History of the department :
The Department of Political Science was established in 1948. The founder-Head of the Department was Prof. D.N. Banerjee. Eminent scholars like Prof. D. N. Sen, R. C. Ghosh, N.C. Roy, S.K. Mukherjee, Mohit Bhattacharyya, Buddhadev Bhattacharya, Asok Mukhopadhyay, Rakhahari Chatterjee, Sobhanlal Datta Gupta, among others, served the department. By 1967 the student strength increased two-fold, necessitating the opening up of another section for each year. In 1983, the Department introduced the M.Phil. Programme. The Department conducts a one-semester Ph. D course work since 2009. In January 1990 the Department was shifted from the Asutosh Building of College Street Campus to the present location at Alipur.
In its formative phase, the thrust areas of teaching and research in the Department were constitutional history, political philosophy and law. Since the seventies, empirical and behavioural analysis, along with an intensive focus on Marxian and socialist studies, received prominence. In recent years, bridge-building and cross-fertilization of approaches with the interface of democracy, development and governance emerge as the thrust areas of teaching and researches.
From 1980 to 1985 the Department ran a ‘University Leadership Project’ funded by the UGC for the improvement of undergraduate teaching. Numerous seminars and workshops were held under the programme. In 1989 the UGC brought this Department under its Special Assistance Programme. Under this Programme the Department encouraged research in Indian Politics with special reference to Eastern and North-eastern regional politics. This DSA Programme was run in two phases: the first phase from 1989 to 1994 and the second phase from 1994 to 1999.
In 2006 the UGC awarded the Departmental Research Support (DRS) Programme with ‘Democratic Governance’ as the thrust area. Prof. Sobhanlal Datta Gupta was the Co-ordinator of the DRS Programme. After successful completion of the first Phase, the UGC has awarded a second Phase which is yet to be completed. The present Co-ordinator of this Programme is Prof. Samir Kumar Das. Under this DRS Programme, every year one National Seminar, one College Teachers’ seminar, one Students’ seminar and policy-interface with other Universities/ Research Institutes/ NGOs are organized. Moreover, two books and a good number of Occasional Papers have also been published under this Programme. The UGC has recognized this DRS Programme as ‘one of the best run’ DRS in Political Science. The Department has been organizing Refresher Course Programmes regularly since 1994.
These programmes are targeted to updating of UG and PG teachers.
The Department publishes a bi-lingual journal, ‘The Calcutta Journal of Political Studies’.
Special award/ recognition from UGC or related statutory body :
Departmental Research Support Programme was awarded by the UGC in 2006. The thrust area of First phase was Democratic Governance in Indian States and that of Second phase is Democratic Governance: India as the Nucleus of South Asia.