The Government of India has put up the Draft Indian National Defence University Bill, 2015 on the MyGov.in portal for review by the general public. Adopting the similar method the NDA government has been trying since it came to power in 2014, the government has invited inputs from the general public on the bill. The Bill proposes to establish a world-class institution of National Importance to create a pool of trained personnel in the field of military intelligence. While the Defence Minister will be the proposed university’s Chancellor, the Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee will be the pro-chancellor and the President will act as a Visitor to the University. The University is proposed to come up at Binola, Gurgaon; the whole project will be implemented in three phases spread over a period of 10 years and the total estimated cost of the project stands at Rs 2,072 crore.
The Draft bill mentions that four new institutions/colleges will be set up as the INDU’s constituent colleges. These four colleges will go by the name – School of National Security Studies, School of Defence Technology, School of Defence Management and Centre for Distance and Open Learning (with regional centers of distance learning) and will be set up at the University’s main campus.
As of now, four Defence institutions are already functioning across the country. These are National Defence College, New Delhi; College of Defence Management, Secunderabad, Telangana; Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Tamil Nadu and National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune, Maharashtra. The Bill proposes to bring these four institutions under the admit of Indian National Defence University, though these institutions’ autonomy (for the award of degrees and diplomas) and powers will remain same, it adds.
While Developed Countries like the United States have dedicated institutions for such studies, the need for the same was felt in India in as early as the year 1967. The proposal gained momentum when the Kargil Review Committee recommended the government in 2000 to go ahead with the proposal. The government started the land acquisition in 2012 and the infrastructure development work was started in December last year. The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone of the University in 2013. The idea, having travelled such a long time period, now seems to become a reality with the draft bill up for review and inviting suggestions.
The University aims to develop and promote higher education and research in National Security Studies, Defence Management, Defence Technology and allied areas through its offline campus as well as through distance and open learning mode. The Bill proposes INDU to serve as a think tank to contribute to policy formulation (national security) and debates on security and strategy. The official statement reads, “INDU will inculcate and promote coordination and interaction not just between the three Armed Services, but also between other agencies of the Government, the Civil Bureaucracy, Para Military Forces, Cental Armed Police Forces, Intelligence Servies, Diplomats, Academicians, Strategic Planners, University Students and officers from Friendly Foreign Countries.”
The Draft Bill is available at MyGov.in portal as well as Defence Ministry website. The government has opened submission of suggestions till August 21, 2016, and the inputs (comments and suggestions) will be reviewed before the Cabinet approves the Bill.