The DSSC or the Defense services staff college is a tri services organization. This is recognized as a higher seat of learning and is affiliated to the Madras University. Student officers who attend this course are awarded the MS (Masters) degree in Military science by the Madras University. The university monitors the academic program of the College at all levels.
The DSSC is located at Wellington, close to Cooner. It is named after the Duke of Wellington who defeated Napoleon in the famous battle of Waterloo in 1815.
The DSSC occupies a vast area and nearby is the equally famous
The College came up just before the First World War at Deolali near Nasik. There it was started in a couple of old barracks of the then British Indian army. But as there was a constraint of space the DSSC was shifted to Quetta in Baluchistan (Now in Pakistan). Quetta was selected by the British for its salubrious climate and surroundings. The college functioned at Quetta till 1947 and conducted courses for officers of the British Indian army. Many eminent soldiers amassed out of the portals of the Quetta Staff College. Among them Field Marshal Manackshaw, General Ayub Khan, Field Marshal Cariappa, Lieutenant General Kulwant Singh are prominent. The college continued to function even during the Second World War albeit with a reduced staff.
The upheavals’ of 1947, when India was partitioned and the state of Pakistan was created necessitated the Indian leg of the college to shift to India. After a search it was decided to locate it at Wellington, close to Conoor in the erstwhile Madras state (now known as Tamil nadu).
The DSSC is now located at Wellington and is one of the worlds premier training institutes. It imparts trading to officers in all aspects of warfare, both theory and practice. In addition students during the course are to write a dissertation on a selected topic, which is whetted by Professors of the Madras University.
Normally officers of the rank of Capt. / Major and their equivalent from the Air Force and navy with a minimum of 8 years of service are detailed to undergo the course after passing written entrance test. A merit list is published and the top officers are detailed for this course.
The course has as part of its curriculum, all aspects of warfare right from ancient times to the present. Modern exercises entail working with sand models. In addition practical out-door exercise are also conducted. Eminent speakers from the world of politics, science, Industry also lecture the students to widen the knowledge the of the student officers.
The DSSC has carved a niche for itself as a premier centre of advanced studies in military warfare. Many officers from the USA, France, Canada, Britain, Australia, Uganda, Kenya, Singapore, Malaysia, and Bangladesh also attend this course. In fact officers of 30 nations armed forces attend are detailed by governments of their respective nations to attend the course.
The DSSA syllabus has now been revamped and special periods are earmarked for Nuclear and biological warfare. A capsule on management is also taught.
The college has some of the finest facilities available with a well stocked library and research archives. In addition one of the oldest service clubs in India the Willington club is locate there, with a nine whole golf course. Close by is Kotagiri, where Field Marshal Manackshaw resided. The college is headed by a lieutenant general of the Indian army and is a premier training institute. I attended the 41st staff course at Wellington and for me it was one of the most glorious periods of my life.