The main objective of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research
(ICPR) is to promote philosophical excellence in the country. A necessary
step in the promotion of excellence is to recognize excellence. ICPR does
it at various levels by choosing scholars for a variety of fellowships that
include, apart from doctoral and post-doctoral, senior and national fellowships.
The fellows of the ICPR work on designated projects over an agreed period
At a recent meeting of the Research Projects Committee (RPC) the matter
of recognizing and promoting philosophical excellence in the country was discussed
at length. The members were unanimous in expressing the view that in addition
to continuing the existing fellowships programs the ICPR should consider presenting
annually an award recognizing the distinguished life time achievement of a
living Indian philosopher. Considering the fact that this year is being celebrated
as the Silver Jubilee Year, the RPC resolved to institute the ICPR Silver
Jubilee Award for Distinguished Life Time Achievement in philosophy to be
awarded annually to a living Indian philosopher. The award carriers a cash
amount of rupees one lakh.
per the directions of the RPC, a high power committee met and considered
several eminent living Indian philosophers for the award. Following the
unanimous recommendation of the Committee, Professor K. Satchidananda Murty,
who earlier received Dr. B.C. Roy award (1984) and was honored with Padma Vibhushan in 2001 is selected for
the Award. Professor Murty, who taught philosophy at Andhra University for
about three decades, served as the Vice-Chancellor of Sri Venkateswara
University and as the Vice-Chairman of the University Grants Commission. He was
elected as the Chairman of the Indian Philosophy Congress and Bharatiya Dharsan
Twenty-Five Year Journey of ICPR
The Indian Council of
Philosophical Research (ICPR) is a unique institution, possibly one of its kind
in the world. Though ICPR was registered as a Society under Act XXI of 1860 on
8th March 1977, it actually started functioning from the year 1981,
thanks to the foresight and initiative of Smt. Indira Gandhi. Apparently there
was a long and serious deliberation on the part of the Indian Government before
the decision was finally taken to set up ICPR. The Government had consulted
institutions like UGC and several other learned bodies. Ultimately, the matter
was settled at the level of the then Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi. The
main argument in favor of the ICPR is that among various pursuits and
disciplines of knowledge that came to be developed during the course of the
long history of India, philosophy stands out as the single most outstanding
endeavor. The classical Indian contributions in philosophy rival the very best
any where in the world. If there is one single area of Indian excellence which
would command respect and attraction from the contemporary world, it would be
none other than the profound wisdom that is contained in Indian thought. So, it
was felt that philosophy deserved to have a special agency in the country to
help move it forward to new heights of excellence. Thus the ICPR came into
existence as an independent body that could function as an autonomous
organization fully funded by the Government of India and freely developed by
eminent philosophers of the country. Conceived as a crucible for molding
thoughtful minds generating ideas needed for India’s development consistent
with its national ethos, funded generously by the Government of India and led
effectively by a series of outstanding scholars, today, the ICPR stands out as
a beacon of light illuminating the intellectual landscape of the nation. It is
truly striving to live up to the goal of being the think tank of the nation.
Growth and Development:
During the last 25 years the Council has been fulfilling
its objectives to promote and coordinate research in philosophy, sponsor and
assist research programs in philosophy, give academic and financial support to
institutions and individuals engaged in research activities in philosophy,
encourage programs of interdisciplinary research from a philosophical
perspective, review progress of research in philosophy from time to time and
facilitate international exchange of philosophers. Apart from regularly
organizing a variety of programs and activities ICPR has taken a number of
important initiatives that include the following:
of a high quality quarterly journal, The
Journal of the ICPR. Prof. D.P. Chattopadhyaya was its Founding
Editor. The current editor is the distinguished philosopher, Professor Daya
of programs to assimilate in condensed forms some of the important
contributions of Indian philosophy for a period of over three thousand
3. (a) Preparation of a series of monographs on
important problems of Ontology, Epistemology,
Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Phenomenology, Hermeneutics and Existentialism. (b)The publication program
also included books on living
philosophers of India and (c) a series of works that bring out Indian expertise in regard to Western
Philosophy. Till date ICPR published 106
4. Development of programs of seminars, workshops and
refresher courses aimed at promoting
high level research in philosophy among philosophers of India on themes relevant to the recovery of ancient
system of Indian philosophy and to the progress
of contemporary Indian philosophy that would find for itself a high place in the current scene of philosophy in the
world at large. This program also envisaged
empowerment of young and budding scholars and provided training to philosophers old and new, so that they
could think on new lines of philosophical thought
which would be both analytic and synthetic in character. In pursuing this objective,
a number of institutions far and wide were supported by the Council during this period.
