Major thrust areas where Research is being actively pursued:
History of Indian Nationalism
Academic Exchange Programme With
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), UK
VARIOUS CENTRES UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY
GANDHIAN STUDIES CENTRE
The University Grants Commission sanctioned the establishment of a Gandhian Studies Centre in the University of Calcutta under the Tenth Five Year Plan. Located in the Department of History the Centre started functioning from January 2005 with Late Basudeb Chattopadhyay, Asutosh Professor of Medieval and Modern Indian History and Director, West Bengal State Archives, as its Director and Prof. Suparna Gooptu, as its Deputy Director. The Gandhian Studies Centre commits itself to undertake new research on Gandhi’s life and work, to make a reappraisal of what is considered by many, a failed vision, and to highlight those aspects of Gandhian thought which are relevant not only for nation building in India, but also for the enrichment of wider human civilization.
Organising seminars, workshops, lectures involving students, research scholars and teachers of universities and colleges.
Conducting Orientation/ Refresher Courses for teachers, functionaries of Non-Governmental Organisations and other sections of the civil society on the contribution of Gandhi to Indian freedom struggle and the relevance of Gandhi’s ideas on nation-building in post-colonial India.
PEACE STUDIES GROUP
The Peace Studies Group of the Department of History, University of Calcutta, was established in 1995 with a financial grant from the Ford Foundation and infrastructural support from the University. It has emerged as a nodal agency in the eastern Indian region for coordinating policy analysis and research, teaching, formulating alternative strategies for Peace Studies and influencing opinion on issues relating to regional peace, sub-regional cooperation and traditional and non-traditional security issues. The Centre draws upon the continuing financial support of the Ford Foundation and the University Grants Commission's Special Assistance Programme in the University's History Department.
Public Awareness Exercise
The Group is involved with programmes to enhance public awareness. This is being done through undertaking of research projects, organising meetings/workshops and seminars and involvement of the members in Track II diplomacy and other civil society related regional peace initiatives in coordination with other city-based research institutions. Some members of the Group are regular participants in Wilton Park Conferences on Track-ll diplomacy and India- Pakistan Peoples' Forum conferences.
CENTRE FOR PAKISTAN AND WEST ASIAN STUDIES
Centre for Pakistan and West Asian Studies in the University of Calcutta has been set up with the vision that a community of countries comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and India, will promote mutually beneficial economic, political and cultural ties. This vision draws inspiration from the large-scale cultural, social, economic, and political interactions between these four countries and India in historical times.
CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF CHINA AND HER NEIGHBOURHOOD (UGC AREA STUDIES CENTRE)
The faculty consists of three part-time teachers who teach a Basic Chinese course and Basic Chinese crash course. Two faculty members have completed their post-graduate degrees from Visva Bharati (Cheenabhavan), whereas the third member has completed his post-graduate degree from BHU. They also participated in the discussions on the New School – Kunming University – Calcutta University plans for a joint teaching program.
NEHRU STUDIES CENTRE
Established in 2005 the Nehru Studies Centre primarily undertakes research on Jawaharlal Nehru’s role in the maturing of India’s freedom struggle, his envisioning of Nation-building process in the post-colonial period and his involvement with Non-aligned Movement, which heightened the prestige of our country in world politics, especially in the eyes of the Third World.
ACADEMIC AND RESEARCH EXCHANGE PROGRAMMES : Collaboration at National and International levels
In addition to their professional responsibilities, the faculty members of the department engage themselves in academic and research exchange programmes with other universities colleges and institutions.
Collaborative research is being conducted between members of the Department and other
Social Sciences Departments
Faculty and student exchange programmes are being conducted between Uppsala University, Sweden, University of Rome, La Sapienza, University of Edinburgh (Study India Programme).