in rural areas. The Institute has further undertaken enquiry into the management of natural resources and the participation of people in its productive use and conservation.

The Institute has also taken up evaluation of various programmes that have been introduced for the uplift of the rural poor and for rural development and on the basis of its research given important feedback on the ways to make these more effective. Not only rural, but also development in the context of the whole country has been the focus of researches conducted in the Institute particularly those related to the slow pace of development and economic development and change.

Again in keeping with its objective of bridging the gap between scientific research, its relevance and cultural acceptability, the Institute has also taken up various studies related to the cultural lives of people. Apart from a more active involvement with society, it also seeks to establish a dialogue between the social sciences and those for whom it professes to be working.
 

 
About The Institute
Board of Governors
Chairman
Director
Faculty
Visiting Faculty
Administration
Memorial Lectures
infrastructure and Facilities
TRAINING COURSE Sponsored by ICSSR
HSRDMS
 
Best viewed IE 5.5 & above. Screen Resolution 800 x 600 & above.
Copyright 2005 Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute. All Rights Reserved.