The Department was established in the G. R. Medical College on 1-8-49 as the department of Hygiene and Public Health. Dr. B. N. Kolekar then Deputy Director of Health Services, Madhya Bharat was appointed as a part-time lecturer in this department. Classes were started and taken in the Clinical Lecture theatre. Three lectures were delivered per week besides giving 36 field demonstrations during the course. Later in the year a scheme for expansion of the department, initiating a Public Health Laboratory for analysis of food and water besides opening of D.P.H. classes was submitted and expansion of the existing college building was proposed to establish a separate department till then a room adjacent to the medical college library was allotted for running the department .
A library in the department was initiated from the beginning and a department museum was also started. A preliminary health survey of the village Panihar was done by the staff of the department in early years. In 1952, B.C.G. immunisation programme was started by the department. The B.C.G. team carried out this work in the whole state of Madhya Bharat besides the statewide small pox vaccination programme. In the year 1953 Dr. Kolekar,who attended the first International Planned parenthood conference at Bombay, was appointed Professor in the department. By 1954, the name of the department was changed to that of Preventive and Social Medicine Department. In the same year a course of Sanitary Inspectors training was also started. A sanitarian Mr. H. Street was deputed by the W.H.O. to assist in the field demonstration to the Sanitary Inspectors specially for the construction of sanitary latrines in the rural areas. On the retirement of Dr. B. N. Kolekar, he was succeeded by Dr. S. L. Dubey in 1960.