Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone of the country's first Indian National Defence University (INDU) at Binola village of Gurgaon district on Thursday.
Singh said India faced a wide spectrum of security challenges as it lived in a difficult neighbourhood. There was a pronounced change in Asia, where multiple security challenges on account of intersection of fragile states, internal conflicts, proliferation of arms and terrorist groups existed, he said.
“Though India's security has never been as strong as it is today, it is imperative that our defence professionals remain abreast of the complex environment we face,” he said, adding that it must be ensured that the country's thinkers and policymakers understood the complexities of the situation, regional and global trends along with new and emerging technologies and developments in defence capabilities and strategies.
“It is with this point of view that a committee headed by late K Subrahmanyam proposed the establishment of the National Defence University to educate and adequately prepare national security leaders to look at security challenges holistically,” Singh said.
He thanked Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for his support in making this project a reality in general and providing land in Gurgaon in particular.
Hooda also thanked the prime minister and the central government for choosing Haryana to build the prestigious university.
Defence minister AK Antony said laying of the university's foundation stone reflected priority the government attached to the national security. He said that INDU would promote and nurture intellectual strength of our security concerns and cater to our needs of defence technology and management. The university would be of international level and ready by 2018-19.
Others who were present on the occasion included Haryana governor Jagannath Pahadia, foreign affairs minister Salman Khurshid, social justice and empowerment minister Kumari Selja, minister of state for defence Jitender Singh and Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjeet Singh.