Date(s) - November 27, 2021
11:00 am - 5:00 pm

MHS Presents


The Maritime History Society (MHS) holds an annual webinar on a specific element of maritime attention. The conclave is a platform that envisions approaching few aspects of Indian Maritime History by encapsulating insights to understand India’s historical narratives on nautical knowledge and maritime security. This year’s Annual Maritime Conclave will be held on 27 Nov 2021 from 1100h to 1230h and 0200h to 0300h.

Main Theme.   ‘Early and Medieval Maritime History’ will form the central theme with a contemporary twist of International Relations. The first session will involve “Indian Nautical Knowledge” whereas the second session will address “Historical Narratives of the Maritime Security of India”.

 Conclave schedule & BIO of Speakers


Inaugural Session

Welcome Address – Cmde Roby Thomas

Cmde Roby Thomas joined MHS as Director on 20 Aug 2021. An alumni of the first three year Naval Academy Course and Naval War College, he has held a wide ambit of operational tenures on different classes of ships. He has also held Director level appointments at Naval Headquarters, Headquarters-Integrated Defence Staff and Strategic Forces Command. He was the Commodore, Foreign Cooperation II at Naval Headquarters. Prior to joining MHS, he was a Senior Fellow at MPIDSA for two years.

The officer has specialised in Anti-Submarine Warfare and is a qualified Ships Diver. He is also an External Pilot Instructor on Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and was part of its induction into the Indian Navy.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Inaugural Address – Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC – Flag Officer Commanding In Chief (C-in-C)

He is the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief (C-in-C) and an alumnus of the prestigious National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla. He was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 01 January 1983.

In his career spanning over 38 years, he has commanded Coast Guard Ship C-01, INS Nishank, Kora, Ranvir and the aircraft carrier INS Viraat. A Gunnery specialist, he has held several specialist appointments including Fleet Operations Officer and Fleet Gunnery Officer of Western Fleet, EXO of INS Vipul, GO of INS Ranjit, commissioning GO of INS Kuthar and commissioning GO VIII of INS Ranvir. His ashore appointments include Command Gunnery Officer at HQWNC, Naval Advisor to Government of Seychelles, UN Mission in Somalia (UNOSOM II) at Mogadishu and Training Commander, INS Dronacharya. His Flag appointments include Commandant of Naval War College at Goa, Flag Officer Sea Training, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, Chief of Staff, Western Naval Command, Controller Personnel Services and Chief of Personnel at Naval Headquarters. Prior to taking over as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar was the first VCDS, post creation of the institution of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)/ Secretary Department of Military Affairs (DMA), where he played a key role in its setting up and operationalization.

He attended the US Naval Staff Course at Naval War College, Rhode Island, in 1996, Army Higher Command Course at AWC, Mhow in 2004 and the Royal College of Defence Studies, London in 2009. He holds a B.Sc. from JNU, MA (International Studies) from Kings College, London, MPhil (Defence & Strategic Studies) from Mumbai University and PG Diploma in Shipping Management from Narottam Morarjee Institute of Shipping, Mumbai

He was awarded the Vishist Seva Medal in 2010, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2016 & Param Vishisht Seva Medal in 2021.

Keynote – Prof Rama Shanker Dubey

Prof. Rama Shanker Dubey, is Vice-Chancellor, Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar. He was former Vice-Chancellor at Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University, Bhagalpur, Bihar and Guru Ghasidas University, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh. Prof. Dubey is a PhD in Biochemistry with 44 years of experience in research and 37 years of experience in teaching. He served as Professor of Biochemistry at Banaras Hindu University for over 21 years and has supervised 32 PhDs, conducted 7 Major Research Projects and published 169 scientific research articles in national and international peer reviewed journals including 24 Chapters in books, with over 15,400 citations, H –Index 47 and i10 index 103.

Prof. Dubey was ranked among top 2% scientists of the world and in particular among 0.947 % of plant biologists of the world in a survey conducted by the Stanford University (2020). During 2003-08, he was among the top ten most cited authors by ELSEVIER. He also won the Excellence Award of Indian Society of Agricultural Biochemists in 2010. He was conferred Young Scientist Award by Indian Science Congress Association in 1982 and the Swedish Institute Fellowship in 1989 at University of Gothenburg. He was also awarded the JSPS (Japan Society for Promotion of Science) Fellowship and worked at Kyushu University, and Okayama University in Japan. He has also worked at Institute of Plant Nutrition, Hannover, Germany.

Prof. Dubey has been Chairman and Member of NAAC Peer Teams for many universities and colleges. He has been member of several committees, expert groups and governing councils appointed by UGC and Ministry of Education. He is also member, Editorial Board of Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science (Germany) and Indian Journal of Agricultural Biochemistry.

