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LEC : An introduction

The linguistically marginalized are those who come from different regions, remote areas of the country, with little or no exposure to English language in their day to day lives, or those who come from the marginalized sections of the society with limited resources and means in every aspect of their lives. In either case it is commendable that they are able to manage their education through the medium of instruction which remains by and large alien to them. Fortunately or unfortunately, English remains the medium of instruction, for higher education, which is necessary to communicate with and compete with their peers across institutional and regional boundaries. The students coming to JNU from the entire country and from the entire socio-cultural spectrum of the country need competence in English for higher academic pursuits, a register which is more or less neutral, internationally acceptable, compared regional, socio-cultural & other variations. When one writes a term paper or a PhD synopsis, the written document does not, and should not reflect the regional, social, cultural influences on the language.

The Linguistic Empowerment Cell aims to prepare each and every student of JNU to achieve command over language used in higher education and empower them so that they are able to receive what is being offered in JNU. This is to ensure that the linguistic handicap does not become a cognitive handicap leaving a student frustrated. The student should ultimately be able to not only access but also be able to express his/her own creativity in the programs she may be pursuing in JNU. The programs conducted by the LEC cell help the student realize his/her full creative potential.

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.