The Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) is an autonomous body controlled by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, which had been established by an Administrative Order of the then Ministry of Education. The body, over many years, has granted financial assistance to the historians and direction to the research scholars in their multifarious topics of historical research through established historians and scholars of the country.
ICHR disburses funds for carrying out research to Indian as well as foreign scholars on their applications for fellowships, provides, and symposia, made to the Indian Council of Historical Research or through the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
The source of the funds at the disposal of the ICHR is grants-in-aid got from the Department of Higher Education in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, grants-in-aid from several Indian states, private donations from individuals and other countries, and the proceeds of revenues from the sale of publications of the ICHR.
The ICHR has a massive corpus of funds which has been continued to be deposited with UCO Bank at Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi. It is the only academic institution which chose to keep its deposit with a non-state bank of India.
The organization of the ICHR is led by the Honorary Chairman with the Member Secretary functions as the Secretary of the Governing Council of ICHR during its General Body and especially known for meetings. The Member Secretary, ICHR is operating like the day to day Head of the Department in ICHR.
The Members of the Council of ICHR (Governing Body) are selected for a period of three Years. The Chairman of the Council of ICHR is nominated by the Department of Education in an honorary capacity and his term is not co-terminus with that of the members of the Constituted Council. The day-to-day operations of the ICHR are looked after the Director who acts as ex officio Member Secretary of the Council. In 1991, a trend was commenced to have a separate post of Member Secretary of the ICHR, with Professor MGS Narayanan being selected as the First Member Secretary of ICHR. The institution has been regularly embroiled in intra-rivalries between the Chairmen, Member Secretaries, and the Directors, at the cost of historical research. The main reason, as per many, has been the deputing of persons from here and there as the Member Secretaries and the undermining the office of the Chairman and the Director of the institution.
Review of the functioning of ICHR
Since the ICHR has continued to be completely funded by the government of India, and all the administrative and fiscal policies of the government are applicable to its affairs, the government of India carries out a periodical review of the functioning of ICHR.
The first review of the ICHR was launched in 1981, the second in 1999, and the third in March 2011.
The objectives of the ICHR, as enunciated in the initial pamphlet issued by the Department of Education, Government of India in 1972, are as under:
- to bring historians together and give a forum for the exchange of views between them;
- to provide a national direction to an objective and scientific writing of history and to have rational presentation and interpretation of history;
- to encourage, accelerate and coordinate research in history with special emphasis on areas which have not received adequate attention so far;
- to encourage and coordinated a balanced distribution of research effort over different areas; and
- to elicit support and recognition for historical research from all concerned and ensure the required dissemination and use of results.