JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

Military Education in India: Missing the Forest for the Trees

Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Dr. Prakash Menon is the Director, Strategic Studies Programme, Takshashila Institution, Bangalore and Former Military Adviser, National Security Council Secretariat.
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  • October 2015
    Volume: 
    9
    Issue: 
    4
    Focus

    India’s Professional Military Education (PME) system is weighted towards the tactical level in all stages of professional development. This results in inadequate exposure of its senior leadership to strategic studies, thus inhibiting the provision of qualitative advice at the strategic level. While combat as an instrument of warfare is focused on at all levels, it fails to relate to war as an instrument of politics. It underlines the absence of an effort to build a broader vision that incorporates the entire constellation of forces. As a general rule, technology has been privileged over humanities in PME. Although the establishment of the Indian National Defence University (INDU) will address some of the shortcomings, a concurrent review of syllabi in the premier joint training institutions is essential in order to achieve a balanced, progressive shift from an emphasis on technology at the initial stages to a humanities focus at the senior levels.

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