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Indian National Defence University (INDU)

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India has long lacked a robust strategic thinking culture both within the military as well as outside it. The government is now finally scrambling to establish the Indian National Defence University (INDU) to help craft strategic planning and analysis in keeping with the country’s longterm geopolitical objectives.

The Union Cabinet on Thursday will take up the proposal to set up INDU, as a fully-autonomous institution to be created by an Act of Parliament, decades after it was first mooted. Even the 2001 GoM report on ‘‘Reforming the national security system’’ had strongly recommended INDU’s creation to usher in synergy between the academic world and the executive. At present, university research on defence and strategic issues is neither structured effectively, nor does it have any policy orientation.

Conversely, US, China and several other countries have institutions like INDU to ensure cross-pollination of ideas and strategic thinking between academia and government. In Washington, for instance, it’s commonplace to find ‘‘strategists’’ straddling both the worlds with equal ease.

Officials said INDU’s charter will be to undertake long-term defence and strategic studies, create ‘‘synergy’’ between academicians and government functionaries, and ‘‘educate national security leaders on all aspects of national strategy’’.
‘‘We hope to infuse governance with an appropriate strategic culture. It will also promote coordination and interaction among Army, Navy and IAF,’’ said a senior official.

“INDU will undertake long-term defence and strategic studies and create synergy between the academic community and government functionaries,” the minister said.

“It will promote policy oriented research on all aspects relating to national security as an input to strategic national policy making.

“It will encourage awareness of national security issues by reaching out to scholars and an audience beyond the official machinery.

“INDU will also educate national security leaders on aspects of national security strategy, national military strategy, national information strategy and national technology strategy through teaching and research,” Soni added.

The establishment of INDU was one of the recommendations made by a committee headed by eminent security analyst K Subrahmaniam after the 1999 Kargil conflict with Pakistan.


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