Tue. Jun 11th, 2024

What is project Udbhav?

The project Udbhav aims at integrating ancient wisdom with modern military pedagogy through interdisciplinary research, workshops and leadership seminars; it will also facilitate emergence of under-explored theories related to strategic thinking.

An ambitious effort for the integration of India’s “ancient strategic acumen” into the contemporary military domain and develop an “indigenous strategic vocabulary”, rooted in India’s “philosophy and culture”, was launched under Project Udbhav, by Defence Minister on 21.10.2023.


The project’s objective is to synthesise ancient wisdom with contemporary military practices, forging a unique and holistic approach to address modern security challenges.

Project Udbhav, a collaboration between the Army and the United Service Institution of India (USI), a defence services think tank, was launched at the first Indian Military Heritage Festival (IMHF) being organised by the USI.

“It aims to effectively integrate ancient wisdom with modern military pedagogy through interdisciplinary research, workshops and leadership seminars… It will facilitate emergence of previously under-explored thoughts and theories related to strategic thinking, statecraft and warfare, foster deeper understanding and contribute to enriching military training curricula,” Lt.Gen. Aich said.

“Going forward, a series of events and workshops will dwell on various facets of our strategic culture and culminate in January next year, with a publication, to document and institutionalise such knowledge.”

Elaborating, he said an initiative in this research was earlier taken by the Army Training Command, which after delving into the ancient Indian treatises such as Arthashastra by Chanakya and Nitisara by Kamandaki and the Mahabharata, compiled the “compendium of 75 stratagems”.

Similarly, the College of Defence Management conducted a study to establish linkages between Indian culture and art of strategic thinking and these will also provide valuable inputs for the project, he said.

Ancient Indian military system

The primary deliverables of Project Udbhav are to develop an understanding of ancient military system and indigenous strategic military culture through the study of evolution of Indian military system and strategic thoughts; educating junior military leaders and informing senior military commanders and academia about the theories concepts and teachings available in classical texts; and facilitating the creation of a knowledge pool for scholars and defence personnel for further studies, which will create an understanding of the relevance of these findings in a contemporary context.

The objective of the IMHF is to acquaint future thought leaders with the dynamics of comprehensive national security with special emphasis on India’s strategic culture, military heritage, education, modernisation of security forces and Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India), according to the USI.

Lt.Gen. Aich said that ancient Indian knowledge system was rooted in a 5,000-year-old civilisational legacy, which has attached great value to knowledge, with a large body of intellectual texts, world’s largest collection of manuscripts, thinkers and schools in so many domains of knowledge.

To begin with, it is essential to understand the depth of knowledge systems and philosophies. It is only then one can comprehend their enduring connect, relevance and applicability in the modern day, he said.

In this regard, the Deputy Chief said works such as Chanakya’s Arthashastra underscored the importance of strategic alliances and diplomacy, aligning with modern military practices such as international cooperation and soft power projection. “Similarly, the wisdom of Thirukkural, the classical Tamil text authored by Thiruvalluvar, the Tamil philosopher, advocates ethical conduct in all endeavours, including warfare. This aligns with modern military codes of ethics of just war and principles of the Geneva Convention.”

(source:The Hindu)

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