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Statutes of the Indian Social Science Council


  1. The primary objective of the Indian Social Science Council is to advance scientific knowledge throughout India. The Indian Social Science Council recognizes the aspirations of social scientists in all parts of India and endeavours to support and strengthen the free development of social sciences in cooperation with similar associations of social scientists
  2. To achieve these ends, The Indian Social Science Councilshall support activities to:
    1. secure and develop institutional and personal contacts between social scientists throughout India;
    2. encourage national dissemination and exchange of information on developments in scientific knowledge;
    3. facilitate and promote national research and training
    4. convene meetings and regularly scheduled social science conferences


Research Committees (RCs) exist to promote and enhance national cooperation and development in theoretical and empirical research in social sciences, and to represent their branches of social sciences within the Indian Social Science Council and outside it

  1. Each Research Committee has a particular branch of social science as its remit, which should be defined widely enough to cover a large area and range of approaches to the field. RCs are free to organise themselves, and to administer their own funds, to cooperate with academic and non-academic bodies, and to engage in any activities they may consider appropriate to their stated objectives, as long as they operate in a way consistent with these Statutes and the general principles and policy of the ISSC
  2. For a RC to be founded, the procedure is as follows:
    1. a proposal is made to the Research Coordinating Committee (RCC) by any 50 or more regular individual ISSC members in good standing, and will be accepted by the RCC if it meets the conditions listed in clauses (b) - (d)
    2. The members applying should be able to demonstrate that they have shared an appropriate level of collective scientific activity as a Working Group (see 3)for at least 4 years.
    3. The remit of the proposed RC should not overlap significantly with the remit of any other already existing RC, WG or TG.
    4. The members supporting the proposal should have sufficient national diversity to meet criteria set by the RCC, and statutes should be proposed which are consistent with general ISSC principles and are approved by the RCC.
    5. The RCC will approve the proposal if in its judgment these conditions are met. If the proposal is approved by the RCC and EC, it will be put to the next meeting of the Research Council for final decision.

  3. Working Groups (WG) and Thematic Groups (TG) operate in the same way as RCs, but a TG requires only 10 members to give it initial support, and does not have to demonstrate a previous pattern of activity, while a WG must have the initial support of 25 or more regular individual ISSC members in good standing, and meet the RC conditions other than geographical diversity and length of collective scientific activity. A TG may be proposed where there is no RC or WG, and may later apply for upgrading to WG. A WG may apply for upgrading to RC status when it meets the conditions for the formation of a RC, and a TG may apply for upgrading to WG when it meets the conditions for the formation of a WG. The formation of a WG or TG requires the approval of the EC, on the recommendation of the RCC; for a WG, the Research Council makes the final decision on the proposal. Application for upgrading should be made to the EC via the RCC, which will make a recommendation to the Research Council.
  4. RCs, WGs and TGs are expected to maintain conformity to the conditions initially required to achieve the appropriate status; any may be demoted, or in the case of a TG closed, if it ceases to meet those conditions. However, if such a problem has been identified, in the first instance notice will be given of that by the Secretariat, and a probationary year will be allowed from the time of notification in which to correct problems; during that year, support and guidance in achieving the criteria will be offered. The RCC will review the activities of each group at least every 2 years, and will make any consequent proposals for demotion or closure, which must be approved by the EC.
  5. If casual vacancies arise in an RC, WG or TG Board between elections, they may be filled by appointment by its President unless its Statutes provide an alternative mechanism; if the vacancy is for President, the Secretary in consultation with other Board members may take action.
    1. RCs, WGs and TGs must distinguish between regular or affiliated members. Regular members in good standing are those who have paid their RC, WG or TG dues, and who are also members in good standing of the ISSC. Affiliated members in good standing have paid RC, WG or TG dues but are not ISSC members in good standing. RCs, WGs and TGs may allow affiliated members to participate in the scientific activities of the group and to vote in its elections and business meetings, but affiliated members may not act as Board members except in the case covered in 6b
    2. Scholars from other disciplines who are only affiliated members of an RC, WG or TG may act as Board members, as well as participating in the scientific activities of the group and voting in its elections or business meetings, if that group is organised jointly with another disciplinary association to which they belong, and the joint arrangement has been approved by both associations.
  6. RCs may provide for sub-groups with autonomy sufficient to pursue their specialised research interests, if there are sufficient members in specialised subfields to justify this.
  7. RCs, WGs and TGs have an obligation to provide information on their membership and activities to the Secretariat when this is requested, and to encourage their members to join the ISSC if they are not already members. The ISSC may take the number of ISSC members in a RC, WG or TG into account in determining its rights and benefits.
  8. RCs have the right to voting representation on the Research Council; WGs and TGs have the right for their representatives to attend and speak at the meetings of the Research Council, but not to vote. All their delegates and alternates must be either members in good standing of the ISSC as well as of the relevant RC, WG or TG, or affiliated members as defined in


