National Defence College
National Defence College (India) Logo.png
बुध्दिर्यस्य बलंतस्य (Sanskrit)
Motto in English
Buddhiryasya Balamtasya (Wisdom is Strength)
TypeDefence Service Training Institute
Established27 April 1960
CommandantLieutenant General Manoj Kumar Mago, Yudh Seva Medal, Sena Medal
Delegation of National Defence College of India in a meeting with Reuven Rivlin president of Israel, August 2018
Delegation of National Defence College of India in a meeting with Reuven Rivlin president of Israel, August 2018

The National Defence College, located in New Delhi, is the defence service training institute and highest seat of strategic learning for officers of the Defence Service and the Civil Services. This is a very prestigious course attended only by a few hand-picked defence officers of One-Star rank and civil servants of the rank of Joint secretary to the Government of India. Each year, approximately 25 officers from friendly foreign countries like the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Nepal, UAE and others attend the course.[1]

This college provides strategic leadership to the Government of India in national and international security matters and also acts as a think tank on defence matters and holds a very important position in shaping up the Indian defence outlook.


After India's independence in 1947, senior officers of the Indian Army, Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force attended the Imperial Defence College (IDC) in the United Kingdom before being appointed to important commands. The vacancies at the IDC was only about two or three each year. In 1959, the Government of India announced that a college on the pattern of the IDC will set up in New Delhi. This would allow for a larger number of officers to be trained. Lieutenant General Kanwar Bahadur Singh, the Adjutant General at Army HQ was appointed the first Commandant of the college.[2]


The College is located on Tees January Marg of Lutyens' Delhi, in a grand British-era building spread over acres of lush green lawns.[3] It is adjacent to the home where Mahatma Gandhi lived the last five months of his life, and the garden where he was assassinated - the Gandhi Smriti. Residential facilities for the officers are located in the central vista of Delhi, on Ashok Rajpath near India Gate. The Commandant of NDC has a bungalow on the Akbar Road called NDC House.[4]


Main article: Commandant of the National Defence College

The NDC is headed by the Commandant who is the overall in-charge of all the functioning of the college including academics and administration. The Commandant of the college is an Officer of Three-star rank. The tenure of each Commandant is for 2 years which rotates between the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force.


It conducts a 47-week National Security and Strategic Study course each year which commences in the first week of January each year and finishes in the first week of December. This course also involves extensive travel within and outside the country to visit Indian states and foreign countries where course members meet head of states and important decision makers to understand the political, social and strategic landscape of the state/country. The entire course is divided in six subjects spread over two terms, as follows:[5]

Method of Study

During the course of each study, the course is divided into seven groups called Integrated Analysis Groups (IAG). Each IAG comprises 13–14 members (4–5 army officers, 1 naval officer, 1–2 air force officers, 3–4 IAS/IPS/Civil Services officers and 4–5 foreign military officers). Each IAG function in a synergetic mode for the purpose of analysing issues, discussions, preparation of papers and presentations. Since 2006 the college has been formally affiliated with Madras University for the award of M.Phil. degree in 'Defence and Strategic Studies.'[6]


Faculty of National Defence College is drawn from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Civil services. Usually, there are 7 faculty members (Army – 3, Navy – 1, Air Force – 1, IAS – 1 and IFS – 1). Apart from these 7 regular faculties, the college regularly invites think tanks, ambassadors of different nations, business leaders, ministers from India and friendly countries, defence chiefs of friendly countries to give lectures in the college.[7]

Notable Alumni, Foreign



Air Force

Heads of State, Heads of Government, and Representatives

See also


  1. ^[dead link]
  3. ^ "History of the Building". Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  4. ^ Nov 17, Raj Shekhar / TNN / Updated. "Cops in tizzy over air marshal's nameplates | Delhi News - Times of India". The Times of India.
  5. ^ Suchet Vir Singh (13 May 2022). "In a first, executive from private sector enrolled in annual National Defence College course". (online). Archived from the original on 13 May 2022. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  6. ^ College, National Defence. "National Defence College". National Defence College. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  7. ^[dead link]