It is absolutely important to keep this in mind, because it is a fact that female foreign nationals are at considerable risk of encountering such behaviour. Stereotypes that foreign women are available and promiscuous abound. The reasons are many: a widely prevailing notion that decent women are the women at home, everyone else is fair game. Further, in the past, Bollywood did its bit to portray foreigners in this light. The current attitude in India is worsening as movies and advertisements increasingly depict women as objects. Consequently, inappropriate physical contact (“eve teasing”) in public places becomes a harrowing daily experience for women who have to take precautions (see below).

In 1997 in the landmark case of Vishaka Vs. State of Rajasthan and others, sexual harassment was explicitly legally defined as an unwelcome sexual gesture or behaviour whether directly or indirectly as

1. Sexually coloured remarks

2. Physical contact and advances

3. Showing pornography

4. A demand or request for sexual favours

5. Any other unwelcome physical, verbal/non-verbal conduct being sexual in nature.

It was in this landmark case that the sexual harassement was identified as a separate illegal behaviour.The critical factor in sexual harassement is the unwelcomeness of the behaviour. Thereby making the impact of such actions on the recipient more relevant rather than intent of the perpetrator- which is to be considered. Sections 294 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code state that sexual harassment is punishable. Such behaviour involves

1. Uttering any sexually coloured word or gesture, or

2. Exhibiting sexually loaded word, gesture, or object so that these are heard or seen by a woman, or

3. By intruding upon the privacy of a woman.

In May 1998 we had on the campus the first case of a foreign student filing an official complaint against a class mate who had (violently) harassed her (in the beginning he had just offered to help her in a friendly way).


A ladylike intimidated silence, thinking 'maybe I got it all wrong', 'what if they think I tempted him' 'its shameful', 'he might get me afterwards' WILL NOT HELP. Be firm: do not ignore the harassment, tell him to get lost and file a complaint with the JNU anti-sexual harassment cell (GSCASH). Call the police immediately if you can, and as soon as possible. DO NOT WAIT. The number is 100, and there are Police Control Room vans just outside the campus, and frequently within also.

IN CASE OF (ATTEMPTED) RAPE GO TO THE POLICE (Nelson Mandela Marg) AND MAKE SURE THEY REGISTER AN F.I.R. (First Information Report) At the station, demand to talk to the officer/constable of the women's cell. Make sure that you have an immediate complaint registered! The delay is what helps the criminals to get off by causing doubt to be cast on the victim. Silence and delay are not golden - they are toxic!


  • Avoid potentially dangerous situations such as walking alone late at night.

  • Stick to areas that are open, well lit, and busy. Scan the buildings, parking lots, parks, and other places you walk. SCAN CAREFULLY places where someone could hide. Bushes, darkened stairways and alleyways are favorite places for sexual predators anywhere.

  • Avoid shortcuts, ESPECIALLY through isolated areas.

  • If you're going out at night, GO WITH A GROUP.

  • Make sure that at least one very trustworthy person knows your schedule and whereabouts.


  • When riding on public transportation, sit near the driver and stay awake. Attackers are looking for vulnerable targets.



  • About 75-80% of all lone-offender violence against women and 45% of violence involving multiple-offenders are perpetrated by offenders WHOM THE VICTIM KNEW. Strangers commit perhaps 1 in 5 assaults.

  • With new acquaintances, keep in mind that they MIGHT confuse ordinary friendliness with overtures for more. India is not a society familiar with male-female friendships of the platonic sort. Friendliness elsewhere may be sometimes interpreted as something more intimate. Keep this in mind.

  • You don't have to sequester yourself, but REMEMBER ALSO THAT BODY LANGUAGE AND ETIQUETTE VARY ACROSS CULTURES. A display of affection between a male and a female is a loaded event in India, and might draw annoyance of others. For this reason also, displays of the body become a target of anger, disapproval, or thoroughly unwelcome male attention.

    III. For male foreign students:

  • Be careful about public displays of affection. They can cause serious offence.

  • Physical contact between different sexes is not common; between the same sex it is common and does not imply homosexuality. (Male-male intercourse is illegal in India, and lesbianism is a gray area, and as such, tends to be reviled as 'against Indian culture' although it draws more silence than action.)

