History of the department : The introduction of Postgraduate Courses in Applied Sciences was felt to be a basic essential for an integrated approach to the teaching of science in the University of Calcutta as early as 1913 by Sir Rash Behari Ghosh, one of the brightest luminaries and eminent jurist of his time. On August 8, 1913, Sir R. B. Ghosh wrote a letter to Sir Asutosh Mookerjee placing in the heads of the University his munificent gift of rupees ten lakhs for the promotion of Science, Pure and Applied. A few years later in 1919, Sir R. B. Ghosh addressed another letter to then Vice-Chancellor, Sir Niliratan Sircar, placing at the disposal of the University of Calcutta another princely gift of the sum of rupees eleven lakhs and forty-three thousand, to be utilized exclusively for the purpose of technological instruction and research.
This princely fit was thankfully accepted by the Senate at its meeting held on January 3, 1920. While moving the resolution on the acceptance of the gift, Sir Asutosh Mookerjee said : Logic and eloquence are equally superficial to justify the acceptance of a truly munificent offer. It would be inappropriate in the highest degree if I, his pupil, were to use language with regard to my revered Master, which might bear the semblance even of patronizing commendation of his great achievement as the foremost benefactor of our University. To us all, it is a source of infinity joy that by the liberality of Sir Rash Behari Ghosh we are placed in a position to take one decisive step forward towards the accomplishment of what has been our avowed purpose for many years past, viz, the establishment of a University College of Science and Technology.
Encouraged by this donation of Sir R. B. Ghosh, Sir N. R. Sircar, the then Vice-Chancellor and Sir Asutosh Mookerjee, president of the Councils of the Postgraduate Studies in Arts and Science, resolved to give shape to the idea of Applied Sciences and paved the way of foundation of the Department of Applied Physics in 1925. According to the conditions of the gift two new University Professorships or Chairs were established for the Department of Applied Sciences to be started of which one went to the Department of Applied Physics. Four additional scholarships were established; two such scholarships were to be attached to each of the professors. The Chairs mentioned above, must always be filled by Indians. The Postgraduate Course in Applied Physics, thus initiated in 1925, under the Faculty of Science.
Even though the-Postgraduate-Course in Applied Physics was introduced as early as 1925, a separate Department of Applied Physics with its own Board of Higher Studies was created only in 1930.
It was in 1934 that a generous donation came from the Kanodia Trust of Calcutta for the development of the department. According to the conditions of the gift this donation was utilized for setting up an Electrical Communication Engineering laboratory in the Department of Applied Physics. The Electrical Communication division was however separated out in 1951 to form a new Department of Radio Physics and Electronics.
From 1925 to 1952, two year M. Sc. degree was offered from Applied Physics. In 1953, it was renamed as M.Sc. (Tech.) in Applied Physics with Specialization in Measurement & Instrumentation and Electrical Machine & Power System. From 1959, Applied Physics started offering three year M. Tech. with same specializations as with M.Sc. (Tech.). Three year Post B. Sc. B. Tech. course in Applied Physics commenced from 1969 in Measurement & Instrumentation and Electrical Machine & Power System. From 1989, Applied Physics started offering three year B. Tech. in Instrumentation Engineering and Electrical Engineering. Three year Post B. Sc. B. Tech. Tech. in Instrumentation Engineering was set off from 1994 and lastly from 2015 onwards, four year eight semestr B. Tech. in Electrical Engineering has been initiated.