Ambassador Yogendra Kumar, IFS(Retd)

Ambassador Yogendra Kumar retired from the Indian Foreign Service in 2012 in the rank of Secretary to the government of India. At the time of his retirement, he was Indian Ambassador to the Philippines, with concurrent accreditation to the Pacific island countries of Palau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. He has, earlier, been High Commissioner to Namibia and Ambassador to Tajikistan (2000-03) during which period he also handled Afghanistan affairs. He has served on the faculty of the National Defence College and, in the Ministry of External Affairs, he has handled multilateral organisations/dialogues such as G8-G5 Dialogue, ASEAN, EAS, IBSA, IORA etc. Since retirement, he has been writing and speaking on foreign policy and security affairs. His book, ‘Diplomatic Dimension of Maritime Challenges for India in the 21st Century, has been published in 2015 by the Pentagon Press. He has edited and contributed to the book, ‘Whither Indian Ocean Maritime Order?’, containing presentations/articles by eminent security and foreign service experts at a seminar organised by him in November 2016, on Prime Minister’s landmark speech on Indian Ocean policy. Published by Knowledge World in 2017, this book was presented by the Indian delegation to the participating delegations, headed by their respective heads of state/government, at the First Indian Ocean Rim Association Leaders’ Summit in Jakarta in March 2017. In 2020, Routledge has published his book, ‘Geopolitics in the Era of Globalisation: Mapping an Alternative Global Future’, in US, Europe and South Asia editions. He can be contacted on mr_yogendra_kumar@hotmail.com.

 

Vice Admiral MP Muralidharan (Retd)

1. Vice Admiral M.P.Muralidharan, an alumnus of National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 01 Jan 1975. He is a specialist in Navigation and Direction and also holds a post-graduate degree in Defence Studies. In a career of almost four decades, the Admiral has held several key Operational and Staff appointments. He has commanded three warships including the Guided Missile Destroyer Ranvijay and has been Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet and Principal Director of Naval Operations at the Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence (Navy). He was also Directing Staff at Defence Services Staff College (Wellington), Naval Assistant to the Chief of the Naval Staff and Naval Attaché, at the Embassy of India, Moscow. 2. On elevation to Flag Rank, as Rear Admiral he was the Flag Officer Sea Training at Kochi, Chief of Staff, Western Naval Command at Mumbai and also held the operational appointment of the Flag Officer Commanding, Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area. On promotion to Vice Admiral, he became the first commandant of the Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala. Subsequently, he became the Chief of Personnel at Naval Headquarters prior to taking over as the 19th Director-General of the Indian Coast Guard from where he retired in Feb 2013. 3. As the Director General Indian Coast Guard, he was a member of various institutional and governmental committees, which included the Director on the Board of Goa Shipyard Ltd and Invitee to the Meetings of the Defence Procurement Board and Defence Acquisition Council. He was also Chairman of numerous Coordination Committees at the national level, which included the Offshore Security Coordination Committee (OSCC), National Oil Spill and Disaster Contingency Plan (NOSDCP) and National Maritime Search and Rescue (NM-SAR) Board. 4. Post-retirement, the Admiral was appointed by the President of India as a Member of the Armed Forces Tribunal at its Regional Bench at Kochi, an appointment equivalent to a sitting Judge of a High Court. During his tenure of four years, the Admiral authored nearly 500 judgments which included some landmark decisions. Apart from the Bench at Kochi, he also sat on the Regional Benches of the Tribunal at Guwahati, Mumbai and Jaipur. 5. He has keenly pursued numerous scholastic avenues during his career in conjunction with his primary responsibilities. He has been a contributor to Armed Forces journals and periodicals and has been a speaker and panellist at various Seminars and Conferences. These include, among others, the National Defence College, New Delhi, College of Defence Management, Secunderabad and National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi. He is also a member of various strategic study societies and institutions such as the National Maritime Foundation, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses and United Service Institution of India. 6.The Admiral was awarded the Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM) twice by the President of India and is also a recipient of the Nao Sena Medal (NM).

     
Vice Admiral B. Kannan (Retd)

Vice Admiral Kannan (Retd) completed his BE in Electronics Engineering from College of Engineering, Trivandrum in 1973, whereafter he joined Indian Navy. He subsequently did his M Tech from IIT Mumbai and his MBA from Jamanalal Bajaj Institute, Mumbai He held many varied appointments in the Indian Navy pertaining to Indigenisation, QA, DRDO projects etc. He was also Programme Director of India’s Nuclear Submarine Project for nearly 04 years, during which INS Arihant was launched. He retired from the Apex post of “Chief of Material” for Technical Officers in the Indian Navy. During his 40 years of Naval Service, he was conferred with three Presidential Awards, viz VSM, AVSM and PVSM for his distinguished service. After retirement, he worked in the corporate sector as MD & CEO of L&T’s Shipbuilding Company at Chennai for 05 years. Presently he has settled down at Coimbatore.

