The four existing Defence institutions — National Defence College, College of Defence Management, Defence Services Staff College and National Defence Academy — are proposed to be brought under the ambit of Indian National Defence University (INDU), whose foundation was laid by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at Binola village here on Thursday.

These institutes will, however, continue to function in the existing administrative set-up and enjoy the same powers, academic freedom and autonomy. Besides these, four new institutes — National College of Defence Studies, Indian Institute of Defence Technology, Indian Institute of Defence Management and Defence Institute of Distance and Open Learning — will also be set up under INDU at its campus.

Spread over more than 200 acre, INDU will be fully functional in 2018 and set up as a fully autonomous institution to be constituted under an Act of Parliament. While the President will be its Visitor, the Defence Minister will be its Chancellor.

The establishment of the university to exclusively deal with defence and strategic matters was recommended by eminent strategic expert K. Subrahmanyam, who headed a review committee set up in the wake of the Kargil conflict.

The Union Cabinet gave final go-ahead to the proposal in 2010 when Haryana bagged the prestigious project leaving behind contenders like Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. It was indeed Haryana’s proximity to the National Capital Region that tilted the scales in its favour. Binola is the native village of cricketer Ashish Nehra. The adjoining village Bilaspur also gave land for the project.

The aim of INDU will be to provide military leadership and other concerned civilian officials knowledge-based higher education for management of the defence of India and to keep them abreast with emerging security challenges through scholarly research and training. INDU will develop and propagate higher education in Defence Studies, Defence Management, Defence Science and Technology and promote policy oriented research related to National Defence.

Two-third of the students at the university will come from the Armed Forces and one-third from civilians and the police. The faculty will have a military to civilian ratio of 1:1.