Lt. Gen. D. S. Hooda (Retd.)

Lt. Gen. D. S. Hooda (Retd.)

Course Curator

This first-of-its-kind, three-week course on India’s Military Strategy is aimed at students, analysts and researchers. Designed and delivered by highly-regarded former members of the Indian Armed Forces, former bureaucrats, and eminent academics, the course will help participants critically understand India’s military strategy informed by history, examples, and empirical evidence. By demystifying India’s military strategy and what factors influence it, the course connects the crafting of this strategy to the logic behind its crafting.

  • Lt. Gen. D. S. Hooda (Retd.)

    Lt. Gen. D. S. Hooda (Retd.)

    Course Curator

     Lt. Gen. D. S. Hooda (Retd.), Course Curator, will lay down the learning objectives and vision of this course.

  • Col. Ajai Shukla (Retd.)

    Col. Ajai Shukla (Retd.)

    In this session, Col. Ajai Shukla (Retd.) will outline the organizational structure of the three services of the Indian Armed Forces. Further, he will discuss how this structure has evolved over time due to various triggers and explain how the different elements of this structure coordinate during a crisis and in peacetime.

  • Lt. Gen. Satish Dua (Retd.)

    Lt. Gen. Satish Dua (Retd.)

    In this session, Lt. Gen. S. Dua (Retd.) will tackle the organization and responsibilities of the Ministry of Defense and the Department of Military Affairs. He will discuss the coordination between the Chiefs of each service, the Chief of Defence Staff, and the bureaucracy — in ensuring joint action and operations of the Integrated Theatre Commands.

  • AVM (Dr.) Arjun Subramaniam (Retd.)

    AVM (Dr.) Arjun Subramaniam (Retd.)

    In this session, AVM (Dr) Arjun Subramaniam (Retd.) will look at India’s military culture and ethos, its British legacies, and evolution over time. The session will also explore the peremptory tenets that foster national service in the armed forces and will analyze the dynamic elements that define the Indian military’s relationship with civil society.

  • Dr. Anit Mukherjee

    Dr. Anit Mukherjee

    In this session, Dr. Anit Mukherjee will adopt a historical view of the evolution of civil-military relations in India and the effective contribution of the military on decisions of national security. It will explore the formal structures of decision-making on the employment of military force and how these structures operate.

  • Lt. Gen. Anil Bhalla (Retd.)

    Lt. Gen. Anil Bhalla (Retd.)

    Lt. Gen. Anil Bhalla (Retd.), the former Head of Defence Intelligence Agency, will cover the post-Kargil Review Committee Report mandated emphasis of the defence intelligence apparatus on technical intelligence gathering functions as a part of the National Intelligence paradigm. A military establishment with effective technical intelligence empowers a nation's diplomacy and war-making potential. This session will highlight the obtaining status of our capabilities in the military domain through coverage of matters related to international defence cooperation steered through the defence attachés and conforming to MEA/MOD guidelines of threat assessment and capability development for planning and preemption. 


  • Lt. Gen. Rakesh Sharma (Retd.)

    Lt. Gen. Rakesh Sharma (Retd.)

    In this session, Lt. Gen. Rakesh Sharma (Retd.) will examine the security threat posed from the east and west by China and Pakistan. He will analyze the impact of force levels, threat perceptions, and geography on India's preparedness vis-a-vis these two adversaries. 

  • Lt. Gen. I.S. Singha (Retd.)

    Lt. Gen. I.S. Singha (Retd.)

    In this session, Lt. Gen. I.S. Singha (Retd.) will discuss the speedy mobilisation of the Indian military in strategically important sectors. He will outline the process of 'offensive defence', redeployment, and whether our forces are now more mobile in meeting the security needs of our country. The discussion will also focus on how the options to attack, seize territory or deescalate conflict weigh in on decision making.

  • Vice Adm. Vijay Shankar (Retd.)

    Vice Adm. Vijay Shankar (Retd.)

    In this session, Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar (Retd.) will explain how India’s peninsular orientation and geostrategic location have inextricably linked our security and prosperity to the seas. The discussion will cover the crucial role of the Indian Navy in safeguarding our maritime boundary, combating persisting threats in the Indian Ocean, and maintaining strategic alliances.

  • Air Marshal Anil Khosla (Retd.)

    Air Marshal Anil Khosla (Retd.)

    In this session, Air Marshal Anil Khosla (Retd.) will trace the growth of the Indian Air Force from a tactical force to a credible air power with transoceanic reach. He will explore the impact of technology up-gradation through aircraft acquisition, precision missiles, and net centricity on preparedness for multi-domain warfare.

  • Lt. Gen. K. J. Singh

    Lt. Gen. K. J. Singh

    In this session, Lt. Gen. K.J. Singh (Retd.) will cover the historically inherited territorial disputes and land-centric conflicts rattling the Western front of India. He will assess our preparedness to deal with conventional and asymmetric threats in the backdrop of nuclear coercion from across our Western border.

