“The newly launched course will cater to defense officers. It is aimed to infuse conceptual understanding on theories of security and strategic studies and to inculcate understanding on regional and international security environment. It is further aimed to develop area specialization and to advance the issue-based understanding on the subject,” says Umrao Singh, head, Department of Defense and Strategic Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala.
Other than this, the University also offers two-year MA (Defence and Strategic Studies) and PhD for others.
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MA (Defence and Strategic Studies) is a two-year degree course, which is aimed to inculcate in-depth understanding amongst the students on the vital issues. “War, national security, strategic thought, defense related issues in international relations and international law, history of warfare, military psychology, military sociology, impact of science and technology on warfare, peace studies and conflict resolution, area studies of South Asia and Indian Ocean, India’s security problems etc. are majorly taught as part of the curriculum,” says Singh.
Highlighting the need for a separate course, Arvind, vice chancellor, Punjabi University, says that an exclusive course on defense and strategy provides an opportunity to acquire a broad perspective on this issue. “It also helps military personnel to get academic and theoretical knowledge through a regular university program,” says Arvind.
“Students with expertise will play a vital role in strategizing country’s security strategy. They can be hired by agencies involved in this field such as DRDO,” says Arvind.
Harish K Thakur, chairperson, Department of Defense and Strategic Studies, Himachal Pradesh University says that a course in defense and strategy will bring diversity and allow students of Humanities who aim to look beyond the traditional subjects. Though, there is less awareness among students about the subject and career prospects in this field.
Himachal Pradesh University which launched MA in Defense & Strategic Studies in 2020, is running state-wide online campaign to spread awareness about the programme. “We are connecting to various colleges in the state to make students aware about the programme. The University is accepting admission application for the course till July 12,” says Thakur. Last year, they had just 11 admissions against 30 seats available for the course.
Thakur is hopeful that a specialized course will enlighten the students about the critical issues related to defense and strategy.
“Teaching and research, think tanks, Armed forces, Central Armed Police Forces, civil services and defense journalism are some of the prominent areas where candidates can explore job opportunities after completing their course,” says Singh.
Eligibility and admission process
Graduates in any stream are eligible to apply for admission to the two-year MA (Defence and Strategic Studies). For PG programme, candidates are shortlisted on the basis of merit in qualifying class.
Some institutes offering the course
Very few universities offer Defense and Strategic Studies and that too at PG level. These varsities include Punjabi University, Kurukshetra University, Savitribai Phule Pune University, and Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, University of Allahabad, University of Madras and Jannayak Chandrashekhar University Ballia.