Why Nepal needs a defense university

Published On: February 16, 2021 08:00 AM NPT By: Hrithik Yadav

Hrithik Yadav

Hrithik Yadav

Hrithik Yadav is a BALLB second year student at Kathmandu School of Law

Formulating a vibrant defense policy to counter the security threats can be possible when we have qualified human resources in the country. The Defense University will do just that. 

With the rise of geopolitical competitions, interconnectedness between national interests and security and transnational organized crimes, the duty to protect the state and citizens has become a challenging undertaking for the countries more than ever before. 

In this context, government of Nepal issued ‘Defense University and Development Board Formation Order 2019 (2076)’ to pave the way for establishment of the long discussed defense university. Immediately afterwards, the government allocated Rs 200 million for feasibility study of the university in a 500 ropani area of land at Perungedanda of Kavrepalanchowk. Infrastructure works, along with academic preparations, are going on in full swing. 

Nepal Army has stated that the primary purpose to establish the defense university is to produce human resources needed for national security and defense related matters. Nepal Army has also said that the university will be a “totally homegrown project” and will be built with Nepal’s own resources.

I consider this a revolutionary initiative in the right direction. As a matter of fact, such a move was long overdue.

Many security strategists have raised the need for enhancing preparedness to combat the threats that will emerge. A defense strategy of a state needs to be in place to combat such threats. The idea of Defense University is welcome because the university will help formulate defense strategies for the welfare of the state and the people.

National Defense University (NDU) will act as an institution for analysis of the security environment, both inside and outside the country, and will determine the operational tempo of the Nepal Army to conduct the defense-related activities. The university will also act as a primary advisor to the government about strategic interests, security and defense-related issues. NDU, thus, is the need of the hour.

NDU will play a significant role for the preservation and continuation of the democratic state of law, sovereignty, national interests, and will encompass the traditional and non-traditional security issues. It can play a catalytic role in order to make national defense policies about the strategic goals and commitment of the national armed forces. 

Formulating a vibrant defense policy to counter the security threats can be possible when we have qualified human resources in the country. The Defense University will do just that. 

NDU will churn out skilled manpower and experts in the country itself. Nepal Army through the university could create a platform to safeguard the national interests through the peaceful employment of defense resources and capabilities. 

Defense University will make a pivotal contribution in conducting researches in defense management and promoting science and technology in the defense sector.

As the university will not be confined to offering courses to Nepalis alone, it will enable Nepali students to have interaction with foreigners in defense and security matters. Even India and China, our immediate neighbors, have pledged support for establishing the defense university in whatever way they can. 

Furthermore, Nepal Army officials have claimed that such an academic institution will help the national defense force to expand military and civilian diplomacy by attracting foreigners at the university. Nepal has been sending its military and security officials in neighboring countries and overseas for courses related to national security, defense, military cooperation and diplomacy as well as other evolving foreign policy and security issues. With Defense University inside the country, such courses can be made available in Nepal itself.

Some experts have argued that Nepal should be careful while moving ahead with the defense university plan, as it involves a wide range of concerns related to geopolitics. That’s a valid concern. In that case, the government and Nepal Army should not hesitate to take advice of experts.

Defense University is not just about adding one more university to the list of many that we already have. It is more about securing core national interests related to security and defense, which is what the country needs to take care of seriously.

The decision to establish Defense University is a wise, farsighted and a reasonable decision. The government should go ahead with other steps needed to implement this vision.

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