What is Tibetology, the Indian Army is eyeing to counter China


oi-Vicky Nanjappa


New Delhi, Jan 28: The Indian Army is fine tuning a proposal for its officers to study Tibetan history, language and culture on both sides of the Line of Actual Control and International Boundary.

This is part of the measures that are being discussed to counter the spread of influence by China.

Known as Tibetology, this was first proposed in the Army Commanders conference in October and is currently being further analysed by the Shimla based Army Training Command (ARTRAC) on the instructions of Indian Army Chief, General M M Naravane.

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Department of Buddhist Studies (Delhi University), Central Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies (Varanasi), Nava Nalanda Mahavihara (Bihar), Visva Bharati (West Bengal), Dalai Lama Institute for Higher Education (Bengaluru), Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (Gangtok) and Central Institute of Himalayan Culture Studies (Dahung, Arunachal Pradesh) are the seven institutes that have been identified by ARTRAC.

The Army officers can go on study leave to these centres or can also be sent for small capsules on Tibetology.

The expertise on China and the Chinese psyche is lacking. There are a very few officers who understand China and when it comes to Tibetology, the numbers are even smaller. The Army officers are generally well versed with Pakistan and similar knowledge of China and Tibetology is needed.

The Army would need to build expertise on China and Tibet when it comes to linguistic, cultural and behavioural patterns. This would need sector and language specialisations.

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