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Special Centre for Tamil Studies (SCTS)

Special Centre for Tamil Studies (SCTS)

Tamil is one of the six ancient classical languages in the world, which is still in public and academic use. Tolkāppiyam (5th century BCE) is known as the oldest grammar of Tamil. Starting from Sangam literature to date it has 3000 years of unbroken literary tradition which continues as Didactic, Kavya, Bhakthi, Prabandha, and Modern literature genres. The development of these genres is not unrelated to each other; it is in such a way that even the youngsters of this generation can understand. Based on the carbon dating results of the materials found during the recent excavations in Kīḻaṭi and Porunthal sites, scholars determined that they are from the 6th – 5th century BCE respectively. Pulimāṉ kōmpai menhir is considered to be of the 4th century BCE. Studying such a great literary, grammatical, cultural, and art history of Tamil and finding their values can pave the way to uplift the future society.

Accordingly, an attempt was made to start a Tamil Chair in the year 2000 at the Centre for Indian Languages, SLL&CS, JNU, New Delhi. Officially it began in 2007; gradually it was developed as a Tamil Stream providing Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) and Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.) courses in 2008.

The Tamil Stream which has been performing excellently for 15 years has further developed into a Special Centre for Tamil Studies (SCTS) in 21st March 2023. Concerning the multi-lingual milieu of the University campus, SCTS primarily aims to do a comparative study of Tamil with various classical languages. These studies can help find the commonalities and their reason among Tamil and various other languages.  The current faculty strength is two and further expansion is in progress.
SCTS will start the MA program in upcoming academic year(2024 – 2025).   


Learning the languages and keenly studying Literature, Grammar, Culture, History, Art, etc. traditions of classical Tamil, comparing them with Indian/global traditions, and transferring the ideas for the integrated Social Upliftment towards the younger generation.   


Bringing the human societies that differ in terms of language and culture under the common term “Humanity” through literary and cultural studies. 

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.