The University Grants Commission has asked higher education institutions to hold programmes and activities to celebrate September 29 as “Surgical Strikes Day”. The government has said it will celebrate on that day the second anniversary of its “surgical strikes” against Pakistan.

In a letter to vice chancellors on Wednesday, the higher education authority suggested that institutions ask students to “pledge their support” to the armed forces through letters and cards, which the government will use for publicity.

Colleges and universities may invite ex-servicemen on September 29 to “sensitise students about sacrifices made by the armed forces”, the letter said. Students and faculty may be encouraged to visit multimedia exhibitions around India Gate in New Delhi or in other state capitals and important towns and cantonments, according to the UGC.

Campuses with units of the National Cadet Corps have been advised to conduct special parades with the corps commander addressing them on the “modalities of protection of the borders”.

On September 29, 2016, the Indian Army claimed to have carried out “surgical strikes on terror launchpads” across the Line of Control to neutralise alleged infiltrators the previous night. Pakistan denied any such attacks and said India was deliberately using the term “surgical strikes” to describe existing “cross-border fire” operations for “media hype”.

A surgical strike is a military attack aimed to harm only the intended target and ensure minimal collateral damage to general public infrastructure and utilities around it.