The Centre for West Asian Studies was established in July 2004 and formally inaugurated by Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India, on 29 January 2005. It is part of the institution founded under a programme of the research and development initiated by the Jamia Millia Islamia, a university steeped in secular values and ideas. The scope of the studies includes all the countries of West Asia including Turkey. India has always had multifaceted relations with peoples of the region.

The Centre seeks to foster interdisciplinary academic pursuit of the West Asia and promote research on the region’s politics, economics, culture and its relations with India as well as its interconnections to a larger global milieu. It aims to provide a forum for informed exchange of ideas among students, faculty, and scholars from outside, and serve as a niche for public policy studies. It equally aims to generate and provide resources through which the interested and expert alike, can understand a region which has close and historic cultural, economic and religious links with India. It also seeks to promote an Indian perspective on developments in the region, especially those which equally impinge on global peace, security and development.

The Centre admits students in M.Phil and Ph.D programmes for two and five years, respectively. The educational objective of the Centre is to impart specialist knowledge of the region to its students, in order to enable them to pursue careers in research and teaching, journalism, business, government and non-governmental organisations, and others. As West Asia becomes an increasingly important region for India and the wider world, the Centre is expected to excel with newer research and taught courses. It remains committed to deepening knowledge of the region through rigorous teaching, innovative research, and essential language-learning modules.