The Department was established in 1952, with about 40 postgraduate students. Since then the combined strength of students has exceeded 800.
The teaching and research programme of the Department is based on a comprehensive social science approach that integrates and interrogates sociological, economic, philosophical and cultural dimensions. It encourages a comprehensive study of the field of politics, keeping especially the Indian reality in focus.
The Department of Political Science has been attempting to decentre the notions and practices of the political from its conventional moorings in Eurocentric thought and history. While engaged in moving away in its research agenda from dominantly European models for some time now, the Department has also insisted on learning and undertaking research on western thought and institutions as well, so that the mutual-imbrication of Europe and the non-West, especially India, may be studied more seriously. The relationships of exchange as well as asymmetry between the West and the non-West is of course critical to understanding the current thrust area of our Department, namely that of Globalisation, Democracy and Justice. The need for research on this area is intensified by a number of important global challenges that require more democratic initiatives than are currently available; and these have to be thought in terms of both national and extra-national institutions. Work on the thrust area also benefits from the critical investigations that we conduct in Indian Politics that reveal both new and old forms of (among other things) inequality, justice, discrimination and institutional processes in the larger context of the global.
Our general focus has been supplemented by a growing emphasis on the need to combine theory with ethnographic and archival work. We believe that it is necessary to acquaint ourselves with both Western Political Theory and Indian Political Thought in order to address and open out new empirical material to fresh questions. We are convinced that this will illuminate the unfolding reality of India and other countries\regions and also open out new research agendas for other institutions outside in and India.
The Department is extremely rich in academic potential, comprising a faculty known widely for their research and teaching abilities. It has entered into many collaboration with international institutions and its reputation is being rapidly consolidated outside the country.