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M.Phil/Ph.D Programme

The Centre has two separate research degree programmes: the Master of Philosophy programme leading to the award of an M.Phil. degree and the Doctor of Philosophy leading to the award of the Ph.D degree. However, the MPhil programme has been discontinued from the academic year 2021-22. Now the centre admits students directly in PhD programme.

The usual duration of a PhD degree at the Centre for Political Studies is four years full time. The required standard of the doctorate is that of a distinct and original contribution to the domain knowledge of the subject. The candidate must show initiative in presenting a theoretical and conceptual framework for devising new ways of looking at problems. The Centre places emphasis on acquisition of critical theoretical skills and in-depth regional, linguistic and cultural knowledge. Prospective research students will have the unique opportunity to work on an exceptionally wide range of topics, theoretical and critical, supervised according to the expertise of a wide range of academic staff across the Faculty.


To be eligible to submit the PhD thesis, the first step is completion of the course work. The course work for PhD programme is spread over two semesters. Students are expected to complete the course work in the first two semesters.

A student admitted to the PhD programme must complete four courses, two of which are compulsory:

1. Philosophy and Methods in Social Sciences

2. Approaches, Concepts and Methods of Political Analysis

In the first semester two compulsory courses are designed to equip and train students in the methods and techniques of political research, along with an introduction to methodological debates and issues in social sciences, as well as to the basic approaches and concepts of political analysis. There will be an end-semester examination as part of the PhD qualifying examination for students to continue to next semester.

In the second semester, every student must select two optional courses, in consonance with their research interests. The choice of the optional would be decided by the research needs and specialization stream chosen by the student.

The students must obtain a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 5.00 to be awarded an PhD degree. A student who obtains a CGPA of less than 5.00 in the Course work is not eligible to submit his/her thesis and is disqualified from earning the PhD degree.

The progress of each student will be monitored and reviewed by the Research Advisory Committee (RAC). There are two more members in the RAC along with the supervisor.

PhD students must complete their research proposal within two semesters of the registration to the PhD program. The Research Proposal is finalized with the help of the RAC.

The title of the thesis and synopsis must be confirmed by the Committee for Advanced  Studies and Research.

The PhD thesis is to be submitted within a duration of eight semesters, or the date decided by the university for the same. During this period each student will be required to make a presentation as part of their progress report.

Each thesis will be examined by the supervisor and two external examiners. Only after favourable reports reach the office of the Controller of the examinations from both supervisor and the external examiners, the viva-voce will be held.

PhD degree is awarded only after successful defense of the thesis in the viva-voce by the student.

Grading system

Internal assessment follow the ten point grade scale as adopted by the university.

Research Themes

The Centre seeks to promote research within the four broad areas of Political Theory, Indian Government and Politics, Comparative Politics, and International Relations.


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.