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Rajnath Singh approves policy on declassifying war histories

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 once the war/operations histories have been compiled.

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New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday approved the policy on archiving, declassification, a compilation of war histories by his Ministry.

The policy envisages that each organisation under the Ministry of Defence such as Services, Integrated Defence Staff, Assam Rifles and Indian Coast Guard, will transfer the records, including war diaries, letters of proceedings & operational record books, etc , to the History Division of Ministry of Defence (MoD) for proper upkeep, archival and writing the histories, a statement by Defence Ministry said.

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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 once the war/operations histories have been compiled.

The policy mandates constitution of a committee headed by Joint Secretary, MoD and comprising of representatives of the Services, MEA, MHA and other organisations and prominent military historians (if required), for compilation of war/ operations histories, as per the statement.

Timely publication of war histories would give people accurate account of the events, provide authentic material for academic research and counter the unfounded rumours.

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