Updated: September 4, 2021 7:32:34 am
The Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has established a one-of-its-kind Chair of Excellence (CoE) in the country that will focus on publishing India’s military history, dating back to the pre-colonial era and beyond.
Officials of SPPU and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) inked a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard during a ceremony held in Pune on Friday. The MoD has offered a sum of Rs 2 crore to SPPU’s Department of Strategic Studies, which will house this centre.
“The CoE will focus on tracing India’s gallantry history and understanding the changes that happened over time. The centre will work on two aspects — one, to sensitise young students aged 8 to 18 about Indian history and the other — to bring out publications and small modules on e-learning platforms on the subject so that India’s vibrant history is taken to the larger masses,” said SPPU Vice-Chancellor Nitin Karmalkar.
From among over 90 university applications received by the MoD, 28 were shortlisted and SPPU was the only one selected for establishing this CoE.
Mayank Tewari, joint secretary (Establishment/Planning/Training), MoD, said that SPPU was among the most competent entrants for setting up this CoE and expressed the desire that the MoU with SPPU last beyond the stipulated three years.
He said, “The setting up of the CoE is another step by the MoD to reach out to the larger masses and showcase the excellent works done by India’s Armed Forces, both in recent years and from the past. The CoE will handle one aspect of writing what has happened historically, but we can also work on what will happen in the future.”
Talking of chalking out plans for future collaborations, Tewari said the MoD was keen to work with SPPU and believes that the university is capable of meeting the ministry’s short and long-term requirements. “Based on this partnership, we need to develop an institutional mechanism to take forward a lot of SPPU’s ongoing research on current areas of interest that have great value for the country as a whole,” he said.
Karmalkar further said that over the next three years, the newly-established CoE will work on publishing papers and books, and organising lecture series so that every important aspect from India’s history is taken to the masses.
He also said the university was working closely with the governments of Punjab and Madhya Pradesh in an effort to trace the history of the Maratha empire. “We are in the process of procuring the documents pertaining to Maratha history from these state governments,” said the V-C.
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