Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday laid the foundation stone for country’s first defence university at Binola in Gurgaon near here.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said the institution is of national importance and will ensure the country, the government and the Armed Forces the best military advice available.
Modelled on the world-class institutions like the IITs and IIMs, the Indian National Defence University (INDU) will be fully functional by 2018 as an autonomous institution under an Act of Parliament. “I have no doubt that, when completed, this unique university will become a world-class institution for higher defence studies in which we will be able to take justifiable pride,” Singh said, in the presence of Defence Minister A K Antony, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne, Army Chief General Bikram Singh and Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi.
Noting that the university will provide defence professionals with a deep understanding of the interplay between all attributes of national power, the Prime Minister said the university was an avenue for Indian soldiers to think beyond the physical arts of war, and for thinkers and policymakers to understand the complexities of war and conflict. “Those who pass through the portals of the university will need to track regional and global trends, new and emerging technologies and developments in defence capabilities and strategies,” he said.
“They will also need to map the contours of future conflicts and understand the relationship between defence and finance, between external and internal security and between defence and diplomacy. Only then would they be able to fulfil the vision of strategic affairs expert the late K Subrahmanyam, who, while proposing the establishment of the INDU, had highlighted the need to educate and adequately prepare national security leaders to enable them to look at security challenges holistically and frame policies based on informed research,” he said. Singh also expressed hope that the defence university will emerge as an excellent platform to promote scholarship of a high order and train and equip future generation of leaders to meet India’s defence needs and fulfil the nation’s international responsibilities.
After the 1999 Kargil conflict with Pakistan, the then NDA government had set up a Review Committee, headed by Subrahmanyam, which had recommended establishment of a university to exclusively deal with defence and strategic matters.
The university will develop and propagate higher education in defence studies, defence management, defence science and technology and promote policy-oriented research related to national defence, apart from providing inputs for policy formulation and preparing officers for higher leadership roles.
The `457-crore project is coming up on a 200-acre land at Binola. The National College of Defence Studies (NCDS), Indian Institute of Defence Technology (IIDT), Indian Institute of Defence Management (IIDM) and the Defence Institute of Distance & Open Learning (DIDOL) would be the constituent colleges and institutions of the INDU. The President of India will be INDU’s visitor and the Defence Minister its Chancellor. The NDU’s 66 per cent students will be from the Armed Forces, while 33 percent from other government agencies.