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Establishment and Evolution

Founded in 1972, the Department of Political Science at Government College Kottayam has grown significantly since its inception. Initially, the department offered Pre-Degree and Undergraduate courses. Over the years, it has expanded its academic horizons, now offering a comprehensive set of programmes including Undergraduate (UG), Postgraduate (PG), and Doctoral (Ph.D.) courses in Political Science. This evolution reflects the department's commitment to adapting to the changing educational scenario and meeting the needs of its students and the larger society.

The department has been at the forefront of knowledge production and diffusion in political science, contributing to the academic community through research, publications, and conferences. Faculty members publish in national and international journals, addressing contemporary political issues and debates. The department's focus areas, such as political theory, human rights, public administration, and international relations, ensure a broad and dynamic research agenda. Research projects often explore critical issues like the politics of climate change, global risks, intellectual property rights, and gender and politics, reflecting the department's interdisciplinary approach.

A core mission of the department is to empower women and underprivileged sections of society. The department actively promotes inclusive education, ensuring that students from diverse backgrounds, including marginalized and economically disadvantaged communities, have access to quality education. Special initiatives of the government of Kerala, such as scholarships, financial aid, and outreach programs, support these students. The department's focus on environmental studies, gender studies and human rights underscores its commitment to addressing issues of inequality and social justice. By creating an inclusive and supportive learning environment, the department empowers women and underprivileged students to achieve their academic and professional goals.

1. PROGRAMMES

Academic Programs and Curriculum

The academic offerings of the department are designed to provide a well-rounded education in Political Science and allied areas. Currently, the flagship program is the four-year UG (Honours with Research) in Political Science. This program is distinguished by its outcome-based education model, which emphasizes practical learning, skilling, and employability. The department embraces an interdisciplinary approach to education and research, recognizing that complex political phenomena often intersect with various other fields of study. Courses are designed to include content from various fields, and research projects often involve collaboration with other departments and institutions. This orientation enriches the academic environment and broadens the scope of inquiry for both students and faculty.

Undergraduate Program: B.A. (Hons) in Political Science

Students have Three option to select their degree

  1. Three Year Degree (Normal Degree)
  2. Four Year Degree (Honours)
  3. Four Year Degree (Honours with Research)

The four-year undergraduate honours programme in Political Science is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of political systems, theories, and processes. Key features of the program include:

Outcome-Based Education: Emphasizes practical learning and the application of knowledge.

Multiple Entry and Exit Points: Offers flexibility for students to enter and exit the program at different stages based on their career goals.

Skilling and Employability: Includes components that enhance students' skills and improve their job prospects.

Practical Learning: Incorporates internships, fieldwork, and practical assignments to give students hands-on experience in political science.

Students will study a range of subjects including political theory, human rights, public administration, international relations, research methodology, comparative politics, political thought, Indian politics, Kerala politics, global governance, international organizations, and the politics of space.

Postgraduate Program: M.A. in Political Science

The Master of Arts in Political Science is usually a two-year postgraduate programme aimed at providing advanced knowledge and analytical skills in political science. The program covers a broad spectrum of topics, allowing students to delve deeper into specific areas of interest.

The one-year Master of Arts in Political Science will be a continuation of the four-year undergraduate (UG) program, creating a seamless academic progression for students. This integrated approach ensures that students build on the foundational knowledge and skills acquired during their undergraduate studies and transition smoothly into advanced learning and specialization. Key components include:

Advanced Theoretical Frameworks: In-depth study of political theory and thought.

Research Methodology: Training in both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Specialization Areas: Opportunities to specialize in areas such as political theory, human rights, public administration, international relations, comparative politics, and more.

Research Projects: Students undertake independent research projects, enhancing their ability to conduct scholarly research.

This program prepares students for careers in academia, research, public policy, and various governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Doctoral Program: Ph.D. in Political Science

The Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science is a research-intensive program designed for those who wish to pursue academic or high-level professional careers. The program typically spans three to five years and involves rigorous research under the supervision of experienced faculty members. Key features include:

Original Research: Students are expected to contribute original research to the field of political science.

Comprehensive Examination: A thorough examination process to ensure depth of knowledge and research capabilities.

Dissertation: Completion of a dissertation that makes a significant contribution to the field.

Specialization: Opportunities to specialize in diverse areas such as political theory, international relations, public administration, comparative politics, Indian and Kerala politics, global governance, international organizations, and the politics of space.

Ph.D. candidates engage in seminars, workshops, and conferences, often presenting their research and gaining valuable feedback from peers and experts.

Each program is designed to equip students with the necessary theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and research capabilities to excel in various professional and academic fields within the realm of political science.

