When Defence College faced fire in early days

#GS2 #DEFENCE #GOVERNANCE

‘In 1962, Krishna Menon was furious that the college was suggesting there could be a war with China’

 

  • Just two years after being set up in 1960, the National Defence College (NDC) was almost shut down in 1962 after the then Defence Minister, V.K. Krishna Menon, got furious when participants suggested during a discussion at the institute that there could be a war with China.
  • It was another visit later in 1963 by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who ensured that the institute continued, said Air Marshal D. Choudhury, Commandant of the National Defence College (NDC) recalling the early days.
  • The institute is now much sought after across the world and is set to increase its intake from 100 to 120 course members by 2022 with most new slots going to friendly foreign countries, Air Marshal Choudhury said in an interview to The Hindu as the premier institute celebrates its 60th anniversary.
  • In 1962, then Defence Minister V.K. Krishna Menon visited NDC for a talk. It’s there in our book called the Lamp of Wisdom. 
  • There was a heated discussion and people brought out that there could be war with China. He was furious that NDC was encouraging such kind of thoughts which was not in sync with what was happening in the world apparently.
  • In 1963, there was actually no course for six months, he said, till Lt. Gen. Bahadur Singh, the founding commandant met Mr. Nehru somewhere and requested him to come and visit the institute.
  • Nehru visited NDC along with the Defence Minister and during the course of the visit, it was mentioned to him that NDC had actually predicted the war and it had put up the whole thing to the government, which turned out to be a fact later.
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