Head: Prof. Sunil Kumar De
Prof. Sunil Kumar De, Head
Department of Geography,
North-Eastern Hill University Shillong-22
The Department of Geography, under School of Human and Environmental Sciences started in June 1976 by Prof. R. C. Sharma who was appointed as the Head of the Department and the Dean of the School. Under his able leadership, the department offered M.A./M.Sc. and M.Phil./Ph.D. Programmes with just two lecturers. Subsequently, to overcome the difficulties of space and equipment, the newly established department was housed in Mayurbhanj Complex in August 1977. In the year 1979, within a short span of two years, the composition of the department had changed considerably to include seven faculty members (one Professor, two Readers and four Lecturers) and eight non-teaching staffs (both technical and secretarial).
The present composition of the faculty members includes five Professors, two Associate Professors and two Assistant Professors. In light of the great diversity of specialisation that Geography has branched into many fields and sub-fields lately the faculty strength remains inadequate and proves to be a major constraint in teaching and research activities. Current approved strength is 13 positions, nine filled-up, and four vacant.
The department, apart from its usual teaching programme, organized some lectures delivered by very eminent geographers drawn from various universities in the country. The long standing collaborative research programme with the Polish Academy of Sciences on ‘Impact of extreme rainfall and human activity on soil properties and water resources in Northeast India (Phase I)’ was completed in this year with the exchange of scientists between the two departments. The Department expects to continue the collaboration for another three years. The department also collaborates with Kagawa University, Japan where the stress is laid on ‘the distribution and nature of heavy rainfall in the southern parts of Meghalaya’. The department organized National level Seminars and a few workshops during the year. The faculty remained active in publication of books and research papers in a number of refereed national journals as well as under book chapters. Most of the faculty members attended and presented research papers in National and International conferences. There were a few Post-doc candidates awarded with ICSSR fellowships attached to the Department. The department receives additional grants from UGC under SAP and from DST under FIST.