Institute for Social and Economic Change



PhD Programme



1. The Institute

The Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) was founded by Professor VKRV Rao in 1972. 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 is presently affiliated to Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore and Osmania Universities and the National Law School of India University, Bangalore for the award of PhD degree. We have collaborated with Maastricht University, Warsaw University, Centre for Asian Studies (Kyungpook National University, Republic of Korea), Bombay University, Central University of Rajasthan and University of Central Asia (Republic of Tajikistan).

2. Location

ISEC is located amidst sylvan landscape of 16-hectare at Nagarabhavi, Bangalore, adjoining campuses of Bangalore University and National Law School of India University. The Instituteís campus is well maintained with sprawling gardens and lawns and also preserves a variety of flora and fauna. ISEC campus is situated 12 Kms away from Central Railway and Central Bus station with very good networks of buses. To find the location of ISEC campus, visit our website:

 3. Organisation

The Institute has ten academic research centres with different disciplines in social sciences. These are: Agricultural Development and Rural Transformation (ADRTC), Centre for Decentralisation 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), Centre for Research in Urban Affairs (CRUA),  and Centre for Womenís and Gender Studies (CWGS). The faculty members of these centres provide guidance to the Ph D Students for pursuing research in the individual disciplines. The strong point of training at ISEC is its emphasis on inter-disciplinary and socially relevant research.

4. Amenities

(a) Hostels

The Institute has well equipped Hostel for boy and girl Students and an excellent and well furnished Guest House for visiting scholars. Full time Ph D Students are provided hostel accommodation at reasonable rent. Visiting scholars and academicians are provided guest house accommodation.

(b) Library

Dr V K R V Rao Library, which is digitized, is a treasure house of books, documents, reports and journals with more than 1.21 lakh collections. The library subscribes to more than 300 professional foreign and Indian journals. UNDP, World Bank, UN and a number of other international organizations have recognized it as a Depository Library. About 80 journals are accessible online. The housekeeping operations and catalogue is computerized using Libsys integrated library software and the database can be accessed online. One can access a large number of rare documents and have connection with similar libraries across the world.

(c) Computer Lab

The Institute has state-of-the-art computer laboratory with web enabled network of 2 mbps leased line connection for internet browsing and also Wi-Fi connectivity available for the use of PhD Students.

5. PhD Programmes

ISEC offers two categories of Ph D Programme - (a) full time (residential) for students and (b) part-time (non-residential) for serving academicians and interested scholars. The hallmark of our Ph D Programme is its bi-annual seminars and doctoral committees. Doctoral Committee will meet at least twice preceding bi-annual seminars and provides valuable inputs to the PhD 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 till submission of thesis.

(a) Full Time (Residential)

Full time residential PhD Foundation Course at ISEC normally takes about four years to complete. During the first 10 months Students are provided rigorous training through a pre-Ph D Foundation coursework followed by the dissertation work which commences in the eleventh month. The doctoral students admitted under this Programme are paid scholarship during the coursework period and fellowship for three years thereafter besides providing hostel facilities up to 5 years. A separate hostel is available for lady students. Candidates are required to pay fees and comply with other requirements of University where they would be registered and pay an annual fee of Rupees one thousand to ISEC.

(b) Part Time (Non-Residential)

This Programme is open for working 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 Rupees three thousand to ISEC. The part-time PhD Students must adhere to all the conditions and regulations stipulated by the University/Institute.

6. Doctoral Committee and Bi-annual Seminar

In addition to the PhD Supervisor, every PhD Student will have an advisory Doctoral Committee consisting of faculty across disciplines. Doctoral Committees meet regularly and advise the students at various steps in research. Bi-annual seminar provides an opportunity for research students to make presentations about progress of their PhD work and receive valuable inputs from Panel of experts.

7. Enrollment/Registration

After successful completion of the Pre-PhD Foundation Course, students are required to enroll/register with one of the universities where ISEC has recognition. They are required to comply with all the requirements of the university concerned with regard to enrollment/registration, and thereafter remit periodical fee such as tuition, service, processing, thesis submission etc.

