Policy for Declassification of War History


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Policy for Declassification of War History

Part of: GS Prelims and GS -II – Policies and interventions and GS-III – Defence and security 

In news

  • The Union Defence Minister has approved a policy on archiving, declassification, compilation and publication of war and operations histories by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
    • A policy on declassification of war histories was recommended by the Kargil Review Committee headed by K Subrahmanyam as well as the N.N. Vohra Committee. 
  • Timely publication of war histories would give people accurate account of the events, help in academic research and counter the baseless rumours. 

Key takeaways 

  • A committee shall be formed for compilation of war and operations histories headed by Joint Secretary, MoD.
  • According to the policy, records should ordinarily be declassified in 25 years. 
  • Records older than 25 years should be appraised by archival experts and transferred to the National Archives of India after compilation. 
  • The compiled history on wars and operations, within five years, will be for internal consumption first. 
    • Later the committee may decide to publicly release considering the sensitivity of the subject,
  • Declassification of older wars like the 1962 war will be taken up on case by case basis by a committee to be constituted under the new policy. 


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