Punjabi University was set up in 1962. Its main objectives being to promote Punjabi Language as also history and culture of the Punjab. It is to meet this prime objective that Department of Punjab Historical Studies was set up in 1965 under the stewardship of Dr. Ganda Singh.But promotion of any academic discipline depends on simultaneous taking of research and teaching. It was to meet the requirements in teaching that a separate Department of History was set up in 1967. Conjointly headed by Dr Fauja Singh, both the departments set a tone in research and teaching respectively. Fauja Singh was succeeded by Dr. S.S. Bal, who was later elevated to be the Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. Subsequently the Department was headed by Dr. A.C. Arora, Dr. Y.P. Bajaj, Dr. S.K. Bajaj, and Dr. D.S. Dhillon. At present it is being headed by Dr. Shiv Kumar Gupta. The Department was oriented towards innovations in the teaching of history at post-graduate level and for research at M.Phil and Ph.D. levels. Faculty specializations cover all fields of Indian History consequently span of research is also very extensive.
The work in this area includes structure and change in Medieval Indian Society, the administrative structure and authority system in medieval India , agrarian developments, growth of trade and commerce and art and architecture. A special feature is on the study of Medieval Indian Institutions.
The perspective on Modern History is in relation to the study of colonialism, imperialism and industrialisation. A major interest centres on study of constitutional development , Socio- religious reform movements,workers and peasants associated with nationalism in context of their social, economic and political aspirations. Special emphasis being on study of National Movement in view of the colonial experience. Non Indian History It is to infuse global perspective among the students that two papers have been introduced on World History. The importance of World History is not merely to fill information gaps but also to draw upon subjects with a coherent and well developed historiography.
In fulfilment of the objectives of the Punjabi University, the department has been laying special emphasis on the study of history and culture of the Punjab by introducing one compulsory paper each at M.A. -I and M.A.-II levels as also by encouraging research in this area. Emphasis is also on the study of socio-economic and culturel history of Medieval and Modern Indian history as also National Movement.A special paper on History , its Theory and Methodology has also been introduced to create a base for research among scholars.
The department has Computer facility waiting to be connected with inter-net soon. A wide range of rare and latest books available on history in the Central University library including Dr. Ganda Singh & Dr. Fauja Singh collections.