The Research Council represents the RCs, WGs and TGs collectively within the ISSC, and may put forward proposals for the general policy of the ISSC. The Research Council advises the EC on any matters put to it regarding the research functions of The Indian Social Science Council and the running of the RCs, WGs and TGs, and coordinates their activities.

    1. The Research Council shall include one representative from each Research Committee. (RCs at risk of demotion retain their voting rights until demoted.) In addition, the Vice-President for Research is an ex officio member with voting rights, and the President of the ISSC is an ex officio member but without voting rights.
    2. Working Groups and Thematic Groups may each send one representative to the Research Council as an observer, who will have the right to speak but not to vote.
    3. Each RC, WG or TG shall appoint in accordance with its Statutes one representative, and one deputy to act as an alternate, to represent it in the Research Council. The alternate may also attend meetings of the Council, but may vote only if the delegate is entitled to vote but is absent.
    1. At each All India Social Science Congress, the Research Council shall elect eight members of the Executive Committee. These eight members, with two other members of the Executive Committee elected by it at its first meeting, shall constitute the Research Coordinating Committee (RCC).
    2. The remit of the RCC shall be to approve the formation of Thematic Groups, to examine applications for the establishment of Working Groups and Research Committees, to review their activities at least every two years, and to put forward to the Executive Committee recommendations on both particular cases and general policy for RCs, WGs and TGs. It may organise appropriate activities open to all RCs, WGs and TGs.
    3. The Vice President for Research shall chair the Research Coordinating Committee or, if absent, shall nominate another member as acting chairperson. The RCC shall meet at least once between consecutive Congresses. It shall take its decisions by a majority vote among those members present and voting, by show of hands; if there is a tie, the Chairperson shall have the deciding vote.
    1. The Research Council shall make recommendations on proposals made to it by the Executive Committee on the establishment, the upgrading, the demotion and the abolition of the Research Committees, Working Groups and Thematic Groups.
    2. The Research Council may hold its own scientific meetings, and may initiate national research projects of a cross-disciplinary nature with other scientific organisations, with any funding required found from external sources or approved by the EC.
    1. The Research Council shall meet at every All India Social Science Congress, and at least once between every two All India Social Science Congresses if possible. At least 3 months notice shall be given of meetings, with an agenda circulated in advance. Proposed resolutions or motions shall be submitted in writing to the Executive Secretary and received by at least two weeks before the meeting. If it is not practicable to organise a meeting between Congresses, decisions may be taken by postal ballot on proposals from the RCC or EC, accompanied by a written explanation, circulated at least three months before the vote. Electronic conferences may also be held, on the initiative of the VP Research, to discuss the most urgent matters
    2. The ISSC Vice-President for Research shall convene the Research Council's meetings, formulate their agendas and chair its sessions. (In his/her absence, s/he should nominate another EC member to act as chairperson.)
  1. A quorum of at least half the Research Committees' representatives is required to be present at a meeting, or to vote in a postal ballot, for the Research Council to take decisions. The vote at a meeting shall be taken by show of hands or by roll call, except for elections and other decisions concerning identified persons, in which case it shall be taken by secret ballot. All decisions of the Research Council shall be made by a simple majority vote. In case of a tie, the chairperson shall have the deciding vote when the ballot is not secret; when it is secret, a second vote will be taken.


The Assembly of Councils elects the President and the five Vice- Presidents, makes final decisions on the general policies of The Council, and fixes The Council’s membership fees. It may also hear appeals against decisions taken by the EC, the CA or the Research Council.

