Department cum Centre for Women's Studies & Development

About Department cum Centre for Women's Studies & Development


The Department-cum-Centre for Women's Studies and Development was originally set up as a Centre for Women's Studies and Development in 1987 with Prof Pam Rajput as its Founding Director. It was one of the first five Centres set up by the University Grants Commission in 1987. On the basis of its excellent performance, it was one of the six Centres placed in Phase III by the UGC. Recently, i.e. in the year 2009, it has been upgraded to the status of a full-fledged Department of the University and is now referred to as Department-cum-Centre for Women's Studies and Development.

The Department seeks both to interpret Women's experiences as well as to change Women's condition, through a transformation of consciousness, social forms and modes of action. It seeks to interrogate the entire system of socio-economic- political and cultural subordination of women as well as influence, reshape and recast dominant ideologies. It visualizes itself as a catalyst to transform an unjust, inegalitarian society into one where gender justice and equality would be the norm.

The Department has been conceived as "an instrument of social engineering" in bringing about both academic and social development. It seeks to bring to the University the new scholarship that has emerged from the inquiries into the causes and consequences of inequality and oppression of women and is to serve as a nucleus and a source of ideas, information and inspiration. The aim is to create and maintain a teaching/learning environment for feminist and gender studies, and provide an impetus for sustaining a research community that contributes to the development of women's and gender scholarship within the two-thirds world/Indian context. The trine objectives are to create awareness, to intellectually equip students and to empower all.

Teaching, Training, Research, Extension, Dissemination, and Advocacy are the core activities. It serves as a resource and nodal Centre for the region and true to its mandate, has developed as a strong academic Centre of teaching and learning, generating new thinking and knowledge on feminist theory and initiating courses in women's studies.

The Department-cum- Centre has taken a lead in the region in introducing the formal degree programmes in Women's Studies. The programmes continuing at present are:

  • M.A. in Women's Studies
  • Ph.D. Programme in Women's Studies

A few significant aspects of the teaching programme:

  • The Department-cum- Centre, through its teaching programme not only sensitises the students to gender issues and attempts to ensure a commitment to the empowerment of women, it also provides training in various skills through its curricula. The emphasis is on Practical skill training in Project formulation, designing, monitoring, budget formulation and analysis as well as on research training normally given in Research degree courses such as M.Phil.
  • Most significantly, the course is multidisciplinary, which stands the students in good stead in any field of activity which they may decide to pursue, viz. development studies, law, human rights or any other.
  • Where students are concerned, the focus is on quality not on quantity, and the Department-cum- Centre is pleased to report that the students who are graduating from the Department-cum- Centre are indeed thoroughly infused with the fundamentals of women's studies, so much so that they can be likened to candles lighting the path for others.
  • It must also be pointed out that at least 40 per cent of the students are male.
  • The alumni of the Department-cum- Centre have all found good placements in various bodies such as the Commonwealth, NGOs, and even the University itself.
  • There is also a lot of demand for Ph.D in Women's Studies. 14 research scholars are presently enrolled for pursuing Ph.D in Women's Studies. Mention may be made of the fact that out of these 9 are post-graduates in women's studies, while the others come from diverse disciplines. While two are Senior Lecturers in Colleges of Chandigarh, one scholar is from Iran.
  • Apart from having Ph.D scholars enrolled specifically in Women's Studies, the Department-cum- Centre has also been instrumental in providing guidance to scholars in other Social Science disciplines working on women's issues. As a result, a whole lot of researches have been undertaken which focus on women's issues, with the Centre providing the gender input.

Enquiry No(s): 1800-180-2065, +91 172 2534818, 2534866 (from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm & 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm on working days )

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