The Centre for Political Studies at present admits around 80 students (excluding direct foreign admissions) to the M.A. programme each year. Students in the M.A. programme are required to take 16 courses over a four-semester period out of which 10 are compulsory. Of these optional courses, at least two should be taken from those offered by the Centre. Currently the Centre's course list has 32 optional courses from which students may choose, depending upon their interest and future plans. They may also cover these credits by taking optional courses outside of the Centre, in other Centres of the School of Social Sciences. The ten compulsory courses are defined around 3 broad rubrics: (1) Political Theory and Philosophy; (2) Indian Government, Politics and (3) Comparative Politics and International Relations.
Within the M.A. programme, 4 of the 10 compulsory courses belong to the stream of Indian Politics and cover a wide canvas, from Political Thought of Modern India to development policy, in addition to the more customary grounding in political institutions, processes and public policies. The large majority of optional courses also belong to this stream, and provide students with the opportunity for a more intensive study of political parties, pressure groups, regional politics, social movements, centre-state relations, development policy and administration.
The compulsory Political Philosophy courses will evolve around a body of concepts and themes. In Readings in Political Thought, Aristotle, J. S. Mill and Marx are considered for an exhaustive study. All the political philosophy courses lay stress on studying the texts and original writings. A more specialized fare is offered by way of optional courses in equality and distributive justice, social justice, multiculturalism, Marxism and Early Modern Political Thought. Analogous to these are a set of courses, which are intended to secure analytical mastery over basic concepts, approaches and methods in political science.
In Methods in Social Science, the field work component is seen as necessary so that students are exposed to a systematic and critical exploration of empirical reality. Courses in comparative politics and international relations provide remaining part of the M.A. syllabus.
The credit requirement for the award of M.A. degree, as prescribed in the University ordinances, is 64. The Centre has assigned four credits to each course. In case a student wishes to offer more courses than the minimum number prescribed he/she may do so by offering them as non-credit courses. He/she has to declare in advance the title of the non-credit course and no transfer from non-credit course to credit course is permitted.
Students may repeat a course once to improve their grade with the prior permission of the Centre and subject to the total number of courses per semester. If a student fails in an optional course he/she can be permitted to offer another course in its place. In accordance with School policy, the Centre permits repetition of courses only when the grade obtained is B or below. When a student is allowed to repeat a course, he/she is required to sign a declaration prescribed by the School that the grade obtained by him/her earlier in the course may be cancelled. Consequently, if he/she actually repeats that course and obtains a grade that will be treated as final. Repeating a course involves fulfilling all the requirements of the course afresh as no credit for the work done previously is carried over.
Under the semester system followed in the University, students are required to register at the beginning of each semester for the course, which they wish to offer in that particular semester. The Centre may appoint a faculty adviser for each student who advises each student on the courses to be taken. No student is allowed to attend a course without registration and is also not entitled to any credits unless he/she has been formally registered for the course by the scheduled date. However, late registration is allowed up to a maximum of two weeks after the beginning of the semester on payment of a late registration fee.
The evaluation system adopted by the Jawaharlal Nehru University in the "letter grade" system in which an assessment is made of the student's performance throughout the semester on a continuous basis. The objective of the letter grading system is to provide a measure of the student's performance in each course. Each letter grade is given a numerical value for computing the semester and cumulative averages. The main features of this evaluation system are:
a. It helps evaluate a student's performance in a continuous manner throughout the semester in a course, and the assessment is done by several observations such as day-to-day performance in classrooms, home assignments, tutorials seminars, term papers and mid-semester tests, besides the end-semester examination.
b. The final grade is awarded at the end of a semester after taking into account the totality of the student's performance in the above aspects and not on the basis of a single final examination as is conventionally done.
The evaluation is done on the 10 points scale on the same pattern that operates within entire JNU evaluation system.
Students may refer to the Students' Corner section for more details about the program. Course details are also available in a separate tab on the website.