“The newly launched course will serve defense officers. It aims to build a conceptual understanding on the theories of security and strategic studies and to awaken an understanding on the regional and international security environment. Umrao Singh, head of the Department of Defense and Strategic Studies at Punjabi University, Punjab, said it was to develop further field specialization and advance subject-based understanding on the subject.
In addition, the university offers two-year MA (Defense and Strategic Studies) and PhD for others.
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The MA (Defense and Strategic Studies) is a two-year degree course aimed at instilling in-students a deep understanding of urgent matters. “War, National Security, Strategic Thinking, International Relations and Defense in International Law, War History, Military Psychology, Military Sociology, Impact of Science and Technology on War, Peace Studies and Dispute Resolution, South Asia and Indian Ocean Research Ocean, Indian Security Problems etc. are mainly taught as part of the curriculum, ”said Singh.
Highlighting the need for separate courses, Arvind, Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, said that a special course on defense and strategy provides an opportunity to gain a broader perspective on the subject. “It helps military personnel gain academic and theoretical knowledge through regular university programs,” Arvind says.
“Skilled students will play an important role in shaping the country’s security strategy. These can be assigned to agencies involved in the field like DRDO, ”Arvind said.
Harish K. Tagore, chairperson of the Department of Defense and Strategic Studies, Himachal Pradesh University, said a course on defense and strategy would diversify and target humanities students who want to transcend traditional themes. Although in this case there is less awareness among the students about the subject and career prospects.
Himachal Pradesh University, which started its MA in Defense and Strategic Studies in 2020, is running a statewide online campaign to spread awareness about the program. “We are liaising with various colleges in the state to make students aware of this program. The university will accept applications for admission for this course till July 12. Last year, there were only 11 admissions as opposed to 30 seats for their course.
Thakur is hopeful that a specialized course will enlighten students on complex issues related to defense and strategy.
“Education and research, think tanks, armed forces, central armed police force, civil services and defense journalism are some of the notable areas where candidates can look for job opportunities after completing their course,” Singh said.
Qualification and admission process
Graduates of any stream can apply for admission to the two-year MA (Defense and Strategic Studies). Candidates for the PG program are shortlisted on merit basis in the eligibility category.
Some institutions are offering courses
Very few universities offer Defense and Strategic Studies and even at PG level these versions include Punjabi University, Kurukshetra University, Savitrivai Phule Pune University and Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, Allahabad University, Madras University and Jannayak Chandrasekhar University.