IDSA in Retrospect

July 2011
In Memoriam

The former defence minister Shri Yeshwantrao Chavan led a delegation to the United States in May 1964 to discuss American support for the Indian Defence Five-Year Plan. The delegation included among others, the then defence secretary Shri P.V.R. Rao. Both Shri Chavan and Shri Rao were very impressed by the quantitative and analytical approach adopted by the US Defense Department and on their return, initiated discussions in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to explore the possibility of setting up a ‘think tank’ on the lines of the RAND Corporation. In 1964 the US defense secretary McNamara's ‘whiz kid’, Dr Alain Enthoven, paid a visit to Delhi. He advised the MoD to set up a captive research institution within the Ministry on the model of the RAND Corporation. In January 1965, during a visit to Delhi, Mr Alastair Buchan, director of the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS), London, met Shri Chavan, and advised the Ministry that a broad-based policy research institution on the model of ISS London, was more suitable to the Indian situation.