The Department was established in 2012 with a postgraduate programme in Environment and Social Development. In 2016, the Department introduced BSc in Environmental Sciences and BA in Environmental Studies.
The fact that environmental studies is multidisciplinary in nature and is intricately woven into the lives of tribal and indigenous people has led to special importance being accorded to traditional knowledge, culture and environment, and folklore.
The Department has also been engaging in the documentation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo traditional medicine. To this end, it has been able to build an active networking with the traditional healers’ community. The Department was also instrumental in drafting the Khasi Hills Autonomous District (Protection and Promotion of Khasi Traditional Medicine) Act, 2011 of the Khasi Hills District Autonomous Council, Meghalaya.
At present the Department is focused on undertaking studies and research work in the field of surface archaeology, speleology, paleontology, waste management, and land reclamation and traditional knowledge in weather forecasting, biodiversity conservation. These research areas were selected with the objective of heritage conservation.
The Department presently offers Master of Science in Environmental Sciences (MSc ES) in both general and specialisation courses