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Contemporary Indian Politics (ResMA)


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Asian Studies (research) or another relevant research MA programme. Students from other departments are kindly referred to the course description of the regular MA course.


India, after its independence, has adopted parliamentary democracy and has become the largest democracy in the world. While many postcolonial nations have failed in their democratic experiment, India presents a success story. But understanding and analyzing the critical components of politics in a plural and diverse country like India with many religions, regions, classes, castes and communities becomes a challenging exercise. Thus, the vibrant domain of Indian political process is fiercely contentious as it has to negotiate with a wide range of diversities and pluralities within a democratic framework in order to arrive at some kind of consensus. This course will critically reflect upon some core themes of contemporary Indian politics:

Course objectives

The course aims to impart an in-depth understanding of contemporary Indian politics which will enable the students to:

  • understand how different political institutions, actors and processes shape Indian politics;

  • comprehend the multiple trajectories and contestations of Indian democracy; and

  • develop skills in research, analysis, presentation and writing on Indian politics.


The timetable is available on the Asian Studies website

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar. The course combines lectures, discussions of readings (primary and secondary source material) and presentations.

Course Load

10 EC course:

  • Lectures: 24 hours

  • Extra sessions for ResMA students: 6 hours

  • Studying literature: 54 hours (10 hours per week)

  • Preparing for class presentation: 12 hours

  • Writing short reflection papers: 24 hours

  • Researching/Writing term paper: 120 hours

Assessment method

In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 6.0 or higher. Students who have received less in their assignments and research papers will be allowed to resubmit and be given additional 7 days and 15 days respectively.

10 EC course

  • Participation in class , one short written Assignment & Presentation: (40%)

  • One Long Research Paper & Presentation: (60%)

The final paper is written in two stages: a first draft that receives feedback and a final draft. Students who do not meet the deadline for the first version will lose the right to receive feedback or submit a first draft; only the final draft will be accepted. (The paper deadline mentioned in uSis is a fictional date for administration purposes only. The actual date will be communicated by the convenor of the course.)


Blackboard will be used regularly for webpostings and to make course syllabus, information and readings available

Reading list

The reading list will be provided on Blackboard. Students who want to start preparing themselves before the start of the course can get a provisionary Reading List from the lecturer (see contact details below)


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte

Registration Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. Pralay Kanungo to: (