It may well be the first post-graduate course in counter-terrorism in India. A Pune college run by an NGO that also works in insurgency-hit Jammu and Kashmir will teach students ways to check terrorism, especially in the post-26/11 scenario.
Called Sarhad, the NGO will launch the two-year course from the new academic session beginning July this year at the Sarhad College of Arts, Commerce and Science, a government affiliated college it runs in Pune.
The course will focus on counter terrorism strategy and will prepare its students to identify potential threats and take note of suspicious behaviour and people.
"India has been a victim of terrorism for so many decades and especially after the Mumbai terror attacks last year, it has become very important that we study terrorism and educate people about counter-terrorism strategy," said Sanjay Nahar, founder of the NGO, who was on a visit to Delhi.
The first year of the course will include the etymology and philosophy of terrorism, terrorist ideologies and modus operandi, national policy and role of the print and electronic media. The second year will focus on different terrorist groups, socio-economic factors creating the terrorist mindset, control strategy, retention camps, drug and arms trafficking.
"The course has been designed by experts from various fields - legal, administrative, police, academic, security - under the guidance of Aligarh Muslim University's former vice-chancellor Mahmud-ur-Rahman," said Nahar.
Rahman, a retired officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), had served on various administrative posts in Jammu and Kashmir from 1966 to 1995.
"During my tenure in the valley, I have seen terrorism raising its head and spreading like cancer in the valley. It was this experience that helped me in formulating the syllabus," Rahman, 66, told IANS.
"We have failed to tackle the problem of terrorism and now it has gone out of our control. It is high time we sat and understood its root cause so that we can work to control and reduce the menace if we are not able eliminate it," he added.
The 50-seat course is designed for all sections including university graduates, bankers, administrators, journalists, NGOs and police personnel. The NGO has also written to the University Grants Commission (UGC) for accreditation of the course.
"The college has also roped in various top senior policemen and army personnel, who have successfully thwarted off terrorist attacks, lawyers, journalists and also some surrendered militants, who will talk about as to how they became terrorists," said Nahar.
There will be visiting faculty from other terror-affected Asian countries -- Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Iraq.
On the advantage of the course, Nahar said there was no counter-terrorism training or knowledge offered to common people though they become the major victims in any terror attack.
"This course will provide them information about terrorism and counter terrorism strategies," he said.