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History of the Centre

History of the Centre

The Center for Social Medicine and Community Health (CSMCH) at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, stands as a testament to visionary foresight and unwavering determination. Established as part of the School of Social Sciences, one of the university's foundational pillars, CSMCH emerged from the collective intellect of a committee tasked with shaping innovative academic ventures.

A significant date in CSMCH's annals is April 13, 1971. On this day, Prof. D. Banerji embarked on a remarkable journey, becoming the torchbearer of the Center's academic aspirations. This date, etched in history as CSMCH's Foundation Day, marked the beginning of a transformative odyssey.

At its core, CSMCH was imbued with a compelling mandate - to bring the realm of medicine and public health within reach of India's underserved and marginalized populations. This ethos resonated with early recruits, Dr. Imrana Qadeer and Dr. P. Ramalingaswami. Together, they sowed the seeds of an institution destined to challenge conventions and reshape paradigms.

The journey to establish CSMCH was not devoid of challenges. Yet, the fervent commitment of its founders found support from myriad quarters. Collaborative efforts with various JNU centers such as CHS, CSRD, CPD, CSS, CESP, and ZHCES, among others, gave rise to a unique interdisciplinary framework. This marked a pivotal juncture, fostering a novel grammar for public health studies.

CSMCH's early trajectory was influenced by the doctoral program in Community Health Administration (CHA) at NIHAE. This initial inspiration catalyzed a journey of intellectual exploration and experimentation. Collaborative interactions with diverse centres enriched CSMCH's pedagogical tapestry, culminating in a holistic approach that embraced fields ranging from health systems research to global health dynamics.

In response to evolving educational landscapes and global crises, CSMCH demonstrated adaptability. The seismic disruptions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a recalibration of teaching strategies. A renewed focus on holistic education emerged, encouraging students to engage with a diverse spectrum of knowledge sources and engage with civil society in meaningful ways.

CSMCH's impact transcended academia. The interdisciplinary ethos it nurtured has borne fruit in producing generations of public health scholars and practitioners. These individuals, armed with an integrated understanding of biomedical and social science methodologies, have been at the forefront of policy formulation and planning. Their contributions span areas as diverse as infectious diseases, health inequalities, health systems development, and political economy of health.

CSMCH's academic offerings evolved in response to societal needs. From its origins as a doctoral program aligned with JNU's research-oriented ethos, the Centre expanded to include the M.Phil and MPH programs, catering to diverse public health demands. Recent changes spurred by the UGC National Education Policy led to the discontinuation of the M.Phil program and the reconfiguration of the MPH program to meet contemporary expectations. As CSMCH strides forward, it continues to uphold its commitment to reshaping public health education. Presently, the Centre extends three distinctive programs: Master of Public Health, Ph.D. in Public Health, and Ph.D. in Social Sciences in Health. These programs stand as a testament to CSMCH's dedication to fostering well-rounded health leaders from diverse academic backgrounds.

As the pages of history turn, CSMCH's narrative unfolds with a promise of transformation. The Center remains resolute in its pursuit of redefining public health through interdisciplinary exploration, embracing change, and nurturing leaders who will shape the destiny of health and well-being.

Join us as we embark on a journey of discovery and empowerment, scripting a new chapter in the annals of public health and societal transformation.

A warm welcome to the modified and updated website of the Centre for East Asian Studies. The East Asian region has been at the forefront of several path-breaking changes since 1970s beginning with the redefining the development architecture with its State-led development model besides emerging as a major region in the global politics and a key hub of the sophisticated technologies. The Centre is one of the thirteen Centres of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi that provides a holistic understanding of the region.

Initially, established as a Centre for Chinese and Japanese Studies, it subsequently grew to include Korean Studies as well. At present there are eight faculty members in the Centre. Several distinguished faculty who have now retired include the late Prof. Gargi Dutt, Prof. P.A.N. Murthy, Prof. G.P. Deshpande, Dr. Nranarayan Das, Prof. R.R. Krishnan and Prof. K.V. Kesavan. Besides, Dr. Madhu Bhalla served at the Centre in Chinese Studies Programme during 1994-2006. In addition, Ms. Kamlesh Jain and Dr. M. M. Kunju served the Centre as the Documentation Officers in Chinese and Japanese Studies respectively.

The academic curriculum covers both modern and contemporary facets of East Asia as each scholar specializes in an area of his/her interest in the region. The integrated course involves two semesters of classes at the M. Phil programme and a dissertation for the M. Phil and a thesis for Ph. D programme respectively. The central objective is to impart an interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of history, foreign policy, government and politics, society and culture and political economy of the respective areas. Students can explore new and emerging themes such as East Asian regionalism, the evolving East Asian Community, the rise of China, resurgence of Japan and the prospects for reunification of the Korean peninsula. Additionally, the Centre lays great emphasis on the building of language skills. The background of scholars includes mostly from the social science disciplines; History, Political Science, Economics, Sociology, International Relations and language.

Several students of the centre have been recipients of prestigious research fellowships awarded by Japan Foundation, Mombusho (Ministry of Education, Government of Japan), Saburo Okita Memorial Fellowship, Nippon Foundation, Korea Foundation, Nehru Memorial Fellowship, and Fellowship from the Chinese and Taiwanese Governments. Besides, students from Japan receive fellowship from the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.