The Department of Geography was established in 1924 to give only undergraduate courses in Geography. Gradually postgraduate courses were also started and in 1931 the Department produced the first batch of postgraduate students. In 1941, the Department produced the first Ph.D.
The late Prof. Sir L. Dudley Stamp, a renowned Geographer, remarked on his visit to India that, 'Aligarh is the Mecca of Indian Geography'-- in view of the notable contributions made by the Department in the field of teaching and research.
Main Areas of Academic Thrust:
*Agricultural Geography, *Population Geography, *Rural Geography *Environmental Geography, *Regional Development and Planning, *Social Geography, *Urban Geography, *Political Geography and Cartography, Remote Sensing and GIS.
The main thrust area of the Department is in the field of Agriculture and Population Geography as identified by the UGC by sanctioning SAP-DRS-II wherein the department has made some pioneering contributions during the last many decades. Researches have been conducted on some of the aspects of Agriculture mainly land utilization, food productivity, nutrition deficiency diseases, wastelands, dry land farming, new technology in agriculture, problems of irrigation, changing agricultural practices; and population geography namely, population growth, population and resource nexus, population structure, problem of food security.
Researches are also being conducted on relevant components in the fields: like Population Geography - problems, density, regions, work participation, fertility and mortality pattern, migration, socio-economic conditions, educational development, structure of employment, population resource region. Environmental Geography - land degradation, city problems, rural urban fringe problems, health problems, lake ecosystem, air and water pollution etc.; Urban Geography - urban morphology, encroachment, quality of life, urban influences, etc.; Rural Geography - rural development, IRDP, quality of life, rural environment, marketing geography, marketing system, periodic markets etc.; Regional Development and Planning - planning of backward areas, employment generation, flood prone areas, wasteland, etc. Besides, Ph.D. works are also being conducted in Tourism, Political and Social Geography.
The A.M.U. Geographical Society was formed on 27th March 1925. Since then the society is functioning to create interest in Geography among the students. Every year office bearers of the society are selected from the postgraduate students and various activities are held regularly.
The Department of Geography publishes a bi-annual (Jan & July) research journal- The Geographer ? a refereed journal of (ISSN: 0072-0909) International repute. The journal promotes the publication of research papers on diverse fields of Geography. The first issue came out in 1926. From then onwards, we have published the journal regularly.
The Department also has a Geographical Research Group to intensify research, to inculcate interest and to develop observational skills in Geography. The meetings are held regularly every fortnight. Teachers and students participate in these meetings. It is a forum for research students to present their doctoral works, the research papers and their findings and to defend it. Thorough discussions also take place.
The Departmental library contains one of the richest collections of Books and Journals of Geography. At present it has nearly 30,220 Books (reference and Texts Books) and 39 Journals (26 International and 13 national journals).
The Department has a fully equipped Cartography Lab, Computer Lab, GIS Lab. and a Survey Lab.