Course requirements for the Master's Degree in CPS
Students in the M.A. programme at the Centre for Political Studies are required to take 16 courses in total with 4 credits for each of the courses to obtain the Master's degree. They need to have a total of 64 credits for the 16 courses for completing the course work required for obtaining the MA degree in CPS
Out of these 16 courses, they are required to take 10 compulsory courses with 4 credits for each course to be taken in the centre.
Out of the remaining 6 courses of 24 credits, four optional courses of 4 credits each have to be taken from the centre. Only two optional courses with 4 credits each can be taken from outside the centre.
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.
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 take 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.
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 take 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.
The ten compulsory courses for MA programme are defined around 3 broad rubrics:
(1) Political Theory and Philosophy;
(2) Indian Government, Politics and
(3) Comparative Politics and International Relations
Four out of the ten compulsory courses belong to the stream of Indian politics and cover a wide canvas, from political thought in modern India to development policy in contemporary times, in addition to the more customary grounding in political institutions, processes and policies.
The compulsory courses in Political Philosophy cover concepts, the history of political ideas (in interaction with social history, as also in their diverse interpretations), while a more specialized fare is offered by way of courses in democratic theory, equality and distributive justice, multiculturalism, Marxism and Early Modern Political Thought.
There are compulsory courses on Comparative Politics and International Relations. Centre also offers a highly updated course on Research Methods.
Analogous to these are a set of courses, which are intended to secure analytical mastery over basic concepts, approaches and methods in political science. These include the compulsory course in research methodology. This course is an introduction to the philosophy and method of social sciences as well as operationalization of research methods. Apart from the courses in comparative politics and international relations there are options on foreign policy, national security and terrorism and globalisation.
The centre offers a wide range of optional courses ranging from political concepts and ideas, globalization and political philosophy. The objective of these courses is to develop an in depth understanding of the students in various sub themes of the discipline or emerging areas. These courses provide students an opportunity for a more intensive study of political parties, pressure groups, regional politics, social movements, centre-state relations, development policy and administration. However, a large majority of optional courses are offered in the field of Indian politics in order to familiarize them with the various developments in Indian polity.
Currently the Centre's course list has range of courses from which students may choose, depending upon their interest and future plans. Students may also cover the credit requirements by taking optional courses outside of the Centre, in other Centres of the School of Social Sciences as well as the School of International Relations.