The department of Humanities and Social Sciences was founded in 1958. At present, the department has five disciplines, namely, Economics, English, Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology. Its faculty offers a wide spectrum of courses at the B.Tech, M.Tech, M.Phil. and Ph.D. levels. The Humanities and Social Sciences department plays a unique and distinctive role in an institute where the ethos of science and technology prevails. It is believed that engineering and the sciences are, by their very nature, humanistic and socially derived enterprises. Hence, a holistic science and technology education necessitates the inclusion of the study of the liberal arts, economics, and the social and behavioral sciences so that the application of the sciences for the improvement of the quality of life is informed by an awareness of humanitarian and social concerns.
The undergraduate courses taught by the department faculty are aimed at familiarizing the students of science and technology studies with the broader social, cultural, economic, ethical and humane concerns underlying social change. The advanced courses offered at the PG level aim at cultivating critical thinking and enhancing the analytical capabilities of students engaged exclusively with the study of these concerns. In addition to the carefully designed undergraduate and postgraduate courses, the department offers excellent opportunities and facilities for the pursuit of research and development. At present, about fifty research scholars are working towards their Ph.D. degree. About ninety students of this department have already received their Ph. D. degrees in Economics, English, Psychology, Philosophy and Sociology, and are well placed in their careers as academicians and professionals. The department faculty also guides B.Tech., M.Tech., and M.Des. projects offered by the engineering departments and other inter-disciplinary centres.
Since 1973, the department has been running the Ph.D. programme in all the five disciplines with an emphasis on inter-disciplinary topics. In July 1993, the department launched a four-semester interdisciplinary M.Phil. programme in Planning and Development at the postgraduate level. The programme, with its theoretico-practical thrust, provides the students with a holistic understanding of contemporary socio-economic realities and the role of technology in sustainable development. Apart from the facilities made available to all students at the institute-level, at the department-level, the students have access to the resources available in the department Library and Computer Labs. The department also possesses a well-equipped Language Laboratory and a Psychology Laboratory. For the fulfillment of its teaching and research goals, the department has competent faculty members who keep pace with the current developments in their fields of specialization.