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Bulletin 11 - May 8 Final

Bulletin 11 - May 8 Final

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Published by: Munawar on Oct 19, 2008
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09/29/2012

 
No. 11Bulletin of April 2008
Website:
 
(Email: info@cosspak.org)
Mailing Address: # 307, 3
rd
Floor, Dossal Arcade, Jinnah Avenue, Islamabad (Ph: 092-51-2274565)
History of Evaluation of Social Sciences in Pakistan
Inayatullah
n academic history of Pakistan the concept ‘socialsciences’ emerged only in early 80s. Before thatevery discipline now being grouped into a broadcategory of social sciences vigorously claimed itsseparate identity. Even in 2008 when the concept is being increasingly used in academic discourse, itremains a concept often empty of substance. The fewscholars who write books and publish papers in journals rarely used the interdisciplinary omultidisciplinary approaches, which are an essentialingredient of social scientific approach. At the level of teaching only a few departments require their studentsto take courses outside the department.
I
The evaluation of social sciences in Pakistan can bedone as separate disciplines by using the criteriaspecific to their development and by using the criteria,which are common to all of them and can measuretheir collective development. Here the history andmechanisms of evaluation of social sciences inPakistan as a group is reviewed to identify the extent towhich they are maintaining their pre-existingseparateness and are moving towards acquiringthe status of social sciences.
One general criterion for 
Causes of Underdevelopment of Social Sciences in Pakistan
Relatively weak scientific academic legacy thatPakistan inherited from British and pre-BritishIndia.
The attitude of Pakistani State, which caught inthe web of persistent perception of insecurity, hasassigned low priority to the development of scientific knowledge as reflected in negligibleallocation of funds for it particularly for thedevelopment of social sciences.
Limited foreign support for development of socialsciences.
Internal brain drain of capable social scientists toaffluent private universities and external braindrain to other countries.
High students teacher ratio leaving limited timefor teachers to pursue research.
Inadequate financial incentives and symbolicrewards for attracting and retaining highlyqualified teachers and researchers.
 
What is Inside:
Activities of Council of Social Sciences, Pakistan (COSS)Review of COSS PublicationsIslamabad Social Sciences Forum (ISSF)Letters to the Editor Developments in AcademiaConferences, Seminars and Special LecturesPapers Presented in ConferencesSelected Articles from Professional JournalsBooks, Articles and Reports published during 2007-2008Excerpts from Papers PublishedActivities of Associations of Social ScientistsBrief Introduction to Chinese Academy of Social SciencesAppointments, Postings, Transfers and RetirementsImprovement in QualificationsObituaries New Members of COSSFunding of COSSTrust for Global Peaceidentifying a discipline as potentially social sciencediscipline used here is that it studies human interactionsusing scientific methodology.The evaluation of social sciences in Pakistan, has been doneunder five auspices; by the departments teaching adiscipline, by the associations of social scientists, by thecouncils of social sciences, in conferences of professionalassociations of social scientists, and by individual and agroup of scholars. Below the evaluation done by them isexamined.
1.Evaluation by Departments Teaching a Discipline
The tradition of evaluation by departments teaching adiscipline has been weak in Pakistani academia. Only a fewteachers associated with a social science department haveevaluated their disciplines. S. M. Zaidi, head of theDepartment of Psychology of Karachi University publishedthree articles on the history and development of Psychologyin Pakistan, one in 1959 and two in 1975. Later in 2000Abdul Haque of Department of Psychology, SindhUniversity published a paper on ‘Development of Psychology in Pakistan’ which is included in
 Encyclopediaof Psychology,
Oxford University Press. In 1966, Hassan Nawaz Gardezi, the Head of Department of Sociology atPunjab University, compiled and edited a book,
Sociology in Pakistan,
which evaluated the state of the discipline.In 1998, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics published in its Journal,
 Pakistan Development Review
, Vol.37, No. 4, winter three studies evaluating different aspects of discipline of Economics. They are S. M. Naseem,‘Economists and Pakistan’s Economic Development: Is therea Connection’, S M Naseem, Sarfraz Qureshi and RehanaSiddiqui, ‘Conditions of Teaching and Research inEconomics: Some Preliminary Findings’, and Nadeem UlHaque and Mahmood Hasan Khan, ‘The EconomicsProfession in Pakistan: A Historical Analysis’. All the threearticles have been reprinted in
Social Science in Pakistan inthe 1990s
(COSS, 2003) edited by Akbar Zaidi. The book isaccessible on the website of Council of Social Sciences,Pakistan (www.cosspak.org).
2.Evaluation by Professional Associations of SocialScientists
During the 50s and 60s there emerged six associations of  practitioners of different social science disciplines. In their annual conferences, which they did not hold regularly, theoutgoing presidents of associations occasionally reviewed problems that their disciplines faced. But with one or twoexceptions, they did not evaluate the state of their disciplinesin qualitative or quantitative terms, nor did they identify thecauses of their development or underdevelopment.
3.Evaluation by Council of Social Sciencesa.Emergence of Centre of Social Sciences andHumanities (COSH)
The organisations that could have evaluated the socialsciences as collective body, such as councils of socialsciences, took long time to emerge. First attempt to createsuch a body was made by University Grants Commission(UGC), when in 1983 it established the Centre of SocialSciences and Humanities (COSH). COSH was not a councilof social sciences but a prototype of it. It was given the task to develop, promote and improve education and research insocial sciences in institutions of higher education.COSH set up a group of social scientists to conduct an in-depth study of six social science disciplines - History,International Relations, Philosophy, Political Science,Psychology, and Sociology/Anthropology/Social Work.A draft report prepared by the Group found that a significantnumber of social science teachers did not possess adequatequalification for teaching and research at the graduate levelneither were they sufficiently motivated to improve them.The report also indicated that they seemed ‘to be seriouslydisoriented and demoralised’ Analysing the causes of this phenomenon, the report observed that the primary cause of this was the lack of academic leadership, the irrelevance of social science teaching to our social environment and itsneeds’, and the use of a foreign language as the language of academic discourse.The establishment of COSH for the first time introduced theconcept of social sciences in academia. The report of itsGroup further reinforced it as it dealt with the collective problems of all disciplines designated as social sciences. Asthe report was not published or circulated, it made no impacton the development of social sciences.
b.Emergence of First Council of Social Sciences
The first conference of social sciences in 1988 (discussedlater) resolved to set up a council of social sciences butcontroversy over the issue of autonomy of the proposedcouncil in relation to UGC prevented the implementation of resolution. In 1993 National Institute of Historical and
Council of Social Sciences, Pakistan
 