With the goal of encouraging young scholars, a national program of Annual Essay Competition followed by well
attended seminars across the country are regularly
variety of Fellowship schemes for promoting philosophical research is
taken up. Hundreds of research scholars were benefited by these
are taken to promote collaboration between various philosophy
establishments in the country.
are provided to facilitate exchange of scholars with other
help to organize regional, national and international conferences on
philosophy, which brought together philosophers for a fruitful exchange of
10. Philosophers of India were deputed for
participation in international conferences, resulting in the promotion of Indian
philosophy in the contemporary philosophical scene.
11. Initiated the Project of History of Indian
Science, Philosophy and Culture, which envisages
the publication of 100 volumes. The project is currently handled by the Centre for Studies in Civilization headed by
Dr. D.P. Chattopadyaya.
12. The ICPR
developed the Academic Center at Lucknow and built a world class library of philosophy there, which is perhaps the
best in Asia today.
(1) Currently the ICPR has proposalss
for establishing the Indian Institute of Philosophy with a virtual campus
and floating faculty. It is an innovative concept in higher education, which
blends the best in campus-bound traditional universities and the distance
mode of learning.
(2) The ICPR also plans to start
regional centers and promote philosophical activities at the regional level
by exploiting the wealth of philosophical wisdom in native languages.
(3) Another major project of the
ICPR waiting the clearance from the Planning Commission is a mega interdisciplinary
research project “National Initiative on Integration and Inclusive Community.”
(4) The ICPR is engaged in promoting
cross-cultural and interdisciplinary studies in collaboration with sister
institutions like the ICSSR, UGC, ICHR and IIAS.
(5) Plans are underway to prepare
and publish a series of sourcebooks in Indian philosophy for distribution
around the world.
Brief Introduction of the Chairmen
The first Chairman of ICPR was Professor D. P.
Chattopadhyaya. The Council was privileged to have him as the chairman
continuously for about ten years (1981-1990). Prof. Chattopadhyaya was the
President cum Chairman of IIAS, Shimla, (1984-91). He is currently the Project
Director of the multi-disciplinary project
viz., Project of History of Indian Science Philosophy and Culture (PHISPC),
which was initiated by the ICPR when he was the Chairman, and Chairman of the
Centre for Studies in Civilization (CSC). He published over 30 books and held
high public offices like Union Cabinet Ministership and State
Governorship. He has received numerous awards including Padma Bhushan
Professor Balsubramaniam held the Chairmanship of
ICPR between 1990 and 1994. Earlier, he was the Director, Radhakrishnan
Institute for Advanced Study in Philosophy, University of Madras for a number
of years. Author of several books, Prof. Balasubramaniam is highly regarded as
a thinker and interpreter of classical Indian philosophy along the lines of Dr.
Prof. Mrinal Miri was the
Chairman of ICPR during the period 1994 to 1997. Professor Miri also served as
the Director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla,
from 1993 to 1999. He was awarded Padma Bhushan
for his contribution in the field of education and literature. He is currently
a member of the National Advisory Council.
Professor (Late) V. Venkatachalam was the Chairman
during the period 1997-2000. He was formerly the Vice-Chancellor of
Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, Varanasi, and Kameshwar Singh Sanskrit
University, Darbhanga. He was awarded Padmashree for his contribution in the
field of education and literature.
Dr. Kireet Joshi was the Chairman of ICPR from
2000-06. He was also its Member-Secretary for (1981-1990) 10 years. He was
Chairman of Auroville Foundation and vice-Chairman of Maharshi Sandipani
Rashtria Veda Vidya Pratisthan. He was formerly Educational Adviser to the
Government of India and Special Secretary in the Ministry of HRD during 1976 to
1988. He has authored and edited a number of books in the areas of
Value-Oriented Education, Indian Culture, Yoga, Sri Aurobindo and Mother.
Current chairman Prof. K. Ramakrishna Rao is an
internationally reputed philosopher and psychologist. A Gandhian scholar, Prof.
Rao published over 200 research papers and fifteen books, including Gandhi and Pragmatism (1968) and Consciousness Studies: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (2004).
Professor Rao served earlier as the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University,
Advisor on Higher Education, Govt of Andhra Pradesh and Vice-Chairman, Andhra
Pradesh State Planning Board in the rank of a Cabinet Minister.
(Release ID :26367)