Special Call for Studies Focusing on Social Science Dimensions of COVID19 – ICSSR

The current global pandemic Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak has posed a very serious challenge to the entire world, including India. At global level, it is said to have so far (April 23, 2020) infected (confirmed cases) 27 lakh peoples, caused more than 191000 deaths which is 7 percent of the total cases, affected more than 210 countries and damaged economies to inconceivable levels. The real damage, both in terms of loss of lives and economic loss, is expected to be much more than what is being observed at present.

Almost all states and union territories in India have faced the brunt of the problem to varying degrees. Till date India has app. 23400 confirmed cases of which app. 5100 people have recovered and 740 have deceased, which is app. 3.16 percent of confirmed cases.

Everybody in the world is perturbed and shocked at the extent of the disaster and there is deep-seated anxiety to soon find out some remedy in the form of vaccine or drug. The duration of absence of remedy is bound to have an impact on the collective uneasiness of the world, especially because the extent of suffering is expected to touch surprisingly high levels though the exact damage will depend on severity, intensity and the duration of the pandemic.

Some countries are being appreciated to have handled the situation better than many other countries. There may be a number of factors that have played significant role in better management or governance of the crisis situation. The governance pertains to containing number of cases, providing efficient medical services to the people infected with virus, enforcement of medical advice, ensuring physical distancing, sensitising people about the problem and personal health and hygiene etc. The management can also be observed in the context of population size, density and existing health infrastructure and also ramping up of the health facilities.

The Government of India has been quite attentive and responded to contain the spread of the virus by breaking the chain through initially going for one day Janta (People’s) Curfew on 22nd March and thereafter taking the course of complete lockdown from 24th March, which has been further extended up to May 3. Different states of the country have also responded to the situation and their governance can also be studied.

The pandemic has several social science and inter-disciplinary & trans-disciplinary dimensions apart from the ones based on medical science and drug discovery. These social science dimensions can improve our understanding of the outbreak and response at global, national and sub-national levels as social science context can throw greater light on dynamics of spread and transmission, public health response, communication and sensitisation about the problem and required health and hygiene practices, social and community response to quarantine, screening and testing, societal understanding of the disease and related risks, social trust, health seeking behaviour, healthcare infrastructure, preparedness and interventions, political preparedness, economic and livelihood implications of such pandemic, global recession, decelerating growth and development, Industrial revival, recovery on external and internal trade fronts, employment implications, issues related to migrant labourers, change in global economic and political order, changes in behaviour and thinking, experiences of people esp. the sufferers, environmental concerns and so on.

The research based evidence on social science or inter-disciplinary dimensions could enrich the understanding of policy makers to take a more a more informed decision and respond efficiently to such situations.

Considering this, Indian Council of Social Science Research has decided to come out with “Special call for Studies Focusing on Social Science Dimensions of Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic”. ICSSR intends to support some high quality studies on the mentioned broad theme.

Since it is special call, it would be in addition to ICSSR’s regular call for inviting proposals for Research Programmes on major thrust areas and Major and Minor Projects

These studies will be for a short duration of three to twelve months. No time extension will be permitted. The scholars may constitute a research team comprising of Project Director and Co-Project Director(s). The interested scholars may apply online on the given pro-forma. Hard copy of the proposal with requisite documents and forwarding letter of the affiliating Institute/University/College etc. will be required after short-listing of the proposal. The details regarding eligibility, monitoring, affiliation and other relevant rules have been provided under Guidelines for the call.