  1. The Assembly shall be composed of all members of the Indian Social Science Council of Associations and the Research Council, and will be chaired by the President of the ISSC (or in his/her absence by a Vice-President nominated by the President).
  2. The Assembly shall meet at each All India Social Science Congress, at a time and place set by the outgoing President.
  3. A quorum of at least one half of the Assembly members in good standing is necessary for decisions to be reached. In the case of a tie in any vote on matters of policy, the President shall have a deciding vote. (For procedure in elections, see article )
  4. The Assembly shall hear appeals against decisions taken by the ISSC Executive Committee, the Indian Social Science Councilof Associations or the Research Council. Such appeals may be made upon petition of ten individual and/or collective members in good standing.
    1. When urgent questions of policy which have not been decided by the Assembly arise between meetings, the Executive Committee may submit motions to the members for decision by a postal ballot.
    2. The postal ballot shall be valid only if initiated by the ISSC Executive Secretary by sending the text of the proposed motion and the ballot paper to all the voting members of the Assembly at least 90 days before the deadline for the receipt of the votes.
    3. The motion shall be approved if a quorum of at least one half of the members in good standing have voted and if a simple majority of the voters is in favour.


The Executive Committee’s tasks shall include: proposing policies to the Assembly of Councils and carrying out the policies established by it; proposing the membership dues to the Indian Social Science Council of Associations, the Research Council or to the Assembly of Councils; acting on matters of urgency, and reporting on activities periodically to the Indian Social Science Councilof Associations, the Research Council and the Assembly of Councils.

  1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the President of the ISSC, its Vice-President(s), and sixteen other members elected by the Research Council and the Indian Social Science Councilof Associations.
  2. The Executive Committee shall be elected at each ISSC All India Social Science Congress, and shall hold office until replaced at the next All India Social Science Congress.
  3. In case of vacancy among those Executive Committee members who are not President or Vice-President, their place shall be taken by the candidates ranking highest in number of votes among those not elected and still available. (For vacancies among President and Vice-Presidents, see )
  4. The Executive Committee shall have, in addition to the RCC, a sub-committee for Associations, and sub-committees for Publications and for Finance and Membership, which shall be chaired by the relevant Vice-Presidents. Other members of the Publications Sub-Committee shall include the editors and book review editors of all ISSC journals and book series, and 3 EC members (one from the RCC) elected by the Executive. Other members of the Finance and Membership Sub-Committee shall be three EC members elected by the Executive. The EC members for Publications and Finance subcommittees will be chosen at the first meeting of the new EC. There is also a Programme Sub-Committee, on which see By-laws
  5. Ad hoc sub-committees may be formed from among the Executive Committee’s members to make recommendations on particular matters.
  6. The Executive Committee shall meet during the ISSC All India Social Science Congresses, and at least twice between every two Congresses. Its meetings shall be chaired by the President or, in his/her absence, by one of the Vice-Presidents nominated by the President. It shall take its decisions by a majority vote of those present and voting, the chairperson having the casting vote in case of a tie.
  7. Individual members of the EC should serve on at least one sub-committee if appointed to it, and act to represent and further the interests of The Indian Social Science Councilin their home areas. They should also take an active part in EC discussions, sending comments if unable to attend meetings. (For additional tasks of officers, see article )
  8. Any member of the EC who does not carry out the basic functions of membership, or offer appropriate reasons for a temporary inability to do so, shall after a period of 6 months’ notice (given by the Executive Secretary after consultation with the President - or, in the case of the President’s inactivity, with the Vice-Presidents) be deemed to have resigned unless circumstances make this inappropriate. If such a case arises, the Executive Secretary shall notify the EC and the EC shall decide how to deal with it.


  1. The ISSC President shall legally represent The Indian Social Science Council both internally and externally, and shall have general responsibility for the implementation of The Council's policy and for supervision of the activity of the Secretariat. S/he shall chair the meetings of the EC; in his/her absence, the meeting will be chaired by a Vice-President nominated by the President. The President is also responsible for the development of the programme for the next All India Social Science Congress, in collaboration with the Programme Committee and in liaison with the Local Organising Committee.
  2. There shall be maximum four Vice-Presidents, responsible, respectively, for Research, Associations, Publications, and Finance and Membership. Their responsibilities will be:
    1. Research - to oversee and coordinate the activities of RCs, WGs and TGs, to propose policies in the area of research, and to encourage comparative and cross-national research.
    2. Associations - to maintain liaison with regular collective members, and to propose policies and activities to respond to their needs.
    3. Publications - to oversee the running of The Council's publications, and to propose policies in the area of publications.
    4. Finance and Membership - to oversee The Council's financial affairs in liaison with the Secretariat, and to propose policies in the area of finance and membership
  3. he ISSC President and Vice-Presidents shall hold office for a four-year term between consecutive All India Social Science Congresses. They shall not be eligible for re-election to the same office.
  4. In case of a vacancy in the office of the President and/or any Vice-President, the Executive Committee shall elect an Interim President or Vice-President until the end of the uncompleted term, should it consider it necessary to fill the office.


