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Study Guide to Masters and Bachelors Degree Courses

MA in Modern Indian Studies
Centre for Modern Indian Studies
University of Goettingen


Address Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS), Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Waldweg 26, Raum/Office 1.108, D-37073 Göttingen
Tel. No. +49-551-3920238
Fax No. +49-551-3914215
E-mail address
Course MA in Modern Indian Studies
Type of course Full-time
Length of course 2 years, i.e. 4 terms
Date of commencement Winter term
Class size Up to 25 students
Cost/Fees 500 Euro tuition fee/semester, approx.. 217 Euro fee for administration, student body, and student services (includes reduced fare on regional trains in Lower Saxony and subsidised use of university dining facilities.)
Student grants / financial assistance DAAD, Erasmus Mundus etc.
Accommodation Students can apply for student hostel accommodation
Exchange Partner Schools Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India; School of Social Sciences, JNU, Delhi, India; Delhi University, India; Tata Institute for Social Sciences, Mumbai, India; University of Pune, Pune, India
Major recruiters of graduates of this programme The Master Programme „Modern Indian Studies“ qualifies for a professional career in Indian and transnational companies, in the field of social and economic development, in associations, in administration and public service, in NGOs, in tourism and in the field of media and communication. Furthermore, it provides the basis to continue an academic career.
Admissions requirements Candidates with a native language other than English must have sufficient knowledge in English. Sufficient knowledge in English must be proved by minimum achievements in an internationally recognised test:

a) Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English,
b) Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English,
c) “International English Language Testing System” (IELTS), minimum level “Band 6”,
d) a minimum of 550 points in the paper-based “Test of English as a Foreign Language” (paper-based TOEFL),
e) a minimum of 220 points in the computer-based “Test of English as a Foreign Language” (computer-based TOEFL),
f) a minimum of 83 points in the “new internet-based TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language”,
g) UNIcert, level III,
h) C1 Certificate according to CEF (Common European Framework).

Successful passing of the test must not date back longer than three years prior to receipt of the application for enrolment and admission to the Master’s degree programme. Candidates who have completed at least one year of study or gainful employment in an English-speaking country in the last four years prior to receipt of the application for admission are exempt from furnishing evidence of having passed a test. The proof of sufficient knowledge in English must be submitted to the Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences, University of Goettingen by 30 September at the latest when enrolling for a winter semester; this evidence is a matriculation prerequisite; conditional enrolment is excluded.

Student profile 1. Ratio of National / Overseas students 60 - 40
2. Ratio of Men / Women 50-50
3. Age range Currently 24-35, there is no age limit.
Contact details for application Michaela Dimmers
Course director Prof. Rupa Viswanath & Prof. Ravi Ahuja
Directors Centre for Modern Indian Studies, University of Göttingen, Germany


MA in Modern Indian Studies


This Master’s programme at the interdisciplinary Centre of Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS) offers an in-depth study of modern India. The goal of the “Modern Indian Studies” Master’s programme is to teach students in-depth specialised knowledge and enable them to grasp the complex issues connected with the subject and to apply the essential theories and methods. Through the acquisition of well-founded knowledge in the field of Modern Indian Studies and through interdisciplinary examination of the theories and methods applied in the different fields, students will learn how to independently frame scientific problems and analyse social structures and processes in India, and will thus be able to understand problems in the field of Modern Indian Studies.

The purpose of Modern Indian Studies is the academic research of social, cultural and economic phenomena in modern India. We focus on social and economic inequality and the problems to which they give rise, as well as questions of cultural and religious diversity.

The MA requires students to gain specialist knowledge and trains them to conduct interdisciplinary scientific research independently. By imparting subject-specific knowledge and methodological-analytical abilities the program prepares students either for a successful career or for continuing academic training in doctoral programs.

The Program

The English-language MA in Modern Indian Studies takes a multi-faceted approach to current issues in the study of modern India. The interdisciplinary approach includes perspectives from the social sciences, humanities, and economics. This program is offered by the Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS), University of Goettingen, Germany.

Teaching and research at CeMIS takes place in the following fields:

• Modern Indian History
• Indian Economic Development
• State and Democracy of Modern India
• Indian Religions
• Society and Culture of Modern India
• Anthropology of Public Health in South Asia.

There are development economists, anthropologists, historians, Indologists, political scientists, scholars of religious studies, sociologists, and geographers actively participating in the programme.

The courses are taught by lecturers and researchers from CeMIS, the faculties of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Economics, and international guest lecturers. Currently, students in the Modern Indian Studies MA can choose between two study foci: “Development Studies” with a focus on India’s political and economic development and “Social and Cultural Studies” with a focus on the history, society, religions, and languages of India. All students will also take courses in the disciplines outside the chosen study focus.