     
Rear Admiral Krishna Swaminathan

Rear Admiral Krishna Swaminathan, AVSM, VSM assumed charge as Flag Officer Offshore Defence Advisory Group and Advisor Offshore Security and Defence to the Government of India on 26 Feb 21.

Commissioned into the Indian Navy on 01 Jul 87, Admiral Swaminathan is a specialist in Communication and Electronic Warfare and an alumnus of National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla; the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Shrivenham, United Kingdom; the College of Naval Warfare, Karanja; and the United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, USA.

A recipient of the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal, the Admiral has held several key operational, staff and training appointments in his naval career including the command of five frontline ships: missile vessels INS Vidyut and Vinash; missile corvette INS Kulish; guided-missile destroyer INS Mysore; and the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.

     
Commodore Srikant Kesnur

Cmde Srikant Kesnur, an alumnus of the prestigious National Defence Academy, was commissioned in the Indian Navy in July 1986. In his 35 year career, he has had extensive experience in maritime operations, training, leadership, diplomacy, and communication. He has been the Captain of two frontline ships and, in addition, his tours of duty have witnessed several important assignments, prestigious courses and interesting tenures - at sea, ashore and abroad. He was also the Defence Adviser at the High Commission of India, in Nairobi, Kenya, from Oct 2008 to Mar 2012, with Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles, Eritrea and Somalia as his area of responsibility He has a Ph.D. from Mumbai University apart from five postgraduate degrees in science and social sciences. He has been senior faculty at Navy/Military colleges and training institutions. He has also been the lead writer and Chief Editor of nine books and many journals for the Indian Navy. In addition, he has been involved with several academic, creative and corporate outreach endeavours of the Navy. He is presently the Director of Maritime Warfare Centre, Mumbai as also the Officer in Charge of Naval History Project. He has been conferred the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) in the Republic Day awards ceremony

     
Prof Varun Sahni

Varun Sahni is Vice-Chancellor, Goa University. He is also Professor in International Politics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (currently on deputation leave). He speaks annually (since 2006) at the National Defence College (NDC) and several times a year (since 1997) at the Foreign Service Institute, New Delhi. He has been a Jury Member of the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding. An Inlaks Scholar, he wrote his doctoral dissertation on the political role of the Argentine Navy at the University of Oxford (1991). He has written 105 research articles on nuclear deterrence issues, regional security, emerging balances in the Asia-Pacific, evolving security concepts, emerging powers, international relations theory and Latin American issues. He has recently co-authored Technology Vision 2035 for TIFAC, the technology think tank of the Government of India. Professor Sahni has been visiting professor at important universities in Mexico City, Washington, DC and Canberra. For his “outstanding contribution to research and teaching”, he was conferred the V.K.R.V. Rao Prize in Social Sciences for 2006 by the Indian Council of Social Science Research. From December 2008 to January 2012, he served as the 10th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jammu.

 

Dr Kurush F Dalal

Kurush F Dalal has a BA in Ancient Indian History and History from the University of Mumbai), an MA in Archaeology as well as a PhD in the early Iron Age in Rajasthan, both from Deccan College, Pune University. Subsequently, he shifted focus to the Early Medieval Period predominantly on the West Coast of India and excavated the sites of Sanjan, Chandore and Mandad. These excavations and the data recovered have had a strong impact on scholarship in the region. The recent Mandad excavations have revealed a brand new hitherto unknown Indo-Roman Port site with antecedents going back even further. Dr Dalal also actively works on Memorial Stones and Ass-curse Stones in India and dabbles in Numismatics, Defence Archaeology, Architecture, Ethnoarchaeology and allied disciplines. He is the Co-Director of the Salcette Explorations Project, a massive Urban Archaeology Project documenting the Archaeology of Mumbai since 2015, thus extending his interest from the Medieval into the Colonial Period.

He has published over 35 papers and has read many more at National and International Seminars. He is a visiting lecturer at various Universities, Colleges, Schools and Government Institutions. He taught archaeology and allied subjects at the University of Mumbai for 10 years. Since October 2019 he is Consulting Editor with Live History India and since September 2021, he is the Director of the INSTUCEN School of Archaeology. He continues to research Archaeology and Culinary Anthropology.

     
Dr. Radhika Seshan

Dr. Radhika Seshan retired as Professor and Head of the Department of History, Savitribai Phule Pune University, in August 2019. She is now Visiting Faculty, Symbiosis School of Liberal Arts, Pune. Her area of specialization is Medieval Indian History, within which she has concentrated on economic history, especially maritime and urban history.

She is the author of three books, Trade and Politics on the Coromandel Coast (Primus Books, 2012), Ideas and Institutions in Medieval India, 8th to 18th centuries (Orient BlackSwan, 2013), and The Constructions of the East in Western Travel Narratives, 1300-1800 (Routledge, 2020). In addition, she is the editor /joint editor of 8 books, of which the most recent, jointly edited with Professor Rila Mukherjee, is Indian Ocean Histories: The Many Worlds of Michael Naylor Pearson (Routledge, 2019/20). She has numerous research papers to her credit in national and international journals.

     
Prof Uttara Sahasrabuddhe

Prof 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.