M A I N   N E W S

Difficult neighbourhood poses multiple security challenges: PM
Lays foundation stone of country’s first defence university in Gurgaon
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

Binola (Gurgaon), May 23
Twelve years after the Kargil Review Committee recommended setting up of a specialised defence university to build a strategic culture in the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday laid the foundation stone of the Indian National Defence University (INDU) here.

The varsity will come up over 200 acres on the Delhi-Jaipur National Highway at Binola village near Gurgaon, some 52 km from New Delhi and a short distance from Manesar. It will be fully functional in 2018 with accommodation for students as well as faculty. A total of 65 per cent seats will be for defence personnel and the remaining 35 per cent will be for IAS, IPS and IFS cadres.

Speaking on the occasion, the PM warned of a spectrum of security challenges to the country due to its difficult neighbourhood. “We face a full range of conventional, strategic and non-traditional challenges,” he said, reminding that India was situated at the strategic crossroads of Asia and astride one of the busiest shipping sea lanes of the world. “Our dependence on the sea is to grow. In defending our homeland, we have to be prepared to preserve India’s expanding international assets.”

He said the country's deterrent capabilities had increased and it is in a position to be a net provider of security in the Indian Ocean Region. “We have assumed responsibility for stability in the Indian Ocean Region. We are well positioned to become a net provider of security in our immediate region and beyond,” Manmohan Singh said.

Asia, he said, was witnessing multiple security challenges on account of the intersection of fragile states, internal conflicts also transforming defence capabilities.

“India’s security has never been stronger than it is today and our international relationships have never been more conducive to our national development efforts. Our defence cooperation has grown and today we have unprecedented access to high technology, capital and partnerships,” the PM added.

Singh said India's relations with all major powers have become stronger and more productive and “we are also particularly participating in key global and regional fora, ranging from the Group of 20 to the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN groupings”.

Amid scams such as the VVIP helicopter scandal, the PM said the government was working towards making defence acquisitions "transparent" and "less vulnerable to unethical practices".

"We have also been guided by the objective of making our defence acquisition transparent, smooth, efficient and less vulnerable to unethical practices. We will continue to seek the highest standards of probity in defence acquisition," he said.

The Prime Minister said the government was conscious of the fact that adequate defence preparedness was critically dependent on sound defence acquisition policies. "We have paid close attention to this and have continually reformed those policies to ensure that our armed forces have the best equipment," he said.

Defence Minister AK Antony said, “INDU will promote and nurture intellectual strength to our security concerns and cater to our needs of defence technology and management.”

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the defence university was a tribute to the country’s soldiers. “It will create awareness about security concerns as well as challenges confronting the country,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the defence university was meant to ensure that the country, government and armed forces benefit from the best military advice that was available.

Functional by 2018

  • The Indian National Defence University will come up over 200 acres on the Delhi-Jaipur National Highway at Binola village near Gurgaon
  • A total of 65% seats will be for defence personnel and the remaining for IAS, IPS and IFS cadres when it becomes fully functional in 2018
  • The varsity would develop and propagate higher education in defence studies, defence management, defence science and technology and promote policy-oriented research related to national defence 





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