Established in 1960, the National Defence College is one of those hallowed institutions of modern India that crystallized after the Independence with rightly held belief that a nation demands institutions more than individuals. Our first prime minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru recognised this fact and went out of his way to create this institution that grew to be the highest abode of strategic learning in India. The march to excellence in the National Defence College has been due to amalgamation of the institutional ethos of the armed forces, the strength of the Indian Government Services, international exposure from the overseas students and above all, multi-level instructional process wherein picking of the minds of intellectuals has been a daily call.
During the course, the participants are exposed to about 200 lectures on a wide canvas of political, social, economic and strategic issues. The speakers include politicians, statesmen, administrators, journalists, scientists, historians, economists and diplomats. The widest range of thoughts are fearlessly expressed under Chatham House Rules. The speakers speak freely since the speeches are not reported upon and the students are asked not to discuss anything outside the College. The lectures are not only heard but probingly questioned. Issues are discussed threadbare and students sharpen their ability of synthesizing thoughts and ideas. There is no attempt to brainwash but rather catalyse the process of absorption, analysis and synthesis. The mental attitude is outward and forward looking.
India’s security is an integral component of its developmental process. The National Defence College reflects this in many ways, since it aims at harnessing human resources amongst the senior civil and military officers who attend the course and therby create a Thinktank on National Defence. I feel proud to say that the senior officers who graduate from this College come to occupy the highest positions in the Government and hence bring along a rich and varied tapestry of learning, helping them craft the best possible solutions, not only to security dilemmas, but also other issues that come their way in the business of governance and nation building. As the Commandant of this College, I respectfully acknowledge the great contribution of our Visionary founders and all the previous Commandants who shaped and helped this College grow into an Iconic institution in the world.
Hope you enjoy the virtual tour of National Defence College of India...