Centre for South Asian Studies, University of the Punjab was established in 1975 under Area Study Centre Act No. xiv of 1975 by the Federal Government and was attached to the University of the Punjab, Lahore. The Act provides that the Areas Study Centre will undertake contemporary study of the states and governments of the region, particularly those which affect Pakistan. One of the functions of the Centre as defined in the above act is to initiate M.Phil / Ph.D. and Research programmes in the relevant disciplines of social sciences.
These programmes were initiated in September 2002 and conducted under semester system. M.Phil is of two years duration. Its main focus is on the history and growth of South Asia's political, economical, social, cultural and religious developments to dynamic movements. Emphasis is also on analyzing the impact of Islam on these regional societies. Ph.D. Programmes were started in September 2003 its duration is 2 — 5 years, the focus of this programme is on the analysis of the present and future trends in the SAARC region.