Prof. Mahalanobis believed that a symbiotic relationship among statistics and other disciplines of science is mutually beneficial. This idea received strong support from the stalwarts like Sir Ronald Fisher and Prof. J. B. S. Haldane, who were closely associated with the Institute. In persuasion to that Dr. Pamela Lamplugh Robinson (Lecturer in Palaeontology, University College, London) was invited to visit the Institute. This was followed by the establishment of the Geological Studies Unit in 1957.

Since its inception Geological Studies Unit (GSU) carries out teaching and research in tectonics, structural geology, sedimentation processes and patterns, geochemistry, geohydology, palaeo-biodiversity and biotic evolution with the aim to reconstruct the geological history and palaeo-climate. The unit has made significant contributions towards the stratigraphy and palaeontology (verteberate and invetebtrate) of India. The unit maintains a nationally and internationally acclaimed museum with a mounted skeleton of a sauropod dinosaur and many other rare exhibits.

Statistics has been used as a significant technology to work out the research projects. The Unit also carries out teaching programmes on geology for the Bachelor of Statistics students and Ph.D. programmes on the domains of earth sciences mentioned above. GSU also trains students and professionals from other Universities/ Institutes, Government Organizations and Industry.

The scientists of this Unit are involved in active collaborative research, both at national and international level.