DM Rajnath Singh has formally approved a policy on declassification of War histories.

New policy

  • Under the new policy, Ministry of Defence will archive, declassify, compile and publish war and operations histories.
  • However, declassification of older wars like of 1962 war is not automatic.
  • Declassification will be taken up on case-by-case basis by a committee which will be constituted under the new policy.
  • According to the policy, records should ordinarily be declassified in 25 years.
  • Records which are older than 25-yrs should be appraised by archival experts and transferred to National Archives of India after histories of war or operations have been compiled.

Will all reports on wars be public?

The Committee will take a view on earlier wars and operations. Compiled history on wars and operations will be consumed internally first, within 5 years. After that, the committee may decide to publicly release whole or parts of it based on the sensitivity of subject.

Committee to be constituted

Under the new policy, a committee will be constituted which will be headed by Joint Secretary of Ministry of Defence.  It will comprise of representatives of Services, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs and prominent military historians for compilation of war & operations histories. History Division of the committee will be responsible to coordinate with various departments while compiling, for approval & publishing of war and operations histories.

Backdrop

The Proposal of having war histories written with clear cut policy on declassification was recommended by Kargil Review Committee headed by K Subrahmanyam and N.N. Vohra Committee to analyse lessons learnt and prevent future mistakes.