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Located at the crossroads of South Asia and Central Asia, facing southwards from the Hindukush into the Indian sub-continent and looks down northwards into India’s extended neighbourhood. Afghanistan’s political geography has left a deep imprint not only on the regional geo-political calculus but is also mirrored in its diverse and complex socio-cultural tapestry.

Traditionally the India has had deep civilizational links with Afghanistan. The change in political geography of the region with the 1947 partition notwithstanding, India has maintained good political relations with the Afghan state. The only aberration thus far being the period of Taliban rule (1996-2001). India’s engagement with the country was stepped up after 2001 with the aim of contributing to international efforts to bring peace, stability and eventually resuscitating the country as a bridge between South and Central Asia. However intensified political and diplomatic engagement has not translated into a deeper socio-anthropological understanding of Afghan society, essential to evolving a sound policy prognosis.

The Centre for Afghanistan Studies (CAS) through its research intends to provide a window into complex yet fascinating dynamics shaping socio-cultural, geo-political and economic landscape of Afghanistan. CAS would contribute to cutting edge, policy oriented research on Afghanistan and its implications for the region at large. It would also provide a platform for collaborative exchange programs and transmission of knowledge to students and scholars.


  • Engage with key thematic of politics, society and culture in Afghanistan and its impact on regional geo-political dynamics.
  • Undertake collaborative research and transfer of knowledge to host societies.


  • Serve as a resource hub for students and scholars on Afghanistan and the larger region.
  • Contribute to cutting edge research.
  • Promote exchange of knowledge, ideas and people.


1. Institutional networking

  • Collaborate with research and educational institutions in Afghanistan and Central Asia.
  • Promote active exchange of research scholars and students.

2. Research

  • Engage in trans-disciplinary research, drawing on, but not limited to fields of history, anthropology, sociology and political science.
  • Examine the impact of prolonged armed conflict on the social, cultural, political and geo-political landscape of Afghanistan.
  • Establish a first of its kind resource centre on Afghanistan in India in collaboration with the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University.

3. Course(s) Offered

  • South and Central Asia: Key Issues and Perspectives
  • Dari Language

4. Outreach

  • Disseminate research findings in the academic and policy circles through organization conferences and research publications

5. Publications

  • Sharma, Raghav- Afghanistan 's Ethno-Political Challenges: A case for Federal Arrangements in Arpita Basu Roy and Srimanti Sarkar ed. THE POLITICAL FUTURE OF AFGHANISTAN: ISSUES AND PERSPECTIVES, Knowledge World Publishers, New Delhi, 2016.
  • Book: Nation, Ethnicity and the Conflict in Afghanistan: Political Islam and the Rise of Ethno-Politics (1992-1996), Rutledge, United Kingdom, 2016

Associate Professor, Jindal School of International Affairs