Saturday 14 March 2015

Social science research council to be set up this year: Tharman

By Calvin Yang, The Straits Times, 12 Mar 2015

A NEW council will be set up by the middle of this year to support and provide concerted direction for social science research.

The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) will drive studies in areas that will address Singapore's future needs and those of other Asian societies.

Possible fields include the rising elderly population and promoting cohesion in multi-ethnic societies.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam said yesterday: "We are no longer a developing nation, struggling to survive and with its young population focused on just getting a job and making ends meet. But with progress and social transformation, comes new challenges."

Speaking at a dinner to commemorate the 170th anniversary of Teochew philanthropic foundation, the Ngee Ann Kongsi, he cited new challenges such as social diversity and global problems.

The SSRC will tap the expertise of local and international social science academics.

Mr Tharman added that more resources will be put into social science research and application, and the Government will continue to generate more data to spur research in the discipline.

To commemorate the nation's golden jubilee this year, Ngee Ann Kongsi will introduce a postgraduate scholarship for Singaporeans pursuing master's in social sciences and related courses, including social work and gerontology, at local universities.

Up to a dozen such scholarships will be made available. Applicants will be nominated by the universities.

"The Kongsi is committed to responding to the needs of our society," said its honorary treasurer Jamie Teo.

"We intend to build on the strong ties we have already established with various educational institutions and continue to enrich the lives of Singaporeans."

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