Early Days

 In July 1958, the Ministry of Defence accepted the need for starting broad-based training within the country, for senior decision-makers, on matters related to national security. They recognised that such training would be more useful if it extended beyond a narrow definition of defence matters and covered the many diverse subjects related to national security. The Parliament Estimates Committee, attached to the Ministry of Defence, established the feasibility of setting up a college for imparting such training, in India, on the pattern existing in other countries with advanced military capabilities.

      On May 6, 1959, the Cabinet Defence Committee approved the proposal for establishing the National Defence College. The Defence Minister issued formal orders, on September 15, 1959, conveying the sanction of the President of India for setting up of a National Defence College (NDC) in India for preparing senior service and civil officers for assuming higher responsibilities in the planning and management of national strategy and security.

      In July 1959, Lt General K Bahadur Singh was appointed the first Commandant of the College. By the end of the year, he had formulated detailed plans including the aim and the charter of NDC as well as the scope of studies at the College. The Chiefs' of Staff cleared these on December 25, 1959.

      On April 14, 1960, the Ministry of Defence, laid down the following aim for the College:-

     "The NDC will provide joint training and instruction to senior service and civil officers and will be under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence. The study at the College will relate to strategic, economic, scientific, political and industrial aspects of national defence."

      Based on the aim, the scope of study was planned to include an examination of internal and external threats to the security of India as well as possible trends for the next ten years. Studies would include analysis of diverse factors such as foreign policies of other nations, conflicts over vital economic interests or territorial claims and factional, communal or political differences. Members of the course would also analyse formulation of national strategy for various contingencies up to and including the outbreak of war. Based on these guidelines, the first Course at NDC commenced on April 27, 1960.

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