The students spend their third semester at one of our South Asian partner universities. The study of a modern Indian language is a required part of the curriculum; students may be exempted from this requirement if they can prove fluency in a modern Indian language.

Small class sizes and the effective work of our coordination office, student councillors and supervisors mean students of Modern Indian Studies study in a productive, trust-inspiring atmosphere.

The State and University Library of Lower Saxony (SUB), one of the five largest academic libraries in Germany, is only a short distance from CeMIS.


The study programme is divided into specialized studies in Modern Indian Studies, practical courses such as internships and excursions, and a Master’s Thesis. A total of 120 ECTS-credits need to be completed, out of which 78 ECTS-credits are specialized Modern Indian Studies, courses, 12 ECTS-credits are practical courses, and the Master’s Thesis counts for 30 ECTS-credits. In order to ensure the multidisciplinarity of the programme the specialized courses in “Modern Indian Studies” are divided into two parts:

1) Study focus: either (1) “Development Studies”, encompassing the subjects Indian Economic Development and State and Democracy of Modern India, or (2) “Social and Cultural Studies” which can includes Modern Indian History, Indian Religions, Society and Culture of Modern India, and Anthropology of Public Health in South Asia.

2) Compulsory elective modules: courses outside the study focus, i.e. students who take “Development Studies” will take courses from the one or more of the fields of Modern Indian History, Indian Religions, Society and Culture of Modern India and Anthropology of Public Health in South Asia as compulsory elective modules, while students with a study focus “Social and Cultural Studies” will take courses in Indian Economic Development and State and Democracy of Modern India.

During the third term of the programme students will study at a partner university in South Asia. The fourth term is reserved for the completion of the Master’s thesis.


Courses are taught by experts in Modern Indian History, Indian Economic Development, State and Democracy of Modern India, Indian Religions, Society and Culture of Modern India, and Anthropology of Public Health in South Asia. These courses are accompanied by tutorials or practicals in which practical implications are explained. All courses are taught in English. In addition courses in Indology, political science, history, economics, religious studies, anthropology etc. can be taken. Apart from these courses, study excursions to India, internships, and language courses in a modern Indian language are an integral part of the curriculum.

For details on our course programme please see our booklets on:

Opportunities and Perspectives

Those who have successfully completed the Modern Indian Studies MA are qualified to begin careers in Indian or transnational corporations, development organizations, administration and government agencies, international and national NGOs, tourism, as well as media and communications. They may also choose to pursue an academic career in research and teaching. The Master’s program serves as a prerequisite for entry to into a doctoral programme.

Tuition fees

The current tuition fee at the University of Goettingen is currently 500 Euro/semester, plus a total of approximately 217 Euro for administrative fees, contributions to the student body and student services. This currently includes currently free train tickets for local trains within Lower Saxony and certain trains in the rest of northern Germany, parts of Hesse, North-Rhine Westphalia etc.

Application and Admission

Language requirements

Apart from the study of a Modern Indian Language, English is a requirement for admission. As this Master’s programme is taught entirely in English, applicants need to prove sufficient knowledge of English by submitting a certificate stating that they have passed an internationally recognised test, such as TOEFL, Cambridge Certificate, IELTS, UNIcert level “III”, CEF, level C1) unless their mother tongue is English or they have completed at least one year of study or gainful employment in an English-speaking country in the last four years. For details please refer to:

Applications are open from 06.04.2012 to 15.05.2012. Please refer to:

Admissions are each winter term, which starts on 01. October each year.

The Centre for Modern Indian Studies

India has been a central node in global circuits of cultural exchange and trade for hundreds of years, and has long engaged the attention of European scholars. Now home to over a billion people, India’s importance in global politics, cultural production, and economic activity has increased exponentially in the last two decades. In response, the University of Göttingen founded the Centre for Modern Indian

Studies (CeMIS) in September 2009, inaugurating a worldclass program of research and teaching focused on this critical part of the globe.

CeMIS’s teaching concerns the most significant contemporary socio-economic, political, and cultural developments on the subcontinent. While our academic focus spans a wide range of disciplines, our faculty share a thematic commitment to study India’s ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity, and its myriad forms of social and political-economic inequality. In short, our interdisciplinary breadth, our thematic focus on difference and inequality in contemporary society, and the vastness of our range of intellectual and institutional resources, make CeMIS unique among Indian Studies centres not only in Germany, but across Europe as a whole.

CeMIS also builds upon the strengths of other research centres in Göttingen, including`the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, an independent research center with expertise in the areas of anthropology, sociology, and religious studies; the Department of Human Geography, which focuses on global change, urbanization, nutrition systems, and potentially conflicting interests in human-environment relations; and the Courant Research Centre on Poverty, Equity and Growth in Developing and Transition Countries, which focuses on the statistical and econometric analysis of the dynamics of income and non-income poverty and inequality.


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