Institute for Social and Economic Change

Established in 1972 by Professor V K R V Rao, ISEC is an All-India Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and Training in the Social Sciences

VKRV Rao Centenary Celebrations – isec

VKRV Rao Centenary Celebrations

VKRV Rao Centenary Celebrations

Professor VKRV Rao Birth Centenary Celebrations

The Board of Governors of the Institute decided to commemorate the Birth Centenary year of its founder Professor V K R V Rao during 7th July 2007 and 8th July 2008. The Indian Council of Social Science had also independently decided to support the concluding segment of the Centenary Celebrations of its common founder. Pursuant to this, at ISEC VKRV Rao Centenary Celebrations Organizing Committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Shri S L Rao, Chairman, Boad of Governors to coordinate the celebrations. The members of the committee included Professors M V Nadkarni, C T Kurien, B K Bhattacharya, Chiranjeev Singh, S N Sangita, Meenakshi Rajiv, Col. Asuthosh Dhar (Registrar, ISEC), and Prof R S Deshpande as its convener.

The year-long celebrations had several components, like VKRV Rao Centenary Public Lectures by distinguished academics including the senior faculty of ISEC, publication of a volume containing reminisces, publication of volume of essays by VKRV Rao Chair Professors, winners of VKRV Rao awards instituted jointly by the ICSSR and ISEC, hosting a web-page on the late VKRV Rao, digitization of selected works of the late VKRV Rao, installing name boards on the stretch of road leading to ISEC campus, and finally a 3-day seminar on Institutional Structure of Social Science Research on 6-8 July 2008.

  1. VKRV Rao Centenary Extension lectures: During the centenary year (8-7-2007 to 8-7-2008) several extension lectures were delivered by distinguished academics both from ISEC outside. These lectures were arranged in the Bangalore University Auditorium at Central College, Bangalore with a view to reach a wider audience, than would have been possible if the lectures had been delivered at ISEC campus. A total of 12 Lectures bearing on several social science disciplines were delivered under this series. 

  2. Web-page on the late VKRV Rao was hosted on ISEC website.  This includes a brief biographical sketch, curriculum vitae, details of academic work such as books published, his personal and professional achievements, institutions founded by him as well as institutions/bodies conceptualized, a photo album (Photographs obtained from Prof Sudha Rao and Mrs Meera Rao).  The web-page is intended to give a detailed account of the life and times of the late VKRV Rao to those who visit the site.

3 . A volume consists of thirty reminiscences by associates, admirers, students and kin of Prof VKRV Rao with an introduction by Shri S L Rao, Chairman, Board of Governors, ISEC, was compiled. The volume was published as ‘The Passionate Humanitarian: VKRV Rao’ – volume of anecdotes to commemorate the birth centenary of the late VKRV Rao. It was released during the inaugural function of the seminar on ‘Institutional Structure of Social Science Research’ on 6th July 2008 jointly by His Excellency, Shri Rameshwarji Thakur, Governor of Karnataka.

4 .Another volume of contributions from past and present VKRV Rao Chair Professors like Professors T N Srinivasan, Kaushik Basu, James Manor, Michael Walton and winners of the prestigious VKRV Rao prizes like Professors Y K Alagh, J Krishnamurthy, Anjan Mukherjee, T S Papola, R Radhakrishna, etc. The volume containing twenty-one research papers was titled as ‘Footprints of Development and Change’ This volume covers almost all social science disciplines and are significant additions to the fund of knowledge in the respective discipline. The volume is jointly edited by Professors N Jayaram and R S Deshpande with an introductory essay. It has a foreword by Prof C Rangarajan, Chairman, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Committee. The volume was brought out by M/s Academic Foundation, Delhi and released during the inaugural function of the seminar by His Excellency the Governor of Karnataka and Hon’ble Shri B S Yeddyurappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka.

5 . The final event of Centenary Commemoration was a seminar on ‘Institutional Structure of Social Science Research’ on 6-8 July 2008. This was an attempt to map the current status of social science research in India and address the challenges facing social science research, researchers. The seminar was based on a concept note prepared from inputs from seasoned researchers and research administrators and made available to participants while inviting. The seminar was attended among other dignitaries by the past and present VKRV Rao Chair Professors, winners of VKRV Awards. About 65 senior researchers representing almost all social science disciplines participated in the 3-day seminar, which was spread over 7 technical sessions, with each session having a chairman and two or more theme presenters. The inaugural function of the seminar was presided over by His Excellency Shri Rameshwarji Thakur, Governor of Karnataka. Hon’ble Shri B S Yeddyurappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka was the Guest of Honour, and delivered the keynote address. The seminar was inaugurated by Prof Sukhdeo Thorat, Chairman, UGC. The inaugural session of the seminar was also used to release the volumes brought out to commemorate the birth centenary of the late VKRV Rao. The valedictory address to the seminar was delivered by Prof Javeed Alam Chairman, ICSSR, and the valedictory session was presided over by Prof T C A Anant, Member-Secretary, ICSSR. It is proposed to bring together the seminar proceeding which include discussion notes invited earlier from selected participants, transcript of discussions in the technical sessions, Chairmen’s remarks and theme presentations and rapporteurs, reports of each of the seven sessions and other relevant information, etc. in a volume for wider dissemination.

6 . Digitization of selected works of the late VKRV Rao has been undertaken. A comprehensive list of the academic output of the late VKRV Rao, commencing 1931 has been prepared. A committee of experts (Professors V M Rao, M V Nadkarni, C T Kurien) has identified about 150 pieces (about 5000 pages) for digitization. This work is yet to take required speed for want of funds. However, the Hon’ble Chief Minister during the inaugural session of the seminar on 6th July offered a special grant of Rs. 2 crores for digitization of ISEC Library. That will help to speed up this work. Digitization of VKRV Rao’s writings could now be included in the ISEC library digitization.

The stretch of road from Vijayanagar to ISEC campus had been named Dr VKRV Rao Road sometime in 1984, but the name boards had remained obscure and the old name continued to be used by both civic bodies and local population. With a view to popularize the new name, the issue was taken up with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palika. The Commissioner, BBMP was kind enough to order forthwith installation of additional name boards at 3 different points on this stretch of road. The new name of the road, i.e., PADMABIBHUSHANA DR V K R V RAO ROAD is gradually coming to be used by all the stake holders.

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