[Event] COUNTER EXPO 2022: Student in security

COVINTS in its session named “Student in Security” with Salisbury University, NALSAR (Hyderabad), Symbiosis (Pune), University of Pune and Punjab University had speakers – Dr Brian Polkinghorn, Dr V. Balakista Reddy, Shivani Lawale, Dr. Vijay Khare and Dr Jaskaran Singh Waraich. The session was essentially focusing on the scope of Defense and Security Studies in India and around the globe. 

Dr Brian commenced the discussion by reminding the audience of the time back in the 1980s when a handful of programs related to the study of conflict analysis and defence studies were available but today extremism and other factors leading to terrorism activity had led to the pump in academic programs. He acknowledged that after 9/11, the world saw the huge pump in academic programs related to conflict intervention, mitigation, strategic studies in USA.

He further mentioned that there is a connection between conflict resolution and counter-terrorism. He believes that the nation-states have not spent enough time on person introspection and there is a need to see the causes and conditions which push people to become radicalized.

Dr Reddy who heads the centre of Aerospace and Defense stated that Aerospace and Defense laws are untouched areas in the context of India and only NALSAR is the only University in India that has a unique course and a dedicated centre working on the said topic.

He stated that there are 20 courses in total and the centre of Aerospace and Defense entails 7 of them inclusive of Aviation law which comprises of technology law and management. He firmly believes that we live in a multi-polar world and single discipline is not going to work. The University also offers Masters in Security and Defense Laws which is a 2-year course.

He mentioned some papers which are conducted semester wise including International Security, Diplomacy and Conflict resolution, Defense Technology and Law, International Institutions and Global Governance, Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism, Cybersecurity and Cyber laws etc.

He lastly said that the University firmly believes in the slogan “Aerospace and Defense education at the doorstep of needy with affordable cost- slogan. The purpose is to percolate the course and NALSAR strongly believes in academic social responsibility.

Ms. Lawale who is the Director of Symbiosis, Pune started by letting the audience know that there is no specialized course for defence studies in the University but it offers integrated security and security related issues across the breadth of the program which is masters in International Studies. The University offers 3 courses which are International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, International Security and Human Rights and Peace Studies. She stated that the University has taken a holistic approach while looking at issues like gender and security. She emphasized to bring in the topic of gender to discuss in defense studies.

Dr Khare who is the head and Professor at the Department of Defense and Strategic Studies at the University of Pune initiated by stating the period of the second world war. He mentioned that in 1941, there emerged the need to understand the conceptual understanding of the issues encompassing Defense and Security.

He further stated that the University has initiated the Maters program in Defense and Security after 1962 debacle with China. The program focuses on the art of war strategic studies international relations. The University has taken the step forward to start programs related to Counter terrorism Studies and Professional CBRN Course. He briefly told the University’s strategic partnership with India Army and Ministry of Defense. There are more than 20 army officers who carries their individual research sponsored by the Indian army to the department with the consultation of guides. Thus, the Department is focusing on military history, geopolitics and military geography other issues.

The University offers 13 postgraduate diplomas, two Master programs and one Integrated course after class 12th. Dr. Khare calls out Unless for an ecosystem to understand the issues related to global peace and security because until then we cannot expect good strategic thinkers in India.

Dr Singh who is the Chairperson and Assistant Professor at the Department of Defense and National Security Studies in Punjab University mentioned that the Department of Defense and Strategic Studies was established in 2001 and before that it was a part of critical science. The University has flagship courses like Masters in Defense and Strategic Studies which is a 2-year course. He appreciates the specialized papers conducted by the University on Area study China, Area study Pakistan, Non-Traditional threats, Military history, Strategic thought and IR.

He expressed his concern by stating that Punjab is known to be sword arm of the country but there is a dearth of opportunities related to Defense and Security as a subject.

He concluded his speech by drawing attention to the need to identify all the stakeholders who would together be able to bring better opportunities for students related to this field. The ambit of national security is growing day by day and it is not limited to particular section of the society every citizen is a stakeholder in national security and thus national security awareness is very important. He mentioned that at the same time we have to inculcate national security awareness in youth through our academia.

All the Speakers also made elbow room for the opportunities to have collaborations as it is the time for India to explore internal collaborations to create better employment opportunities in India per se. 

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Yashi Singh

Yashi Singh is an Intern at The Kootneeti

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