School of Social Sciences
Department of Economics
UGC-SAP Sponsored Department
The Department of Economics was one of the first departments to be constituted at Tiruchirappalli during the period of the erstwhile Autonomous Post Graduate Centre of the University of Madras more than five decades ago and in 1982 when the Autonomous Centre evolved into Bharathidasan University, the Department of Economics was annexed to it. The Department was headed by pioneers such as Prof.S.Neelakantan (who did post-doctoral work with Douglas C.North, Nobel Prize winner in Economics and he later became the Director of Madras Institute of Development Studies), Prof.V.B.Athreya (who after his B.Tech. in IIT Madras, did P.G. and Ph.D. works in Wisconsin University, USA), and Prof.C.Thangamuthu (who later became the Vice-Chancellor of Bharathidasan University), followed by Dr.S.Lakshmi, Dr.S.Iyyampillai, Dr.J.A.ArulChellakumar, and Dr.L.Ganesan. Presently Dr.J.A.ArulChellakumar heads the Department with Dr.L.Ganesan, Dr.S.Ganesan, Dr.N.Prasanna, Dr.K.Vetrivel and Dr.P.Natarajamurthy as full-time faculty members. It is pertinent to note that the Department of Economics was instrumental in branching out and evolving two Departments, viz., Department of Women’s Studies and Department of Environmental Management. Under the new academic setup, the Department comes under the Faculty of Arts in the School of Social Sciences.
The Department of Economics has always been in the forefront in carrying out research and extension activities at the grass root and pivotal levels. The Department has received research projects in several diversified fields like Problems in Common Property Resources, Evaluation of Hunger Free Area Programme, Analysis of Patterns of Resource Flows, Economic Aspects of Rural Areas, Household Energy with Special Reference to Bio Gas Plants, Post-Harvest Technology, Economic and Environmental aspects of Rural Water Supply in Tamil Nadu, Economic Approach to Industrial Pollution Control &Capacity Building Programme in Environmental Economics, Women Entrepreneurs in Micro Enterprises, Impact of Micro Financing on Women, Impact of Globalization on Cotton Knitwear Industry, Impact of National Employment Guarantee Programme in Tamil Nadu, Impact of Air Pollution by Cement Industries on the Agricultural Yield, Growth & Diversification Patterns in Small Scale Processed spices products Industry. The Department has also played leading roles in providing consultancy to several Governmental organisations, the latest of them being in the preparation of the District Human Development Report for three Districts and Perspective Plans for 13 Blocks in Tamil Nadu. The Department has also played a crucial role in developing the curriculum and books for Economics education at the school level in Tamil Nadu.