2. FACULTY

The Department of Political Science is staffed by a group of eight faculty members, each bringing a wealth of knowledge, vast amount of teaching experience and research expertise to the institution. Most faculty members hold Ph.D. degrees and have extensive research backgrounds, enabling them to provide high-quality education and mentorship to students. Their collective expertise spans a wide range of political science subfields, ensuring comprehensive coverage of the discipline. This diversity in expertise allows for a rich academic environment where students can explore various dimensions of political science, from theoretical frameworks to practical applications. The faculty's collective expertise covers a wide range of teaching and research areas, including:

  1. Political Theory: Exploring fundamental questions about politics, governance, and the nature of political authority.
  2. Human Rights: Examining the theory and practice of human rights, including issues of justice, equality, and international human rights law.
  3. Public Administration: Studying the organization, management, and implementation of public policies and programs.
  4. International Relations: Analysing the interactions between countries and the factors that influence global politics.
  5. Research Methodology: Teaching the methods and techniques used in political science research, including both qualitative and quantitative approaches.
  6. Comparative Politics: Comparing political systems, institutions, and processes across different countries.
  7. Political Thought: Investigating the ideas and philosophies that have shaped political theory and practice over time.
  8. Indian Politics: Focusing on the political system, constitution, processes, and issues specific to India.
  9. Kerala Politics: Examining the unique political development and issues pertinent to the state of Kerala.
  10. Global Governance: Studying the institutions, policies, and processes that govern global issues and international cooperation.
  11. International Organisations: Analysing the role and impact of international organizations such as the United Nations and various multilateral and regional organisations
  12. Politics of Climate Change: Investigating the political dimensions and implications of climate change policies and actions.
  13. Global Risks: Analysing global risks such as pandemics, terrorism, and economic crises and their political impacts.
  14. Intellectual Property Rights: Examining the political and legal issues surrounding intellectual property rights and their global implications.
  15. Gender and Politics: Studying the intersection of gender and politics, including issues of representation, policy, and gender-based discrimination.

4. RESEARCH

Ph.D. Programme Structure

The Ph.D. programme in Political Science at Government College Kottayam is designed to cultivate advanced research skills and foster independent scholarly inquiry. Typically spanning three to five years, the program involves rigorous coursework, comprehensive examinations, and the completion of a dissertation/thesis that contributes original knowledge to the field. Ph.D. candidates are required to engage in extensive literature reviews, formulate research questions, and employ appropriate methodologies to address their research problems. The programme emphasizes the development of critical thinking, analytical skills, and the ability to conduct high-quality research, preparing graduates for careers in academia, research institutions, and policy-making bodies.

Research Areas and Specializations

The department's research areas are diverse and interdisciplinary, reflecting the dynamic nature of political science. Faculty members and Ph.D. candidates engage in research across a broad spectrum of topics, including but not limited to political theory, human rights, public administration, international relations, and comparative politics. Specific areas of focus also include the politics of climate change, global risks, intellectual property rights, gender and politics, global governance, and the politics of space. This wide array of research areas allows the department to address contemporary political challenges and contribute to the development of new theories and practical solutions.

Academic Contributions and Impact

The research conducted by the faculty and Ph.D. students significantly contributes to the academic community and broader society. Through publications in national and international journals, conference presentations, and collaborative projects, the department actively participates in the global discourse on political science. The research outputs not only advance academic knowledge but also inform public policy and practice. The department's commitment to addressing critical issues such as environmental sustainability, gender equality, and global security highlights its role in fostering a deeper understanding of the complex political landscape and promoting positive societal change.

4. ACTIVITIES

Academic Activities and Community Engagement

The department is known for its active academic culture, regularly organizing conferences, seminars, and guest lectures. These events serve as platforms for intellectual exchange and provide students with exposure to contemporary debates and developments in Political Science. Notable activities include:

  • Conferences: Hosting national and international conferences that bring together scholars, practitioners, and students to discuss and debate key issues in Political Science.
  • Seminars: Conducting seminars on a wide range of topics, allowing for in-depth exploration of specific areas of interest.
  • Guest Lectures: Inviting eminent scholars, policymakers, and practitioners to share their insights and experiences with students.

In addition to its academic pursuits, the department is deeply committed to social responsibility. It actively caters to the educational needs of marginalized and underprivileged sections of society, ensuring that quality education is accessible to all. This commitment is reflected in initiatives such as:

  • Outreach Programs: Conducting outreach programs to engage with and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Scholarships and Financial Aid: Providing financial assistance to students in need, helping to remove economic barriers to education.
  • Community Engagement: Involving students in community service projects and social initiatives, fostering a sense of civic responsibility and social justice.

Student Demographics and Outreach

The student body of the Department of Political Science is diverse, with individuals from various social and economic backgrounds across the districts of Kerala and the Union Territory of Lakshadweep. This diversity enriches the learning environment, promoting a culture of inclusivity and mutual respect. The department's outreach efforts ensure that it remains accessible to a broad spectrum of students, including those from rural and underserved areas.

The Department of Political Science at Government College Kottayam stands out for its comprehensive and inclusive approach to education. With a strong emphasis on research, practical learning, and community engagement, the department not only contributes to the academic development of its students but also to their holistic growth and societal contribution. Through its diverse academic programs, dedicated faculty, and commitment to social responsibility, the department continues to play a key role in shaping the next generation of political scientists and informed citizens.

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