The Department of Economics is one of the few departments in the country which have been designated as Centres for Advanced Studies (CAS) by the UGC. It is one of the pioneer departments of the university established in the year 1963 and its research unit, Centre for Research in Economic Change (CREC), was established in 1973. In recognition of its contribution to teaching and research, the department was awarded DSA in 1977 by the UGC and later upgraded to DSA (Phase-IV). In 2010, the UGC has granted CAS-I status to the Department by sanctioning 98.25 lakhs for the next five years. Besides, the department has been able to generate Rs. 90 lakh from other agencies by way of commissioned projects and Rs. 17 lakhs from the Punjabi University, Patiala.
The department is serving a wide array of courses that include M.A. Honor School (5 year integrated course) with effect from 2014-15, M.A. (Business Economics), M.Phil. and Ph.D. courses. In addition to research projects, the Department and the CREC are actively involved in research consultancy for the government, corporate world and other agencies. The research done at the Department and the CREC has a significant impact on wide ranging socio-economic issues. The Department along with the CREC is proud of organizing 10 International Conferences in the last five years and 51st Annual Conference of 'The Indian Econometric Society Conference' in December 2014.