  • Lt. Gen. S. Kulkarni (Retd.)

    Lt. Gen. S. Kulkarni (Retd.)

    In this session, Lt. Gen. S. Kulkarni (Retd.) & Lt. Gen. D. S. Hooda (Retd.) will examine the political, geographic, and geopolitical dictates that drive India and Pakistan towards conflict in the inhospitable Siachen Glacier. The discussion will detail the military conflict since 1984 and the planning, execution, and continued operational cost of maintaining logistics to cope with the hostile dispute.

  • Lt. Gen. P. Bakshi (Retd.)

    Lt. Gen. P. Bakshi (Retd.)

    In this session, Lt. Gen. P. Bakshi (Retd.) will discuss the territorial disputes of India's northern borders dealing with our trans-Himalayan neighbor China agonized by the McMahon Line and the contentions over Aksai Chin. He will trace the development of India's military strategy and answer pertinent questions about the impact of the 2020 Ladakh standoff.

  • Lt. Gen. A.K. Singh (Retd.)

    Lt. Gen. A.K. Singh (Retd.)

    In this session, Lt. Gen. A. K. Singh (Retd.) will focus on the possible security predicaments emanating from a two-front war with China and Pakistan as a formidable challenge in upcoming years. This session will explore the various forms in which a collaborative threat from India's two nuclear-armed neighbors can manifest and the function of our military in meeting such a challenge.

  • Lt. Gen. Anil Chauhan (Retd.)

    Lt. Gen. Anil Chauhan (Retd.)

    In this session, Lt. Gen. Anil Chauhan (Retd.) will analyze the need to successfully curb insurgency by commanding and synchronizing multiple lines of operations, mobilizing combined-arms operations to route insurgents out of their strongholds, and providing security against their incursions into population centers.

  • Dr. Bhartendu Kumar Singh

    Dr. Bhartendu Kumar Singh

    In this session, Dr. Bhartendu Kumar Singh will discuss the making of India's defense budget. He will outline the processes, agencies, and individuals that contribute to this massive undertaking and look at how Indian defense budgets have evolved to reflect the country's security needs.

  • Lt. Gen. Sanjay Verma (Retd.)

    Lt. Gen. Sanjay Verma (Retd.)

    In this session, Lt. Gen. Sanjay Verma (Retd.) will analyze if the structures that the Indian military is operating under are effective in dealing with contemporary threats? He will address the issue of modernization, the procurement procedure followed by the Ministry of Defense, and the role of the public and private defense sectors in meeting India's security needs.

  • Lt. Gen. D. S. Hooda (Retd.)

    Lt. Gen. D. S. Hooda (Retd.)

    In this session, Lt Gen D.S. Hooda will lay out the foremost challenges the Indian military faces: the acute need to modernize the forces, revisiting the impact of technology, and assessing the novel threat spectrum. This session will discuss the Indian military's warfighting strategies and preparedness for multi-domain warfare.

  • CSDR Gaming Lab

    CSDR Gaming Lab

    Details to be shared with selected course participants. 

The registrations for this course are now shut. 

This course is for students at advanced stages of their Bachelor's and/or Master's degrees, Ph.D. students, mid-career researchers, associate/junior-level foreign diplomatic staff, and anybody interested in understanding the crafting and implementation of India's Military Strategy.

No. There is no application fee. 

Submission of application does not secure your participation at the course.

The course will be delivered through ZOOM. Each interactive session is around 90 to 120 minutes, with reading material provided to the participants in advance, before each session. Participants will get time to interact with course instructors for  a holistic understanding of each topic. The two days of war game sessions towards the end of the course will require more direct engagement from participants, and will be conducted by CSDR – the host organisation.

  1. Apply by filling out the form on the course website and uploading all necessary documents
  2. Wait for your application to be evaluated.
  3. Submission of an application does not guarantee participation. CSDR reserves the right of admission to this course.
  4. If your application is successful, you will receive an email by 1st Sept 2021 with directions on how to pay the fee.
  5. Pay the fee within the deadline mentioned in the email.
  6.  Post Payment of the fee you will get an invoice and a course docket with all necessary information will be emailed to you.

Dates for the next iteration of this course will be announced soon. For enquiries, write to us at

The number of seats is limited to approximately 40. 

At the end of the course, you receive a completion certificate signed by the course curator. 

The course is to be conducted from the 5th to the 26th of Sept, 2021. The details of each session, can be found under the 'Structure' section of this page. 

The course comprises 18 live sessions on various topics pertaining to India's Military Strategy. This first-of-its-kind course shall be delivered by practitioners at the highest level. The course is designed to ensure a sufficient degree of interaction between the participants and course instructors during each session. The limit on the number of seats has been placed with this intention.

Each session, with few exceptions, is to be conducted between 5:30 pm and 7 pm IST. These timings ensure that both students and professionals can attend the sessions following their engagements during the day. 

