Department of Geography
Prof. Suresh Chand Rai
Head-Department of Geography
Delhi School of Economics
The Department of Geography was established in October 1959. Professor V.K.R.V. Rao, an eminent economist and the then Vice-Chancellor of the University of Delhi, founded the Department of Human Geography as a constituent of the Delhi School of Economics. Professor George Kurian, a well-known geographer of India, was the first head of the Department. Since then, all faculty members of the department have worked together to steer the department to a greater height. Thus, charting new and different paths under different headships, the Department has been growing and working to elevate the status of Geography as a discipline. The Department has expanded considerably since 1973. The name of the Department was changed from that of the Department of Human Geography to the Department of Geography in 1976 to widen the scope of teaching and research activity in the physical and human aspects of Geography. The Department has evolved many new courses, which have been widely acclaimed as frontiers in Geography.
- Department of Geography was among the 101-150 ranked Departments in QS World University Rankings, 2017 and the First in India.
- Department of Geography was among the 151-200 ranked Departments in QS World University Rankings, 2020-21.
- Department of Geography received Award of Good Practices during Cultural Festival, Antardhvani, University of Delhi, 2014.
Faculty members have published several research papers in reputed journals and books with national/international publishers and regularly attend national and international conferences. Faculty members also undertake research projects from various agencies including the University Grants Commission, Indian Council of Social Science Research, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Indo-Canadian Shastri Institute and Ministries of Govt. of India, which include Indian Space Research Organization, Department of Science and Technology and Planning Commission. Faculty members of the Department serve on several national and international committees. The important national committees the faculty members have served on are IUGG-IGU National Committee of INSA, National Association of Geographers India (NAGI), Asian Geographers Association (AGA), and Deccan Geographical Society of India. The important International committee where the faculty members served is IGU (executive and Steering Committee). The Department has signed MOUs with Lund University, Sweden under the Erasmus Mundus and Linneaus Palme programme. associated with the Population Research Centre, Faculty of Spatial Sciences and University of Groningen. A faculty member of the Department was awarded fellowship under the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), at Bonn, Germany in 2014.
The Department draws students from different parts of India as well as from abroad. It offers a two-year Master of Arts (M.A.) programme in Geography, for which more than 100 students are admitted. The Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) programme in Geography, offers training for research through course work and dissertation. The course work emphasizes the role of methodology in research with particular emphasis on the candidate's area of specialization. The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programme emphasizes original research with a focus on primary data collection and analysis of data using the advanced methodology and computer-aided skills. Through teaching and research, the Department tries to reflect the vital role of Geography in a changing world.
The distinguished alumni of the Department have been placed in prestigious organizations and administrative services of the Government of India and State Governments.
The Department is equipped with a state-of-art GIS laboratory, geomorphology-cum-remote sensing laboratory with facilities for photogrammetry, aerial photo interpretation, digital image processing and soil analysis. The GIS laboratory is fully equipped with 30 computers, 3 work stations, server, scanners, plotter, printers, the latest GIS, remote sensing and statistical software like Arc View/Info GIS, ILWIS, MapInfo, IDRISI Andes, ERDAS Imagine, WMS, SPSS etc. The Department has also initiated a Media Lab and Automated Weather Station. Teachers, research scholars and post-graduate students have access to computer facilities for their research and other academic pursuits.
UGC – Special Assistance Programme
The Department has been selected by the University Grants Commission Assistance under Special Assistance Programme (SAP) for continuation from DRS-I to DRS-III for five years. Natural Resource Management and Environmental Implications, and Urban and Regional Planning are its thrust areas. UGC has sanctioned staff and grants to develop GIS and geomorphology-cum-remote sensing laboratories As a result, the Department has been able to offer more advanced level courses in remote sensing, geographical information systems, physical geography and computer-aided cartography. Under the Programme the Department has acquired databases like that of the Census of India. The Department has also added a reading-cum-documentation room for students and faculty to make use of the reference books acquired under SAP which also houses the Department's Ph.D. and M.Phil dissertations. Books donated by the faculty and acquired from other sources are also maintained in the reading room
Further details about the department can be accessed at www.geography.du.ac.in