MA Economics (SSS): Jawaharlal Nehru University

JNU has two schools that offer post graduation in Economics: School of Social Sciences (SSS) and School of International Studies (SIS). SSS has MA in Economics which is open to students from all streams. However, only graduates in Economics are eligible to apply for MA Economics with specialization in World Economicy offered by SIS.

SSS (MA Economics)

To crack JNU entrance, solving past years is extremely important. They essentially have the same trend of questions being followed over years. If you are preparing for ISI and DSE entrances, clearing JNU may not be that challenging. SSS entrance tests on basics and do not really focus on any sophisticated problems like ISI and DSE. Last year SSS entrance had objective as well as subjective questions.

Mathematics and Statistics part may be done from past years only. They have questions on probability, index numbers, Correlation, Mean, Variance, Coefficient of Variation, quantiles and other such topics from basic statistics (be clear with the properties of all the topics). My suggestion will be to go through DU Economics first year course on Statistical Methods for Economics.  In mathematics, cover topics like AP, GP, HP, Compound Interest, finding maxima and minima, basics about functions like finding inverse of a function, go through the properties of logarithmic and exponential functions etc.

For Microeconomics, utility maximisation, cost functions and various market setups (perfect competition, monopoly, oligopoly) shall be done properly (I fathom that one of the favourite question of JNU is to find equilibrium in perfectly competitive market given a cost function). Know the basics like what is Production Possibility frontier, what happens to MC or AC or some utility function at optimum, price elasticity of demand etc.

NIA used to be one of the favourite topics of SSS. But, last year they did not ask as many questions on NIA as earlier which was quite surprising! However, to be on safe side, go through the basics of NIA from 12th class NCERT. Do first few chapters of NIA from Dornbusch and Fischer. They are necessary. You can also go through NIA chapter in International Economics by Paul Krugman. They usually ask atleast one question on National Income identity. Also know what appreciation, depreciation and terms of trade like terms are. Questions on IS-LM (goods market equilibrium and money market equilibrium), money multiplier are equally expected.

Lastly, for the social awareness questions, you need to know what poverty line in India is (they may ask what is the poverty ration suggested by Tendulkar Committee!), trend in labour share in different sectors, sex ratio, Five year plans etc. I believe for this section, it is important to be updated with current affairs through newspapers. Last year they had asked to write an essay as well. Financial crisis and Lewis model were one of the five topics on which the student could write on. This time as well they may give topics like Financial Inclusion, Keynesian Economics, something related to New Economic Policy etc.

An entry on MA Economics with specialization in World Economy offered by SIS shall follow!

P.S: Past year papers can be obtained directly from JNU while applying for the course. They are also available at DSE photocopy shop.

For information regarding eligibility criteria, syllabus etc., see here.

For any query/comments regarding MA Economics offered by SSS, post your comments on this blog entry. For queries in other entrances (JNU:SIS,ISI,DSE), put your comments in the respective blog entry. Please note that the comments are approved before being posted on the website so please don’t post your comments multiple times. Questions that have been already answered in the blog or in the comments will not be approved.

83 thoughts on “MA Economics (SSS): Jawaharlal Nehru University”

  1. hi riju… how are you? I am your junior from kmc. your blog is really very helpful. can you tell me about the jnu sss exam pattern? they are giving only mcqs this year. so does it mean a more tough paper and negative marking?

    1. Hi Harsh! Nice to see your comment. JNU focuses on concepts and not its application like DSE entrance. I think you would have realised this if you would have done the past years, which is very necessary for JNU. Focus on concepts that we take for granted (and hence skip/forget) while studying Micro. Maths part usually has AP GP sort of questions. The paper is not tough as such but yes general awareness questions can make lot of difference. They are very specific and hence make sure that you know the facts (about Indian Economy) right. I cant say if it will be easier/tougher this time with only MCQs being asked. The subjective part was quite easy in JNU SSS last year, as you would have probably seen. All the best!

  2. Thank you so much for such a quick reply since the JNU entrance is tomorrow only.
    I need your guidance for d school. Only a month left for it. Will be in touch with you through your blog. thanks!

  3. Hi,
    All your analysis is worth reading.
    How much was d cut off last year for both MA Eco n MA Eco(Specialization in World Eco) ??


