National Defence College of India located in New Delhi is the highest seat of strategic learning for Indian Defence and Civil Services officers of the rank of Brigadier and Joint Secretary to Government of India. This is a very prestigious course attended only by a few hand-picked defence officers of Brigadier (one-star General) rank and from friendly foreign countries. Each year, approximately 25 officers from countries like the USA, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Nepal, UAE and others attend the course.
This college provides strategic leadership to the government of India in national and international security matters and also acts as a think tank on defence matters and holds a very important position in shaping up the Indian defence outlook.
It conducts a 47-week National Security and Strategic Study course each year which commences in the first week of January each year and finishes in the first week of December. The entire course is divided in six subjects spread over two terms. This course also involves extensive travel within and outside the country to visit Indian states and foreign countries where course members meet head of states and important decision makers to understand the political, social and strategic landscape of the state/country.
During the course of each study, course is divided into seven groups called Integrated Analysis Groups (IAG). Each IAG comprises 13-14 members (4-5 army officers, 1 naval officer, 1-2 air force officers, 3-4 IAS/IPS/Civil Services officers and 4-5 foreign military officers). Each IAG function in a synergatic mode to for purpose of analysing issues, discussions, preparation of papers and presentations. Since 2006 the college has been formally affiliated with Madras University for the award of M.Phil. degree in 'Defence and Strategic Studies
Faculty of National Defence College is drawn from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Civil services. Usually, there are 7 faculty members (Army -3, Navy - 1, Air Force - 1, IAS - 1 and IFS - 1). Apart from these 7 regular faculties, college regularly invites think tanks, ambassadors of different nations, business leaders, ministers from India and friendly countries, defence chiefs of friendly countries to give lectures in the college.