History of Department of Economics
Economics had been a subject in the Faculty of Humanities when the University of Jaffna was established in 1974. Mr.S.Muththuthampy had been transferred from Jaffna College to the University of Jaffna to teach economics. The Department of Economics was established in 1976, under the Faculty of Humanities then, and now it is under the Faculty of Arts. At that time, there was neither a proper Head of the person in change nor a departmental room. Department had very poor facilities. Mr.N.Perinpanathan (retired staff) and Mr. S.Ananthanadarasa (Resigned in a short period) fresh graduates from the University of Peradeniya had joined the Department of Economics on 24th of April 1975. Mr.V.P.Sivanathan ( Retired Professor) has been appointed on 22nd of February 1977. Both, Prof V.P.Sivanathan and Mr.N.Perinpanathan undertook the early challenge of establishing the curriculum for general and special degrees of economics and imprinting the formal beginning of the discipline of economics in the University of Jaffna.
Dr.K.Indrapala, Dean of Faculty and Professor of History was the acting Head of the Department until he left on Study leave to Japan in June 1976. Prof.K.Kailasanatha Kurukkal, the new Co-Dean, and Professor of Hindu Civilization looked after the interests of the Department, Until Prof.W.L.Jeyasingam, Head of the Department of Geography was appointed Co-ordinating Head of the Department of Economics.
The Teachers of the Department of Economics and representatives of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics had been functioning as a Departmental Committee. In 1977, the title of the Department of Economics had changed, and functioned under the title of Economics and Commerce, until 1983, when the Department of Commerce and Management Studies was Separated. Prof N.Balakishnan had appointed Head of Department during 1978-1980, 1982-1984, 1991-1993, and 1995-1997.
Prof.S.Rajaratnam was appointed as permanent Head of the Department during 1980-1981 and he had been in this post for nearly two years until he left on Sabbatical Leave.
Prof.N.Balakrishnan was the Head until he was elected to the post of Dean/Arts in July 1984. Thereafter Prof .V.Nithiyananthan carried out the duties of the Head, while he was the Head of the newly created Department of Commerce and Management Studies. He resigned from the post of Head / Commerce and Management Studies to accept the appointment of Head / Economics.
Prof.N.Balakrishnan was consecutively elected as Dean/Arts twice and become the first rector of Vavuniya Campus of the University of Jaffna. . Dr.V.Nithiyananthan was the Head / Economics for two terms until such time he was appointed to the post of Professor of Agricultural Economics and left the Department on transfer on 02nd of May 1990 to Faculty of Agriculture of University of Jaffna to accept the appointment.
Thereafter Ds.S.K.S.Nathan was appointed as the Head / Economics and he had continued for 3 Years. In May 1993, Prof. N.Balakrishnan was appointed as the Head, Until such time he was appointed as Rector of the Vavuniya Campus on 12.01.1997. Thereafter Prof.V.P.Sivanathan was appointed as the Head of the department for two terms from 1998 to 2004.
Thereafter, Mr.N.Perinpanathan was assigned as the head from 2004 to 2005. Then Prof.V.Nithiyananthan carried out his duty as the head of the department from 2005 to 2006. Then, Mr.N.Perinpanathan was appointed as the head of the department from 2006 to 2009. After that, Prof.V.P.Sivanathan was the head from 2009 to 2010. Again Mr.N.Perinpanathan was appointed as the head of the department from 2010 to 2012. And also Prof C.Elankumaran was appointed as acting head of the department for nine-month from 2012 to 2013. after that Mr.N.Perinpanathan was head of the department in 2013. Then, Mr.S.S Uthayakumar carried out his duty as the head of the department of economics from 1st of August 2013 to 31st of October 2016. Thereafter, Vijitha Ravishankar was assigned as the head of the department from 01st of November 2016 to 31st of January 2020. Thereafter Prof. S.Santhiraegaram was appointed as Head of the Department of Economics and continues till today.
The Department offers a four – Year Special and Three-Year General Degree courses leading to Bachelor of Arts. The Degree of Bachelor of Commerce was awarded from the academic year 1977-1983 by the Department of Economics, until such time the Department of Commerce and Management Studies was created. From 1983 to date the Department has been rendering its services to the Department of Commerce and Department of Management Studies in taking lectures and conducting examinations for the Students.
The Department awarded Special and General Degree in three disciplines as Economics, Sociology and Political Science. Until such time the Department of Political Science and Sociology was separated in July 1998. After the Separation of the Department of Political Science and Sociology, the Department provides courses only in Economics for Special Degree and General Degree.