The Indian Sociological Society (ISS) was established in 1951 in Bombay with 107 members. The key initiative in its formation was taken by G. S. Ghurye, the then Professor and Head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Bombay. The Society’s main activity then was the publication of the Sociological Bulletin which was started in 1952 and was printed biannually. Around the same time another initiative was taken by sociologists at Lucknow, R. K. Mukerjee and D. P. Mukerjee who established the All India Sociological Conference (AISC). They had their first conference in 1955 and between 1957 and 1961, they organised another 5 conferences.
In the mid-60s the leaders of the profession and from these two organizations came together to discuss different issues concerning the profession. They decided to merge ISS with the AISC and held a conference of the merged body in Bombay in October 1967. The conference was inaugurated by G.S. Ghurye and M. N. Srinivas was elected the new President. Following this change, the Society’s office shifted from the University of Bombay to University of Delhi where M.N. Srinivas was based. Henceforth, the Society in addition to publishing the journal Sociological Bulletin started organizing the All-India Sociological Conferences on a regular basis.
Realising the inconvenience of operating the Society’s activities from different locations where the office bearers worked, the Managing Committee took the decision of establishing its national office in New Delhi. Subsequently, it approached the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, to provide a space for running the ISS activities. The Society’s office functioned at the Institute’s premises from 1989 to March 2017 when it shifted to its own remises at Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. Today the Society runs a guest house for its Life members at this premises.
With the expansion of higher education, several new departments of sociology were established across the country resulting an increase in the membership of the Society. As a consequence the number of members attending the Congresses increased. In 1986, the Society could organize successfully the XI World Congress of Sociology in Delhi. Since then, the Indian Sociological Society has taken great strides with its life membership increasing to 4450 as of 9th November 2017. In order to be in sync with global trends, the Society has upgraded its website and it conducts all communications online including membership, conference abstract submissions and subscriptions. Voting is also now online.
The ISS publishes three journals and a newsletter. The first is Sociological Bulletin which started in 1952 and is one of the oldest English language professional social science journals in India. It started as a biannual publication and since 2004 it has been publishing thrice a year: January-April, May-August, and September-December. In 2017 the Society signed a contract with Sage Publishers to publish Sociological Bulletin. Since then Sociological Bulletin has become a global journal having footsteps across the world. In January 2014, the Society started its second journal, Bhartiya Samajshastra Sameeksha. This international journal in Hindi publishes two issues every year. Sage Publications will start publishing this journal in 2018 and Sameeksha will be Sage’s first Hindi language journal. In 2017 the Society revived the ISS E-journal which was now retitled Explorations. In addition the Society started a newsletter first in print and later as an e-newsletter. It now publishes the E newsletter thrice yearly. These three journals are all peer reviewed journals and together with the newsletter, are governed through a common set of Editorial Guidelines.
The Society used to conduct AISC every two years from 1965 onwards when the ISS merged with AISC. From 1993 it started conducting annual conferences. The conduct of the conferences is being done through guidelines agreed by the ISS Managing Committee. The theme of the last two conferences (2016 and 2017) were: Rethinking Sociological Traditions in India and Neoliberalism, Consumption and Culture.
About 17 years ago the Society decided to involve its Life Members in research through the creation of Research Committees (RC). The Society’s major academic work is being conducted through these Research Committees allowing its members to participate in meaningful dialogue and exchange of views. In the last 17 years the number of RC have increased to 27 and together with 1 Ad Hoc Group encourage young and old members to present their papers in these Committees at the AISC. The RCs are governed by its own rules and regulations. To help students write professionally accepted papers, the Society has uploaded on its website PPTs on academic protocols and has initiated a programme of academic writing workshops.
In addition to the above mentioned activities, the Society has two endowments in memory of M. N. Srinivas and Radha Kamal Mukerjee. The Society conducts yearly lectures at the AISC in their names and in addition gives an annual prize for young sociologists in honour of the former. Also, the Society has instituted the Life Time Achievement Award in 2005 which it presents to the awardees at AISC. Till 2017, it has honored 33 Indian sociologists.
The Society also has designed an Ethics Code for itself. These guidelines are presented as aspirational goals intended to orient sociologists in India to principles and standards regarding their professional responsibilities as teachers, researchers, and practitioners and reflect on their behaviour towards groups and individuals whom they study, work, and knowledge about whom, they wish to protect.
INDIAN SOCIOLOGICAL SOCIETY
Flat No. 1046, Sector C, Pocket -1 , Vasant Kunj, New Delhi 110 070
President: Maitrayee Chaudhuri (Delhi)
Secretary: Shweta Prasad (Uttar Pradesh)
Treasurer: Prem Sagar Vivek (Maharashtra)
MANAGING COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Ajailiu Niumai (Hyderabad), Balalji Kendre (Mumbai), Prem Sagar Vivek (Mumbai), Tattwamasi Paltasingh (Odisha), Gayatri Bhattachrya (Kolkata), Alok Kumar Meena (Jaipur), Anshu Kedia (Lucknow), Ramesh H. Makwana (Gujarat), Sudha Khokate (Bengaluru), Vinita Singh (Ranchi), Bibhuti Bhushan Malik (Uttar Pradesh), Dilip Ramdas Khairnar (Maharashtra), Pramod Kumar Shukla (Uttar Pradesh), Sandip Murlidhar Chaudhari (Maharashtra), Sanjay Nilkanth Kolekar (Maharashtra).