Professor J.C. Ghosh, the first director of the institute started the chemistry department in 1952. Ever since the inception, the department has established a tradition of excellence in education and research in the arena of chemistry in the country. With its multifaceted research activities and excellent facilities, the department provides one of the best academic environments in the nation.
The department has focused its research activities on basic and contemporary areas of chemistry, relevant to the society. The major research fields encompass interdisciplinary areas such as bioinorganic, bioorganic, biophysical, computational, material, nanomaterial, organometallic, polymer, solid-state, and theoretical chemistry in addition to the traditional divisions i.e. inorganic, organic and physical chemistry.
The department presently has 29 faculty members. The current strength of the Ph.D. scholars of the department is over 140 and that of the master students is about 150. The department publishes over 150 research articles per year in the peer reviewed top journals. In the year 2011, the Department of Science and Technology (DST), New Delhi has recognized the department as one of the top six chemistry departments of the country.