  1. At least one year before each All India Social Science Congress, the Indian Social Science Councilof Associations (CA) and the Research Council shall each elect a Nominating Committee (NC) with five members. A reserve member shall also be elected for each to fill any casual vacancies. All of their members must be regular individual members in good standing. No more than two members of each may be drawn from the outgoing Executive Committee. Each CA representative shall be drawn from a different National Association, and each Research Council representative from a different Research Committee. Each NC shall select from among its membership a chairperson who will be responsible for organising its work, in cooperation with the Secretariat.
  2. The NCs each have the task of drawing up slates of nominations for election to their Council’s eight places on the Executive Committee (EC) and, acting as a single committee with the current President as its non-voting chair responsible for arranging liaison between them, of candidates for the Presidency and Vice Presidencies. Members of the NCs are ineligible as candidates for any of these positions The slates shall comprise at least two candidates for each position. Each Nominating Committee (NC) shall seek nominations, with appropriate biographical information, from its own constituency: the Indian Social Science Councilof Associations’ NC from the Associations and the Research Council’s NC from the Research Committees. Nominations, supported by two members in good standing and including evidence of the candidate’s consent, may be submitted to the Nominating Committees by all ISSC regular members in good standing, except individual members of the NCs. The NCs may also actively solicit further candidacies and collectively make their own nominations.
    The Nominating Committees should, separately and jointly as specified, draw up slates selected, at their discretion, from the nominations made and send them (for the EC) to the members of the relevant Council and (for the officerships) to the members of the Assembly of Councils, not later than three months prior to All India Social Science Congress. If the nominations received by this time are insufficient or do not adequately meet the criteria stated in Article 4, the deadline may, in consultation with the President, be extended to allow the search for nominations to continue.
  3. All candidates must have been individual members in good standing of the ISSC since the previous All India Social Science Congress and must still be so at the time when the NCs finalise their list. After two consecutive terms on the Executive Committee no member is eligible for a further consecutive term, except as President.
  4. In drawing up their slates the Nominating Committees shall consult their constituencies, and give due consideration to the diversity of fields within social sciences, to geographical representation and to gender as well as to candidates' experience in organising national activities, liaising with each other to promote these ends.
  5. Nominations may also be made from the floor at all elections,if supported by five members of the relevant Council and made with the consent of the candidate.
  6. The Assembly of Councils shall elect the President, then each Vice-President (in the order Research, Associations, Publications, Finance and Membership), by secret ballot. In the case of a tie, another vote shall be taken. The election of the Executive Committee members shall follow the election of the President and the Vice- Presidents. Defeated candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidencies may, if otherwise eligible, choose to have their names added to the ballot for the Executive Committee.
  7. The Executive Secretary of the ISSC cannot be a member of the Executive Committee.


The location of each All India Social Science Congress shall be chosen at least 6 months before it is due to be held, in the light of proposals received; proposals shall be invited from all national association members at least 9 months before it is due. The choice shall give due attention to the need for diversity of locations over time, as well as to local organizational resources and physical capacity; unlimited admission to the country of all participants, regardless of nationality, is essential.

The organization of All India Social Science Congress shall be the joint responsibility of a Programme Committee established by the Executive Committee and a Local Organizing Committee established by the local organizers, as set out in the By-Laws.


Those responsible for agreed budgets may not exceed them without following the appropriate procedure. Any proposals for expenditure additional to those covered by agreed budgets must be formally approved by a procedure specified for that category of expenditure.


