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The Centre for West Asian Studies (CWAS) is one of the first area studies centres in India. The origin of the Centre dates back to 1950s when it was established in the Indian School of International Studies (Sapru House). In 1970, as the Indian School of International Studies merged with Jawaharlal Nehru University, the Centre became part of the newly founded School of International Studies. Until December 2009, the Centre was known as Centre for West Asian and African Studies.

The CWAS is engaged in the study of West Asia and North Africa (WANA) region, including the Gulf, Levant and Maghreb regions. Among the  thrust areas of research and studies of CWAS are government and politics, foreign policy and international relations, economics and political economy, energy security, geopolitics and security, peace and conflict, society and culture and India’s engagements with the region. The Centre was nurtured by some of the towering personalities in the country including Professors Mohammad Shafi Agwani, A.H.H. Abidi, K. R. Singh, Gulshan Dietl and Girijesh Pant.

Over the decades, the CWAS has nurtured numerous scholars and many of its graduates have flourished in the academia, media, think tanks and government services, both within and outside India. Since its inception, the CWAS has awarded over 500 MPhil and PhD degrees.

Currently, the Centre offers a four-year PhD programme, and is in the process of introducing a two-year Master of Arts in International Relations- West Asia (IRWA). The CWAS faculty also offer courses for various BA and MA programmes in JNU.

Professor Sameena Hameed

SIS I (Old Building)
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi 110067

Centre Office
Room No. 355, SIS I (Old Building)
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi 110067
Phone: +011 2670 4372
Email: jnucwas@gmail.com

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.