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.
(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 Higher Commission, 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