  1. The Executive Secretary of the ISSC shall normally be appointed for a four-year term; the term is renewable without limit. S/he shall be in charge of the administrative affairs of The Council, and shall be accountable for them to the EC, to which s/he shall make periodic reports on organization, membership, finances, programmes, activities and accomplishments. S/he shall be in charge of the organization of the Secretariat’s office, and shall act as its staff director.
  2. The Secretariat shall, in consultation with the Vice President for Finance & Membership, draw up a budget each calendar year for approval by the Executive Committee, and shall provide for the Executive Committee an annual financial report duly verified by an auditor.
  3. The stipends and allowances of the Executive Secretary and of other members of the staff of the Secretariat shall be determined by the President, in consultation with the Vice President for Finance and Membership, in the light of relevant Executive Committee policy.
  4. The location of the Secretariat’s office shall be determined by the Executive Committee.


  1. Proposals for amendments to the Statutes may be made by the Executive Committee, or by any five ISSC regular collective members or by any five Research Committees, and must reach the ISSC Secretariat at least one year before a All India Social Science Congress.
  2. The Executive Secretary shall inform the Executive Committee of the proposals received, and shall subsequently circulate them by appropriate means among all the members of the Indian Social Science Council of Associations and the Research Council, together with a brief explanation of their rationale, at least six months before the next All India Social Science Congress. The Executive Committee and Council members will be entitled to propose amendments to the amendments, by a deadline such that they may be circulated at least 2 months before the Congress.
    1. (a) Proposed amendments shall be submitted to the Assembly of Councils at the next All India Social Science Congress or, if the EC so decides, shall be immediately circulated by post for a postal ballot. A quorum of one half of the voting members is needed for the Assembly to reach a decision. If more than one amendment is proposed, the amendments shall be voted on separately except where they are interdependent; the entire amended text will then be voted on. The amendments shall be adopted if approved by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting.
    2. Should the Assembly of Councils fail to reach a quorum, the amendments shall be submitted to a postal ballot and shall be adopted if approved by a two-thirds majority of those voting, provided that at least one half of the members entitled to vote have voted.


  1. The dissolution of The Indian Social Science Council shall be decided by the Assembly of Councils by its usual procedures, except for the provisions of clause 1
  2. If practical, the proposal for dissolution shall be submitted to a meeting of the Assembly of Councils. If the President does not judge a meeting practical, the proposal shall be put and votes given in writing without a meeting. Any such proposal must be circulated at least 6 months before the date of the meeting or postal vote. The dissolution shall be declared provided that a quorum of at least two thirds of the members has participated in the meeting or postal vote, and that at least two-thirds of those participating have approved it.
  3. In the event of dissolution, the net assets of The Indian Social Science Council shall be transferred to an national organization or institution whose objectives are similar to those of The Council, or shall be assigned to other uses considered consistent with the ISSC’s aims and objectives. The use of the assets shall be decided by the Assembly of Councils, by meeting or postal vote, which shall mandate the President and/or the Executive Secretary to execute its decision.
    2. English is the recognized languages of The Council. The administrative language of The Indian Social Science Councilshall be English.


    1. The chair shall open and close each session of the ISSC committees. S/he shall direct the discussions, ensure observance of the by-laws, and accord or withdraw the right to speak. S/he shall rule on points of order and, subject to the present by-laws, shall control proceedings and maintain order. S/he may ascertain the sense of the meeting and shall, if necessary, put questions to the vote.
    2. If the chair is absent (or unable to attend), s/he shall be replaced by another member who, acting in this capacity, shall have the same power and duties as the chair. The acting chair will be appointed by the chair or, in the absence of such an appointment, by the meeting.
    3. For any meeting of an ISSC committee non-members may be invited to attend, and to speak though not to vote, if the chairperson judges that they can make a special contribution to the business under consideration. Co-option - the expansion of the committee through the inclusion of additional members - is not permitted.
    4. The chair will call upon speakers in the order in which they signify their wish to speak. For the convenience of the discussions, the chair may limit the time allowed to each speaker. Non-members may speak only with the consent of the chair.


    1. Notice of the meeting, together with its proposed agenda and working papers, shall be sent to the Indian Social Science Council members at least two months before a meeting.
    2. At the end of the discussion, and before a question is put to the vote, the chair shall read, or cause to be read, the text of the motion or resolution
    3. The chair shall announce the result of all votes
    4. The proposer of a motion shall have the right to speak first in the discussion. S/he may withdraw the motion with the consent of the members.
    5. Motions whose effect is retroactive shall not be considered.
    6. The Secretariat may at any time make to the meeting either oral or written statements concerning any question under consideration by it.