  • In some circumstances, foreign men may also become targets of attention by Indian women. It is an unfortunate fact that white males are frequently (not always, certainly not even most of the time!) seen as a way to a better, easier life elsewhere. Do not let this unfortunate fact turn you into a cave-dweller or a xenophobe. Equally, do not let yourself be duped, coerced, or blackmailed in any way.

  • In the case of male-to-male overtures (reciprocal or not) it's your choice how you make, accept or reject the advances, in the light of the Indian laws, which you should at least be familiar with while deciding on your course of action.


    Have a picnic on JNU campus or go for a moonlight walk on our wild JNU jungle, to the Parthasarthy “Love” Rocks, Open Air Theatre, the famous caves or all the way to Qutub Minar. IIMC and ICGB also have a number of foreign students.

    Did you know that on our campus:

  • there are 70 bird species (including some 250 peacocks / hens)? For instance, Yellow Wattled Lapwing, Sindh Sparrow, Common Red Shank, Crusted Pied Cuckoo, Blue Check Bee Eater, Blue Red Start, Blue Throat, Red Throated Flycatcher, and Golden Oriole.
  • there are 14 species of snakes?
  • other animals include: Monitor Lizard, Jackals, Palm Civet, Porcupines, Small Indian Civet, Neelgay, and hare.
  • 70 % of our more than 1,000 acres (400 hectares or 4 sq.km.) campus is jungle.
  • the Horticulture Department (earlier the maintenance was done by the Central Public Works Department) has been planting 500 varieties of flora including medicinal ones like tulsi, aloe vera and arjuna. Eco-friendly grass-grid tiles have been put outside the cafeteria.
  • has more than 50 varieties of trees? E.g. jacaranda, areca palm, amaltas, ashoka, neem, jamun, gulmohar, kusum, chorisia, lagerstroemia) and shrubs (e.g. gardenia, crotons, har singar, hibiscus, lagerstroemia indica, tecoma capensis). In February the petunia, chrysanthemum and pansy will bloom around the PSR.
  • has 80 species of butterflies? Surya Prakash, Life Sciences, has tracked 73 species, including the Indian Cabbage White, Lime Butterfly, Blue Pansy, Red Pierrot, Common Silverline, Painted Lady, Indian Fritillary, some of which travel 400-500 km from the Himalayas.
  • an Environmental Task Force (including naturalist Pradip Krishen) has been set up in 2009 to approve any new construction on the campus and to choose the kind of trees?
  • there is a plan to make a bio-diversity zone where no construction will be allowed, according to Rector-I Rajendra Prasad (2009)?

    Let's hope and see, because too much of the natural beauty has been destroyed already, garbage dumps go unchecked (e.g. opposite Mahanadi hostel), 100+ stray dogs threaten the birds and reptiles, and the habitat for the animals has been shrinking (neelguys are pushed out across the outer wall and get killed/injured in the traffic) due to haphazard construction of buildings and roads and the increasing traffic on the roads within the campus…

    Waste and water management

    VATAVARAN is the social organisation (promotion of inter-caste co-operation) which collects waste from schools and hostels (not inside the hostels) and separates the items for recycling behind Tapti. They exchange your old paper for a potted plant or for recycled paper products.

    No one is allowed to burn plastics: it is illegal. Do not get the habit of throwing rubbish everywhere and please use the dustbins!

    There are 3 check dams on campus to replenish the water table, but there is no treatment plant for sewage water and no catchment system on rooftops. The red-white water tower near Aravali is world famous among pilots of all countries as it serves as a last orientation point for guiding the landing planes - unfortunately it is not functional due to faulty construction (some say it's a monument to corrupt constructors) - continuous water shortage in the hostels is the result.

    DO NOT GET THE HABIT TO LEAVE WATER TAPS OPEN, even when no water is coming, rather close all (running) taps.

    Try to reduce the use of plastic (bags and cups).

    SWITCH OFF FANS, COOLERS, LIGHTS when there is no one around or at night: electricity is in short supply!

    Campus developments

    Some real estate on our campus has been offered for development by other institutions: UGC (25 acres), B.C. Roy Hospital (8 acres), Nuclear Science Council (25 acres), ICGEB (25 acres), National Council for Plant Genome Research (15 acres), ICSSR (5 acres), IIMC (15 acres), NII (15 acres).

