“The newly launched course will be aimed at defense officers. It aims to infuse conceptual understanding into security theories and strategic studies and instill understanding about the regional and international security environment. Furthermore, it aims to develop expertise in the area and promote problem-based understanding on the subject, ”says Umrao Singh, director of the Department of Defense and Strategic Studies at the University of Punjabi, Patiala.
Apart from this, the University also offers a two-year master’s degree (strategic and defense studies) and a doctorate for others.
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MA (Defense and Strategic Studies) is a two-year course, which aims to instill in students a deep understanding of vital issues. “War, national security, strategic thinking, defense-related issues in international relations and international law, history of war, military psychology, military sociology, impact of science and technology on war, peace studies and resolution of conflicts, area studies of South Asia and India The ocean, India’s security problems, etc. they are taught primarily as part of the curriculum, ”says Singh.
Highlighting the need for a separate course, Arvind, Vice Chancellor of the University of Punjabi, says that a dedicated course on defense and strategy provides an opportunity to gain a broad perspective on this topic. “It also helps military personnel gain academic and theoretical knowledge through a regular college program,” says Arvind.
“Experienced students will play a vital role in crafting the country’s security strategies. They can be hired by agencies involved in this field like DRDO, ”says Arvind.
Harish K Thakur, chairman of the Department of Defense and Strategic Studies at the University of Himachal Pradesh, says that a defense and strategy course will bring diversity and enable Humanities students seeking to look beyond traditional subjects. However, there is less awareness among students about the subject and career prospects in this field.
The University of Himachal Pradesh, which launched a master’s degree in defense and strategic studies in 2020, is running a statewide online campaign to spread awareness about the program. “We are connecting with several universities in the state so that students are aware of the program. The University is accepting applications for admission to the course until July 12, ”says Thakur. Last year, they only had 11 admissions versus 30 seats available for the course.
Thakur is hopeful that a specialized course will enlighten students on critical issues related to defense and strategy.
“Teaching and research, think tanks, armed forces, Central Police Armed Forces, civil services, and defense journalism are some of the prominent areas in which candidates can explore job opportunities after completing its course, ”says Singh.
Eligibility and admission process
Graduates in any stream are eligible to apply for admission to the two-year master’s degree (strategic and defense studies). For the PG program, candidates are shortlisted based on merit in the qualifying class.
Some institutes that offer the course
Very few universities offer strategic and defense studies and that also at the PG level. These universities 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.