Declassification War Histories India

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 15, 2022, 11:30

On 12th June 2021, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh published a press release announcing the new policy formulated by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for Declassification War Histories India. The policy sanctioned archiving, declassification, compilation, and publication of historical data on wars and major operations led by India. Primarily, the Declassification War Histories India policy intends to increase information transparency allowing fellow citizens to have reliable information on account of events. The declassification and publication of war histories will enable researchers and academicians to access factual and accurate information concerning Indian military operations. Besides, unfounded rumours about any event can be effectively countered by making the information public.

Declassification War Histories India Policy - Overview

The MoD mandates all the three services (Armed Force, Naval Force, and Air Force) and other defence organisations to declassify and downgrade the information on war and major operations following the Declassification War Histories India policy. As per the policy, the defence organisations should declassify the information based on the following process:

  1. Constitute a committee to compile war and operations history within two years of the event. The committee should have the Joint Secretary of the MoD as the head. Besides, the committee should have representatives from three services (Armed Force, Naval Force, and Air Force), the Ministry of External Affairs, and Home Affairs. If necessary, recognised military historians can be involved in the committee for expert opinion.
  2. After the committee's formation, the task of data collection and compilation should commence. The Declassification War Histories India policy lays out that the historical data be compiled within three years. The policy outlines that all the defence services such as Integrated Defence Staff, Assam Rifles and Coast Guard should transfer their records such as war diaries, letters of proceedings and operational record books to the committee for compilation.
  3. After that, the History Division of the MoD should publish authoritative compilations and war histories from the declassified records collected by the committee. The complied information should be disseminated to all the concerned people and organisations. Notably, sensitive information should not be released and be saved for internal consumption.
  4. After the compilation and publication of the official history of wars and operations, the records older than 25 years should be transferred to the National Archives for public access.
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Declassification War Histories India - Constitutional Acts

The Public Records Act 1993 and Public Record Rules 1997 are the Acts laid out in the Constitution of India to rightfully declassify records and manage their transfer to the National Archives. These acts mandate all ministries to have a record office responsible for declassifying information.

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Declassification War Histories India policy is an excellent move toward facilitating the right to information. An authoritative compilation of information resourcefully counters rumours and establishes the truth. Overall, with declassification and publication of war histories, people get to know the reality behind wars and military operations.

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FAQs on Declassification War Histories India

Q1. When was the Declassification War Histories India policy announced?

The Declassification War Histories India policy was announced on 12th June 2021.

Q2. As per the Declassification War Histories India policy, who are committee members formed to compile war and operations history?

As per the Declassification War Histories India policy, the members include:

  1. Joint Secretary of MoD (Head of the Committee)
  2. Representatives from the services (Armed Force, Naval Force, Air Force)
  3. Representatives from the Ministry of External Affairs
  4. Representatives from the Ministry of Home Affairs
  5. Military Historians (only if necessary)

Q3. Name the Acts governing Declassification War Histories India policy?

The Acts Acts governing Declassification War Histories India are:

  1. Public Records Act 1993
  2. Public Record Rules 1997

Q4. As per the Declassification War Histories India policy, after how many years can the declassified record be transferred to the National Archives?

As per the Declassification War Histories India policy, the declassified record can be transferred to the National Archives after 25 years.

Q5. The Declassification War Histories India policy mandated the committee compile the historical records in how many years?

The Declassification War Histories India policy mandated the committee to compile the historical records within five years of the event.