    New Centres have been constructed: Centre for Law and Governance, Sanskrit Centre, Science Centre (Planning Commission), Medical Research Centre (UGC) and Academic Staff College.

    The Campus Development Committee (chairperson: Prof. Mridula Mukherjee, CHS) sensitizes campus dwellers regarding the campus environment by meetings and actions (e.g. tree planting or the garden near EXIM library).


    There are elections for JNUSU (office in Stud. Centre) and the School convenors: cast a (secret) ballot in your School. This is unique in India as it is entirely and peacefully organised only by students. The nocturnal presidential debate and the counting are the highlights of the campaign. JNUSU takes action on behalf of all students or can help individuals. SFCs are not effective in most schools.

    FSA also has elections during a GBM in Aug./Sept.; all foreign students are requested to participate, give suggestions for activities and make their problems clear to the University authorities.

    Politics (on and off campus) is very much discussed in JNU; reading the mess pamphlets gives you an idea of what's on globally, nationally and locally and what the students think about it.


    For those whose language of Shakespeare is not (yet) up to the mark, there's a special course to improve their skills: Remedial English. It is taught 4 times/week, 4-6 pm in SLL&CS, English Centre. Register by writing your name in the file (1st floor, room 152). The course (not very demanding) focuses on oral and written English. The course starts late (minimum one month after the admission period).


    It is best if one parent comes first to India to arrange for everything, then the family follows;

    The waiting list is 2-3 years to get married hostel Mahanadi (the new building is better than the old one), until then a private room outside the campus must be rented;

    Children can be sent to private schools without difficulty - government schools require a lot of permits from the Ministry of Education;

    The school year for primary / secondary schools starts in June;

    There is a nursery behind KC Shopp. Centre;

    ICCR does not pay for family members.

    Sepehr was the youngest foreign student in JNU: born on 28 February 2000.


    To collect data for PhD, fieldwork may be required, although for MPhil it may also be useful and even MA students e.g. in CSRD, CSSS and CHS go for group fieldwork.

    Your supervisor may ask you to finish the drafts of a few chapters before allowing fieldwork leave.

    As a rule the student has to pay - even in SIS when a Centre or the School PhD Fieldwork Committee distributes financial assistance, foreign students have not been given funds – apply anyway.

    Seek money long in advance from outside sources, check e.g. the Grants Register (available in the library) and, of course, surf the net.

    When on fieldwork during the registration period, the registration may be done later - get a letter from your supervisor.

    ICCR scholars can get a refund of their transportation (1st cl. train non-AC, and a per diem of Rs. 60 / 80, see under Scholarship) within India.

    Fieldwork outside India:

    If you do not have a multiple entry visa for India, go to FRRO for a return visa (valid 90 days) with a letter from your chairperson.

    Bangladeshi nationals can be allowed to go to third countries for fieldwork if they have supporting documents (see Residence permit (FRRO)).

    If you go to Africa, South America or Papua New Guinea, you need a yellow fever vaccination and WHO certificate from IGI (Arrival mezzanine, Tuesdays + Thursdays, 2-4 pm, Rs. 75, tel. 565-3408) to go there and return to India.

    Apply for (tourist) visa and ask for travel information in the respective embassies; sometimes they require: a bonafide letter from your own embassy, your return ticket, a JNU bonafide certificate, a letter from your School explaining your fieldwork, proof of correspondence with an institution that will receive/lodge you abroad, or proof of enough money (see Embassies);

    Buy a travel guidebook for the country;

    In western countries ISIC and IYHF membership cards can save you a lot of money;

    We have students from some 35 countries in JNU, ask them for advice before you go to their embassy/country!

    FSA is an official JNU body to promote friendly relations and cultural exchange between international students and the host university. It has a constitution, a budget and an elected executive, finance & cultural committee. As with all democracies, the constituents of JNUSU and FSA get the leaders they deserve...a committed non-partisan executive can make all the difference and benefit all students who, in turn, should involve themselves by helping their executive in the organisation of activities and by checking the ways in which their money is being spent. FSA activities are posted on notice boards in the library and the Schools: Freshers’ welcome, a Diwali dance party at FSA office, picnic, international food festival, FSA Nite, etc. All foreign students are requested to communicate their new ideas/problems and to assist the committees. The office is in Tefla’s, 1st floor; there is a telephone for local calls (ext. 2876) and a computer. Traditionally there is a meeting on Thursdays 6 pm.


