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A mix of cultures, disciplines at JNU

Offering some of the most unique programmes and teaching methodologies at its multi-disciplinary schools, Jawaharlal Nehru University provides ample intellectual growth space for young, innovative and inquisitive minds

education Updated: Apr 17, 2012 13:19 IST
Hindustan Times

School of Computer and Systems Sciences
The teaching at this school is specially designed to integrate inputs from statistics, operations research, algebra and combinatories, digital electronics, systems software, artificial intelligence, computer architecture and programming languages. A training and placement cell has been set up at the school to maintain liaison with various government and industrial organisations to facilitate employment for the students. The students here undergo an intensive training on the latest workstations, which, coupled with the best possible faculty, provides an ideal platform for bringing out excellent professional software developers, IT-managers, and computer engineers.

Programmes: MCA, MTech/MPhil, and PhD

The school is at par with IITs. The faculty is highly competitive and the experience of studying here has been good Gautam Jha, MCA student

School of Biotechnology
JNU was one of the first six universities in India to initiate a post-graduate teaching and research programme in the field of biotechnology in 1985. It was running as the Special Centre for Biotechnology till 1985 but was later converted to the School of Biotechnology in 2006.

Programmes: Pre-PhD/PhD in areas of transcription control and gene regulation, protein engineering, molecular biology of infectious diseases, protein folding and stability, optimisation of recombinant protein production, structural biology and molecular bioinformatics, and biochemical engineering, molecular virology, cancer biology, molecular cell biology.

It’s one of the best institutions for biotechnology in the country in terms of opportunities and facilities. Only the top 30 students make it from thousands of aspirants Mohammad Shadab Zafar, MSc in biotechnology

The School of life sciences
Established in the year 1970, the school has been recognised as Centre of Excellence under UGC-COSIST and DSA Special Assistance Programmes. Its focus is on multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary teaching and research in life sciences. Here, students from physical sciences are also inducted to study life sciences. Remedial courses in biology are offered to students from physical sciences stream, and students from biological stream are given courses in physical sciences and mathematics.

Programmes: MPhil/PhD in areas of interdisciplinary research in molecular biology, genetic engineering, plant biotechnology, genetics, developmental biology, etc.

There’s also the MSc in life sciences on offer.

It’s a great place to grow and covers all areas of science. The best life sciences course is offered here Moni Kumari, MSc in life sciences

School of Computational & Integrative Sciences
Established in 2001, the school currently consists of the Centre for Computational Biology and Bio-Informatics and the High Performing Computing Centre. The school focuses on the use of IT in education and research in all spheres of enquiry, be it biological, physical, geological, economics etc. and how it can be most effectively utilised in an academic context.

Programmes: Pre-PhD/PhD in computational biology and bioinformatics and MTech in computational and bystems biology

We have some of the best facilties on offer such as high performance computers and software like MATLAB, Linux etc Prakash Kumar, PhD in computational biology and bioinformatics

School of Physical Sciences
It is one of the leading departments in the country in terms of research and teaching in physical sciences with an esteemed faculty who’ve made significant contributions to the fields of physics, chemistry, mathematics and particularly their interdisciplinary study. The school has well-developed computing facilities and well-equipped laboratories. Its experimental facilities are also used by scientists from other universities and institutes. It has several high-speed workstations (Silicon Graphics machines, Compaq XP 1000 and SUN Ultra 60s) to facilitate heavy computing. It is known for its experimental facilities with a focus on research activities in areas interfacing physics and chemistry. The faculty and students regularly publish research papers in the best international journals.

Programmes: a) Pre-PhD/PhD in physical sciences/chemical sciences/mathematical sciences and MSc in physics

School of Language, Literature & Culture Studies
Established in 1969, the school has emerged in India and abroad as a major centre for teaching and research in languages, literatures and cultures of India, Asia and Europe. The school offers five-year integrated BA/MA programmes and part-time certificate and diploma courses. In addition, there are two-year postgraduate and research programmes in English, Hindi, linguistics, and Urdu. Besides, research programmes are available in philosophy and semiotics. It is the only school in the country that offers a BA programme in Korean language.

Programmes: a) MPhil/PhD in French, German, Arabic, Russian, Persian, Chinese, Urdu, Hindi, Tamil, Hindi Translation, English, Linguistics, Japanese and Spanish; MPhil in Portuguese; MA in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Linguistics, Persian, Russian, Spanish and Urdu; BA (hons) in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Russian, Spanish

JNU is great for studying foreign languages at both BA and MA levels. Classes are very interactive and people are open to criticism Shubham Shree, MA in Hindi

School of Environmental Sciences
The School of Environmental Sciences has diversified interest in various earth, atmospheric and biological processes. The curriculum has components of disciplinary areas such as physical sciences, earth and atmospheric sciences, environmental biology, and environmental monitoring and management. With such a high level of diverse research interests, over 100 students have so far successfully completed their PhD programme in different aspects of environmental sciences.

