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During the past four decades, the centre has contributed to advancements in its field both locally and internationally through excellence in research and teaching, and collaboration in various projects. In the initial stages, the centre emphasized a study of the working of political institutions and political processes in the Indian context. Moving away from the behavioural tradition in the study of Political Science, it soon began to focus on the complexity of state-society interactions from the perspective of political economy. The level of political scrutiny of political institutions increased to include a more flexible, dynamic and open way of studying governance and its limitations. The centre stressed, and provided to its students, a theoretical foundation necessary to analyze modes of domination and subordination, and overt and covert forms of expressions of power. It also distinguished itself as being a leading institution of the study of political philosophy and political ideas in India.

In the first decade of its existence, the main concern of the Centre was to place its teaching programme on a sound footing and lay the foundation of its research activities. Accordingly, the M.A. and M.Phil. programmes were developed so as to combine the requirement of adequate training in the essentials of Political Science while retaining a multidisciplinary perspective. Over the years, the centre has emerged as a dynamic and innovative department, which has pioneered new courses and experimented with new modes of teaching and learning. The M.Phil and Ph.D. programmes have set benchmarks for other Centres of Political Science in India and elsewhere.

The faculty has subsequently made a substantial contribution to research on the following issues: 

State and Development

Democratic Theory

Political Ideas in Modern India

Social and Legal Justice

Civil Society and Human Rights

Dalit and Radical Movements

Equality and non-discrimination

Gender Issues


Federalism and Centre-State Relations

Language Politics and Policies


Public Institutions and Public Policy

Political Parties and State Politics

Bureaucracy and Public Administration

Although the perspective which informed the teaching and research of the centre in the early years, has continued to inform its work even today, over the years its syllabi have been updated and revised significantly. New courses have also been introduced to reflect the changes in the discipline of Political Science as well as the new social and political concerns that emerged in society. While periodic reviews, perhaps inevitably, reflect a certain shift in defining of priority areas of research, the Centre has throughout retained its inter-disciplinary perspective. Thus in the study of Political Theory and Philosophy, the interaction between political ideas and social history is highlighted.

Similarly, the study of Indian political processes is substantially focused on the relationship between the polity, economy, society and culture. Courses have been made methodologically sensitive and responsive to the dramatic and structural changes underway in the world with the demise of the Soviet bloc, shift to market economy and unipolarity, emergence of new regional blocs, rise of China, growing democratization of closed societies and the piecing together of a new global order. The interdisciplinary approach is also reflected in the significance that the centre attaches to developing in the future the study of the cognate areas of Political Ideas of Asia, Ethics and Politics, Law and Public Affairs, Urban Studies, Informalities and Settlements and Environment and Politics.

One of the notable achievements of the centre has been in blending the diverse subfields of the discipline of Politics both in its teaching and research. The outcome of such an endeavour has been a constant redefinition of the idea of the political enabling the discipline to capture the dynamics of a changing reality. It aims at contributing to the discipline of politics through empirically sensitive theorizations rooted in social and political processes.

The alumni of the Centre for Political Studies occupy very responsible positions in several walks of life all over the country and abroad. Quite a few of them have excelled in challenging assignments. Our graduates occupy key leadership positions in public, non-profit and private sectors. The contribution of the centre to public life in India, both through its alumni and the ideas and reflections that it has thrown up over the years, has been enormous.