The Department of Political Science established since 1966-67 has been committed to enabling its students to develop a reflexive relationship with the political environments that they inhabit. Through our specialization in fields such as political philosophy, Indian politics and international relations, we impart skills that initiate students into an informed engagement with politics. This has resulted in an impressive record of our graduates succeeding in fields such as academics, journalism and civil services.
Our success is a result of a consistent effort by the faculty to invest in the learning curve of students in a variety of ways. Classroom instruction is complemented with alternative media and methods, including film and presentations. In addition, we try our best to creatively push the limits of the syllabi by bringing different papers in conversation with each other, not only in the classroom, but also through regular talks that speak to a variety of papers taught in the programme. We also encourage our students to read beyond the prescribed material and familiarize them with literature from allied disciplines. To this end, we have taken the initiative to maintain a small library that students can access at the level of the department. As a result, many of our students have demonstrated a keen interest in participating in activities such as paper presentations both in and outside college. Our faculty has individually mentored such students and helped them develop their ideas and arguments. Furthermore, this mentorship has extended to contexts such as guidance for pursuing higher studies as well. Importantly, our department has demonstrated an enduring commitment to addressing the problems faced by students from less privileged backgrounds. In this regard, Hindi-medium students are paid special attention in tutorial sessions, especially designed for these students, with activities such as translations and co-reading as well as compiling reading material for them. This extra attention is of great support to the Hindi medium students in building their comfort and developing their interest in the discipline even when there is a general dearth of readings in Hindi.
Outside the department, we have offered a variety of papers that have been received very well across other allied social sciences and professional courses like journalism. This has contributed to our reputation as a department which is committed to encouraging students to develop critical faculties. Indeed, our students have demonstrated such skills in non-academic contexts as well. By meaningfully participating in a range of co-curricular activities, students of our department have shown the way to cross-fertilize insights from different contexts. Some of our Faculty members have been supervising students at Post Graduation level and have also been engaged in various innovation projects.
Along with building on our strengths in the
future, our department hopes to address some weaknesses that we find worthy of
consideration. Most significantly, we hope to invest more effort into imparting
the skill of academic writing. While the existing system of regular written
assessment is helpful, we recognize the need to evolve methods of teaching how
to critique, develop and present arguments in a sophisticated way. Such a skill
would be especially useful for students who come from less privileged
backgrounds and therefore frequently do not already have a very good command
over language. Amid the rush to finish syllabi, we often find that such spaces get
shrunk as the term progresses. To address this, perhaps we may institutionalize
mechanisms of discussion groups within our pedagogy. Finally, finding the
resources for pursuing our own research along with keeping up with teaching
commitments remains a challenge, one which we must find ways of surmounting in
the interest of the long-term intellectual development of the department.