    1. @Shalini, Saadia: No idea about the cut-off. The paper is quite simple and it is given by a larger number as JNU has centres all over India. Must be on higher end.

    1. @Sudershan: Check the prospectus for the no. of seats. There are no interviews for SSS! The questions in SSS are quite easy, my GUESS is it should be around 65%. It is pure guess!

  4. nd yes whats the range u mean by higher note for cut off,as the negative marking was of 1/2 marks fr wrong answer while fr correct one one gets just 1 marks

  5. I went through the prospectus and there is nothing said about the number of seats in sss deptt. And interview is prescribed for both sss and sis.

    1. @Harsh: Thanks.
      @Sudershan: Where is it written that interviews will be conducted? I went through the prospectus and there is no mention of interview for PG. Interviews are conducted for only M.Phil/Ph.D students. Check it carefully again.
      @Shalini: Past years of all the entrances!

  6. hi riju
    i m your junior from kmc i want to ask whether it is more feasible to pursue m.a. eco from jnu sss or dse keeping in mind that i want to appear for ias so that i can dabble both things.
    also suggest me the name of coaching institutes which prepares for these entrance exams.

    1. @Vaibhav My suggestion would be DSE. It helps in keeping other options open which is very important if you are planning for IAS. Some people suggest for JNU as many people there usually head for IAS. But my personal suggestion is DSE. For coaching institutes, i will suggest you to google.

  7. Riju,

    I’m a final year BTech student and I want to study IR with specialization in International Economics. I have a little knowledge of economics, but most of it is from what I’ve understood from general reading of some economic textbooks like the one by Mankiw. I am looking for more material, and how I should go about studying for the JNU exam. I’m interested in studying for the SIS MA Eco.

    Can I get in touch with you through mail or chat for more on this. Thanks in advance.

    1. @Kanwaljeet: There is a blog entry on SIS MA Economics. Kindly read that. Besides, IR is a different course offered by SIS, JNU.

  8. Hello Riju, I wanted to know about the placement scenario in the JNU sss,what;s the real scope after doing MA if you are not for civil services?

    1. @Aditya: There are some companies like Watson & Wyatt that come to JNU to recruit students. PhD is also an option.

  9. hi riju.i have started with my preparations for the entrances next year..but i am a little confused and i need some guidance as in what subject to start with?Anyways i also wanted to know a little more in detail about the social awareness part of the entrance..and were can i best pick up the information from..other then the newspapers..or some specific journal,website, i also start going through the economic and political most of our du undergraduate (economics hons),syllabus comes from that..please let me know..

    1. @Rumita: You can get hold of pratiyogita darpan economics issue. It has good amount of GK. EPW is not required but it certainly helps in essay type questions.

  10. hi riju, i m an eco graduate form B.H.U.VARANASI. i wish to go for JNU,MSE,GIPE and UoH. but i have problem with maths bcs i dnt have maths at my +2 level. so,will u pls guide me for preparing. Thnx

    1. @Dinkar: If you did not have maths at +2 level, it will be problemetic for you to pursue MA Economics. I have no idea about MSE, GIPE and UoH. For JNU, refer the blog.

  11. hi riju..Im a 3rd Math Hons student and i want to appear for the MA economics entrance for JNU this yr.
    iv heard DSE has 2 seperate entrances for M.A is for studients who have done BA Economics and one for ppl with a math or stats background and that entrance is more or less math related only.

    now my question is that does that happen in JNU entrance as well?since im a math hon student,i dont have any idea about what is taught at the bachelors level in eco so is it enough to prepare my math concepts like probablity statistics,etc well or would i be required to prepare from the BA economics course as well?

    1. @U: No, it is not enough for you to just do mathematics. You are required to study economics that is taught at under graduate level. Refer to the blog for the list of topics required to be covered. Get the past year question papers to get an idea of what kind of questions are asked in the entrance.

  12. Hey Riju,
    I’m currently in my second year BA eco from DU. Is it too soon for me to start preparing for JNU/DSE entrances? how much time should i dedicate? also, how do i prepare for the GK questions because my GK is really poor. is there anything else i should start preparing from now on?

