Institute for Social and Economic Change : Doctoral Research Programme 2021-22

Institute for Social and Economic Change : Doctoral Research Programme 2021-22

1. About ISEC

The Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) is a premier inter-disciplinary research and training Institute in Social Sciences in India. Over the years, ISEC has carved a place of pride in Social Science Research map of India by the research contributions of the distinguished faculty and with the guidance of eminent members of the Board of Governors. Today, ISEC is the largest research institute established under Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR). Its primary objective is to provide high quality academic training to Ph.D. Students to prepare them as distinguished researchers and teachers in the field of social sciences. ISEC has trained about 254 scholars for PhD, most of whom are placed in highly reputed Institutes / Universities / Government and International Organisations. ISEC is presently affiliated to Universities of Mysore and Bangalore for the award of Ph.D. degree.

2. Location

ISEC is located amidst sylvan landscape of 16-hectare at Nagarabhavi, Bengaluru, adjoining campuses of Bangalore University and National Law School of India University. The Institute’s campus preserves a variety of flora and fauna. ISEC campus is situated 12 Kms away from Central Railway and Central Bus station with very good network of buses and 42 Kms away from Kempegowda International Airport. To find the location of ISEC campus, visit our website:

 3. Organisation

The Institute is organized into nine academic research centres which are inter-disciplinary in nature. These are: Agricultural Development and Rural Transformation Centre (ADRTC), Centre for Decentralization and Development (CDD), Centre for Ecological Economics and Natural Resources (CEENR), Centre for Economic Studies and Policy (CESP), Centre for Human Resource Development (CHRD), Centre for Political Institutions, Governance and Development (CPIGD), Centre for Study of Social Change and Development (CSSCD), Population Research Centre (PRC),and Centre for Research in Urban Affairs (CRUA). The faculty members of these centres provide guidance to the Ph D Students pursuing research in individual disciplines. The strong point of PhD training at ISEC is its emphasis on inter-disciplinary and socially relevant research.

4. Amenities

4 (a) Hostels : The Institute has well equipped hostels for boy and girl students. Full time Ph.D. Students are provided hostel accommodation at reasonable rate.

4 (b) Library : Dr VKRV Rao Library is one of India’s premier research libraries in social sciences with more than 1.4 lakh collections. The library subscribes to about 300 professional foreign and Indian journals, out of which 80 journals are accessible online. Library also subscribes to online databases viz., EconLit full text, JSTOR, CMIE-Prowess,, EPWRFITS, ISID, etc. Integrated library management software LIBSYS is used for housekeeping operation and OPAC. Organizations such as UNDP, World Bank, UN and a number of other international organizations have recognized it as a Depository Library. Dr VKRV Rao Social Science Digital library provides access to more than 12000 rare documents to the social science research community.

4 (c) Computer Lab and Reading Room: The Institute has computer laboratory with internet browsing. Further, Wi-Fi connectivity is also available for the use of PhD Students. There is common reading room for students that is available 24*7.

5. PhD Programmes

ISEC offers two categories of Ph D Programme – (a) full time (residential) for students and (b) part-time (non-residential) for those already in service. The hallmark of our Ph.D. Programme is its bi-annual seminars and Doctoral Committees. Doctoral Committee (DC) meets periodically and provides inputs to the Ph.D. Students besides monitoring progress of their thesis work. Every PhD Student is required to make presentation in the bi-annual seminars of the Institute in June and December after obtaining inputs from DC members. All Ph.D. students have to compulsorily abide by ISEC Ph.D. Rules as applicable.

5 (a) Full Time (Residential)

Full time residential Ph.D. Programme at ISEC normally takes about four years to complete from the date of joining. During the first 10 months Students are provided rigorous training through a Ph.D. Foundation Course Work. On successful completion of the course work, the PhD candidates will be facilitated to obtain registration from one of the affiliated Universities. Candidates are required to pay fees and comply with other requirements of affiliated University where they would be registered. Institute has 9 fellowships from ICSSR which shall be granted based on merit in the written exam and interview process. UGC-JRF Fellowship holders are encouraged to apply.

