History of the Department

The Department of Economics is one of the first six Departments established with the inauguration of the University (North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong) in 1974. Initially the Department was placed under the School of Social Sciences. After the reorganization of Schools it was brought under the School of Economics, Management and Information Sciences in 1994.

The Department started with a thrust to understand the political economy of development with a special reference to the North Eastern Region. Professors T. Mathew and S.N. Guhathakurta, who headed the Department during 1974-1983, and with an interval of three years again during the period 1986-91, were keenly interested in the political economy of development. Under their leadership, the Department contributed significantly to a better understanding of the prospects and constraints of development in the North Eastern Region. Professor Asit Banerji took the resposibility of strengthening the theoretical (especially microeconomic) base of the students. Dr. Sukumaran Nair was an able teacher of political economy.

1976: Sitting Row: From left    [3] Prof. S.N. Guhathakurta     [4] Prof. T. Mathew

The Department also felt that it was lagging behind in the areas such as mathematical economics, econometrics and so on. The Department, under the leadership of Professor Shri Prakash during 1983-1986, did its best to vigorously open the avenues for teaching and research in the fields related to quantitative economics. Input-output analysis, mathematical economics, econometrics, computer applications, etc became the main areas of concern in teaching and research during that period. In a way, this effort led to a sort of balancing between the two approaches: political economy approach and quantitative economic analysis. Teaching and research in quantitative economics and application of statistics/econometrics were strengthened under the leadership of Professor K. Bez, who was a statistician by training and who headed the Department during 1992-95. Contributions during that period and also subsequently made by other faculty members namely Professors T. Lawma, P.M. Passah, M.P. Bezbaruah, Mahesh Lalwani, Amaresh Dubey, etc. (who are no longer on our faculty now) have been of immense importance to shaping of the academic environment of the Department. Dr. O.J. Karpuri, who died young, is always remembered for his grasp of economic theory/mathematical economics and teaching ability.

1978: Sitting Row: From left     [2] Dr. Sukumaran Nair  [3] Prof Shri Prakash  [4] Prof T Mathew  [5] Prof SN Guhathakurta

The Department has always been eager to venture into newer areas of teaching and research. The third wave of modernization commenced with the untiring work of Prof. SK Mishra, mainly in terms of computerization and strengthening of application of quantitative techniques. A one-year Diploma course in Techniques of Analysis and Computer Programming was started in the Department as early as 1985, when the use of personal computers in economic analysis was not much wide-spread in India. Two optional papers in Computer Applications in Economic Analysis at the MA/MSc level were introduced as early as 1992 - years before the UGC appreciated the application of computers to economic analysis and incorporated a course regarding the same in its model curricula in 1998.

The Department also felt that it has ignored teaching and research in heterodox economics, the approach that challanges the establishment economics mainly based on the neoclassical reasoning. Hence, the Department introduced three new courses into MA/MSc syllabus: Evolutionary Economics, Experimental Economics and Institutional Economics. Teaching of Economics of Law, Behavioral Economics and Agent-based Computational Economics is on our agenda. Other universities in India have largely ignored the teaching and research in these non-traditional branches of economics. The paper on Historical Perspective of Modern Economics aims at introducing the history of economic ideas, especially after 1950. It is different from the traditional approach to teaching the History of Economic Thought that stresses on the works of the Classical and the Neoclassical economists. The Department currently ranks among the best 4 percent institutions/departments of economics in India listed and ranked by IDEAS/RePEc (a global electronic archive of working papers and publications in Economics, Econometrics/Statistics and Finance, maintained/hosted by the Dept. of Economics, Univ. of Connecticut/Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, USA).

