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PM lays foundation for defence varsity

Ashok Kumar
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University conceived to facilitate holistic study of defence, strategic security challenges

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in conversation with Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda during a function at Binola village in Gurgaon on Thursday.— Photo: PTI
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in conversation with Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda during a function at Binola village in Gurgaon on Thursday.— Photo: PTI

India has a difficult neighbourhood holding full range of conventional, strategic and non-traditional challenges, but our security has never been stronger than it is today and our international relationships have never been more conducive to our national development efforts, said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while laying the foundation for the first Indian National Defence University (INDU) at Binola village here on Thursday.

Saying it was imperative that our defence professionals remain abreast of the complex environment we face, Dr. Singh said: “We are living at a moment of history when the world is witnessing change on a scale and at a speed rarely seen before. Nowhere is this change more pronounced than in Asia, where we are witnessing multiple security challenges on account of the intersection of fragile States, internal conflicts, proliferation of arms and terrorist groups…but we must also be conscious of our strategic opportunities. It should prompt a reorientation of our strategic thinking and a reappraisal of our higher defence organisation and that is where this university comes in.”

To be set up at an estimated cost of Rs.300 crore on 200 acre of land in Binola and Bilaspur villages of Gurgaon, the university has been conceived to facilitate holistic study of defence and strategic security challenges. Thanking Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for his “generous” support for the project, Dr. Singh said the proximity of the university to Delhi will facilitate much needed close interaction between its faculty and students and defence policy-makers in the national Capital.

Describing the setting up of the prestigious university in Gurgaon as a befitting addition to the galaxy of premier Central institutes established in Haryana during the past eight years of Congress rule, Mr. Hooda announced Rs.1 crore each for Binola and Bilaspur villages, which gave land for the university. He said setting up of the university will be a tribute to all the soldiers of our country and create the right kind of awareness and information among all key players, especially the decision makers at the highest level.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony said setting up of the university showed the priority the UPA Government attached to the national security and added that it will be fully functional by 2018-19.

Haryana Governor Jagannath Pahadia, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Kumari Selja, Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh and the three Services Chiefs were also present.


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