Jawaharlal Nehru University
School of International Studies
Centre for Studies in Diplomacy, International Law and Economics

The International Trade & Development Division

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1)The M.A.Programme

The International Trade and Development Division at the School of International Studies ,Jawaharlal Nehru University, initiated a new M.A. programme in Economics to add to its existing M. Phil./Ph.D. programmes, in 1995.  What separates this programme from the conventional M.A. programmes in economics is that it has been designed keeping in mind the changes that have taken place in the Indian Economy and its growing integration with the World Economy.
Apart from preparing the students for advanced research work, the programme also keeps in mind the special requirements of the corporate world. This is reflected in the courses taught as well as the mode of evaluation. Every non-technical paper is evaluated on the basis of presentations or group discussions in addition to the written examinations. Besides this, every student has to participate in the weekly departmental student seminars and debates on issues of current economic interest.
Of special interest to the corporate sector should be the fact that the students of the International Trade and Development Division are acquainted with cost-benefit analysis, project-appraisal, investment and financing  decisions of the firms and corporate restructuring. In addition, emphasis is laid on the use of various econometric techniques, including forecasting. Another important feature of the programme is the provision for Summer Internship of the students with the corporate sector as well as with economic research institutes.
What sets this programme apart from an M.B.A. course is the fact that courses like Corporate Finance or Investment Finance are not taught in isolation, but rightly as a continuation/extension of a much broader subject. Similarly, the training in forecasting and quantitative techniques (or more properly Econometrics)  imparted to our students is far more rigorous than any programme in India. Thus the potential of the combination of these two sets of courses are far too obvious to be stated here. In addition, students are trained in the relevant software programmes needed for quantitative applications.

For the interested student of Economics

Dear Student

This year, the new Masters Programme in Economics initiated by ITD at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, had a graduating batch of 20 students who have been selected through a rigorous all-India entrance examination in the year 1998. This should give you an idea about the exclusiveness of the programme. I believe that you will find a syllabus prepared to enable you to either carry out research in this field or cope with the challenges being faced by the corporate sector in the backdrop of a rapidly changing economy that is getting increasingly integrated with global trends.
 The new Masters programme differs from other conventional Masters programmes in Economics in emphasizing along with conventional tools of Economic analysis global issues such as trade, technology, environment, natural resources, currency and finance, as well as the recent developments in the real and financial sectors in the Indian economy. Thus, by the time you have completed this programme, you should find yourself well conversant in issues such as the implications of the East Asian crisis for India, the progress of privatisation in India, the response of Indian corporates to financial deregulation, whether India should attempt to join the ASEAN and so on. Besides a thorough understanding of the theoretical concepts, you will be given an oppurtunity to develop your communication skills  through the conductance of group discussions, presentations, seminars and debates on current economic issues.
 This is our fourth batch of graduating students. Of the first two batches of students, all those who applied for higher studies abroad got offers for admission and financial aid from top U.S. universities like Yale, Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa, SUNY at Albany, Rutgers etc.  Others received job offers from private sector organizations such as ICRA, Telco and the CII. Some got into M.B.A. and M.Phil/Ph.D. programmes of reputed institutes in India.
 I hope this has given you a preliminary idea about our programme.

How do you get in?

That's easy to answer! You have to sit for an admissions test sometime in the month of May. Advertisements issued by the Jawaharlal Nehru University are published by all leading English Language newspapers in the month of March. All you have to do is apply for an admission form after paying the requisite fee. If your application is in order, i.e. if you have 50% or above in your B.A. or B.Sc., and if your draft does not bounce, you will be given an admit card and a letter inviting you to write the JNU entrance examination to the Centre of your choice. If you do sufficiently well, you are in.

But isn't the admission test very mathematical?

Let me confess that we do expect a degree of familiarity with mathematics, especially calculus, matrix algebra and some statistics. But that is about all. If you are familiar with A.C. Chiang's `Fundamental Methods in Mathematical Economics' you should have no problems. What we look for is not your knowledge of mathematics but your knowledge and command of economic theory and your ability to answer questions based on the same. To the extent mathematics can be used to answer such questions the test may be described mathematical. But if you can answer the same questions without using mathematics, you would not be at a disadvantage vis-a-vis others whose training in maths may be better than yours. In fact if you ahve gone through a standard microeconomics text book like Hal Varian's `Intermediate Microeconomics' and standard macroeconomics textbook like Rudiger Dornbusch and Stanley Fischer's `Macroeconomics', the test should not overawe you. All you are expected to do is to use your knowledge of economics to answer the problems that may be posed to you. Obviously, the problems will not be simple ones. But they will almost never require hard math. They will only require you to think! In fact why don't you have a look at the question papers and get an idea of what the test is all about? And if you have any suggestions, observations or opinions to express, feel free to e-mail to us at dsg68@jnuniv.ernet.in or write to any faculty member. Just append the following to the name of any member of the faculty.

International Trade and Development Division
Centre for Studies in Diplomacy in International Law and Economics
School of International Studies
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi 110067

2)The M.Phil-Ph.D Programme

The M.Phil-Ph.D programme of the International Trade & Development Division is designed keeping in mind the requirements of those students, who have chosen to pursue research in economics after completing their M.A. While the focus of research in this division is mainly in the fields of international economics and development economics, these are by no means the only areas in which research is carried out or supervised. For some time now, members of the faculty have been writing and supervising research in the areas of exhaustible Resources and environmental Economics. Research in Financial Economics in ITD got a massive boost, when the State Bank of India endowed the State Bank Chair of Finance to the division. Tied to this chair is a project `Forecasting Financial Variables for India.' Professor Sudipto Dasgupta, formerly of the University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong was appointed State Bank Chair Professor and Ms. Soubarna Pal from the University of Cardiff was appointed to assist Prof. Dasgupta on this project.
Students admitted to the M.Phil/Ph.D. programme have to complete an year's course work divided into two semesters. They are then permitted to write their M.Phil. dissertation only if they a certain minimum grade in the examinations conducted during and at the end of the coursework. Dissertations have to be submitted by the student within one year after completion of course work. Students, if they have done sufficiently well during their course work, may chose to by pass M.Phil and go into the Ph.D. programme directly. Students are ordinarily required to submit their Ph.D thesis within five years of completion of course work or four years of submission of the M.Phil. dissertation. Defence of the Ph.D thesis usually takes place after an year's time, but this of course depends largely on the external examiners. JNU issues advertisements for  entrance examinations to the M.Phil-Ph.D and M.A. programme simultaneously. For the M.Phil-Ph.D programme however, in addition to the written admission test, short-listed candidates also have to sit for an interview with the members of the faculty. The JNU administration issues the list of successful candidates after adding the marks of the interview  to those of the written examination.
I hope we have given you sufficient information to whet your appetite to know more, if not actually apply. Please send in your comments to us. 

Dipankar Sengupta

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