After the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), it is the turn of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) to see a new team under the NDA government.
To begin with, it is the vacancy for the post of member-secretary that is likely to be filled soon, with the term of Ramesh Dadhich ending. Sources said Pune University department of politics and public administration professor Santishree Pandit and Meerut University political scientist Sanjeev Kumar Sharma were being considered frontrunners for the post.
Pandit, who studied at Madras University and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), did her doctorate on ‘Parliament and Foreign Policy in India — The Nehru Years’. She has also worked on a wide range of themes.
Another name that has done the rounds recently is of JNU faculty member Ashwini Mahapatra.
Mahapatra has been very close to the RSS in the traditionally communist-dominated university since the early 1980s both as a student and as a faculty member. He has also been an active patron of RSS-allied student body ABVP.
“The Left does not like him at all. He taught teachers association elections twice on right wing banner and took the lead against Left intellectuals,” said a source at JNU.
Pandit and Mahapatra are alumni of the School of International Studies at JNU.
Apart from the selection of a new member-secretary, a new council for the ICSSR has also to be appointed, as the old council expired a few months ago.
The ICSSR was established in 1969 by the government of India to promote research in the social sciences in the country. It gives grants to institutions and scholars and reviews the progress of social science research in the country.
In the wake of many scholars who are close to the Sangh Parivar making it to the ICHR, there are wide expectations that the new ICSSR council would also have a marked right wing stamp.