Thursday, 13 March, 2008

Life in JNU: Experience of Viva Voce at JNU

I found this is the sent box of my old email written on 3 of August 2002.

Entrance examinations for M.Phil/ Phd Programmes of Study in the Jawaharlal Nehru University is held in two stages--- the written examination and the next, if the students qualify in the written examination the viva voce. The written examination is held all over India in forty-nine centers and also in Dhaka and Katmandu. The viva is held in JNU itself. So students who have been short-listed have to go over to Delhi. Coming from Calcutta, the first shock is the campus of JNU. It is simply huge. Those of us who are used to Presidency and JU campus, JNU campus looks something like a reserved forest. After entering through the main gate the roads go winding, with trees on both the sides, with a slight undulation, which makes you feel like you are in a hill station. You almost expect some wild animal to come dashing out on to the road, blocking your way. My viva was in the School of International Studies (SIS) Building, which after some misdirection was found in due time. Adjacent to the SIS Building is the School Of Languages (SL) Building, which I went into by mistake. Then when I asked around for the department of South East Asian Studies in my Benglish Hindi, some helpful students directed me to the department of Chinese Language. My heart stopped for a moment because for one second I thought that maybe I was expected to appear for my viva in South East Asian Area Studies in Chinese. While I was feeling thus doomed, one kind lady saved me, telling me I was in the wrong building. With minutes to spare for my viva I entered the right building and battled my way (because mostly people had a hard time understanding my Hindi) into the right department. The viva was held in a congenial atmosphere, where I was mainly asked questions from the write up I had prepared specifically for this purpose. There were fifteen students called for the viva, with only two of us from International Relations Department of Jadavpur University, rest were all students of JNU. My write up was on Myanmar, so were of twelve other students. My viva went on for barely fifteen to twenty minutes. After the viva the next step was taking the reimbursement of the train fare, which the University pays to students coming over and above a distance of 300 km. Again that was some experience. Thank God I had a friend with me, otherwise it would not have been possible to collect the money. After getting the form from the department and getting it signed by the chairperson, we had to take it to the Administration Building. There after running around from this floor to that, finally we told to go to the cash department. In the cash department there were many outstation students who had come for viva. The place looked and sounded truly cosmopolitan. By the time we were handed our money, we had gathered an idea of what JNU really was.


  1. what kind of questions did they ask you? I have applied for m.phil in european studies.

  2. HI Reena, I had appeared for viva in 2002 so almost forgotten what was asked. What I vaguely remember is the usual academic questions, plus why I want to pursue that particular area study and also on the paper I wrote. Best of luck. If you are new to JNU arrive early cos chances of getting lost are immense!


Hey there, thanks for your comment, let me take a peek and I will soon post it. Cheers!