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.