Established in 1963, the Department of Political Science is one of the oldest and largest departments in the University. The Department has had the benefit and privilege of having on its staff some of the very distinguished teachers and scholars. They included persons of the eminence like Professor Satya Bushan, who happened to be its founding head. Many more eminent academicians like Professor R. Parihar, Professor Z.M. Qureshi, Professor K.R. Bombwall, and Professor Shanti Swarup in the chain of succession followed him. Other distinguished scholars who for a long time remained the academic backbone of the department included the teachers like Professor Balbir Singh, Professor R. D. Sharma, Professor M.K.Teng, Professor G.H.Khan, Mr. R. K.Bhat, Dr. Saleem Kidwai and Dr. G.M.Shah. They taught and guided generations of students and scholars.
Teaching/ Research Programmes
In addition to running its regular Masters programme, the department has remained a recognized research centre. The department has produced more than 75 M.Phil/ Ph.D. Scholars so far. The major thrust areas of research have been State Politics with special reference to Jammu and Kashmir, Indian Politics with emphasis on Federalism, International Relations with focus on the South and West Asia and the Peace and Conflict Studies. Almost all of our former research scholars are reasonably well placed within and outside the state. At present, there are 21 research scholars pursuing M. Phil/ PhD in the department. The area of their study ranges from the state politics and local administration to International Relations.
The department in terms of student intake is one of the largest in the University. Every year the department enrolls 86 students in the M. A. previous class. Presently there are about 172 students enrolled in the teaching (MA previous and final) programme.
The Masters programme offered by the department is intended to achieve twin objectives. The core courses are shaped to give thorough grounding to students in all core streams of subject Political Science. They include Political Thought and Theory, International Relations, Public Administration, Comparative Politics, Indian Political System, Politics of Jammu and Kashmir, Research Methodology. The students are also introduced into specialized areas of their own interest through a number of optional streams provided in the syllabi. These include International law, Foreign Policy of Major Powers, Indo-Pak Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies, Human Rights, Local Governance, State Politics in India, Contemporary Political Philosophy and Governance.
The departmental faculty has remained actively involved in academic and research activities within and outside the department like participation in seminars and association with projects and offering consultancy to reputed research organizations both locally and internationally. They have publications in the form of books and research articles published in reputed national and International level journals and edited volumes. Some of these writings have received international recognition and acclaim. The department has regularly conducted weekly seminars/workshops and the extension lectures delivered by reputed scholars from India and abroad.
The Department has been regularly updating its curriculum to keep pace with the emerging trends and the newer developments within the discipline of Political Science. During 2010-11 the department made an extensive revision of its curriculum both at the undergraduate and the post graduate level bringing in the newly emerging areas of the discipline into the fold of teaching. Some such areas of teaching and research concern introduced are Foreign Policy of Major Powers, Peace and Conflict Studies, Governance, State Politics in India, etc. The department is completing 50 years of its existence. Therefore, it plans to celebrate 2012 as the Golden Jubilee year. Part of the celebrations will include having a meet of its former alumni, special lecture and seminar/ work shop series in collaboration with reputed academic organisation from within and outside India.