USI VISION - 2030
In the last 150 years since its inception, the USI of India has emerged as India’s pre-eminent think tank on matters of national security. The initial aim of establishing the USI was, ‘Furtherance of interest and knowledge in the art, science and literature of the Defence Services’. During the pre-independence period, the USI had played a leading role in shaping the strategic thought of British Empire — not only on how to rule India but also in generating informed policy debates on its expeditionary forays in the strategic neighbourhood of Afghanistan, Tibet, China, Burma and elsewhere. Much of those perspectives and reflections are encapsulated in the old journals of the USI and the plethora of archives preserved in the USI library. Post-independence, the USI has transformed into a typical track 1.5 institution that has rendered ‘yeoman’ service in developing strategic culture amongst the policy-makers and strategic community of modern India. The USI has acquired a unique multi-disciplinary character vis-à-vis other think tanks in terms of its activities, which range from historical research to publications of diverse literature, career progression of military officers, and a niche in net assessment, scenario building and strategic gaming.
The Vision Paper 2020 was approved by the USI Council on 14 Jan 2014 and has served the USI well. A new Vision 2030, prepared by the USI Team, was endorsed by the USI Council on 01 Dec 2020. The Council had ruled that the new Vision 2030 be circulated to the Service HQs for perusal and value addition. The Vision 2030 is encapsulated in the succeeding paragraph.
Vision 2030. Transform USI as a tri-service military institution with a niche for a multi-disciplinary progressive policy research and narrative building in comprehensive national security with military focus in a wider global geopolitical context, while preserving its rich heritage and unique character as India’s oldest think tank.
Transformation Focus 2030 It emphasises the following :-a) Resource Generation - Elicit financial support from various sources such as NSCS, MoD, MEA, other Ministries, DRDO, DMA, HQ IDS, Service HQs, training establishments, university projects, sponsors, membership drive and better marketing of USI facilities.
b) Induction of Talent - With improvement in financial state, fill the suppressed key appointments and induct quality and multi-disciplinary research faculty.
c) Collaboration - Align focus of research and activities with the needs of other stakeholders in knowledge domain, with focus on military heritage strategic security and military affairs.
d) Focus of Research and Publications - Focus on policy research and publications on new generation warfare, military doctrines and strategy, operational art, disruptive force development, jointmanship, Indian Military Heritage and post-independence wars and Conflicts.
e) Node of Excellence for Strategic Studies and Simulation - Conduct Net Assessment projects, Strategic Scenario Games, Core programs, Jointmanship capsules and customised courses in military education for Service officers and other aspirants pursuing internship and studies in defence and security.
f) Node of Excellence for Career Progression - With advent of digital technology, there is a need to shift conduct of career progression courses from manual and postal-based system to e-learning; creation of paid customised digital content, virtual classroom learning, online correction work and YouTube tutorials etc.
g) Node of Excellence for Military Heritage, Military History and Conflict Studies - CMHCS is a repository of India’s Military Heritage with a niche in conceptualization, curation and creation of war memorials, war museums, planning and conduct of Staff Rides to epic battle fields besides seminal research and publication on Military History and Conflict Studies. This unique core competency should be leveraged at the national and international level.
h) Node for Defence Diplomacy - USI has been a preferred port of call for foreign delegations, lectures by visiting dignitaries and UN diplomacy. The USI’s expertise and infrastructure capacity should be utilised for conduct of tailor-made courses, workshops and table-top scenario games for foreign military officers. As part of defence diplomacy, the USI should be used to organise periodic interaction with foreign defence advisors, diplomats and other opinion makers. Likewise, own military advisors should be given orientation training under the aegis of USI before their taking up assignments abroad. The resource faculty of USI could be utilised for advocacy and narrative building.
Visibility and Outreach through Digitisation.1) Use of Social Media platforms.
2) Fortnightly updates to members, NSCS, Ministries, DMA, HQ IDS, Services HQ, think tanks, partner universities and diplomatic missions in India and abroad.
3) To Military Training Establishments and Commands.
4) To IAS Academy, National Police Academy, FSI, PMF and CAPFs.
5) Digital Knowledge Content Production and propagation of YouTube series and podcasts.
6) Upgrade Website To make it more user and mobile friendly.
7) Track 1.5 Dialogues Increase outreach with the help of Ministries to engage with international think tanks.
8) Foreign Collaboration Joint projects and events with foreign think tanks on issues that promote literature and multi-lateral cooperation.
9) UNPK Revive UN related work at the policy and doctrinal level.
10) USI History Document institutional knowledge of the institution for posterity.