Indian Council of Historical Research

Logo of Indian Council of Historical Research

The Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) is an autonomous body of 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 provided 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, grants, 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 received from the Department of Higher Education in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, grants-in-aid from various 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 rich 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.[citation needed]

Based in Delhi with regional centers in Bengaluru (Karnataka) and Guwahati (Assam), the Indian Council for Historical Research has served the scholar community. The Regional Center of the ICHR at Bengaluru was established by eminent liberal historian Professor S Settar, the then Chairman of ICHR, and the then Director of ICHR, Dr Sushil Kumar. The Regional Center at Gauhati was established at the instance of the Minister of State hailing from Assam commenced functioning in the library wing of Guwahati University.

The Government of India has entered into cultural exchange programmes with many countries of the world for an exchange of historians and exchange of views between them.

The ICHR was formed as a literary and charitable society, a fully funded autonomous body of the Ministry of Education with the historians R.S. Sharma the then Head Department of History, Delhi University, nominated as its first chairman, ICHR,[1] Satish Chandra, J.S. Garewal and M.N. Prasad, the then the Director of the National Archives of India at the helm. The present Chairman of ICHR Professor Sudershan Rao is an eminent historian and member secretary is Dr. Anand Shanker Singh [2]

Some of the notable historian members/functionaries of the Indian Council have been Irfan Habib, Sushil Kumar, Tapan Raychaudhuri, and Barun De.

Review of the functioning of ICHREdit

Since the ICHR has continued to be fully 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 ordered in 1981, the second in 1999, and the third in March 2011.[3]


The objectives of the ICHR, as enunciated in the initial pamphlet published by the Department of Education, Government of India in 1972,[full citation needed] are as under:

  • to bring historians together and provide a forum for exchange of views between them;
  • to give a national direction to an objective and scientific writing of history and to have rational presentation and interpretation of history;
  • to promote, accelerate and coordinate research in history with special emphasis on areas which have not received adequate attention so far;
  • to promote 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 necessary dissemination and use of results.

Funding, expenses and salariesEdit

ICHR, as mentioned above, is fully funded by grants-in-aid received from the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development. ICHR also receives funds from the various state governments of India, also from other Ministries of the government of India. The government has signed Cultural Exchange Programs (CEP) with many countries with the exception of the US and the UK.[citation needed] The host countries provide funds to the Scholars visiting under CEP.

The audit of the funds/grants-in aid in respect of the ICHR is regularly carried out by the Director General of Audit and Central Revenue (DGA&CR). The audit replies are required to be furnished by a permanent incumbent and the senior-most regular employee of the Council viz the Director, Indian Council of Historical Research.

A copy of the Yearly Audit Report is also marked to the Secretary, Department of Higher Education as also the replies of the Audit Paras/observations.

Fellowships and grantsEdit

There is no deadline for submitting applications for fellowships and Grants from the ICHR. These are received throughout the year. However the meetings of the Research Grant Committees are held at regular intervals, after the receipt of the expert opinions upon the submitted applications as to the viability of a research project and/or symposia on the convenience of its chairman. The details of the fellowships and grants made by the ICHR are:

  • Junior Research Fellowship
  • General (Post-Doctoral) Fellowship
  • Senior Research Fellowship
  • Research Project
  • Contingency (Study-cum-Travel) Grant
  • Foreign Travel Grant
  • Publication Subsidy
  • Seminar/Workshop/Conference Grant
  • National Fellowship
  • Senior Academic Fellowship
  • Publication Subsidy
  • Grant for holding Seminar and Conferences.

Office buildingEdit

The ICHR, unlike its sister research body, the Indian Council of Social Science Research, which had been formed by an Act of the Parliament, has no office building of its own. It has continued to be housed in a building belonging to the Jawaharlal Nehru University, at 35 Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi, since 1972.


The organization of the ICHR is headed by the Honorary Chairman with the Member Secretary functions as the Secretary of the Governing Council of ICHR during its General Body and specially called for meetings. The Member Secretary, ICHR is functions as the day to day Head of the Department in ICHR.

The Members of the Council of ICHR (Governing Body) are nominated 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 functioning of the ICHR is looked after the Director who acts as ex officio Member Secretary of the Council. In 1991, a trend was started 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 continually 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.



