Centre for South Asian Studies

Since the inception of the erstwhile Indian School of International Studies (ISIS) in 1955, the School of International Studies (SIS) is the oldest school of the varsity. Almost six decades of its existence, the School has established itself as one of the premier institutions in the country for the study of international relations and area studies.

 

The Centre for South Asian Studies is one of the oldest centres of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India. The importance of the centre is self-evident by the fact that it lies in the South Asian region. The centre has the privilege of having widely known faculty members. The centre also has directly participated in the foreign policy-making exercise in the country. The centre has organised a range of national and international seminars, round tables, symposia and workshops with regional and international experts, policymakers, academicians and civil society members.

 

The centre has hosted and conducted projects for various Ministries, Indian Council for Social Science Research, University Grants Commission, Asian Development Bank, Ford Foundation, International Development Research Centre, Regional Centre for Strategic Studies, USAID, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNESCAP and many other national and international bodies.

 

The Centre for South Asian Studies conducts research on a range of aspects of eight South Asian countries. All the academic activities including teaching and interdisciplinary research have been designed to objectively study and analyse history, politics, foreign policy, security, societies, economies, environment, regional cooperation/integration and contemporary affairs in different regions/countries covered by the Centre. The Centre has focused on academic pursuits that have intellectual value, social relevance and broader national and international efficacies and policy dynamics. Its programme of studies has attracted bright students having diverse background from various parts of India and other countries. It has evolved into a full-fledged institute of academic excellence, much admired by students, frequently consulted by the national governments and eagerly sought after by international organisations and other academic institutions.

 

The profile of the students who have completed their studies from the Centre does show that a large number of them have joined premier academic and research institutions and equally credible numbers are in the national and state civil services. Many of the students have done exceedingly well in media and non-governmental organisations, other tertiary sector activities and national and regional politics. The importance of the Centre has become more critical and vital both in the context of large scale transformation in the global scenario and also within the countries that have been traditionally covered and studied by the Centre. There are immense opportunities for academic inquiry triggered by these new developments.

 

All the academic activities including teaching and interdisciplinary research have been designed to study objectively and analyse history, politics, foreign policy, security, societies, economies, environment, regional cooperation/integration and contemporary affairs in different regions/countries covered by the Centre.

Countries covered under the South Asian Studies Programme

Afghanistan

Bangladesh

Bhutan

India

Maldives

Nepal

Pakistan

Sri Lanka

 

 

With a set of very well-known faculty members and over 100 students from both India and foreign countries, the Centre has evolved and developed into a full-fledged institute of academic excellence, much admired by students, frequently consulted by the national government and eagerly sought after by international organisations and other academic institutions. 

 

From time to time the Centre also had eminent Visiting Professors, Visiting Fellows and Post-Doctoral Fellows, Faculty members have extensively written in both national and international journals, published books and reports from reputed publishers, actively participated in seminars, delivered lectures in the prestigious forum and have brought laurels to the University and the nation. Faculty members have also been in various governmental bodies and delegations and have been specialists such as Prof. Bimal Prasad, Prof. Mohammad Ayoob, Prof. Vishal Singh, Prof. Parimal Kumar Das, Prof. Muchkund Dubey, Prof. Kalim Bahadur, Prof. S.D. Muni, Late Prof. L.S. Baral, late Prof. Urmila Phadnis and late Prof. Ram Rahul, late Prof. Dawa Norbu have been associated with this Centre in the past. The Centre has had the unique distinction of having three Ambassadors of India to Nepal, Laos and Trinidad and Tobago during the past three decades. Many of the faculty members have become Vice-Chancellors and other high officials in University and Government Institutions.

 

The profile of the students who have completed their studies from the Centre does show that a large number of them have joined premier academic and research institutions and equally credible numbers are in the national and state civil services. Many of the students have done well in media and non-governmental organisations and tertiary sectors. A number of them are also active national and regional politics.

 

New Developments

The importance of the Centre has become more critical and vital both in the context of large scale transformation in the global scenario and also within the countries that have been traditionally covered and studied by the Centre. The newer issues have emerged, and a range of new actors and a large number of institutions have germinated and gained prominence. The traditional matrices have become more complex. There are immense opportunities for academic inquiry triggered by these new developments. For a country like India which is of crucial importance both in its foreign policy conduct and in its endeavour to achieve the larger goal of becoming a major global player. Many of the issues require unconventional treatment to examine them in a consistent and protracted manner. Some of them required non-traditional techniques of research, newer tools and instruments of analysis and still many of them call for an entirely new set of training and orientation both the faculty and students alike.

 

This is, therefore, a very crucial juncture for the Centre and its academic programmes. The Centre has been able to catch up with these changes in a more comprehensive manner than we expected. However, in order to provide consistent and academic treatment to the entire spectrum of issues that have emerged both at the regional and national levels of the countries concerned, the Centre is being steadily restructured, re-empowered and to a large extent reoriented. The faculty members and the students are committed to undertake measures that would provide the Centre and the University at large a profile of most attractive resourceful and competitive Centre of academic excellence.