In conformity with the all-India character of the Department as a Centre of Advanced Study, it admits students to its post-graduate and research courses from all over the country. This includes a fair number of students from the north-east. Additionally, a few foreign students are admitted to its Masters and research courses. A vibrant intellectual environment, encompassing both teachers and students, was painstakingly cultivated by the founding generation of the faculty. This is manifested in several ways that make the Department unique. All teachers, irrespective of their status as Professors, Readers, and Lecturers participate in the academic programs as well as administrative work in the Department through a system of committees. Teaching is equally distributed among all members of the faculty. All of them, including Professors, take tutorials. The Department has a coordinated programme of teaching and research covering a variety of fields, including some developed for the first time in the country.
The Department has been visited by a large number of distinguished scholars from India and abroad, who have delivered lectures and given seminars, some of them as Visiting Professors and Fellows. The faculty of the Department has also been associated with many institutions in India and elsewhere as Visiting Professors and Fellows, and as participants in seminars and conferences. Various members of the Department are members of distinguished professional bodies. They are actively associated with the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and the UGC.
Since 1994-95 a system of continuous internal evaluation has been introduced, where the marks of one tutorial essay submitted in each course are counted towards the final examination. As attendance at post-graduate lectures is optional, in conformity with university guidelines, to ensure academic rigour by introducing CIE, for which attendance is compulsory. Twenty-five percent of the marks secured by a student in each of the 16 courses studied during the two-year span are based on performance in tutorial assignments. The annual examination in each course carries 75 marks.
The Department has introduced a system of individual advisors for students admitted under the reserved categories. The system is entirely voluntary on the part of both students and teachers. The advisor helps the student by providing individual guidance on books to read, correction of written work, etc.