The Centre was originally established as the Centre of Spanish Studies in the early 1970s and subsequently expanded to include Portuguese and Italian programme and was renamed in 2004 as Centre of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Latin American Studies(CSPILAS) as part of School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. This is one of the leading Centre in Spanish and Latin American Studies in South East Asia. The Centre has developed relations with several international Universities and Institutes to carry out research in various fields related to Hispanic Studies. It has grown into a specialized Centre dealing with language, linguistics, literature of Spain and Latin America, culture & civilization of the entire Hispanic world, inter-disciplinary studies and also involves inter-action with other disciplines like History, Sociology, Philosophy and Socio-Political Studies as well as comparative literature. Besides this the Centre has its own research focus on Acquisition of Spanish language and FLT especially on L3 & L4 platform. It also has a major research project on Digital Aspects of Acquisition of Spanish as a Foreign Language in India under the aegis of University Grants Commission, Government of India. There are several projects under the UGC-UPOE programme is in progress. Recently, two new massive projects “ePG-Pathshala” and “MOOC” under the National Mission on Education through ICT of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India is continuing in the centre to develop the online post graduate courses on pan India level to cater to the needs and aspirations of Indian students .
To facilitate the research and development, interaction with scholars from India and abroad are very much part of Centers' academic activities. Through bilateral cooperation between India and Spain; visiting faculty from Spain are regularly invited for tenure of two years from the last two decades. Recently, the Centre has been integrated as a participating institution in a European Commission’s (EU) Erasmus Mundus Consortium for a Masters Programme in the Learning of Spanish in Multicultural and International Contexts. The Centre annually publishes a research journal “Hispanic Horizon” which has high academic visibility in India and outside. Apart from this, the Centre also organizes International/National Conferences and Seminars regularly. The Centre’s annual academic activity is “Antonio Binimelis Memorial Lecture” in which distinguished Professors/ Academicians/Scholars of Hispanic/Spanish discipline are invited for lectures; and students who topped in their class are also awarded on this occasion.
The Centre is a pioneering institution in the country. Founding of the Centre gave a tremendous boost to the teaching, research and development of the Spanish language in India. This is the first Centre in the country which has introduced Graduate, Masters and doctoral degree programme of studies in Spanish. CSPILAS faculty members (Spanish) are recipient of several prestigious International Fellowships and International awards. Dr. Rafael Iruzubieta Fernandez, a Spanish national and a liberal donor/endowment of which enriches Spanish studies in the University has been conferred with "Padma Shri" in 2010 the prestigious National Award of India. Faculty members of the Centre has also provided consultancy to Ministries of Govt. of India, UN organizations, ILO, World Bank, ADB, several public sector organizations in India. Many faculty members are in the board/panel of several Universities, organizations and commission in India. Apart from this, faculty members also appeared on TV and radio programmes. Today, majority of Hispanic faculty in India are alumni of this Centre.