Institute for Research in Social Sciences and Humanities (IRISH)the Research Wing of the Malabar Education Society for Human Resources Development and Research,(MESHAR, Reg. No.277/2000) was founded by Professor Dr. K.S.Mathew, formerly Head of the Department of History, Hyderabad Central University , founder Head of the department of History, Pondicherry Central University and member of the Indian Council of Historical Research, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India. It was formally inaugurated on 14 January 2002 by Dr. P.K.Rajan, the then Vice-Chancellor of Kannur University in an international Seminar on Maritime Malabar and the Europeans organised by Professor Mathew in the capacity of the Director and Executive Secretary of MESHAR. In view of the invitation extended by the Governing Body of the Nirmalagiri College, of which Professor Mathew was a member and academic atmosphere available in the college, the Institute was shifted from Ponniam to one of the newly constructed wings of the Nirmalagiri College in 2003. The wing was partitioned, facilities for office, faculty rooms, reading room, Library, digital class room, air-conditioned and computerized language lab(19 seated), furniture, new three phase electric and telephone connections were arranged at the expense of IRISH in the space provided by the management of the college. IRISH at the moment occupies an area of 44.6 sq. meters divided into five large halls of 620 sft each with broad verandah and wash room.
IRISH submitted an application to the Kannur University for its recognition and the duly constituted Commission under the chairmanship of the then Pro Vice-Chancellor assessed the potentialities of IRISH and recommended it for Social Sciences and Humanities (vide. Resolution no. 2004.072 dated 12.05.2004 and the official communication from the Registrar of Kannur University order no. Acad.E3/R-Centre/4040 dated 3 June 2004). The recognition from the Kannur University comprises only researches leading to Doctorate in History, Economics and Malayalam. The number of the research scholars affiliated to IRISH under the Kannur University goes up to 30 as on 16 August 2012.
IRISH was recognized as a Regular Study centre of IGNOU for all the disciplines offered by IGNOU under Distance Education mode under code no. 1485 ( vide order no. IG/RSD/Notification/192 dated 16/7/2008). Currently over 500 students are doing their studies leading to Diploma, Bachelour and Post and Master’s Degrees in different disciplines. Application for convergence scheme of IGNOU in M.C.A, M.B.A, M.S.W and Master’s degree in Home Science has been submitted to IGNOU recently.
Taking into account the large number of scholars approaching IRISH for researches, and the facilities at IRISH, an application was submitted to Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi for recognition of IRISH as a research centre for all the disciplines coming under Social Sciences and Humanities. The duly constituted commission from IGNOU visited IRISH in September 2009 and in view of the favourable recommendation from the Commission, IRISH was recognized as a research centre of IGNOU for all branches of Social Sciences and Humanities (Resolution of the 16th meeting of the Research Council of IGNOU held on 03.02.2010 and the notification No. 1998 dated 05.03.2010).
In view of the resolution adopted by the Executive Council of IRISH on 13 June 2012 which met under the chairmanship of Monsignor Mathew M.Chalil, three branches , one in Sandesa Bhavan Thalassery, another in Azhikode, Trichur Dt. and the third in KECT, Kurumulloor , Kottayam Dt were adopted to take advantage of the forthcoming recognition by the Central University of Kerala.
The duly constituted Commission of the Central University of Kerala visited IRISH and one of its Branches on 14 June 2012 to assess its activities for recognition of IRISH . The recommendations made by the Commission were reportedly approved by the Executive Council meeting of the Central University of Kerala held on 27 July 2012. Specific orders are awaited as on 14 August 2012.