The spotlight shone on the Indian Military Heritage Festival at the prestigious Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi, a notable occasion inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande. Organized by the United Service Institution of India (USI), India’s oldest tri-service think tank with a legacy dating back to 1870, this annual event emerged as a vibrant tribute to the nation’s rich military legacy and a platform for igniting the aspirations of its youth.
The year 2022-2023 bears significance as India assumes the presidency of the G-20, and in celebration of this honor, the Indian Military Heritage Festival was conceived as a flagship annual program. This illustrious gathering centered around several pivotal themes:
The festival delved deep into the annals of India’s military history, underscoring the nation’s ancient civilization and profound military traditions, showcasing a legacy of warfare and soldiering spanning across the centuries.
In alignment with the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India) initiative, the festival provided a fertile ground for discussions on self-sufficiency in the domains of defense and military.
The event convened a diverse array of participants, including Indian and global corporate entities, public sector undertakings, non-profit organizations, think-tanks, and high net-worth individuals, fostering a rich exchange of ideas and dialogues.
The Indian Military Heritage Festival transcended its role as a mere homage to the past; it aspired to cultivate an in-depth understanding of contemporary concerns, security dynamics, strategic imperatives, and international relations. Its core objectives encompassed:
A pivotal facet of the event was the encouragement of literature creation and dissemination on Indian military history, along with the art and science of warfare.
The festival emerged as a platform for policymakers and strategic thinkers to engage in discussions on modern warfare issues, aligning with India’s interests and aspirations, thus nurturing consensus.
The event delved into the realm of future and emerging technologies in the military sphere, showcasing developments that wield influence over the modern battlespace.
It promulgated a nuanced comprehension of the evolving geopolitics, its implications for the global order, and its consequences for India’s strategic security.
The festival championed an ‘All of Government’ approach to national security, involving the entire nation in fostering a profound understanding of current and emerging security challenges.
The United Service Institution of India (USI) stands as a venerable think tank dedicated to national security and defense services, headquartered in New Delhi, India. Its mission revolves around advancing knowledge and interest in defense services, spanning the diverse realms of arts, sciences, and literature within this sphere.
USI operates a series of research centers that delve into various facets of national security. The USI Journal, a publication continuing its quarterly presence since 1872, carries the distinction of being the oldest defense journal in Asia. Furthermore, USI generates a range of monographs stemming from the extensive research and studies conducted by its esteemed members. Major General Sir Charles MacGregor laid the foundation of the United Service Institution in 1870 in Shimla, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of defense and security studies.