Centre for Study of National Security (CSNS)

Analysis by IDC

IDC has often reported on the lack of intellectual activity in the field of national security. We were therefore heartened by the launch of a new organisation in the capital on 14 Nov, the birthday of Nehru, called the Centre for Study of National Security (CSNS), a joint enterprise of JNU and ICSSR. The set up has the blessings of the Ministry of Human Resources whose Minister Murli Manohar Joshi has a penchant for creating controversies on account of his saffron leanings. This event is proving no different, with allegations upon him of encroaching on the MEA’s turf being made in the media. Apparently this is a result of personal rivalry and the tendency of the foreign service to keep ‘national security’ its sole domain or monopoly.

IDC quotes and fully agrees with, "The mediocrity in Indian diplomacy stems from too much reliance on the bureaucracy which in turn keeps all progressive thinkers out of turf it perceives as its exclusive."

The stated aim of this Centre is to provide a link between universities, specially non-Delhi based and think tanks on strategic issues. It has already forged a linkage with the prestigious US-Russian think tank, the Mikhail Gorbachev Foundation. It will focus on five broad areas: new technologies, comprehensive security, maritime security, culture and strategy and mega trends from the Indian perspective.

It doesn’t require fertile brains to see that a major element of national security is the state of human and socio-economic development. Hence an initiative by the HRD ministry to create a facility for more thinking people to ponder and participate in building ideas on national security is not only valid but most welcome. One must draw inspiration from that leader of free thought, the USA, where countless institutes, groups and think tanks flourish and bring out multisided views of all hues and interests. It is for the policy makers to draw upon what is in the genuine interest of the country.

IDC wishes CSNS well with only one reservation –– that it should not become a vehicle of RSS ideology and thought. Let there be greater all round awareness and debate on matters affecting India’s security without prejudice or bias. The right decision comes out of the best of options available.

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