History of the Department
The Economics Department of Presidency University has a rich heritage. In its golden era, the Department ran arguably one of the finest undergraduate programmes in the world. The Department was established in 1908 under the name of Department of Political Economy and Political Philosophy. The name was changed in 1932 to the Department of Economics and Political Science. In 1960, the Department was bifurcated to form the Departments of Economics and Political Science, respectively. In 1965, a Research Wing was established by the Government of West Bengal. When the Department was selected as a Special Centre of Excellence in 1972 by the University Grants Commission, this wing was renamed as the Centre for Economic Studies.
Traditionally, the Department has emphasized on theoretical aspects of the discipline. In the last decade, in keeping with current global trends in research and teaching, the Department has broadened its focus to include the empirical domain. In 2005, the Department of Science and Technology’s FIST grant facilitated the introduction of a Masters in Applied Economics programme. The motive behind this development was to introduce students to current empirical methods and econometric/statistical software, and provide them with grounding in undertaking empirical research. The curriculum, integrating theoretical knowledge with applied skills, produced a new generation of students fit for cutting edge research. The success of the Masters programme may be gauged from the rate of absorption of our students by reputed data analytics and financial services companies. The syllabus was subsequently upgraded and modernised after the College became a University. The basic computer laboratory, established with a grant from FIST and assistance under the MPLAD scheme from Dr. Bimal Jalan, was renovated in 2015 to form a 40-seater laboratory with Wi-Fi connectivity.
Appointment to the University posts was started in 2012 and currently there is one Professor and six Assistant Professors in the Department. In the initial stages of the Department, a Mentor group was established to advise the Department in its academic activities. The Committee, which functioned from 2011 to 2014, consisted of Prof. Dipankar Dasgupta, Prof. Dipankar Coondoo, Prof.Amitava Bose and Prof. Anup Kumar Sinha. In 2015, Dr. Sudha Murthy gave a generous endowment for the purpose of setting up the Infosys Foundation Chair Professor in Economics. In 2016, Prof. Pulak Ghosh, a Professor in the Decision Sciences and Information Systems Area at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, joined this post.