Defence Services Staff College
Sanskrit: Yuddham Pragya
Motto in English
To War with Wisdom
TypeDefence Service Training Institute
Established1905; 119 years ago (1905) (as the Army Staff College, Deolali)
CommandantLieutenant General Virendra Vats, YSM SM VSM[1]
MascotThe Owl
WebsiteDSSC homepage

The Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) is a defence service training institution of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India.

It trains officers of all three services of the Indian Armed Forces – (Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force), selected officers from the Paramilitary forces and the Civil Services and officers from friendly foreign countries for command and staff appointments.


One of the oldest military institutions in India, it was founded in 1905 as the Army Staff college in Deolali (near Nashik). In 1907, it moved to its permanent location at Quetta (now Pakistan). After the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, the Indian elements of the Staff College, Quetta led by the senior-most Indian Army instructor Colonel S. D. Verma moved to India. Verma was promoted brigadier and appointed as the first commandant and chose Wellington Cantonment in The Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu as the location of the Staff College in India.[2]

The first staff course started in April 1948, months after the move. The first course had 46 officers from the Indian Army and 2 each from the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. Two officers from this course – Major Tapishwar Narain Raina and Squadron Leader Hrushikesh Moolgavkar went on to head their services as the Chiefs. The air wing was established in 1949 and the Naval Wing in 1950 and the college was rechristened Defence Services Staff College. The college threw open its gates to officers from friendly foreign countries from the fifth course and to civil servants from the sixth course.[3]

DSSC has been affiliated to Madras University for the award of M.Sc. degree in 'Defence and Strategic Studies' and recognized as a research centre for MPhil and PhD degrees since 1990.[4]

Crest and motto

1998 postage stamp on the occasion of the golden jubilee of the college

The Staff College when at Quetta adopted the crest of Staff College, Camberley, which was the 'Wise Owl' with the Latin motto Tam Marte Quam Minerva. In 1964, Owl perched on crossed swords and the motto in Sanskrit Yuddham Pragya was adopted.[3]


Main article: Commandant of the Defence Services Staff College

The commandant of the Defence Services Staff College is the head of the institution. The commandant is an army officer of the rank of lieutenant general.[5]


The commandant of the college is assisted by the chief instructors (CI) of the army, naval and air wings, all two-star appointments. The CIs are drawn from the respective services. The Incharge of the administrative wing (also a two-star appointment), and the brigadier general staff (BGS) also report into the commandant.[5]

Notable alumni

Further information: Category:Defence Services Staff College alumni

Chiefs of Army Staff

Chiefs of Naval Staff

Chiefs of Air Staff

Foreign alumni

See also


  1. ^ "Commandant".
  2. ^ "DSSC History". DSSC.
  4. ^ "DSSC, Wellington – TIMELINE" (PDF). DSSC. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Organization".