Professor Ram Sakha Gautam was a legendary personality in the Indian Social Science. He was a unique institution builder who devoted all his life for the promotion of research and higher education from the city of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. His elegant personality and optimistic orientation in life not only facilitated social science research in India but his benevolence towards needy students and teachers made him a legendary guru for achieving excellence in higher education. He started his teaching career as a lecturer in Political Science in Rewa College and he continued this stint till his last breath as president of MPISSR and council member of Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi. Prof. R.S Gautam was an inspiring teacher and organisational man and MPISSR is the fruit of his outstanding organizational capabilities and tireless perseverance towards promotion of higher education and social science research in Madhya Pradesh.
Biographical Sketch (1931-2011)
Prof. Ram Sakha Gautam (RSG) was born in a small village Kulgavan of Satna district, which was in erstwhile illaka of Nagod in Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh. His father Pt.Baij Nath worked as a Diwan in a small feudatory of Pataura in the state of Nagod. RSG started his schooling from Lagargavan near his native village. He completed his high school from Jabalpur and completed Fellow of Arts/BA from Rewa. His father’s death in 1945 could not deterred young RSGs ambition for higher education. Despite various financial hurdles, his honest and tireless perseverance brought him several fellowships from the rulers of erstwhile states of Vidhya Pradesh. RGS completed his M.A. in Political Science and L.L.B from Sagar University and started his academic career as a lecturer of Political Science in Rewa. RSG got his doctorate degree in Political Science from Sagar University working on Security Council of United Nations . RSG than moved to his academic abode Ujjain in 1966 and joined School of Studies in Political Science of Vikram University. In Vikram University, RSG not only taught his students but also worked for his D.Litt on ‘Indian National Congress and Constitutional Change’. It is in this connection that RSG met Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, in this interaction; RSG was very much inspired by the personality and his noble etiquettes of the first prime minister of India. Prof. RSG was not only an inspiring teacher but also he stood all along behind his students to carve out niches in the academics and administration through out his life. As a professor, RSG went to USSR as a part of Indo-USSR Cultural Exchange Programme. He visited and lectured at Patrice Lumumba University, Moscow University, Centre for Social Science Studies in Leningrad and the University of Tashkent. He was a Fullbright Fellow in 1986 and delivered lectures on Indo-Us relations in New York University, Columbia University, George Washington University, Princeton University, University of Philadelphia, Michigan State University and the University of Chicago. In his academic life Prof. RSG, guided 36 scholars for Ph.D, three scholars for D.Litt and supervised and directed 15 research projects on topical issues of social science. He has written three books viz. Sanyukt Rashtra Sangh (1977), Indian National Congress and Constitutional Change in India (1990), Nehru: Science and Society (1990). Prof RSG was the founder of Madhya Pradesh Political Science Association (MPPSA). Prof. RSG also edited the Madhya Pradesh Journal of Social Science (bi-annual journal of MPISSR) and Kautilya (journal of MPPSA) during his active academic career.
Prof. RSG was an academic saint, his humble bachelorhood and untiring perseverance has given birth to an institution called Madhya Pradesh Institute of Social Science Research in 1983. His perseverant effort not only established it, but his inspiration to the young faculties and employees of the institution inculcated a culture of self initiation and self discipline at the institute. It is due to his vision MPISSR has succeeded to create a niche for itself in the arena of social science research over last two decades. In the later years of his life, MPISSR was turned into his home, irrespective of the holidays; he was always at institute to inspire the fraternity of the institute. Keeping in view his tireless effort for well being of the society, Department of Social Justice, Government of Madhya Pradesh conferred on him with Indira Gandhi Manav Sewa Award in 2001-02. The great institution builder Prof. RSG nominated as the council member of Indian Council of Social Science Research in 2008 and he served as President of MPISSR and Council of ICSSR till his last breath. Prof. RSG passed away on 6 April, 2011 at Ujjain, leaving behind an academic legacy through MPISSR and his students, dotting all over the India.
For more biographical information see: R.S. Gautam: A Biographical Sketch- Yogesh Atal in (eds) Yogesh Atal and D. C Sah (2007) Exploring the Social Frontier, Rawat Publication: Jaipur.
M. P. Institute of Social Science Research arose out of the dream of Prof. RSG who had a long cherished desire to establish a national level institute of research and training in social sciences in Madhya Pradesh. Prof. RSG after superannuation as Professor and Head of School of Studies in Political Science, Vikram University, Ujjain took of the herculean task of catalysing the research activities of MPISSR, which he had established in 1983. Due to his untiring perseverant effort and dedicated research activities of the then MPISSR team, MPISSR was recognised for grant-in-aid scheme of Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and Ministry of Higher Education, Government of Madhya Pradesh in 1993. After that MPISSR has proved itself as a premier research institution under the able guidance of Prof. RSG, which is now undertaking interdisciplinary social research and has earned national and international recognition in the field of Panchayati Raj and Tribal development and issues related to Social Exclusion and policies related to Inclusive Social Development in India.
Prof. Ram Sakha Gautam Memorial Lecture
Prof. Ram Sakha Gautam passed away on 6th April, 2011 leaving behind academic legacy that always strives for well being of society bereft of any socio-economic discrimination. To acknowledge his lifelong academic endeavour and to honour his contribution to Indian Social Science, the Governing body of MPISSR decided to organise “Prof Ram Sakha Gautam Memorial Lecture” every year during the month of January. Eminent social scientists and thinkers working on contemporary social science issues will be invited to deliver lecture in the honour of Prof. RSG on this occasion.