Friday, May 28, 2010

Master of Army wants a PhD in War Craft

Dated: 28 May 2010

My Dear Editor in Chief,
1. We are dismayed to read that Army Chief Gen VK Singh has applied for a PhD in Military Science from Bhopal University. His guide will be Prof. Kailash Tyagi. It is disheartening for the Defence Fraternity to know that our Army Chief needs lessons in Military Science from a Civilian Prof. who has, probably not seen a gun firing! What Gen VK Singh has learnt in 40 years of service about Military Science would enable him to be honoured with PhDs many times over.

2. Any Defence officer who is professionally competent and reaches the rank of One Star General equips himself with sufficient knowledge in Military Science which no civil University either in India or abroad can impart. Our senior officers have excelled in various seminars, courses etc held abroad and have acquitted themselves commendably. It is pertinent to mention that the only think tank of the country ie Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) which is responsible for carrying out research on all matters military both tactical and strategic had its Director an officer of the rank of Air Commodore ie (equivalent to Brig in the Army). The Dy Director of the same institution has also been an officer of the rank of Commandore of the Navy which is also equivalent to a Brig. IDSA has a large number of research scholars who are all PhDs. That a chief of the Army Staff had to approach a University for getting a doctorate in Military Science signifies non- recognition by the Govt of the specialist knowledge in Military Science acquired by senior officers during their service. Therefore, it is imperative not only for the good of the Defence Forces and the nation that all officers who achieve the rank of a Brigadier or its equivalent are automatically awarded a PhD degree in Military Science. Some of the courses like Long Defence Management Course (LMDC), Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Higher Command (HC) are already being awarded MSc in Military Science.

3. A case in point is that the undersigned was a senior fellow in IDSA as a Brigadier and has been examiner of PhD thesis on Military Science of a reputed University of India after retirement as a Major General. Now that the Defence University is coming up in our country, the Govt must grant PhD to all officers who attain the rank of Brigadier.

Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
The writer is a Former Senior Fellow and Security Analyst of Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA), has been examiner PhD thesis in Defence & Security Studies, Ex Commandant Services Selection Centre & President SSB, besides being Instructor at four premier institutions of the Army. Presently he is Vice Chairman of Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM).

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