Founded in 1949, the department of politics was renamed as Department of Politics and Public Administration in 1956 at the hands of the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri. Yashwantrao Chavan. In 2008 the Department was upgraded by the UGC as Center for Advanced Studies (CAS) with a mandate to study Indian Politics. The thrust area was State and Democracy in India in the global context. After a successful completion of phase I the UGC granted CAS (phase II) to the Department in 2015.
Studies in the areas of Indian politics and political thinking in India constitute a major part of the department’s research work. During the sixties, Prof. V.M. Sirsikar joined other political scientists in the country to undertake Election Studies. Prof. N.R. Inamdar and later on Prof. Kshire focused on institutional designs and issues related to public administration. During the eighties Prof. Y.D. Phadke developed a perspective for study of Maharashtra’s political history. Prof. Ram Bapat, in his long career in the department enriched an interdisciplinary perspective. Prof. Gopal Guru initiated critical Dalit Studies. During the nineties, Prof. Rajendra Vora set the agenda of Maharashtra studies in terms of study of political thinking, political economy and electoral and mobilizational politics in Maharashtra. Studies on comparative state politics, migration study and masculinity studies are some of the emerging areas of research in the department.
The most notable feature of the research work of the department is the close and constant association of students and college teachers in research activities. The Department has always maintained links with college teachers and other post-graduate centers. Research work of the department shows awareness towards study of regional political realities in order to develop generalizations on the basis of these realities. The faculty members of the Department have consciously worked to develop the discipline of Political Science in Maharashtra and its terminology in Marathi.
The active role of the department was first recognized by the UGC in 1982 when it identified the Department for the University Leadership Programme. Since then, during the last more than 25 years the Department successfully conducted various phases of the Special Assistance Programme of the UGC.