    Grades are based on:
    - presence in class;
    - participation in class;
    - term papers/book reviews;
    - presence in seminars;
    - mid/end semester exams;
    - fieldwork results;
    - Mphil dissertation/phD thesis + viva voce (this is the public defence of your dissertation/thesis before a jury of professors ).

    The grade point system: A+(9), A(8), A-(7), B+(6), B(5), B-(4), C+(3), C(2), C-(1), F(ail).

    c1 = credit of the ith course
    g1 = grade point of the ith course
    n = total number of courses

    CGPA = (g1 x c1) + (g2 x c2) + …
    Total number of credits



  • Due to the main runway (28-10) the JNU night-time noise level in 2008 was the highest of Delhi:
  • 67 DB(A) – whereas max. 45 is permitted in India
  • whereas in 2009 the landing planes over our heads have all but disappeared but planes taking off remain.
  • Standing under a landing plane reaches up to 90 DB(A).
  • Due to complaints by Vasant Kunj residents, however, there's a shift in the final approach routes of the planes.
  • When IGI was built a buffer zone of 15 km had to be maintained all around, but the land owning agency flouted this norm…


  • Public Place includes: auditorium, hospitals, health institutions, amusement centres, restaurants, public offices, court buildings, educational institutions, libraries, public conveyances, stadium, railway stations, bus stops, workplaces, shopping malls, cinema halls, refreshment rooms, discotheques, coffee houses, pubs, bars, airport lounges.
  • A violation is a punishable offence up to INR 200.
  • Separate smoking areas may be provided in hotels, restaurants, airports.
  • The owner, manager or supervisor of the public place shall be liable to pay a fine equivalent to the number of individual offences.
  • Check www.mohfw.nic.in
  • Violations may be reported to toll free number from BSLN/MTML lines: 1 800 11 04 56


    Reducing chances of cancer, allergies, neurological disorders because:

  • No chemical fertilizers
  • No pesticides
  • No human/industrial waste
  • No chemical/artificial preservatives
  • Indigenous seeds used
  • Not genetically modified
  • More nutricious (up to 40% more antioxidants)


  • Navdanya (Hauz Khaz and Dilli Haat)
  • Sikkim Organics (GK-I)
  • Dubdengreen (Shahpur Jat)
  • Spencers (Gurgaon)
  • Khadi (CP, …)
  • Food Bazaar (Select City Walk Mall, Saket)
  • Kendriya Bhandars


  • Average sized monitor
  • LCD screen
  • Ask for ROHS (Restriction on Hazardous Substance) compliant computer
  • Ask for computers with energy ratings and labels
  • Non-PVC, non-BFR
  • Choose an easily upgradable computer
  • check http://www.toxicslink.org/mediapr-view.php?pressrelnum=93


    A social awareness campaign is launched in 2009 (with Aamir Khan as brand ambassador for the Tourist Ministry!) to warn against littering, defacing (graffiti) monuments and molesting tourists. You may send your suggestions to

    check out http://www.atithi.org.in/

    SAVING ON COOKING GAS For those who are staying off campus, you can make your cylinder last 30% longer if you:

  • use a pressure cooker
  • reduce the flame when the boiling starts
  • soak dal, rice etc. in water before cooking Check out: http://www.pcra.org/ (Petroleum Conservation Research Association)


    Individual or group grievances and complaints about the administration or academics, the library or finance section should be addressed to the School Grievances Redressal Committees and ULGRC.

    HINDI / URDU ^

    It would greatly enrich your stay if you pick up some Hindi; it is useful off campus - not everyone speaks English: finding your way, bus numbers or prices can be challenging - but also to understand the Hindi culture (e.g. Hindi movie hits!) and for your (library) research. In SLL&CS there’s a course of Hindi for Foreigners (check the notice board, ground floor opposite the stairs) with groups of beginners and advanced; the quality and frequency, however, vary greatly and, in any case, 1½ hours a week won't make much difference, so it may be better to ask fellow students to help you - in return you may teach them something else. Books to learn Hindi are widely available. In some Centres there's the possibility of choosing Hindi / Urdu as a credit course: fill in an application form in the Centre of Indian Languages (SLL&CS, ground floor right) and get it signed. If you join independently, submit a written application to the Dean of your School requesting permission to join SLL&CS.


