Women's College, Calcutta

Women's College, Calcutta

P-29, Kshirode Vidyavinode Avenue,
Kolkata - 700003

Department of Political Science

About the Department

The Department of Political Science was introduced in the year 1962 and was gradually positioned in the year 1978 to host Honours in the subject. The department includes the Principal Dr. Mahua Das, Kakali Munshi (Ray), Ubhoybharati Acharya, Rakhi Banik, Archita Seal, and Sonam Diki Lama as faculty.

The department of Political Science at Women’s College aims to provide students with a conceptual foundation in the discipline and its various sub disciplines. The CBCS system under the University of Calcutta has been formulated so as to introduce the various aspects of the discipline to young minds helping them critically analyze the same.

The Undergraduate Programme entails 14 courses divided into the time period of six semesters or three years. Teaching these courses also includes citing advanced texts as suggested by the University not as substitutes but supplements. Apart from this, the faculty also teaches core courses to General students, Discipline Specific Electives (DSE) and Skill Enhancement Courses (SEC). The content of most of the courses engages students with the syllabus for competitive examinations and other fields with administrative duties.

The department aspires to nurture young minds into comprehend the socio-political milieu of the age, understand that politics with its interests and claims is inherently conflictual, this will help them make decisions about the truth and ideal for themselves. Nurturing this capability will contribute to reforms in public policy as well as the private space. The explanation, justification, and the common sense surrounding the political are given primary importance and the department focuses on the conceptual understanding of the students. These learning goals aspire to not just make students ready for a job-oriented life but also contribute to moulding an individual with awareness and understanding

Teaching Learning Resources and Facilities

This credit based system and the syllabus has facilitated an in-depth understanding of the discipline. The facilities used for teaching and learning are used to create images in the minds of students, these would include resources from white board to multimedia.

The departmental library and the UG library have an immense collection of books on Politics in Bengali as well as English. Apart from these the students have been provided access to rare books and other publications in the Undergraduate library, they can also access subscriptions of the Economic and Political Weekly and other journals.

The department also encourages the use of Newspapers, Magazines, and the Constitution of India which are all available through the library.

The students also have access to maps and atlantes on demand which are used for referencing for Global Politics and Comparative Politics. The department ensures that students have access to the same and also gives out sections of these books to be photocopied by the students.

These have been supplemented with access to electronic resources subscribed under the NLIST programme. Some of these journals and e-books are Economic and Political Weekly, JSTOR, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Springer, Sage Publications, Taylor and Francis, and the South Asian Archive.

The engagement with technology is deemed necessary and the students of the department also have access to the departmental laptop while presenting paper or seminars.

Classrooms are equipped with projectors and speakers to take smart classes. This has been particularly useful in engaging students with understanding maps and border issues, changing status and the conflicts associated with it.

E-learning has been helpful with use of laptops and projectors. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic this form of communication and teaching has reached a new level. Learning resources like video calls and Watsapp are easily accessed by the students and are used to send e-books, material, and other links. Video recordings through screen-castify in Chrome have helped those students who could not attend classes in real time.

Teaching Learning Method

Political Science has evolved as a discipline tremendously over the last few decades and with changing technology and perceptions the discipline is very dynamic. The changing nature and scope of the discipline has come to involve empirical studies while studying the various cause and effect phenomenon of various human relationships and the society as a whole. The CBCS system has introduced a child-centered curriculum. The department of Women’s College working with this curriculum focuses on the following basic processes and methods.

Inductive and Deductive Approaches. The department uses the Chalk-and-Talk method for discussions and explanations in the classrooms. This discussion uses inductive and deductive approaches to help students grasp the concepts. For example, the conceptual clarity regarding terms such as Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Freedom which form the basis of Political Theory.

Constructivist and Inter-disciplinary approaches. Constructivist approaches indicate learning by linking material to previously learnt ideas. This is further supported by interdisciplinary sources wherein students connect with other subjects through electives and Inter-Departmental lectures. For example, the History department with focus on the World Wars for International Relations.

  • Inclusion of Direct learning situations and activities. The department encourages student seminars, excursions, participation in NSS (National Service Scheme) and Srijan (A community welfare initiative). Faculty and students attend events like the Youth Parliament, Human Rights courses, and projects involving panchayat and other administration observation. The lived experiences, excursions, and observation are real time involvements that are more educative and help in rentention more than the chalk and talk method

Debate, Discussion, and Dramatization. Debate and disscussion about policies and opinions regarding the normative aspects of politics encourages in-depth analysis, helps to understand the logic behind policies and ideas. Dramatization of complicated processes helps in retention and understanding. For example, a mock election to understand the election of the President of India.

Current Affairs. The students are encouraged to accommodate current affairs especially for sub-disciplines like International Relations and Public Administration.

Projects, Report Writing, and Seminars. Students have the space to be creative with their projects, understanding selected topics thoroughly while conducting research on them. The projects and reports assist teaching as well as evaluating the degree of learning.

Online Teaching and Learning. In light of the Covid-19 situation the department has been conducting online classes since March 2020. Online classes have been supplemented with audio and video files. Youtube, Watsapp, and Gmail as platforms have been particularly helpful. The college has provided the faculty with official Google mails providing access to better usage of drive space and data which has helped in conducting online classes. The students have been very cooperative despite the effects of the pandemic and the devastating cyclone of 2020. Hence, the department has persevered in coming together to learn and grow.

 

Capacity Building and Students' Initiative

The department of Political Science has aspired to prepare students by focusing on a holistic development. Teaching learning facilities and the various methods aside the students are motivated to participate in all extracurricular activities provided by the college and also pursue opportunities and beyond. The students engage with professors from different departments, attend inter-departmental lectures while developing skills of management, reasoning, and problem solving.

 

Saheli Ghosh from the Department of Political Science  was felicitated for scoring the highest marks in Humanities from Women’s College in 2019.

 

The students actively participate in extra-curricular activities like cultural programs, sports, seminars, essay writing competitions, social work, presentations and projects. The students are motivated towards proactive learning and capability building where they take learning initiatives on their own. The lived experience and interest of each student is different and extra-curricular helps in overall character development.

Here are some photographs of the students and the various events that involve the students of the department. -

Career talk, 2019

 

Celebrating Teachers Day, 2019

 

Gender Sensitization Cell  with Dr. Ayantika Ghosh in Women’s College

Two day national day seminar on Rabindranath, Vivekananda, and the Asian Consciousness March, 2019

 

 

 

 

(i) The students and faculty in the National Service Scheme (NSS)         (ii) Lipika Giri from Political Science with the Champions Trophy 2019

 

Calcutta University Foundation Day, 24th January, 2019

 

Lastly, the department of Political Science has a good progression report of the students with good marks in the university examination as well as employment opportunities. The dynamic nature of the subject could place students in different fields like teaching, policy making, research, and political analysis. The department engages with the University of Calcutta and continuously evolves with the changing nature of the discipline. The idea is to create a space where we can discuss all things  political and critically analyse them together.

Faculty

Dr Mahua Das
Designation: Principal (on lien)
Qualification: M.A, MPhil, PhD
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Smt. Kakali Munshi
Designation: Associate Professor
Qualification: M.A, M.Phil
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Smt. Ubhoybharati Acharya Mukherjee
Designation: Assistant Professor
Qualification: M.A, M. Phil
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Smt. Rakhi Banik
Designation: Assistant Professor
Qualification: M.A, M. Phil
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Smt. Sonam Diki Lama
Designation: Assistant Professor
Qualification: M.A, M. Phil
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Smt Archita Seal
Designation: State Aided College Teacher
Qualification: M. A., B. Ed., M. Phil.
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