    P.S. your site is really helpful though on the downside it makes everything look easy :p

  13. Hi ,
    ur blog is really very very useful.
    I have completed BBA with Ist division and 10+2 i completed with Commerce and Computer science . On the basis of this qualification , can i apply for JNU MA economics entrance exam. Please advise.

    Thanks & regards

    1. @Vibhuti: See the information brochure of JNU.
      @Rahul: Neither take any interview
      @Manmeet: I have already answered this question in one of the comments. Please go through the blog as well as the comments.
      @Ankit: Are you interested in salary or PhD?
      @Kanwalpreet: Please look for the books yourself. I do not have any links
      @Niyati: If you are referring for general course then may be you can go through ‘Principles of Economics’ by Mankiw

  14. Hi,

    Thanks for the useful information. I do have a query..does JNU accept only fresh graduates ? Is there any condition on the eligibility??

    Kindle let me know..


  15. Hi Riju,

    Please accept my sincere thanks for helping many aspirants of MA Eco in a selfless way.
    Please help on my queries also.
    I am electrical engineer with 6 years of experience. My major experience is in Management (Specifically Marketing, account management & International trade development) that too in automotive industry.
    I want to study economics from a good institute; main motive is to learn & study & to get into teaching industry (more specifically in the field of Management education for subject managerial economics). I don’t want to pursue any correspondence course.
    I heard that in DU or DSE, you have an option of continue your education on Saturday & Sunday without attending classed on weekdays and you will get degree of a regular student.
    Also let me know in case, I pursue this MA Eco course full time from DSE what are the future job prospects in education sector & in corporate sectors. How the placements of past batches & what are is the profile of the class size, are there any cases of experienced (totally different) students like me.
    What will you suggest in this case, most probably I will go for exam next year only (as I need to prepare a lot).

  16. Hey! :)
    What were the cut-offs for the 2010 JNU SSS and SIS entrance exams? Some people were saying it was 66% for the SSS exam for the general category.. Is that true?
    Also are calculators allowed for the entrance exam? Scientific ones or normal?

  17. hello,, i am a bcom graduate from lucknow univ with maths as one of the subject in 2nd yr and also in 10+2,,
    am i also eligible for ma eco sis??
    also how to get last yr papers as i am from lko,,

  18. hi riju,
    i am a student of BA II (eco hons.) frm KU..i am not good at maths.i want to join DSE/jnu for MA eco. Is it true that DSE conducts two separate entrances for MA eco. .where from can i get past 5 years question for MA eco entrance exam?I’ll be highly oblized if you can please help me..
    with regards
    charu bansal

  19. thanx for the valuable info. riju!

    i have gone through class 11th and 12th ncert textbooks as i am not from eco background..

    reading anymore will mess up things. what else can i do to improve further?


    1. @Vishal: 11th and 12th level Economics is literally nothing if you wish to clear any of the post graduate economics entrances

  20. hi…i am a 3rd yr student of bbe in du…m appearing for d exam dis year…just wanted to know if d paper is completely objective or subjective as d prespectus says dat d paper for ma will contain only multiple choice questions…plz reply asap

  21. Hi Riju
    Since last year,the pattern for MA entrance at SSS has changed. There are no more subjective questions and the whole exam has been made into a 100 marks objective test. Can u plz tel me what sort of changes have been made, should the approach to study must be changed and should I focus on other topics. Plz help as m worried.

  22. Hi Riju..

    The format of last year’s paper was different from previous years..Will it continue to be the same??

    Thanks for the help :)

  23. hi! riju..
    i am a 3rd year student of B.A. economics hons from bhu. i want to get previous year question papers of dse and jnu.
    plz send me the link. i had not maths at 10+2 level….am i eligible for jnu entrance.

  24. Hi Riju,

    Given a choice between IGIDR and JNU(SSS), which would be better? Can you state the pros and cons of both univs with respect to the staff, exposure(delhi or mumbai). I heard that course in JNU is more theoretical and IGIDR is more rigorous, if it is so which would be better? and the placement scenario. Since i am an engineering grad, i dont have many contacts to consult with, it would be of great help if you can assist a little and I have been called for IGIDR interview.

