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SOURCE: News18

The Army has undertaken two separate projects as part of its efforts towards archiving war histories, News18 has learnt. As per sources in the government, the projects have been initiated by the Army’s Training Command (ARTRAC). The Mhow-based Army War College will be the nodal authority for the projects and Delhi-based think tank United Services Institution of India (USI) will support the research work on the military history content as an expert body.

The first project will include digitising and archiving the military history pertaining to the Army. While the digitisation process began in May this year, a government source told News18 that the project will be completed in two phases — the first for content that is declassified and then for unclassified content.

Unclassified content refers to the one which was never classified. Declassified content was formerly classified, but the status was changed later.

A Board of Officers (BOO) headed by a Major General rank officer in every command will closely examine the historical content shortlisted for archival by various units and formations.

“All units have been asked to compile historical records related to the regiments, the operations they undertook, their battle honours, among others. They will then be shortlisted and examined by the BOO before archival,” a source told News18.

The second project includes writing of the military history pertaining to the Army and designing a web page for it. As per sources, the web page has already been designed, while putting together the history content is currently underway.

The total cost of the projects is around Rs 45 lakh. While the deadline for the first project is April next year, the second project is likely to be completed by the end of this month.

In June last year, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had approved a policy on archiving, declassification and compilation or publication of war histories. Under the policy, all records should be declassified in 25 years. As a result, all records up to 1995 will be declassified after they are reviewed by a BOO.

The policy also mandated constituting a panel headed by a joint secretary of the Defence Ministry with representatives from the services, the ministries of home affairs and external affairs and military historians to compile war histories.