The Department of Anthropology is one among the first six Departments of Vidyasagar University established
with only five permanent faculties and two guest teachers. The initial name of the department was
“Social Anthropology with Tribal Culture” and then it was put under the Faculty of Arts and Commerce.
Later the university authorities changed the name of the department as “Anthropology” and the subject was placed under the Faculty of Science.
With meagre teaching strength the department has carved out a unique position among the Anthropology departments
of the other universities of the state and the country in terms of publication which was admired by UGC visiting team.
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.
Research and Advocacy
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 and second lecture series have already been published. The department has also published a valuable book jointly
with the Indian Anthropological Society in tune with the mission of the University entitled Perspectives of Rural Development:
Problems and Prospects (2006). The faculties and the research scholars of the department have published book chapters, books, articles,
comments and book reviews in national and international peer reviewed journals, which included Annals of Human Biology,
British Journal of Nutrition, Collegium Anthropologicum, Current Science, Man In India, Current Anthropology,
Population and Development Review, European Journal of Development Research, Anthropological Forum, Journal of the
Indian Anthropological Society, Contributions to Indian Sociology and Economic and Political Weekly. The faculties
of the department have also served and are acting as expert members in different international, national and state level
research and policy making committees.
A good number of students of this department have qualified in the UGC conducted National Educational Test (NET)
for Lectureship as well as Junior Research Fellowship( the first JRF of Vidyasagar University hailed from this department)
and have also earned research scholarships (both doctoral and post-doctoral) from the Indian Council for Social Science Research,
Anthropological Survey of India, Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship, Moulana Azad National Fellowship, Indian Council of Medical
Research and the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. After obtaining the post-graduate degree the students of the department
got job placements in schools, colleges, universities, central and state government organizations as well as in various
non-governmental organizations. The Ph.D. programme of this department is also very much active. Already 23 scholars have
earned their Ph.D. degrees from this department. Currently, 25 registered research scholars 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
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 faculties of this small 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, the displaced, the tribals and the poor rural women) through their research
articles and popular writings.