Programmes: MPhil/PhD in environmental sciences including interdisciplinary areas of biology(ecology, biotechnology, biophysics, bioremediation), chemistry (air, water, soil pollution), geology and physics.

We are introduced to new trends in environmental science such as green chemistry and atmospheric studies Arunangshu Das, MPhil in environmental science

School of International Studies
Established in 1955, the School of International Studies is the oldest school of the university and a premier institute in the country for the study of international relations and area studies. It is known for advancing knowledge and understanding of international affairs in an inter-disciplinary perspective. The school holds national and international seminars from time to time on important aspects of area studies and inter-country relations.

Programmes: MPhil/PhD programmes on areas such as American studies; Latin American studies; West European studies; and Canadian studies; MA politics (international studies); MA economics (with specialisation on world economy), are some of the programmes on offer at this school

This school exposes us to many alternate perspectives. It also opens doors to international careers Sowmiya Rajaram, PhD in international law

School of Arts and Aesthetics
The School of Arts and Aesthetics is one of the few places in India that offers post-graduate degree courses in the theoretical and critical study of the cinematic, visual and performing arts. Moreover, it is the only place in India where these disciplines are offered in one integrated programme. The three streams of study offered at the school are visual studies, theatre and performance studies and cinema studies.

Programmes: MPhil/PhD: The school offers MPhil/PhD programmes in three different streams — visual studies, theatre and performance studies and cinema studies. (Admission to the MPhil/PhD is through a separate entrance examination for each discipline followed by a viva voce.)

The arts and aesthetics school is a first of its kind focusing on studying all aspects of performing arts in a systematic manner Prerana Choudhary, MA arts and aesthetics

School of Social Sciences
Established in 1970, this school has 11 centres and has the largest faculty in the university. The MA programmes are relatively discipline-oriented, but the students are encouraged to offer some courses in the other centres as well.

The five disciplines in which MA level instruction is imparted in the school are economics, history, political science, geography and sociology. At the research level the interdisciplinary and innovative thrust of the school comes to the fore.

Programmes: MPhil/PhD programme, MPH (master’s in public health)/PhD, MA in economics, geography, history, political science and sociology

Out of the six optional courses, we can opt to take up two outside our school. This makes the curriculum interdisciplinary giving us a better understanding of the subject and allows us to explore our interests Alamu R, MA in political science

Other unique features
The Academic Staff College in JNU is India’s premier institution for providing world-class education to over 600 teacher participants from all over India and abroad every year. Two kinds of courses are the mainstay of the ASC: (a) The refresher course, which exposes teachers to the latest developments in their respective disciplines. (b) The orientation course which seeks to introduce the freshly recruited teacher to the challenging vocation of teaching in today’s India. Courses offered are on a wide variety of fields ranging from history, political science, sociology, economics and international relations to life sciences, environmental sciences, physics, biotechnology, computer science and foreign languages.

Hostel facilities
Admission in the hostel is in accordance with the merit secured in the entrance examination held by the university in the respective programmes of study. Up to 22.5% (15% for SC and 7.5% for ST) and 3% of the seats in the hostels are reserved for the SC/ ST and physically challenged candidates respectively.

Students, researchers and faculty at JNU have access to a well- stocked library with printed collection of more than six lakh books and bound volumes of journals, theses, dissertations and newspapers.

The other three special centres in JNU

Centre for sanskrit studies
The Centre for Sanskrit Studies in JNU set up in 2001. The courses offered at this centre include MA, and MPhil/PhD in Sanskrit. Courses are offered in Indian intellectual and cultural traditions, Vedic studies, literature, Sanskrit linguistics, historical linguistics, and Sanskrit poetics, among others. The centre plans to have inter-disciplinary approach in both teaching and research.

Centre for study of law & governance
The centre’s academic programme produces scholarly research on law and governance, it also seeks to translate theory into practices of governance by initiating debate, sharing research and encouraging dialogue between the academia, government, civil society and NGOs at local, national and global levels. The centre offers an MPhil/PhD programme and a direct PhD programme.

Special Centre for Molecular Medicine
The Special Centre for Molecular Medicine has started the academic programmes to play a major role in training young scientists, clinical and non-clinical, keen to pursue careers in basic medical research. The training programme has been designed to create essentially two types of scientists who can contribute to the continuing progress of medicine.

First Published: Apr 17, 2012 13:01 IST