Delhi School of Economics

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Delhi School of Economics
File:Delhi School of Economics.gif
Established 1949
Type Public
Location Delhi, India
Campus Urban
Affiliations University of Delhi

Delhi School of Economics, commonly referred to as DSE or D School, is a centre of post graduate learning of the University of Delhi. Widely regarded as one of India's finest academic institutions in social sciences, especially in the discipline of Economics,[1][2] the Delhi School of Economics is situated in University of Delhi's North Campus in Maurice Nagar, amidst a host of other prestigious academic institutions of the country. Started in the year 1949, the campus of the Delhi School of Economics houses the University of Delhi's Departments of Economics, Sociology, Geography and Commerce, as well as the Ratan Tata Library. Out of these four academic departments, the Departments of Economics, Sociology and Geography come under the Faculty of Social Sciences, while the Department of Commerce comes under the Faculty of Commerce and Business.


Shortly after independence, a group of visionaries led by Professor V.K.R.V. Rao and supported by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, launched a project to create a Centre for advanced studies in the social sciences that would compare with the best in the world. Thus began the Delhi School of Economics in 1949. Currently, the School comprises the departments of economics, geography,commerce and sociology. The department of economics was designated a Centre of Advanced Study by the University Grants Commission. In 1993, the Centre for Development Economics was created within the department, to strengthen the research infrastructure.

Department of Economics

Among the faculty at the department of economics have been the likes of V.K.R.V. Rao, B.N. Ganguly and K.N. Raj (all three of whom went on to serve as vice-chancellors at the University of Delhi), Amartya Sen (Nobel Laureate), Manmohan Singh (the former Indian Prime Minister and also the key architect of the economic reforms since 1991), Sukhomoy Chakravarty (who was chief economic advisor), Jagdish Bhagwati, Kaushik Basu, Arjun Kumar Sengupta, Partha Sen, Raj Krishna, the economic historian Tapan Raychaudhuri and many others who have excelled professionally.

The department has been associated with three important journals over the years. It publishes the Indian Economic Review, several faculty members edit the Indian Economic and Social History Review, and for many years it housed the Journal of Quantitative Economics.

The seminars, conferences and workshops periodically organised by the department have attracted some of the top academics from the world over. These have included Sir John and Lady Ursula Hicks, Edmond Malinvaud, Frank Hahn, Jacques Drèze, Jean Drèze, James Tobin, James Meade, Joan Robinson, Milton Friedman, Michael Kalecki, Nicholas Kaldor, Tibor Scitovsky, Tjalling Koopmans, Lawrence Klein, Agnar Sandmo, Joseph Stiglitz, John Forbes Nash and Eric Maskin.

Department of Sociology

The department of sociology was established by the University of Delhi in 1959 as a constituent of the Delhi School of Economics. To begin with, the department trained students for two courses: M.A. and Ph.D. In 1966 a two-year course for the M.Litt. degree was introduced. This has been replaced since 1976 by an M.Phil. degree course of a year’s duration. In 1968, the department was recognised as a Centre of Advanced Study (CAS) in Sociology by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The department receives a renewable five-year grant from the UGC under the CAS scheme. The UGC also provides a renewable three-year grant under its ASHISS (Assistance for Strengthening of the Infrastructure of the Humanities and Social Sciences) program for departmental infrastructure as well as research on State and Society. At present the strength of the faculty includes seven Professors, ten Readers, one Lecturer, and two Research Associates. In addition, there are nine members in the office staff.