    1. In the Statutes the expression "votes cast" shall mean all votes, whether affirmative, negative, or abstaining ballots.
    2. Voting in Council meetings on issues shall be by show of hands, except when at least two delegates request a secret ballot; voting for elections shall always be by secret ballot
    3. A roll-call is obligatory when requested by at least five delegates or decided by the chair.
    4. The chairperson has an ordinary vote unless otherwise specified in the Statutes and, in case of a tie, shall also have a casting vote.
    5. When an amendment to a proposal is moved, the amendment shall be voted on first. When several amendments to a proposal are moved, the meeting shall first vote on the amendment deemed by the chair to be the furthest removed in substance from the original proposal and then on the amendment next furthest removed and so on, until all the amendments have been put to the vote.
    6. A motion is considered an amendment to a proposal if it merely adds to, deletes from, or revises part of that proposal.
    7. Votes in elections shall be counted by two members of the Secretariat, assisted by one or two other persons not eligible for election. After counting, the ballots shall be preserved by the Executive Secretary for at least one year, in a sealed envelope signed by two ballot counters.


    1. For each All India Social Science Congress, a Programme Committee shall be set up as soon as possible after the election of the new Executive Committee, which must approve the proposals for its membership made by the new ISSC President. The Program Committee is composed of the President, who will be its chair, the Vice Presidents, the chair of the LOC, four members from the RCC and four members from the NALC selected on the basis of relevant expertise. In addition the Executive Committee can invite up to two ISSC members from outside the EC of high professional reputation to join the Program Committee. Its composition shall give due regard to diversity of national/regional representation, of gender, and of fields within social sciences. It shall have a maximum of 16 members in total. This Committee shall have responsibility for the scientific programme of the Congress (within a general policy framework of proposals approved by the Executive Committee), for planning the detailed content of the plenary sessions, and for proposing additional special sessions.
    2. For each All India Social Science Congress, there shall also be a Local Organising Committee (LOC). Its composition shall be determined by the local organisers, who will select a chair with lead responsibility for liaison with the ISSC Executive Committee, Programme Committee and Secretariat. A contract between the LOC and the ISSC will be drawn up specifying the detailed responsibilities of each party, and the agreed financial arrangements. When approved by the EC, it will be signed by the President and the appropriate officer of the LOC. Any changes to this contract will require the approval of the EC. The LOC will be responsible, within a general policy framework approved by the Executive Committee, for planning all local practical arrangements, raising funds locally, and organising appropriate scientific activities on matters of local interest.


    Where this is not elsewhere specified, the chair of any committee or subcommittee may initiate postal and/or electronic discussion of matters which arise between regular meetings and may, if s/he deems the issue an appropriate one, hold a postal and/or electronic vote which leads to a decision subject to the provisions about numbers participating and majorities made for regular meetings.


    Proposed amendments to these By Laws mailed to the Secretariat 75 days before a meeting of the Assembly of Councils may be accepted by simple majority; amendments presented later require a two-thirds majority of votes cast for acceptance.


    Approved at the meeting of the Indian Social Science Councilof Associations:

  • i. Individual members of ISSC acquire the rights of voting, petitioning, motioning, and holding office by joining one of its Research Committees and paying dues set by both Research Committee and the ISSC.
  • ii. Such dues must be paid to the ISSC Secretariat whereupon the individual is registered as a regular member in good standing.
  • iii. Individuals who are not regular members of the ISSC may participate in the activities of the Research Committees, Working Groups and Thematic Groups as affiliate members or as special participants.
  • iv. Any monies collected by the Research Committees but not paid to the ISSC Secretariat in the name of individuals, are not recognized as dues by the ISSC.
  • v. An appropriate part of the dues collected on behalf of the Research Committees, Working Groups or Thematic Groups are available to them from the ISSC Secretariat at a time and in a currency determined by the Executive Committee.

  • It is clarified that:

  • (a) All scholars who regularly participate in ISSC activities should be ISSC members;
  • (b) Board Members are to be regular not affiliated individual ISSC members.