Department of Ophthalmology came into existence in J. N. Medical College, in 1967, as a part of undergraduate curriculum. Dr. T. S. Veerappa, Professor of Ophthalmology, as the first Head of the department, has been responsible for the development of curriculum and clinical services right from its inception .Subsequently Prof. H. Sree Ranganath and Prof. Nagaral, contributed significantly in framing the objectives and directions for the improvement. Dr. R. K. Dandur, played a key role in the development of PG Programme.

The Postgraduate courses were started – Diploma in Ophthalmology in 1982 & M.S. Ophthalmology in 1987. Presently the Department has recognition for intake of 5 M.S. and 10 Diploma candidates by the MCI. In addition the Department helps in conducting allied courses such as BPT and  B. Sc Optometry & M.Sc Nursing . The department provides excellent clinical facilities in the Ultra modern hi-tech KLES Dr. Prabhakar Kore Hospital & Medical Research Centre, Belgaum. The operation theatres are equipped with Carl Zeiss Operating Microscopes,  Alcon Constellation Vitreo Retinal Operating System, Alcon Laser System and CCTV Camera for the benefit of clinical teaching programmes & workshops.

The Department carries out many research activities both as a part of PG dissertation work and independent research projects. The department has been conducting many live workshops, CMEs and Conferences  to keep pace with the advance in knowledge and technology. The department has had the honor of hosting three State Conferences in 1985, 2003 & 2019.

The Department of Ophthalmology has been associated with National Programme for Control of Blindness and Eye bank activities since its inception and carries outreach rural screening programmes and operative work in the base hospital.

In keeping with newer technological developments in the ophthalmic fields the department has already started Vitreo-Retina Center. The department is in the process of setting up “Advanced Eye Care Institute”.  The department has already taken up clinical trials, research projects with external funding agencies and proud to have one Ph.D Scholars as a faculty.