The National Defence College (NDC), India's premier defence studies institution affiliated to the Madras University, has entered history books by holding its first-ever viva-voce for a doctorate degree. The NDC, a capital-based institution which conducts Master of Philosophy courses for serving armed forces officers, held the viva-voce for awarding Ph.D. in defence-related topic when retired Major General G.D. Bakshi submitted his research thesis on the topic 'Limited War Under Conditions of Nuclear Symmetry: The Urgent Need for an Indian Doctrine'. “It is for the first time a public viva-voce for Ph.D in Defence and Strategic Studies was conducted at any defence institute. It was also an historic occasion for Madras University when it conducted a viva-voce outside the geographical boundaries of its jurisdiction,” a defence ministry spokesperson said here on Monday. NDC conducts M.Phil. courses under the autonomous pattern and was also recognised as a research institution in 2009. Since then, various research activities at the NDC have been initiated. Maj. Gen. Bakshi, who was a Senior Directing Staff at the NDC between August 2006 and May 2008, registered for his Ph.D. degree with Madras University's Department of Defence and Strategic Studies. He presented his research work in a public forum on Feb 9 this year at the NDC. The topic enunciated by Maj. Gen. Bakshi was debated by senior serving and retired defence officers and experts in the field in an open viva-voce. NDC Commandant Air Marshal P.K. Roy was present on the occasion.