With a view to orienting its officers and men posted along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Tibetan culture and also preparing them to better understand the information warfare, the Army has begun a course in Tibetology in a tie-up with the Central Institute of Himalayan Cultural Studies in Arunachal Pradesh. The first batch with 15 participants was held from March to June this year.
“Understanding Tibetan traditions, cultural peculiarities, democracy and political influence and so on empowers our men and officers to understand where we are going into and where we are operating,” said a senior Army officer at the 5 Mountain Division at Tenga in Arunachal Pradesh. Officers posted around in the area would be considered for the course.
The Army’s Training Command, ARTRAC, has identified seven institutes for Tibetology across the country, two of which are in the Northeast. The other one is the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology in Sikkim.
Such training was happening but now it has been formalised. On a trial basis, the first batch with 15 officers was held from March to May this year and the Army has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the institute. The second course is scheduled to begin next month. Currently, two courses a year are planned with about 15-20 participants in each course.
150 officers trained
Around 150 officers have been trained so far across the country at various centres, the officer stated.
A longer course was being planned and a proposal for a three-month course had sent to ARTRAC, another officer noted.
“The officers who are trained will function as trainers in their battalions and in few years, we will have a sizable number of personnel with understanding of the Tibetan issues,” the officer explained.
During the 42 days of the preliminary course, Tibetan history, geopolitics and current political dynamics were covered in the form of lectures and case studies, the officer added. Lamas who were proficient in Tibetan issues were hired from the Monastery in Bomdila to take the course.