Guest of Honour Address – Shri Hasmukh Shah

Hasmukh Shah has lived in two worlds: the first 12 years in a small princely State and thereafter 75 years in a free country-India. His worldview evolved gradually from a small town to the various capitals of the world. Beginning his career teaching comparative religions and sociology he moved to do research and editing of Gandhiji’s works for six years. The journey of his life took him to occupy a ringside seat in national politics; then to the government of India including PMO; steering positions in a blue-chip PSU. His range of interests inter alia includes higher education, rural and tribal development, ecology and environment, history and heritage, literature and arts and aesthetics, institution building, corporate management, public affairs.

He has been at different times (some for more than 10 years): Chairman/Founder Chairman of National Institute of Design; Gujarat Ecology Commission; Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology; Gujarat Ecology Society; INTACH; Gujarat Industrial Investment Corporation; Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation; Darshak Itihas Nidhi (study and research in history); Charutar Arogya Mandal (Hospital and Medical College); Akshar Trust (institution for the hearing impaired). In some as BoG members such as BAIF, IIT Powai, IRMA, CPCB, et el.
In corporate sector, Hasmukh Shah has been Chairman/Director of nearly 30 companies at different times.

Session I – Indian Nautical Knowledge

Moderator – Prof Dipesh Karmarkar

Dipesh Karmarkar completed his M.A. (Geography) and Ph.D. (Historical Geography) from the University of Mumbai. The title of his doctoral thesis was ‘A Historical Geography of Coastal Gujarat & Konkan: Revisiting Spatial & Social Relations (AD 1500 – 1800)’. His core academic interest lies in urban historical geography and place-names studies, esp. of Coastal Western India. He has published many papers, educational books, and a chapter in an edited book. The titles of some of his well-received papers include ‘Towards a Colonial Urban Space of Bombay: A Perspective in Historical Geography’, ‘Understanding Place Names in Mahikavati’s Bakhar: A Case of Mumbai-Thane Region’ and ‘Impact of Water Privatisation on the Urban Poor: A Case of Mumbai’. He had conducted the workshop on ‘Exploring the Indian Ocean History with Maps’ organized by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya. He has been the referee of the ‘Journal of Historical Geography’, a reputed international journal by Elsevier, London. He had received the financial grant from the University of Mumbai for a Minor Research Project, which was published as a monograph titled ‘Fishy Spaces: Globalisation and Livelihood of Indigenous Fishermen – A Case of Mumbai’ by LAP Lambert Publications, Germany. He also writes geography entries in the Marathi Vishwakosh. He has delivered more than 40 invited talks on various themes in geography, historical geography and General-Semantics. He is teaching undergraduate and post-graduate Geography courses since 1996, and currently working at Smt. C. H. M. College (Ulhasnagar), affiliated with the University of Mumbai. He is also serving as the Governing Body Member of the Bombay Geographical Association

Lead Speaker – Dr Ashok Rajeshirke

Dr Ashok B. Rajeshirke is the author of ‘Pre-modern Kutchi Navigation: Techniques and Voyages’. He specialized in Indo-Portuguese urban history and the pre-modern bazaar economy of western India. He has multiple publications in reputed academic journals. He was a recipient of National and International fellowships. He has developed the museum at Siddhpur for the Government of Gujarat. Now he is working on the Mundra Pothi preserve at the Maritime History Society, Mumbai.

Special Session – Prize Distribution

Late Adm JG Nadkarni Memorial Essay Competition and Kalasagar 2021 prize distribution – RAdm Ravindra Nadkarni (Retd)

As a Navigation and Direction specialist RAdm Ravindra Jayant Nadkarni (Retd) had the honour to serve as Navigating Officer of INS Kuthar and INS Rana. He had the distinction of commanding one ship in each rank from Lieutenant to Captain. Apart from important staff appointments and instructional appointments he has excelled at offshore sailing in particular. He was a member of a tri-service sailing team, which sailed onboard Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Samudra during her ‘Round the World Sailing Expedition’ in 1988-89. RAdm Nadkarni is a recipient of the Vishisht Seva Medal in 2014 and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2019.

Session II – Historical Narratives of Maritime Security of India

Special Remarks – Prof Sanjay Jha

Prof. Sanjay K. Jha is Professor and Dean, School of National Security Studies at the Central University of Gujarat. Currently, he is also Officiating as Finance Officer of the University. He joined the Central University of Gujarat in 2012 and served as Chairperson, Centre for Security Studies, Dean, School of International Studies, Dean of Student Welfare, Registrar (i/c) and Provost.

He completed his M.A. from School of International Studies, JNU and M.Phil- Ph.D from Centre for International Politics, Organisation and Disarmament (CIPOD), School of International Studies, JNU, New Delhi.

Professor Jha has more than 20 years of experience as a Researcher, Analyst, Teacher, Research Supervisor, Project Director and Administrator at Research Institutes, Think Tanks and the Government of India. He has earlier served in several research institutions like Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), Institute for Conflict Management (ICM) and the Government of India as Officer on Special Duty (OSD).