8. Disciplines of Specialisation

The test for admission will be administered only in the disciplines/specializations mentioned here. Eligibility requirements are the same for all candidates. The disciplines or specializations available for taking up entrance test for PhD in the Institute are:

  1. Agricultural Economics or Rural Development

  2. Development Studies

  3. Economics

  4. Education

  5. Environmental Economics/Ecological Economics/Natural Resource Economics

  6. Political Science/International Relations/Public Administration

  7. Population/Demographic Studies

  8. Sociology/Social Anthropology

  9. Urban Studies

  10. Decentralization and Development

9. Eligibility Requirements

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

  1. Master's degree or equivalent in any of the disciplines (see sub-headings 11 and 13) with at least 55% marks in the aggregate (50% in case of SC/ST applicants);

  2. A pass in UGC-NET or SLET or M Phil is desirable (Please see Item No.13);

  3. Age limit for ICSSR fellowships - below 35 years, 40 years in case of teachers and members of professional staff in Research Institutes.

  4. There is no age limit for ISEC Fellowship, Part-time PhD Programme.

10. Other Discipline-wise Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Candidates applying in Agricultural Economics/Rural Development should have a Masterís Degree in Economics, Statistics, Agricultural Economics or Rural Development.

  2. Candidates applying in Economics should have a Masterís Degree in Economics/Statistics/Econometrics.

  3. Candidates applying in Environmental/Ecological Economics/Natural Resource Economics should have Masterís Degree in Economics or other relevant disciplines including Biological Sciences and engineering.

  4. Candidates applying in Education should have a Masterís Degree in Education preferably with specialization in Economics of Education/Sociology of Education/Educational Planning and Management.

  5. Candidates applying in Political Science/International Relations/Public Administration should have a Masterís Degree in Political Science/International Relations/Public Administration.

  6. Candidates applying in Population/Demographic Studies should have Masterís Degree in Demography/Population Studies or Economics/Statistics/Sociology or Anthropology or Geography, preferably with specialization in Population Studies.

  7. Candidates applying in Sociology/Social Anthropology should have Masterís Degree in Sociology/Anthropology (Social Anthropology).

  8. Candidates applying in Development Studies should have Masterís Degree in any of the Social Sciences, MBA or acceptable Masterís degree by IDS, Mysore.

  9. Candidates applying in Urban Studies should have Masterís Degree in Economics/Sociology/Geography/Public Administration/Urban Planning/Public Policy preferably with specialization in Urban Studies.

  10. Candidates applying in Decentralization and Development should have Masterís Degree in Economics/Political Science/Sociology preferably with specialization in Decentralization and Development.

 11. Fellowship

The candidates selected for ICSSR/ISEC fellowship are paid a scholarship of Rs.6,000 p.m. during the PhD Foundation Coursework period besides an annual contingency grant of Rs.12,000. Upon successful completion of PhD Coursework the fellowship is extendable to a further period of three years, fellowship payable during these years would be Rs.16,000/- p.m. and a contingency of Rs. 15,000/- per annum. These Fellowship holders should comply with all the PhD Programme requirements of ICSSR/ISEC, from time to time.

12. Selection Procedure

Applications will be invited every year in the month of March. After preliminary screening of applications, the short listed candidates will be called for a written test to be held in July every year after displaying the list of candidates to be called for written test on our website  Candidates qualifying in the written test will be interviewed at Centre level after the written test and final selection will be made their after.

13. How to Apply

The prescribed application form will be available for downloading on our website from the month of March to May every year. The duly filled-in application form with all the relevant enclosures should be submitted along with the prescribed application fee in the form of a Demand Draft drawn in favour of the Registrar, ISEC, Bangalore (The DD is payable at State Bank of Mysore, Mallathahalli Branch, Bangalore. Branch code: SBMY0040457). Applications received in response to the advertisement in the month of March will be processed after the last date fixed for receiving the application which is usually May every year.

The prospective candidates may await our PhD advertisement appearing in next March.  

14. For more information and clarifications


Dr. M Devendra Babu
Ph D Programme
Institute for Social and Economic Change
Dr. V K R V Rao Road, Nagarabhavi
Bengaluru- 560 072, India
Phone (office): 080-23215468 Extn: 113; 407
Fax: 080-23217008


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