If you are unable to attend a particular session, you will be provided with a transcript of the course instructor’s remarks during that session. You are entitled to a maximum of four transcripts of missed sessions.



  •  Learn about:

    -       General and specific ideas that have shaped India’s military strategy across decades

    -       Institutional frameworks and processes 

    -       Key drivers and compulsions behind India’s strategic thinking

  • Identify:

    -       Key actors and institutions involved in designing military strategy - their roles and responsibilities 

    -       Causal relationships among a multitude of variables that impact India’s military strategy

  • Understand:

    -       The reasoning applied during military decision making in India

    -       Where theory meets practice 

    -       Fundamentals of military crisis management and escalation/de-escalation dynamics

    -       Role of domestic politics in and external influences on India’s military strategy 

    -       Threat perception within the defense establishment and its military arms

    You will also be able to:

  • Explain:

    -       India’s military organization and its constituent parts

    -       India’s military options and contingencies for the region and beyond 

    -       India’s strategic partnerships and outreach 

    -       India’s crisis response  

    -       India’s military strengths and the South Asian military balance

  • Predict:

    -       Future trajectory of India’s armed forces’ organization and working.

    -       Defense policy adaptations to geopolitical transformations.


The topic for each session has been selected with the intention of focusing on the practitioner’s experience and insights, extending beyond theoretical understanding. The course aims to shed light on what goes on behind the scenes of India's Military policymaking, in order to further the participant’s ability to critically analyze policy decisions. Existing courses lean heavily towards historical analysis, without providing the necessary input from a practitioner.

In this regard, the instructors for the course have been carefully selected, to ensure that they bring with them not only immense experience in their respective fields but also an invaluable body of knowledge pertaining to India's Military policy.

The course is designed to be an interactive experience to facilitate deliberation. This is principally what distinguishes our course from a series of ‘talks’. It ensures that there is a sufficient degree of interaction between the speaker and the participants. The structure of the course, and the flow of sessions, ensure that participants are constantly aware of the inter-relation between different aspects of foreign policymaking.

Our approach is to cut straight to core issues and empirical data in ways that are relevant to diplomatic challenges in the real world. Each module is envisioned to strike a clear balance among the dissemination of essential facts, description of overarching trends, and a focus on the broader significance of specific events. 

Two days of war game, a detailed discussion of the Siachen conflict and some sessions on subjects like – ‘Military Intelligence’, ‘Mobilising for War’, 'Defense Budget' and 'Preparing for the Future', are designed to present a holistic view of how Indian Military thinking works. Our carefully curated concise readings for the course are aimed at providing a baseline understanding of key aspects, prior to the commencement of the course.

For each session, you will get a reading list divided into core and secondary readings. These will be uploaded to a common folder on the course drive, and links shared with you. Selected applicants can download these readings before each session. These readings have been put together in direct consultation with the speakers. 

You will need a computer/laptop compatible with Zoom software. You will need to create an account on Zoom using the email id you choose to fill in your application form. You will only be able to attend the sessions after logging into your zoom account. 

  1. Selected candidates are required to pay a one-time non-refundable fee after notification of their selection for the course. The window to make the payment and secure the seat will be 48 hours from the notification.
  2. The total fee for the course is INR 25000 (Inclusive of 18% GST) for Indian nationals, and $500 (Inclusive of 18% GST) for foreign nationals. 
  3. A waitlist will be generated and notified to candidates who could not make the final selection. Any selection from the waitlist will be notified within 3 days. Candidate’s name on the waitlist does not guarantee a seat in the course.
  4. All candidates are required to attend a minimum of 14 sessions out of a total number of 18 sessions in the course. In case any candidate fails to meet this requirement, CSDR has the right to abstain from issuance of course completion certificate to the candidate. 
  5.  Upon a written request, a candidate is eligible to receive a transcript of the session they have missed. A maximum of four transcripts per candidate can be issued in that regard. Any kind of recording of the session cannot be provided since all sessions will be live.
  6. Any reproduction of the course content or video sessions in any form is prohibited. CSDR reserves the copyright of all the course materials. Any infringement of copyright will invite legal action.
  7. All candidates must be civil in their engagement with the course instructors and maintain the decorum of the online classroom. Any profanity or inappropriate conduct inside the classroom is strictly prohibited and will result in cancellation of the candidacy (with no refunds). 
  8. The entire course will be conducted online. 
  9. Selected candidates are expected to have a steady internet connection in order to effectively participate in the class. CSDR will not be responsible for any candidate’s failure to attend a session due to problems in internet connectivity. 
  10. During all sessions selected candidates must join the lectures with their videos turned on.

Write to us at 
We will get back to you promptly. 

Any request for cancellation/refund of fee will only be entertained by the 4th of Sept 2021 (midnight). No cancellation/refund will be allowed after this date.