    You are not allowed to have a job during MPhil.

    You need an MA or equivalent degree to start MPhil.: the Admissions and Equivalence Committees decide.

    The results of the entrance tests come in the 3rd week of July.
    You have to do first 2 semesters of coursework, including a mandatory course of methodology.

    You may add or drop courses within 3 weeks of the start of the semester.

    When you register for the second year of Mphil you have to write on your folios: “Mphil Dissertation: (title)”.

    You first have to write a synopsis, i.e. giving an outline of what you want to do research about, a survey of the available literature and your methodology. When your supervisor has agreed to it, you give copies to all your Division faculty members and the synopsishas to be passed on the basis of your viva voce (oral presentation). You may have to make some changes and/or come for anotherviva. Then it has to be sent to the CASR to agree to it.

    For your dissertation you choose your guide or are chosen by a guide, depending on the Centre. If your guide leaves JNU, he maycontinue as co-guide.

    You have to submit 3 (+1 for your guide) bound copies with two application forms with signatures from as far away places as the stadium, library, Chief Proctor (Admin build.) and hostel.

    The absolute deadline for submission of your dissertation is 21st July of the 2nd year.

    The dissertation is sent to 1 external examiner.

    Courses and dissertation are graded separately, the latter will get the average of the grades given by your supervisor and the external. The total number of credits is 24 incl. at least 6 for your dissertation. FGPA = coursework grade + dissertation grade.

    ICCR refunds 50 % of your dissertation costs with a maximum of Rs. 5,000.

    PHD (THESIS) ^

    It is prohibited to have a job during PhD.

    You need 6.0 CGPA for your Mphil to start PhD.

    Or 6.5 CGPA of your coursework for direct PhD i.e. only 2 semesters of MPhil after which you do not write a dissertation but continue directly PhD.

    The Group of Political Thought and Comparative Politics (SIS) and Group of Philosophy (SLL&CS) take only direct PhD students: you can change your Centre after MPhil if you want to go there; get a letter from your old and new supervisor and chairpersons’ blessings.

    Some students are only accepted for direct PhD if they attend some non-credit courses (no exams).

    When you register for the first year of PhD, you have to write on your folios: “Provisional PhD”.

    You first have to write a synopsis, i.e. giving an outline of what you want to do research about, a survey of the available literature and your methodology. When your supervisor has agreed to it, you give copies to all your Division faculty members and the synopsis has to be passed on the basis of your viva voce (oral presentation). You may have to make some changes and/or come for another viva. Then CASR has to agree to it.

    Depending on the Centre you choose your guide or your guide chooses you. A co-guide may also be appointed. If your guide leaves the university, he may continue as co-guide.

    After your admission is confirmed (confirmation), a PhD takes minimum 2 years. The deadline for submission is within 6 years after admission to MPhil or 4 years from PhD confirmation (but see 9B).

    The thesis and an abstract (short summary of approx. 10 pp.) are sent to 2 external examiners.

    A viva voce (oral defence) is not held unless each examiner “certifies that the thesis constitutes a contribution to knowledge characterised either by the discovery of new facts or by reinterpretation of known facts or development of new techniques and that the methodology pursued by the candidate is sound and its literary presentation satisfactory.”

    If one external examiner cannot attend the viva, another one shall be appointed or the viva may be held with only one examiner; if the supervisor cannot attend, another faculty member may be appointed.

    ICCR refunds 50% of your costs for the thesis with a maximum of Rs. 5,000.

    Points for consideration

    Choice of topic and guide: you come all the way to India to do your research, if you want to keep your motivation for 2 to 5 years, and get a degree which will help you to find employment, it is in your own interest to do the research you think is best suited and to get the best guide whom you like. This may involve trying to convince the most suitable guide to choose you and/or to convince your guide that you want to do research on a particular topic. This may mean being firm and not letting your guide talk you into researching a topic s/he is more interested in than would suit you and your future employment chances. It may also mean that you will have to insist that the Centre reconsider their choice of a particular guide if s/he is not suitable to you(r topic). Changing a guide in one Centre for another in another Centre (School) is possible.

