About Us

About

History

Social science research is necessary to deal with the numerous complex problems of society, because not all problems can be solved by the natural sciences and technology. The state, which is an instrument of society, needs to consider social science as an asset in bringing about a desired type of society. While the social sciences may not solve all problems, they help in understanding the nature of problems and in dealing with them. They try to analyse social realities. Social science is also meant to enlighten society. The social scientist, through his work, holds a mirror to society. The Jesuits had long desired to set up a social science research institute in Gujarat. The task of setting up such an institute fell on Lancy Lobo who had worked for 15 years at the Centre for Social Studies (CSS), Surat. He was its director before he was awarded an International Fellowship at the Woodstock Centre, Georgetown University, Washington DC. It was there that he began to reflect on whether the time was ripe for beginning a new social science research institute in Gujarat supported by the Jesuits. Two dominant forces were at work in India around the turn of the millennium – globalisation and Hindu nationalism. They were unleashing significant changes in society and culture in Gujarat and beyond. Gujarat is one of the most developed states in India. The character of its development needed close scrutiny. Only robust social research could capture it. Globalisation is generally defined as the network of connections of organisations and peoples across national, geographic and cultural borders and boundaries. This network is creating a shrinking world where local differences and national boundaries are being subsumed within global identities. There are hundreds of NGOs and we need to network with them. A research centre can act as a nodal agency. The Church in India has never been exclusive in its service. This tradition must continue to include tribals, dalits, OBCs and lower classes in urban as well as rural areas.