M.A. in Political Studies

Jawaharlal Nehru University
In New Delhi

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Important information

  • Master
  • New delhi

Important information

Where and when

Starts Location
On request
New Delhi
New Mehrauli Road, New Delhi , 110067, Delhi, India
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Course programme

M.A. in Political Studies

The Centre for Political Studies at present admits 60 students (excluding direct foreign admissions) to the M.A. programme each year. Students in the M.A. programme are required to take 16 courses over a four-semester period. In the first years of their study, the students take eight compulsory courses: four each semester. In the second year they study four compulsory and four optional courses. Of these optional courses, at least two should be taken from those offered by the Centre. Currently the Centre's course list has 26 optional courses from which students may choose, depending upon their interest and future plans. They may also cover these credits by taking optional courses outside of the Centre, in other Centres of the School of Social Sciences as well as the School of International Relations. The twelve compulsory courses are defined around 3 broad rubrics: 1) Political Theory and Philosophy; 2) Indian Government, Politics and structures of Administration; and 3) Comparative Politics and International Relations.

Within the M.A. programme, 4 of the 12 compulsory courses belong to the stream of Indian politics and cover a wide canvas, from nationalist thought to development policy, in addition to the more customary grounding in political institutions and processes. The large majority of optional courses also belong to this stream, and provide students with the opportunity for a more intensive study of political parties, pressure groups, regional politics, social movements, centre-state relations, development policy and administration. The compulsory courses in Political theory cover the history of political ideas (in interaction with social history, as also in their diverse interpretations), while a more specialized fare is offered by way of courses in democratic and liberal theory, multiculturalism, Marxism and hermeneutic philosophy. Analogous to these are a set of courses, which are intended to secure analytical mastery over basic concepts, approaches and methods in political science. These include the compulsory and introductory courses in political analysis, political sociology as well as a course in research methodology. This course is an introduction to the operationalization of research methods. Courses in comparative politics and international relations provide the larger backdrop of the M.A. syllabus and preclude an insular approach.

The credit requirement for the award of M.A. degree, as prescribed in the University ordinances, is 64. The Centre has assigned four credits to each course. In case a student wishes to offer more courses than the minimum number prescribed he/she may do so by offering them as non-credit courses. He/she has to declare in advance the title of the non-credit course and no transfer from non-credit course to credit course is permitted.

Students may repeat a course once to improve their grade with the prior permission of the Centre and subject to the total number of courses per semester. If a student fails in an optional course he/she can be permitted to offer another course in its place. In accordance with School policy, the Centre permits repetition of courses only when the grade obtained is B or below. When a student is allowed to repeat a course, he/she is required to sign a declaration prescribed by the School that the grade obtained by him/her earlier in the course may be cancelled. Consequently, if he/she actually repeats that course and obtains a grade that will be treated as final. Repeating a course involves fulfilling all the requirements of the course afresh as no credit for the work done previously is carried over.

Under the semester system followed in the University, students are required to register at the beginning of each semester for the course, which they wish to offer in that particular semester. The Centre may appoint a faculty adviser for each student who advises each student on the courses to be taken. No student is allowed to attend a course without registration and is also not entitled to any credits unless he/she has been formally registered for the course by the scheduled date. However, late registration is allowed up to a maximum of two weeks after the beginning of the semester on payment of a late registration fee.

The evaluation system adopted by the Jawaharlal Nehru University in the "letter grade" system in which an assessment is made of the student's performance throughout the semester on a continuous basis. The objective of the letter grading system is to provide a measure of the student's performance in each course. Each letter grade is given a numerical value for computing the semester and cumulative averages. The main features of this evaluation system are:

(a) It helps evaluate a student's performance in a continuous manner throughout the semester in a course, and the assessment is done by several observations such as day-to-day performance in classrooms, home assignments, tutorials seminars, term papers and mid-semester tests, besides the end-semester examination.

(b) The final grade is awarded at the end of a semester after taking into account the totality of the student's performance in the above aspects and not on the basis of a single final examination as is conventionally done.

The evaluation is done on the 10 points scale on the same pattern that operates within entire JNU evaluation system.

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