    How to find out about guides/topics? In SLS talk to students of every lab, visit each lab and check the equipment as well as the lab’s publications; in social sciences talk to students and read publications by supervisors. In all cases you can listen to professors in seminars, and/or talk to them in private.

    Before getting a co-supervisor, consider how the two co-supervisors get along personally.

    Many supervisors expect SLS scholarship holders to donate their contingency fund for lab upliftment.

    The MPhil and PhD synopsis do not differ much.

    The dissertation and thesis do not differ quantitatively (minimum 80-100 pages, 1.5 line spacing); the former is usually more based on secondary, the latter on primary sources.

    For PhD fieldwork may be necessary (see “FIELDWORK”).

  • Your guide has to provide the names of the panel of external examiners to your centre which has to pass on this list to the school where it has to be approved during a CASR meeting. Make sure that together with your submission or shortly thereafter your guide has given this list as otherwise your thesis will be lying in the school office until this is the case. You are not supposed to know the names of the externals. When their names have been approved by the CASR, your thesis copies will be sent to the Evaluation Branch in the Ad. block.  This Branch has to send the copies to the externals and will receive their reports. Check after some time whether these reports have come so that your viva date may be set as soon as possible.

  • If you leave after submission, give your contact details to your guide and your secretariate staff so that they can contact you for your viva date.

    A viva voce may take 6 months to 1 year after submission, during which you have to decide to go home or to stay idle (foreign students may remain in the hostel). Put pressure on your guide and the administration to speed up your viva voce; if examiners or your supervisor are not available, refer to the fact that others may be appointed in their place. Two externals are chosen from a list presented by the supervisor. Unfortunately there is no deadline for a viva to be held. It is up to the supervisor to push the externals into setting a date, and it is up to the student to push his/her supervisor to do just that. Cases have been known to drag on 2 years after submission! If there is a problem, write an application to the VC to direct the dean of your school to direct the chairperson of your centre to schedule a date for a viva. 

  • ICCR does not pay for this period if your scholarship period has finished, nor do they pay your plane ticket to come back for the viva.

    If you want to interrupt your PhD research, you can de-register after 2 years; when you come back within 8 years, your synopsis has to be passed again. If you come back after 8 years, you will have to apply for admission again.

    9B ^

    The Ordinance Relating to the Award of PhD:

    "9.(b) The Committee for Advanced Studies and Research on the recommendation of concerned Deptt./Centre may, however, subsequently accept the request of candidate whose name has been removed from the roles of the University under sub-clause (a) above, to get re-enrolled and become eligible for submission of his/her thesis, provided he/she submits his/her thesis within one year from the date of his/her enrolment.”

    In order to avail of a “9B-clause”, you have to do the following:

    1. finish 75% of your thesis

    2. attach a separate letter signed by your supervisor stating that you will imperatively submit your thesis within exactly one year of the confirmation of your “9B”-status

    3. you have to defend your case before your Centre 9B Committee which includes 1 external (questions will be asked why you are late and whether you can finish within 2 semesters)

    4. apply to the Dean of your School a month or longer before the end of your 8 semesters of PhD by filling up six copies of the “Clause 9B folio” from the School

    4. get them signed by your supervisor, the external and chairperson

    5. a CASR meeting of the School has to approve of your application (this meeting is held only once a month, check for the date with the PA of the Dean)

    6. your 9B approval letter will be issued by the school a few days after the CASR meeting

    7. pay your fees in the Adblock

    8. show the fee receipt to the School and get the folios signed by the AO 9. give the folios to the School and Centre, Dean of Students and Hostel - one is for yourself.

    It is impossible to de-register once you have been issued a “9B”.

    If it's due to your supervisor's fault, and with the agreement from your chairperson, it is possible that a student is forced to submit some weeks or months after the 9B deadline of 2 semesters is over.


    Part-time courses (COP / DOP / ADOP) exist for: Bhasa Indonesia, Italian, Pushtu, Portuguese, Korean, Urdu and Mongolian. In CHS (SSSII) they offer Sanskrit, Marati, Persian, and Bengali.


    A previous semester can be declared a “zero semester” in the subsequent semester only on medical grounds if recommended by the chairperson: the tuition fee had to be paid, but no assignments/exams, even if taken, will be counted in the calculation of the CGPA. You can then add one more semester to complete.


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