Department of Anthropology
The Department of Anthropology is one among the first six Department of Vidyasagar University established in 1985 with only five permanent faculties and two guest teachers.
With this teaching strength the faculties of the department have carved out a unique position among the Anthropology departments of the other universities of the state by paying attention to the holistic nature of Anthropology. The major thrust areas of teaching and research of this department is biological and cultural studies of human groups through fieldwork. In course of a short period of time, the faculties of the Department gradually developed interest in policy-oriented studies on health and nutrition, tribal development, problems of the aged, displacement and rehabilitation, women empowerment and forest management based on empirical research conducted in the region.
The department has organized a number of seminars and conferences as well as special lectures by eminent scholars. The department is unique among all anthropology departments in West Bengal to start a Lecture Series in Anthropology in which the lectures of eminent scholars are organized in the department and subsequently published in the form of book. The first series entitled Discourse on Development have already been published. The department has also published another book on Perspectives of Rural Development: Problems and Prospects in collaboration with the Indian Anthropological Society. The faculties and the research scholars of the department are regularly publishing books, articles (in national & international peer reviewed journals), and book chapters on their respective research areas and they have also presented papers and chaired session in various national and international seminars, symposia and workshops in India and abroad.
A number of students of this department have qualified in the UGC conducted National Educational Test (NET) and have also earned research scholarships from the Indian Council for Social Science Research Anthropological Survey of India and the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. After obtaining the post-graduate degree the students of the department got job placements in schools, collages, central and state government organizations as well as in various non-governmental organizations. The Ph.D. programme of this department is also active. Already 7 candidates have earned their Ph.D. degrees from this department and till 2007, twenty-four registered candidates in Anthropology are conducting their research under the supervision of the faculties of this department.
Leading national and state-level funding agencies, like University Grants Commission (UGC), Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Export Promotion Council of the Govt of West Bengal, West Bengal Department of Science and Technology, (WBDST) and Planning Commission of the Govt. of India have sponsored research projects for the department.
The special contribution of faculty members lie in their active role in highlighting the problems of the underprivileged and marginalized sections of the rural society (the undernourished, the aged men and women, the displaced, the tribals and the poor rural women) through their research articles and popular writings often in the vernacular.
The plan of action of the department for the next five years would comprise a holistic study of the various tribal groups of the region with an objective to bring about their development. The plan involves an extensive study of various biological and cultural parameters so as to identify factors responsible for their extremely underprivileged condition and find ways to improve their standard of living.
The department will also plan to build up a museum on ethnographic specimens as well as prehistoric tools through collections from the region and the state. The department will also make sincere attempts to develop a well-equipped biological anthropology laboratory.
Regarding teaching and examination the department has already decided to introduce semester system and accordingly a thorough revision of its existing syllabus. This will be done in the coming years.
The department has also planned to introduce a M. Phil course in Anthropology with special focus on the development related issues, which have been emerging within the discipline in a recent period.
Department of Anthropology
Vidyasagar University, Midnapore
West-Bengal - 721102 ,
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