The department has a coordinated programme of teaching and research covering a variety of fields, including some developed for the first time in the country. It grew into international prominence through the works of the notable sociologists and social anthropologists who have taught in the department, which include M N Srinivas, J. P. S. Uberoi, Andre Beteille, and Veena Das among others. Studies have been published or prepared on community power structures, local-level politics, trade unions, co-operatives, textual and contextual studies of Hinduism, religious symbolism, family and kinship, and social and religious movements. Studies have also been conducted in the fields of stratification, gender, environment, the sociology of development, historical sociology, urban sociology, and medical sociology. The sociology of masculinity, demography, popular culture, education, migration, the sociology of violence and documentary practices of the state are some of the new areas that faculty members are working on at present. In 2010, Professor Nandini Sundar from the department, won the Infosys prize in the field of social anthropology.[3]

Department of Geography

The department traces its origin to October 1959, when under the initiative of Professor V.K.R.V. Rao, the then Vice-Chancellor of the University and an eminent Economist, a Department of Human Geography was established as a constituent of the Delhi School of Economics. Professor George Kuriyan, a well-known geographer of India at that time, was the first professor and founder of the department. In 1966, Professor V.L.S. Prakasha Rao took over from him and guided the Department until 1973. During this period, the department acquired a name and a distinctive identity in India and abroad. The department draws students from different parts of India as well as from abroad.

The department has expanded considerably since 1973. The name of the Department was changed to the Department of Geography in 1976 to indicate the widening scope of teaching and research activity in physical and human aspects of Geography. The department has evolved many new courses, which have been widely acclaimed as the frontiers in Geography. The Faculty members undertake research projects from various agencies including 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 Organisation, Department of Science and Technology and Planning Commission.

Department of Commerce

In December 1967, the Department of Commerce was set up as a separate department by carving it out of the composite Department of Economics and Commerce, Delhi School of Economics. It became an independent faculty in 1992. Currently, along with the Department of Financial Studies, it constitutes the Faculty of Commerce and Business Studies. The Department is one of the premier centres of learning in the field of business and commerce in the country, and is renowned for its MIB, MHROD, M.Com, M.Phil and Phd courses.

The Department of Commerce started a one-year full-time Post-graduate Diploma in International Marketing (PGDIM) in the year 1985-86, which was subsequently upgraded to a full-time two-year Master’s programme in International Business (MIB), laying special emphasis on aspects of international business operations including global marketing and international financial management. The Master of Human Resource and Organisational Development (MHROD) programme was started by the Department in 1995 to impart managerial competencies in the domain of human resource management and organisational development.

From 2014, the MIB and MHROD courses have been restructured as MBA (IB) and MBA (HRD) respectively.

Ratan Tata Library

The Ratan Tata Library, popularly referred to as RTL, is also situated in the Delhi School of Economics campus. It is one of the best equipped libraries in Economics and allied fields in Asia Pacific. The total collection comprises 2.5 lakh volumes of books and bound periodicals. Nearly 1300 current titles are being received in the Library. The Library also receives Annual Reports of about 800 Joint Stock companies. It has a special collection on Pakistan to support research in the Area Studies Programme (Pakistan). The Library has been designated as a repository of United Nations publications. It has a fairly large and well-organised collection of State and Central Government publications. The Library has inter-library loan arrangement with libraries all over the country to meet the research requirements of its research scholars and teachers.

Notable faculty


DSE also has officially registered the Delhi School of Economics Alumni Association, which has facilitated alumni events in Mumbai and Washington D.C.

Professor (Dr) J.D.Agarwal, Founder Chairman, Indian Institute of Finance

Alumni (academics)

Alumni (Government)

  • Sujatha Singh, Former Foreign Secretary of India (August 1, 2013 – January 2015)
  • Ruchira Kamboj, Ambassador & Permanent Representative of India to UNESCO Paris
  • Dinkar Khullar, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs
  • Rajesh Nandan Prasad, Ambassador of India to the Netherlands
  • Rakesh Gaur, Asst. Labour Welfare Commissioner, GOI
  • Dr. Yuwa Raj Khatiwoda, Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank
  • Pawan Kumar Sinha, IRS, Commissioner of Customs & Central Excise (A), Goa -Present
  • P.K. Sinha,IAS,Cabinet Secetary,GOI



  1. "Top Institutions and Economists in India". The Centre for Studies in Social Sciences.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Top 25% Institutions and Economists in India".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Meet the 6 winners of Infosys Prize". Retrieved 27 Oct 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Curriculum Vitae of Padma Desai" (PDF). Columbia University.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Chat with author of Kiss and Tell".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links