His research interests include International Relations, National Security, Security and Politics in South Asia and Border Management. International Relations (IR), National Security, Security and Politics in South Asia, Internal Security, Terrorism, Insurgency and Border Management. He has several publications including chapters in books, research papers in journals, articles in periodicals and web-based sources. He has participated and presented papers in national/international seminars, workshops and delivered lectures at Universities, Think Tanks and Training Institutes. He has done research projects sponsored by the Government of India, and other national and international funding agencies.

Moderator – Dr Manasi Singh

Manasi Singh is Assistant Professor at Centre for Security Studies and Co-ordinator, Centre for Maritime Security Studies at School of National Security Studies, Central University of Gujarat, India. She holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and MPhil and PhD in European Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She was a Visiting Researcher at ULB, Brussels, Freie University, Berlin and the University of Bonn, and has presented papers at international conferences held at the University of Wurzburg (Germany), Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai and Centre for Comparative European Union Studies, IIT Madras. She has previously taught International Relations at the University of Delhi and has also worked with The Times of India as a copy editor. She was briefly associated with the UN Millennium Campaign and spent two years working with OneWorld Foundation India as a research assistant. She has published in peer-reviewed journals of Sage and Brill and has contributed several book chapters in edited volumes of Routledge and Palgrave

Her research interests include EU foreign policy, global governance and multilateralism, security-development linkage, regional security in South Asia and India’s foreign policy.

Lead Speaker – Prof Uttara Sahasrabuddhe

Dr. Uttara Sahasrabuddhe is Professor of International Relations, Department of Civics & Politics, University of Mumbai. She is a visiting Instructor and member of a panel of evaluators for the Naval War College, Goa and has been Visiting Instructor to the Army War College, Mhow.

Dr. Uttara Sahasrabuddhe is the recipient of the Asia Fellowship, awarded by the Asian Scholarship Foundation, Bangkok, under which was a Visiting Fellow to the Centre for International & Strategic Studies, Jakarta, Indonesia in 2008; also the recipient of Asia Fellowship Collaborative Grant in 2010. She is also a Board Member of editors of Asian Politics and Policy, published by Wiley Blackwell. She was invited by the European Commission to Brussels, Belgium in April 2010, as an Evaluator for the 7th Framework Research Programme of the European Union.

Currently, Dr. Uttara Sahasrabuddhe is a Member of Global India, a Horizon 2020 funded European Training Network and a Member of the International Advisory Board, GLOBE – Global Governance & the European Union.

Valedictory Session

Valedictory Address – VAdm A R Karve (Retd)

Vice Admiral AR Karve (Retired) was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 01 July 1980 and retired after 38 years of distinguished naval service in July 2018 as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command. In a range of operational, staff and command assignments, Admiral, an Anti Submarine Warfare Specialist, had the honour to be both the commissioning crew of INS Viraat and its Commanding officer in the rank of Captain. He also commanded patrol vessel INS Ajay, frigate INS Dunagiri and destroyer INS Ranvijay apart from later heading the sword arm of the Indian Navy as Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet in the rank of Rear Admiral.

Admiral Karve has held prestigious positions in the Flag Ranks as steering Indian Naval Operations, Chief of Personnel and Chief of Staff at Western Naval Command. He has been closely associated as a paper presenter, supporter and Trustee of the Maritime History Society on many occasions.

He is an avid reader and takes a keen interest in Maritime Strategy and Heritage. He is pursuing a PhD from the University of Mumbai and became Patron of MHS in April last year.

Vote of Thanks – RAdm Atul Anand VSM,Flag Officer Maharashtra Area

Rear Admiral Atul Anand, VSM, is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, the Defence Services Command and Staff College, Mirpur, Bangladesh and the National Defence College, New Delhi. He has also attended the prestigious Advance Security Cooperation Course at the Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies, Hawaii, USA. His educational qualifications include an M Phil, MSc (Defence and Strategic Studies), Masters in Defence Studies and a BSc degree.

A recipient of the Vishisht Seva Medal, the Admiral has held several key command appointments in his naval career including the command of Torpedo Recovery Vessel IN TRV A72, Missile Boat INS Chatak, Corvette INS Khukri and the Destroyer INS Mumbai. He has also served as the Navigating Officer of IN Ships Sharda, Ranvijay and Jyoti. In addition, he was the Direction Officer of the Sea Harrier Squadron INAS 300 and Executive Officer of the destroyer INS Delhi.

His important staff appointments include Joint Director Staff Requirements, Directing Staff at the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Director Naval Operations and Director Naval Intelligence (Ops). He has also served as the Principal Director Naval Operations and the Principal Director Strategy, Concepts and Transformation at Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy). As a Flag Officer, he has served as Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Foreign Cooperation and Intelligence) at IHQ MoD (N) and Deputy Commandant & Chief Instructor at the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla.

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