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P.C. Joshi, the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of India, was one of the leading figures of the communist movement in India. Born in Almora in 1907, Joshi joined the Communist Party in 1929, and rose to prominence thereafter. He was soon thereafter arrested in connection with the Meerut Conspiracy Case. Despite an official ban on the C.P.I., Joshi continued to play a leading role in the activities of the party, and emerged as one of its most influential members. He was therefore chosen as the party's first General Secretary in late 1935, a capacity in which he served until his removal from the post twelve years later.

Under his leadership, the Communist Party established new organizations and breathed new life into existing ones: the All India Kisan Sabha, All India Trade Union Congress, Progressive Writer’s Association and the All India Student’s Federation were actively encouraged by Joshi. He also played an instrumental role in the launch of the party weekly, National Front, which he edited, and helped found the Indian People’s Theatre Association (I.P.T.A) in 1942.

In 1949, Joshi was expelled from the party for his perceived closeness to the leadership of the Indian National Congress. Though he was reinstated two years later, and ultimately made the editor of the party weekly, New Age, Joshi ceased to be as actively involved in party affairs as he was prior to his expulsion. Instead, towards the end of his life, P.C Joshi began to devote himself to the task of writing the history of the Communist Party of India as a way of understanding why a party which enjoyed a heritage of selfless work had run into contradictions. The collection of documents he had begun in his lifetime became the basis for the Archives on Contemporary History at J.N.U, which was established on 1st December 1970, although when he died in 1980, the task he had taken on himself remained unfinished.

The Archives on Contemporary History invites donations of personal papers, diaries, books, collections, memorabilia and photographs from members of communist and socialist parties, people broadly on the Indian Left, unions, workers, women's groups, members of cultural troupes etc. The archive is committed to archiving and preserving the history of the entire spectrum of the Indian left from about the beginning of the 20th century. It has no party affiliation and will preserve and use these materials for bonafide scholarly purposes.



Telangana Movement Walls that Speak: The Mural Tradition of JNU
Details of Documents/Pamphlets/Journals/Newspapers & Manuscripts available in Archives on Contemporary History, JNU... more The Archives on Contemporary History located on the 6th floor of the Library Building is initiating a collection of materials related to the student movement in JNU from the time of the inception of the University. We therefore request you to donate such materials as pamphlets, memoirs, photographs, posters and other memorabilia for addition to our Archives. more


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.