Geography as a university discipline got recognition in the early decades of the 19th century in the German universities and subsequently in the French and British universities.

During the period of evolution, geography, like all other sister social science disciplines, faced many philosophical and methodological problems. Geography did not develop as a well-regulated activity.

It followed a process of varying tensions in which tranquil periods, characterized by steady accretion of knowledge, are followed by crisis which can lead to upheaval within subject discipline and breaks in continuity. In each phase of tranquillity and crisis, geographical literature was and has been written with changing philosophies and methodologies; the philosophy and methodology being largely governed by the individual beliefs of the author, the political system, the social requirements of the people of the region and its economic institutions.

The last twenty-five years can be regarded as a period in which enormous geographical literature has been produced. This literature in the shape of books, research papers and monographs pertains to teaching, research, professional employment and pragmatic plans for the public and private bodies. Geography up to the Second World War, however, was regarded as a discipline providing general information about topography, relief features, weather, climate, mountains, rivers, routes, towns, cities and seaports.

Geography for most of the people was nothing but general knowledge. In the recent past, geographers have, however, adopted a new strategy in the restructuring of their courses and designed the syllabi around the theme of social welfare, making the subject the principal source of awareness of local surroundings, regional milieu, environmental pollution and world environment.

Geographers are venturing into the areas of environmental management and problems of pollution to make the social environment conducive for the proper development of individuals and societies. In order to achieve the welfare target, geographers are attacking social problems and exploring the causes of socio-economic backwardness, environmental pollution, and uneven levels of development in a given physical setting. Now, the main objective of geographical teaching and research is to train students in the analysis of phenomena, so that they can take up subsequently the problems of society as the fields of their research and investigation, thereby helping the local, state and national administration to overcome the regional and intra-regional problems.