5 (b) Part Time (Non-Residential)

This Programme is open to in-service persons to pursue PhD on a part-time basis. Preference is given to those working in the Universities and Institutions of higher learning and ISEC employees under Faculty Improvement Programme. Eligibility requirements and selection criteria are similar as in the case of the full-time PhD Programme mentioned above except that of age, which is relaxable. Part-time candidates should pass the pre-PhD course work. They are welcome to attend the classes, though attendance is not compulsory. The part-time PhD students do not get any form of financial assistance from ISEC. Candidates are required to pay fees according to University norms and an annual fee of Rs.3,000/- (Rupees Three thousand only) to ISEC. The part-time PhD Students must adhere to all the conditions and regulations stipulated by the University/Institute.

6. Enrollment/Registration

After successful completion of the Ph.D. Foundation Course, students are required to enroll/register with the affiliated University. They are required to comply with all the requirements according to the Rules of the University from time to time with regard to enrollment/registration, and thereafter remit periodical fees such as tuition, service, processing, thesis submission etc.

7. Disciplines for Admission Test

The test for admission will be administered only in the disciplines mentioned below. For written examination details, follow the ISEC website for various disciplines. Eligibility requirements are the same for all candidates. The disciplines or subject specializations available for taking up entrance test for Ph.D. in the Institute are:

  1. Development Studies (Candidates may choose to write admission test based on their interest viz., Urban studies/Environmental Studies/Decentralization & Development/Local Governance & Development, education, rural development and so on) (Once admitted, the students will receive Degree in Development Studies)
  2. Population Studies
  3. Economics

8. Eligibility Requirements

The aspirants for ISEC Ph D Programme and research fellowships must satisfy the following requirements:

Sl. No.DisciplineEligibility Requirement Areas of Specialisation/ Discipline in which Degree is Awarded / Remarks
1.Development StudiesMaster’s Degree in any discipline  Those Students with interest in the following subjects may apply:Decentralization and Development/ Panchayats/Local Governance and Development /Economics / Environment economics /Rural Development /Geography /Public Administration / Urban Economics / Urban Planning/Public Policy preferably with specialization in Urban Studies /   Public health /Ecology and Environmental Sciences The students once admitted will receive Ph.D. in Development StudiesThe Entrance Test will be conducted in Development Studies
2.Population StudiesMaster’s Degree inDemography/Population Studies or have Master’s degree in other discipline with strong Demography CoursesThose Students with interest in Population Studies may applyThe students once admitted will receive Ph.D. in Development StudiesThe Entrance Test will be conducted in Population Studies
3.EconomicsMaster’s Degree in Economics/Econometrics / Public Economics /Energy Economics / Development Economics / Natural resource Economics/Environmental Economics / Financial Economics /Applied Economics / Quantitative Economics / Statistics Those Students with interest in the following subjects may apply:Applied Econometrics/Micro and Macro Economics/International Economics/Public Economics/ Energy Economics/Development Economics/Natural Resource EconomicsThe students once admitted will receive Ph.D. in EconomicsThe Entrance Test will be conducted in Economics

9. Fellowship

Candidates who have passed UGC JRF are paid the fellowship as per the UGC norms, upon receipt of fellowship grant from UGC. These fellowship holders should comply with all the requirements of the UGC, from time to time.

The candidates selected for ICSSR fellowship are paid a scholarship of Rs.10,000/- p.m. without any contingency for the first ten months of Ph.D. Foundation Course Work. Thereafter, the fellowship is extendable to a further period of two years at the rate of Rs.20,000/- p.m. and a contingency of Rs.20,000/- per annum as per ICSSR fellowship norms. For the fourth year Institute shall be paying Rs.10,000/- p.m. from internal sources without any contingency for one year. The Fellowship holders should comply with all the Ph.D. Programme requirements of ICSSR/ISEC, from time to time.