  • Professor B.R. Grover (1975-1986)
  • Dr. T.R. Sareen (1986-1997)
  • Dr. Sushil Kumar (1997-2010)

Member Secretaries / ex Officio Member SecretariesEdit

  • Professor BR Grover Director as Ex Officio MS 1975-1986
  • Dr TR Sareen Director as Ex Officio MS 1986-1990
  • Professor M.G.S. Narayanan (1990-1991) (on deputation from Calicut University)
  • Dr TR Sareen Director as Ex Officio MS 1991-1997
  • Dr Sushil Kumar Director as Ex Officio MS 1997-1998
  • Professor T.K.V. Subramaniam (1998-1999) (on deputation from Delhi University)
  • Dr Sushil Kumar Director as Ex Offico MS 1999-2001
  • Dr. R.C. Agrawal (2001-2003) (on deputation from Archaeological Survey of India)
  • Dr. P.K. Shukla Deputy Director Research holding additional charge (2004 - January 2007) in the absence of a regular incumbent
  • Dr. Ishrat Alam (2008-2011) (on deputation from Aligarh Muslim University)
  • Professor Gopinath Ravindran (2011-19.05.2015) (on Deputation from Jamia Milia Islamia University)
  • Dr SK Aruni, Deputy Director Research holding additional charge w.e.f 21.05.2015 onwards in the absence of the regular incumbent

Composition of the CouncilEdit

The ICHR Council consists of the following members:

  • An eminent historian nominated by the Government of India who shall be the Chairman of the Council
  • Eighteen historians nominated by the Government of India
  • Representative of the University Grants Commission
  • Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India
  • Director General of the National Archives of India
  • Four persons to represent government who shall be nominated by the Government of India and which shall include one representative each of the Ministry of Education, the Department of Culture and the Ministry of Finance, and
  • the Member Secretary, who is appointed by the Council of the ICHR on deputation basis for a period of three years, with the approval of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.

Members of the ICHR (2015-2018)Edit

The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India has announced the nomination of 18 members of the Council for a term of three years, at present: Prof. Saradindu Mukherji Prof. Dilip K. Chakrabarti Prof. Ishwar Sharan Vishwakarma Prof. Narayan Rao Prof. R.S. Agarawal Dr. Rahman Ali Prof. P.T. Haridas Prof. Gangmumei Kamei Prof. Nanditha Krishna Prof. C.I. Issac Prof. Purabi Roy Dr. Meenakshi Jain Prof. Nikhilesh Guha Prof. Michel Danino Prof. K. Ratnam Prof. Baidyanath Labh Prof. Sacchidananda Sahai Prof. M.D. Srinivas


Directory of permanent officers / employees of ICHREdit

The directory of the permanent officers / employees of the ICHR, originally sanctioned by the Government of India is as follows:

  • Director, ICHR (re-designated as Director Research and Administration in 1989)
  • Director (Editing and Publication)
  • Deputy Director Administration (the post has not been filled after the incumbent retired in 1989)
  • Assistant Director Grants (the post is being filled, on deputation basis after the retirement of the incumbent)
  • Deputy Director (Library)
  • Deputy Director (Documentation)
  • Two Deputy Directors Research
  • Two Assistant Directors Research
  • One Deputy Director Editing
  • One Deputy Director Publications
  • Deputy Director (Research) Southern Regional Centre, Bangalore.
  • Deputy Director (Research) North East Regional Centre, Guwahat
  • Section Officer (Administration I)
  • Section Officer (Administration II)
  • Caretaker


The ICHR publishes online as well as on print media. The Chairman's Column, re-termed as Chairman's Diary by its current incumbent, has only recently been updated in January 2015 after almost a year. The list of the Members of the Council, even though revised by the Government is still as old as July 2014, carrying even the names who are no longer members of the ICHR.

The ICHR publishes two journals: the Indian Historical Review (bi-annually) and Itihas (in Hindi). It also provides publication subsidies to seminars, books, congress proceedings and journals. The editing and publication has been outsourced to certain publishing houses.


  1. ^ "The man who made history". The Times of India. 22 August 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Third review of the ICHR - March 2011
  4. ^ Government of India Resolution on ICHR membership, retrieved 2015-04-16
  5. ^ Saffron hue in revamped ICHR, The Hindu, 2 March 2015.

External linksEdit