IMS Unison University

Faculty Development Program - School of Liberal Arts

Monday, 13th February 2023

Faculty Development Program - School of Liberal Arts

On February 13, 2023, a one-week Faculty Development Program (FDP) on Advanced Research Methodology in the Social Sciences and Humanities began with Vice Chancellor Brigadier Dr. M. Srinivasan's request to resource persons and participants to investigate new trends in research and innovation. Prof. Rajan Gurukkal suggested that genuine research must be problem-oriented with an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach. Prof. K. K. Pandey advised faculties to throw questions to students, and students would ask faculties, and in this way, both could be involved in the search for research problems, followed by a literature review; an extensive review will provide us with a research gap; and finally, create research questions that will provide us with research objectives and final hypotheses. Dr. Bhanu Pratap Singh discussed various variables in social science research, especially economics, like dummy variables, ANOVA models, ANCOVA models, and regression models. Dr. Sudha Shashwati called on researchers to overcome the colonial mindset of research, particularly the US research tradition, which she regards as the traditional research method. "Indians have their own vision to research things with critical thinking that can create our own ecosystem, which has the potential to generate many more sub-ideas," she added. Dr. Ruby Gupta, who chaired the session, requested participants do inclusive research on feminist causes. Dr. Raman Nautiyal highlighted sampling and data collection in qualitative research. Dr. Gaurav Chopra took a session on SPSS, and explained various statistical variables, like the null hypothesis, with examples. Dr. Chopra defined various terminologies of statistical dimension in very simple words and also showed how to relate them to the data. The participants gained a lot of practical knowledge while doing the exercises on the computer. Sir's dramatic style and simple presentation enthralled the participants and, at the same time, enriched their knowledge.

Prof. Madhu Prabhakaran took a session on concepts, methods, and sources. He gave a broader design for research: a framework, philosophy, and science; after that, the paradigm; then theory; further methodology; and finally, method. He gives various examples of sources of knowledge (epistemologies) from Plato to Karl Max, as well as Indian philosophical traditions like Syadavada, Ankekntvadand, Shunyavad, etc. He talked about SPHOTA, which revealed the source of sensation from meanings and utterances as they unfolded into discursive narratives—knowing is both the convergence towards the source (artha) and the divergence from the world (vivartha)—Akshra, Pada, Vakya, and Dhvani. Prof. T. N. Ganesh delivered an insightful lecture on the writing of history, demonstrating how a new history can be written by combining historical facts with people’s narratives. He said that there is a lot of plurality in historiography. He suggested that writers of history should pay more attention to histography than history. He cautioned that pluralistic Sanskrit should be prioritised in historiography over nationalism, homogeneity, and uniformity. He emphasised that the task of the historical researcher is to remove the historical block and connect history with the present and the past with people's narratives, which represent real history. Prof. Durga Kant Prasad Chaudhary laid out a detailed road map for research design, including how to find problems, do a literature review, formulate questions, test hypotheses, and find the results of research.

Dr. Ajay Chauhan took a session on NVivo software, which is instrumental in qualitative research. He gave a bird's eye view of various fields of research and how research is related to different fields in society like the film industry, social media, the market, educational institutions, etc. Along with qualitative research, he demonstrated the use of inductive and deductive methods in research while testing the theory and teaching the new theory. Apart from these, he also explained a lot of terminologies, like "ethnography," the scientific description of people and cultures with their customs, habits, and mutual differences—culture. Dr. Vikas Chaubey threw light on content analysis in the "post-truth" era, which is full of conflicting and contradictory information; therefore, content analysis with objectivity is very challenging now-a-days, he added. In the second session, Dr. Vandana Chauhan talked about kinds of research in English literature like explorative, formulative, applied, comparative diagnostic, etc. The session was chaired by Devyani Chaudhary and highlighted about research funding.  Chief Guest Dr. Rajesh Kumar made a comparison between research in the natural sciences and social sciences using a flow chart. In two thought-provoking stories, he demonstrated how one event could be viewed from various perspectives, such as astronomical, astrological, geographical, and so on. He also showed how things had been statically different after economic liberalization in an agriculture-dominated economy, which had an impact on the service sector's static data. On the final day of FDP, Feb. 18, 2023, Dean SOLA, Prof. Madhu Prabhakaran, thanked the Chief Guest, Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean Research, Resource Persons, Deans of Different Schools, participants, and the FDP organizing committee for making the event a huge success. In the end, he thanked everyone from the bottom of his heart and remembered Goddess Saraswati, by whose grace the programme was a success.