2
 
Bulletin No. 10, April 2008
E 172
 
Cultural Research, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabadmade another attempt to create a council. Again itfloundered on the issue of autonomy. Young social scientists particularly those belonging to civil society organisationswere reluctant to support a council located in the state sector.The third attempt to create a Council of Social Sciences wasmade by the University Grants Commission in collaborationwith local office of UNESCO in 1999. For this purpose anumber of meetings with some social scientists in Islamabadwere held. The differences on the issue of autonomy re-emerged. Finally, one social scientist who was supportingautonomy got the Council registered on June 3, 2000. AsUGC could not provide space for the office of Council andfunds for running it, the office of Council was located at theresidence of this member of the Council. Since then it isfunctioning as an autonomous organisation located in itsown office and is known by its popular name ‘COSS’.Since its emergence in 2000 up to April 2008, the Council of Social Sciences (COSS) has produced a number of  publications. In 2001 it reprinted S. H. Hashmi edited book,
The State of Social Sciences in Pakistan
. In 2003, it published,
The Social Sciences in the 1990s,
which Akbar Zaidi compiled and edited on behalf of COSS. The book consists of nine papers, which critically examine the state of five disciplines. Based on its own research and that of commissioned papers, COSS has published in 2005,
Social Sciences in Pakistan: A Profile
, edited by Inayatullah,Rubina Saigol and Pervez Tahir and in 2006,
 Associations of Social Scientists: An Analytical Study
, edited by Inayatullah.The Council has also published a monograph in 2002 by S.Akbar Zaidi ‘Dismal State of Social Sciences in Pakistan’.Its findings are evident from its title. The above mentionedevaluations of social sciences corroborate a generalconclusion that the state of social sciences in Pakistan has to be improved considerably to come up to internationalstandards.At present COSS is finalising three studies namely‘Changing Profile of Social Scientists: A Quantitative andQualitative Study of Teachers of Social Sciences in PublicUniversities of Pakistan from 1963 to 2001’, PhD and MPhilResearch in Social Sciences: A Study of Theses Produced inPublic Universities of Pakistan from 1947 to 2001’ and‘Recalling our Pioneers’. For description of the latter see page 4.
c.The Creation of Second Council of Social Sciences
In 2001, the University Grants Commission was replaced byHigher Education Commission (HEC), which set up aCommittee for Development of Social Sciences andHumanities in April 2003. Under its general supervision theCommittee set up in February 2004 a Social Sciences andHumanities Research Council (SSHRC). By March 2008SSHRC has financially supported the organisation of fiveconferences related to social sciences. The proceedings of three conferences have been published in the following books.
Ghazala Irfan
(ed.), Ethics, Values & Society: Social Transformation
, Karachi, Oxford University Press, 2006(Proceedings of Conference organised by LahoreUniversity of Management Sciences (LUMS) andHigher Education Commission of Pakistan, at Lahorefrom March 31 to April 3, 2005).
Social Sciences: Endangered and Engendered 
, 2006.(Proceedings of International Conference organised byFatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, incollaboration with Higher Commission, Islamabad onDecember 10-12, 2004).
 Earthquake 10/8: Social, Human and Gender Issues,
2006 (Proceedings of International Conferenceorganised by Fatima Jinnah Women University,Rawalpindi and University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir,Muzaffarabad, in collaboration with HigheCommission, Islamabad on January 15-17, 2006).The first two books are a significant addition to the goodquality social science literature in Pakistan.
4.Evaluation through National Conferences of SocialScientistsa.First National Conference of Social Scientists
More than a decade after the report of COSH Groupmentioned above, the Faculty of Social Sciences of Quaid-i-Azam University in 1986 commissioned a number of paperson the development of 17 social sciences disciplines. The papers were prepared within a common and explicittheoretical framework and well-defined set of criteria of evaluation. They were presented at a conference held in1988 and most of them were published by the university in1989 in a book,
The State of Social Sciences in Pakistan;
edited by S. H. Hashmi. Based on the 17 studies, Inayatullahin the introductory chapter of the book concluded thatmeasured against international standards of creativity,objectivity, theoretical and methodological rigour,interdisciplinary orientation, contribution to global socialsciences, and relevance to the problems of state and society,social sciences in Pakistan were underdeveloped. Thechapter also identified the causes of this underdevelopment.The Council of Social Sciences, which emerged in 2000,reprinted the book in 2001 and placed it on its website.
b.Second National Conferences of Social Scientists
After the first national conference in 1988, a secondconference of Social Scientists was held in December 2003.It was organised by a consortium of organisations, whichincluded the Committee on the Development of SocialSciences and Humanities mentioned above, Quaid-i-AzamUniversity, Islamabad, Fatima Jinnah Women University,Rawalpindi and Council of Social Sciences, Pakistan,Islamabad. The local office of UNESCO financed it. Most of the papers presented at the conference were compiled into areport ‘Proceedings of Conference on State of Social

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