Aim of Study


    With the inauguration and establishment of National Defence College on the 27 April 1960, the highest and most comprehensive form of training, both for the Defence Officers and Civil Officers, in matters connected with higher military strategy and political and economic problems having a bearing on the national security, was introduced in India. Hitherto, the Government of India used to send senior officers of the three services to attend Courses at the Imperial Defence College (now Royal College of Defence Studies), London, where vacancies for them were limited.


     The primary purpose, as envisaged at NDC, was to provide combined training and instructions to the senior officers of the Armed Forces and Civil Services in dealing with wider problems relating country's security. The study was to cover strategic, scientific, industrial, economic and political aspects of defence. It was also to highlight the paramount importance of close inter services cooperation and understanding between the Defence and Civil Officers.


     Along with the study, the College would offer an opportunity to these Service and Civil Officers of getting together and exchanging ideas for a better appreciation of each other's problems, both in peace and in war. The Course would not only cater to the needs of officers holding highly specialised appointments but also provide general education to offer them a wider outlook on a great variety of state's affairs. Such training would, any day, be an additional qualification for officers holding and likely to hold important appointments in the Government.


     The training Course was designed for approximately eleven months and was divided into a series of individual problems for study. This was to be done in a syndicate, whose composition would change with each fresh problem, so that during the Course almost every student would have, at one time or other, worked with every other student. The programme of lectures by guest speakers would play a leading role in the Course at the College; and for this purpose, guest speakers would be carefully selected to include ministers, eminent visitors from abroad, university professors, senior officers of the Armed Forces and Civil Services and leading industrialists.


     The Course Members to be selected, were of the rank of Brigadier or equivalent and officers from the Civil Services and scientists of equal status. The intention was to select only those in the age group of 40-50, who are regarded as potential leaders in their professions.


     Ministry of Defence, Govt. of India, vide their letter No. F. 14(3)/{GS-II) dated 08 November 1976, laid down that whenever suggestions or proposals for any change in the syllabus and functioning of the College come up for consideration, the Defence Secretary would consult the Chiefs of Staff as and when necessary.


Aim and Scope of Course 1985 - 1993


       By this time, the aim and scope of the Course was redefined as follows:-


      Training at the College is designed "To equip future policy-makers with the background necessary to give them a broad understanding of the varied economic, political, military, scientific and organisational aspects involved in the planning of national strategy".


      Planning of National Strategy are the key words and, therefore, the design and structure of the curriculum is largely oriented in this direction. To enhance the capacity for perspective thinking, the College endeavours to expose the students to a wide spectrum of tangible and intangible inputs that go into the formulation of National Security policies and strategies. At this College, the endeavour is to present the National Security as a total system, closely examining its multiple facets, its socio-political, economic, technological, diplomatic and military dimensions; their complex relationships and their total inescapable inter-linkages and inter-dependence. In other words, National Security as a total package, or the total power of a nation which must include both its internal dynamics as well as external compulsions, is studied.


      The Course is of a duration of 11 months, during which 11 main studies are conducted. The outline syllabus can be broadly classified under four headings:-

      1.     Internal Environment. 
      2.     Environment. 
      3.     National Security Study. 
      4.     Thesis writing.


The Internal Environment includes the following three studies:-

      1.     Socio - Political Study.
      2.     Science and Technology Study.
      3.     Economic Study.


      These are the basic or foundation studies and their thread runs throughout the Course even when we examine other regions in a historical or comparative perspective. Consequently, the time spent on these studies is relatively longer than on the other studies.


The External Environment includes the following Seven Studies:-

      1.     Super Powers and Europe 
      2.     Japan, South East Asia and Australia 
      3.     India's Neighbours and Indian Ocean 
      4.     China 
      5.     West Asia and North Africa 
      6.     Pakistan and Afghanistan 
      7.     Africa and Latin America


      For obvious reasons our focus, in these studies, is on those features and events which impinge on the International Security Environment or influence their relations with India.


      Having examined the Internal and External Environments, the Course culminates with the National Security Study where the focus is on:-


      "Examination of Threats and Strategies of Socio-Political, Economic, International and Defence Issues."


      Members from friendly foreign countries make presentations on their countries to include their socio-political, economic and governmental systems.


1993 - Restructuring of Studies

     The conduct of studies was restructured and scaled down to seven, instead of 11, under the following generic headings:-


      1.     Domestic Review of India. 
      2.     The Global Security Environment. 
      3.     The Regional Security Environment. 
      4.     Strategy and Structure for National Security.


      The FCT which was scheduled for August-September was also rescheduled for May-Jun to coincide with the end of study of International Security Environment.


Mission & Objectives



      The aim of the National Defence College is to impart training in national and international security related fields to selected senior Defence and Civil Services officers and to promote research and understanding of various linked issues by creating the necessary academic environment for such work.



      The Role of the National Defence College is:-

1.     To provide a facility to bring together selected senior officers from various departments of the Government of India and friendly foreign countries for the purpose of giving them a structured exposure to various issues related to the national security of a modern state in general and India in particular.

2.     To facilitate individual development of selected senior officers of the Indian and Foreign Defence Forces, Indian Civil Services and other organisations by creating an academic environment for the study of issues related to National Security.


3.     To develop a thorough and lasting mutual understanding between different organs of the Government of India and selected foreign countries by creating an environment and opportunities for developing such understanding between officers under training at the National Defence College.

4.     To be an instrument for the Government of India to foster better understanding, mutual co-operation and desirable linkages, in the National, Regional and International Security related fields, with selected foreign countries.





      Pursuant to the above roles, NDC conducts an annual course of 47 weeks duration on "National Security and Strategic Studies".




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