The Centre of Persian & Central Asian Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University was established on the 7th of January 1971 as the Centre for Afro-Asian Languages. It soon emerged as a prominent seat of Modern Persian Studies all over India. The Persian world at large began to appreciate the language teaching programme of the Centre which was unique of its kind in India. The Cultural Foundation of Iran took keen interest in the academic development of the Centre and provided it with language laboratory. This is the only University having the facility of language lab for learning Persian in India. Keeping the national character in view, JNU allows teachers and students of other universities to formally avail themselves of the service of the lab during vacations. The language laboratory is being used to develop the language proficiency of the students and develop their skill in the art of interpretation as well. Besides Modern Persian Studies, it also excels in Translations, Area Studies of Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan; Indo-Iran Relations; Ancient Iranian Studies ,History of Persian Language and Literature and Stylistics in Modern Persian Literature - the topics which are exclusively taught in CP&CAS, JNU. Sufism; Medieval Indian Culture and Civilization; Indo-Persian Literature and a host of other academic topics that come within the purview of Persian & Central Asian Studies are also given due place in the broad curriculum of the Centre.
Keeping in view the utility of inter-disciplinary approach, the Centre also offered service courses to the students of West Asian Studies, SIS and Centre of Historical Studies in SSS .The Centre has been offering maximum number of service courses to the students of other Centres in SLL&CS. Special Course of Persian for the PG students of Urdu in CIL are being taught by the faculty members of CP& CA every semester. In addition, the following courses are successfully conducted by the Centre each semester:
(A) Four Optional Courses for the UG students of various Centres of the School.
(B) Two Tool Courses for the undergraduate students of various Centres of the School.
In due course of time, the Centre developed in size and diversified its academic programmes. Today it offers courses of Persian and Central Asian Studies, which cover entire gamut of language, literature and culture of Iran; Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Turkey. Ph.D.; M.Phil; M.A.; and B.A. (Hons) Courses of Persian, BA Honours and Certificate Courses of Pashto and Optional Courses of Turkish are being taught here with professional skill and scientific methods.
The teachers and students of the Centre of Persian and Central Asian Studies in JNU are continuously engaged in modern researches based on world interactions and comparative studies. The faculty members of the Centre, apart from teaching, take keen interest in participating in different national and international seminars. The Professors of the Centre are regularly invited by different universities to deliver lectures to the teachers from all over India.