10. Selection Procedure

  1. Preliminary screening of applications is done based on the minimum educational qualification. Students need to submit a proposal in the related area of their interest in which they want to pursue their PhD.  
Sl. No.ParticularsTime, Day, Date
1.List of candidates to be called for written test shall be displayed on our website or before 11th November 2021
2.Short-listed candidates will be called for a written testBetween the last week of November and first week of December 2021*
3.Interview of the Shortlisted candidates
4.Commencement of Course work for the selected candidates3rd January 2022

Note: The test will be conducted by the respective centres in the respective disciplines wherever applicable.

* Exact date will be intimated to the candidates in due course

  1. Travel Allowance: Those candidates who are called for written test/interview will be paid ‘to and fro’ sleeper class train fare through shortest route or bus fare by ordinary class as applicable. No boarding & lodging charges will be reimbursed to the candidates.
  2. Reservation Policy: Normal reservation rules for educational institutions are followed by ISEC.

11. How to Apply

The prescribed application form can be downloaded (only on A4 size paper) from the ISEC Website: The duly filled-in application form with all the relevant enclosures should be submitted along with the application fee of Rs.750/- for General Category (Rs.250/- in case of SC/STs)n the form of a Demand Draft drawn in favour of the Registrar, ISEC, Bengaluru, payable at State Bank of India, ISEC Branch, Bengaluru -72. Candidates who are awaiting their second year PG results may also apply. However, it is mandatory to produce the proof of final PG examination results (Original marks card, if not, Provisional marks obtained and signed by relevant authority of the University) at the time of attending the written test.

Prescribed Application Form and Information Brochure (.pdf)

Completed application with requisite enclosures should reach the following address on or before 22nd October 2021.

12. Instructions for Filling the Application Form

The candidates should clearly mention the preferred discipline (one of the specializations listed in para No. 8 under sub-heading, 1 to 3) in which they are interested to take up Entrance Test (written test) in the application form. For the discipline of Development Studies, the candidates will have the option to choose from Areas of specialisation as given in the last column of the table given in Para No. 8 that needs to be mentioned in the Application Form.

  1. The application form should be duly filled and signed. Incomplete applications are liable to be rejected.
  2. Do not use dash (-) or dots (…) If any item in the application is not applicable, write as N.A.Attach only self-attested photocopies of certificates and testimonials to the application.
  3. Attach only self-attested photocopies of certificates and testimonials to the application.
  4. The completed application form must be accompanied by a typewritten (on A4 Size paper; Font: Tahoma, Size-10, spacing 1.5) research proposal within 1,000 words. The proposal should be original and shall provide description of research work that the candidate intends to carry out and, shall include the following: Problem Statement, major objectives and research methodology in not more than 1,000 words. In addition to this, a statement in 300 words about the motivation to undertake Ph.D. and reasons for opting ISEC Ph.D. Programme may also be provided along with the filled in application form.
  5. Selected candidates must be in a position to furnish the Transfer Certificate or Migration Certificate at the time of joining the Ph D Programme from the previous University/Institution.

13. List of Documents to be submitted

The candidate must submit the following documents along with the application form:

  1. Matriculation Certificate (as a proof for date of birth).Master’s Degree Certificate and Marks Card.
  2. Master’s Degree Certificate and Marks Card. [Provisional marks card obtained and signed by relevant authority of the University in case Second Year PG results are awaited.]
  3. UGC-NET-JRF Certificate/letter (if applicable).  
  4. M.Phil. Certificate (if applicable).
  5. Research Proposal – Maximum of 1,000 words
  6. Reasons for joining Ph.D. and choosing ISEC – Maximum 300 words
  7. Copies of academic publications (if any).
  8. Testimonials of work experience (if any). (Compulsory for Part-time Students).
  9. Caste Certificate (applicable to SC/ST/OBC applicants only).

14. Contact Details: For More Information, send e-mail to:  or contact over telephone

(080) 23217013.

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