Awards for social scientists soon: Kapil Sibal

New Delhi, February 06: The government proposes constituting an award for social scientists who excel in their field on the lines of the Bhatnagar awards for scientists, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said on Monday.

“For scientists we have the Bhatnagar awards, but nothing for social scientists. We have proposed ten annual awards to recognize advancement in the field of social science,” Sibal said.

The minister was speaking at a conference organised by the Indian Council of Social Science & Research.

Talking about the education scenario in the country, the HRD minister said the government is contemplating making huge investments in universities under state governments in the 12th plan.

Stating that the problem lies in universities under state governments, Sibal said: “That is why we are planning to allocate a large amount of money to bring quality in state-funded colleges.”

The minister also said that increased investment in school education is needed for taking university education to higher levels.

“All recent reports show how important it is for us to invest in elementary and secondary education. The real difference between developing and developed countries is that of the gross enrolment ratio (GER),” he said adding that the aim is to increase the GER to 30 percent by 2020.

Speaking at the conference, veteran scholar and professor of Economics at the University of California (Berkeley) Pranab K Bardhan stressed that the quality of research in social sciences in the country was poor.

“We have a bad culture of social research, objective research is missing,” he said.

The HRD Minister, however, said that the level of research in India at present should not be compared with western countries, as the scenarios are different.