The USI is India’s oldest tri-service think tank dealing with strategic security issues. The institution conducts research and publishes literature and organises debates on India’s rich military heritage and comprehensive military affairs. It undertakes study projects, conducts strategic scenario games and organises capacity building programmes.
The USI was established in 1870 for the furtherance of interest and knowledge in the art, science and literature of the Defence Services. It is governed by a Council comprising of 10 ex-officio members, and 14 elected members. The three Service Chiefs are the Vice-Patrons of the Institution and the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (CISC), Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS) is the President of the USI Council.
The Centre for Military History and Conflict Studies (CMHCS) was established in December 2000 under the aegis of the USI at the behest of the three Service Headquarters for encouraging an objective study of all facets of Indian military history with a special emphasis on the history of the Indian Armed Forces. It is the only Centre dedicated to the study of Indian military history anywhere in the world and has established an international reputation as a centre of academic excellence. The Centre is managed by a Board of Management comprising of senior serving officers and veterans.
The Centre is currently engaged in a major project to digitise the historical records of the Indian Army with the intent of creating a state-of-the-art digital archives which will be of immense value not just for routine functioning and policy formulation, but also for future historians of the Indian Army. In addition, the USI is also writing the Military History of the Indian Army as well as creating the Indian Army website. Besides, the USI is running a Gallantry Awards Portal project for the MoD and has a rich data bank of pre and post-independence military campaigns.
Further, the United Service Institution of India (USI), has collaborated with Aadya E Travel (A unit of PCTI Ltd.) and CSC SPV an e-Governance Services provider of the Ministry of Electronics and IT to conduct the MILITARY HERITAGE TOURISM PROJECT. The guided tours will be organised to visit the epic battlefields and explain about the conduct of battles with particular focus on acts of valour, heroism and supreme sacrifice. The tours will acquaint the tourist with India’s ancient military heritage while promoting people-to-people contact and leading to the development of the border areas through creating different opportunities.
Pradeep Kumar Gautam (Retd) is a war veteran of 1971 (Bangladesh). He is an Honorary Distinguished Fellow at CMHCS. He has written extensively on environmental security, water, climate change, military affairs, and Tibet.He has authored edited chapters, articles and monographs on Kautilya’s Arthashastra, Kamandaka’s Nitishastra, and The Kural. He is the co-editor of three volumes of Indigenous Historical Knowledge: Kautilya and His Vocabulary. He is a subject matter expert for the College of Defence Management.