The main objective of the Department has been to impart socially relevant education at the post-graduate level (Masters as well as M.Phil. and Ph.D.) by a judicious mix of quantitative analysis and political economy approach. An adequate exposure to economic theory and quantitative techniques is compulsorily given to all the M.A. students. They are also required to take courses in Economics of North-Eastern Region and Environmental Economics, besides being encouraged to take the popular course on Computer Applications in Economic Analysis. The courses of study have been periodically updated and the Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS) was introduced in the year 2008. The Department has also given adequate coverage to North-Eastern Region in its research programs - MPhil and PhD. For effective teaching the Department has a Computer Lab having more than 20 personal computers with internet facilities. Every classroom is equipped with modern teaching aids like a computer and the LCD projector. Every member on the faculty has been given desktop and laptop computers with internet connection and the room of the research staff working under different projects also has an adequate number of computers with internet connections.

The Department is offering three programs: M.A/M.Sc, M.Phil, and Ph.D. The faculty members are actively involved in research and disseminate their findings through publications in terms of research papers in national and international journals, books and presentations in conferences, seminars and workshops. The Department, besides its regular teaching and research programs, conducts educational tours for the students, refresher courses for the college and university teachers and organizes conferences, seminars and workshops at the national and regional levels at regular intervals.

Thrust Area

The thrust area of the Department is identified as Upland Economy of North East Region, and using it as an economic reality to understand the theoretical underpinnings related to Evolutionary and institutional economics. The courses of study and research have been designed and other academic activities undertaken to meet this objective.

Head of Department Since 1974

Name of the HeadPeriod
Prof. T. Mathew 1974-1981
Dr. S.N. Guhathakurta 1981-1983
Prof. Sri Prakash 1983-1986
Prof. T. Mathew 1986-1987
Prof. S.N. Guhathakurta 1988-1991
Prof. Khageswar Bez 1992-1995
Prof. Sudhanshu K. Mishra 1995-1996
Prof. Mahesh Lalwani 1996-1999
Prof. Sudhanshu K. Mishra 1999-2002
Prof. Nirankar Srivastav 2002-2005
Prof. Purusottam Nayak 2005-2008
Prof. Biswambhar Mishra 2008-2011
Prof. Sudhanshu K. Mishra 2011-2014
Prof. Utpal Kumar De 2014-2017
Prof. Bhagirathi Panda 01.08.17-04.03.18
Prof. Biswambhar Mishra 05.03.18-Continuing

The Electronic Archive

The history of our Department is much richer than what is presented above. We are making efforts to reconstruct our history. We intend and plan to devise a system in order to store every page of this website and every relevant information regarding the Department and make an archive. The archive may in future provide the records that at the time would have gone into the glorious past.

A Group Photograph with the IV Semester Students of Batch 2012-14 (June 2014)
Front Row (from left): (1) Prof. UK De (2) Prof. B Panda (3) Prof. B Mishra (4) Dr. D Nongkynrih (5) Dr. D Das
(6) Ms. DSW Thankhiew (7) Ms. W Tariang (8) Dr. V Pala (9) Prof. SK Mishra (10) Prof. N Srivastav (11) Prof. P Nayak
Farewell to Prof. SK Mishra on Superannuation

From left: (1) Ms. W. Tariang (2) Prof. UK De (3) Mrs. SK Mishra (4) Prof. SK Mishra (5) Prof. B Mishra


Mrs. & Prof. Mishra with PG Students


Mrs. & Prof. Mishra with Research Scholars


Mrs. & Prof. Mishra with Faculty Members

Farewell to Mr. George J. Jyrwa on Superannuation



Journal of Alternative Economic Analysis

The Journal focuses on the research contributions to various upcoming approaches to analysis of the functioning of real-world economies in different countries. It welcomes original research articles/papers on agent-based computational, evolutionary, old (new) institutional, behavioral, ecological and environmental economics.

Quarterly Bulletin of the Department

The Department publishes a quarterly bulletin to publicize the research output of high quality emanating from the research work/activities of its faculty members and research scholars.
Current Research Work in the Department

A number of research topics, especially on the economy of the upland areas, are currently being investigated in the Department.
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