The Delhi School of Economics began in 1949 when a group of visionaries led by Professor V.K.R.V. Rao and supported by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, launched a project to create a centre for advanced studies in the social sciences. The School comprises the departments of economics, geography and sociology. The Department of Economics, recognized as a Centre for Advanced Study by the University Grants Commission, counts numerous outstanding individuals in its list of former faculty. They include Pranab Bardhan, Kaushik Basu, Jagdish Bhagwati, Sukhamoy Chakravarty, Bhaskar Dutta, Raj Krishna, A.L. Nagar, Prasanta Pattanaik, K.N. Raj, Amartya Sen (Nobel Laureate, 1998) and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to name just a few. Alumni of the department occupy important positions in Indian and foreign universities, research institutes, government bodies, international agencies, the media and the corporate sector.
The department continues to produce high quality academic research: in the last couple of years, faculty had publications in many ranking journals. We are currently ranked the highest in India (out of more than 70 institutions) by RePEc (Research Papers in Economics), a global electronic archive of working papers and publications in Economics and Finance (see http://ideas.repec.org/top/top.india.html). The department has also been associated with several important journals over the years. At present, it publishes the Indian Economic Review. Faculty members also continue to influence national debates and policy, through writings in popular journals, production of two well-regarded economic forecasts, and memberships of national committees.
The department's two year M.A. course, with its large student enrolment, is the mainstay of the teaching programme. It places emphasis on quantitative methods, state-of-the-art economics, and hands-on training in the use of econometric software. The department has been very successful in placing its Masters graduates in corporate jobs as well as in top Ph.D. programmes. The M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes are also highly regarded, and a completely revamped Ph.D. programme will commence in July 2009.
Complementing the other resources is the Ratan Tata Library, considered to be the best library for economics in the country. It has a total collection of over 300,000 books, subscribes to some 500 journals, annual reports of 800 joint-stock companies, and numerous publications of the UN and other international agencies.