    Thanks & Regards

  25. My interest lies in studying public policy and development eco. what are the career options in these fields? from one of the fellow blogger i came to know that JNU’s reputed faculty are retiring. Can you comment on the JNU campus exposure and how it would shape my outlook?

  26. Can you comment on how the course differs from one univ to another? I am extremely thankful for your blog and responses to my queries.


  27. hey riju…first of all id like to congratulate u for all the selfless work uv been doing. well iv just given the SSS exam and im just waiting fr the result..and im giving the mcom paper fr delhi univerisity….now my questions are :

    1. when can i expect the result for the jnu ma economics paper ?
    2. which is a better option ma economics from jnu or mcom from du ? in terms of placements ?

    ur help would be highly appreciated !

    Thanks a ton !

  28. hi, my name is ruhi. i completed my p) in 2008 from d.u regular.i have always been very much interested in economics. i want to do ma economics from j.n.u. am i applicable after 3 yrs gap.

  29. Hello , I’M doing English hons.Right now. I have economics as an additional subject In my 2nd yr.of graduation..But i don’t Have Maths at +2 level nor i have any Maths paper in My graduation..So M i eligible for MA. economics entrance in SSS( JNU) ?

  30. Hi Riju,
    I am currently pursuing my final year in B.Sc Eco. I am interested in Development economics. Is JNU good for this field? I mean faculty wise and yes course wise too? And what are the colleges that are good for this field?

  31. I am currently in my 3rd year economics course and interested to know about jnu.i would like to know the no of seats available in SIS and SSS (IF NOT APPROX, THEN AT LEAST A GUESS will do).

  32. Hi..
    Iam pursuing B.A. Eco (hons.) from A.M.U, i want to know from u, is d paper of J.N.U. Of M.A. ECO entrance has d same pattren lik of D.S.E? Or it also contain theortical part? I waz not havin maths at+2, so please help.

  33. Dear Riju,
    It’s been very inspiring to read your bolg and witness your service-oriented attitude. Would appreciate your opinion on my below query-

    I did (Hons) from DU and then M.Com (Finance & Accounting) from Australia.I wish to pursue MA in Economics in India from a reputed institution.I’m 27 years old

    (1)What are some of the good schools offering this course ?

    (2)Being an Australian citizen now, will I be considered as an international student by Indian institutions ?
    If so, do these schools have international quota for foreign students?

    (3) How are the placements after finishing the course

    Many thanks.


    1. (1) DSE, ISI, JNU, IGIDR, Gokhale, Univ. of Hyderabad, Madras School of Economics
      (2) Read the eligibility criteria, link given in the blog
      (3) Placements shouldn’t guide your decision to pursue Economics. Do it only if you are interested in the subject.

  34. Hey Riju,
    I wanted to know which of the two is a better course to pursue in every manner…Economics(spl in world eco) or Economics(SSS)?? I am highly confused which to opt for as my first preference….please help…thankyou

  35. Hello ma’am!!

    I have pursued BA economics from DU. I have an aggregate of 70%. Am an international level tennis player. How are my chances of getting through dse without taking the entrance exam??

  36. Hi riju,
    Can you just brief me about the IR and the World Economy courses of JNU? I mean is the SIS course you are talking related to any one of these or are they completely different?

    1. IR and World Economy are totally different! IR is international relations and is part of Political Science whereas World Economy is part of Economics.

  37. Hello Riju,
    I just wanted to know whether DSE, JNU or ISI give weightage to graduation marks also in preparing the merit list for m.a. economics. If anyone has 65% marks in aggregate in graduation eco hons. and she clears the entrance test, will she get admission ?

  38. Hi Riju,

    I find your blog to be extremely helpful. I was wondering if you could give your suggestions for the MPhil/PhD entrance exams of JNU (SSS) and ISI through your blog? The sections to focus on in order to be comfortable in the exam for each? Great if the the prep suggestions are as detailed as you have given for the MA entrance exams. This will be a huge help. Thanks.

  39. Hi riju…i read ur comments above n itz gud 2 see ur keen interest in hlpng students regarding there prblms….i appeared for jnu xam this year but couldn’t make it since m frm background…i wanted to seek ur guidance regarding the no of seats in jnu for sss and what all subjects to focus on to clear the entrance….will b highly obliged if u rply soon

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