The National Maritime Foundation (NMF), New Delhi, was established in 2005 as the nation’s first maritime think-tank for conducting independent and policy-relevant research on ‘matters maritime’. It was inaugurated by the then Defence Minister of India (Sh. Pranab Mukherjee, later the President of India) on 15 February 2005. While it is an autonomous think-tank, its intellectual and organisational development is supported by the Ministry of Defence and the Indian Navy. Since its inception, the NMF has grown from a fledging organisation into an established intellectual institution with robust academic linkages within the country and overseas.


The genesis of the NMF lies in a long-felt need to redress India's historical neglect of its maritime domain and to fill an acute intellectual void, by providing a common platform for discourse between maritime related institutions, organisations and disciplines, country-wide. It was also envisaged that the Foundation would provide an open forum for professional debate amongst the various stakeholders within India’s maritime domain, while serving to heighten maritime awareness amongst India's policy-makers and intellectual elite, as also civil society at large.

Vision Statement

To be the foremost resource centre for the development and advocacy of strategies for the promotion and protection of India’s maritime interests.


⦁ The objectives of the foundation are to:
⦁ Provide constructive inputs for policy formulation.
⦁ Conduct studies and research in the area of maritime interests of India spanning across the entire spectrum of oceanic activity, maritime infrastructure, shipbuilding, merchant shipping, fishing, energy life-lines, off-shore and sea-bed resources, environment and the laws of the sea.
⦁ Study and evaluate factors affecting Indian maritime security, focus on vulnerable areas and suggest suitable counter measures in the formulation of national security strategy.
⦁ Carry out studies of International relations and geo-political factors of strategic significance with a view to suggest maritime CBMs and enhance maritime cooperation among seafaring nations as also to achieve a stable security environment in South Asia and Asia Pacific.
⦁ Initiate, undertake, organise and facilitate study courses, conferences, seminars, lectures and research in matters relating to various aspects of global maritime affairs and to offer fellowships, prizes, scholarships and stipends in furtherance of the objectives of the Foundation.
⦁ Promote awareness and informed public debate on the importance of maritime dimension of India.
⦁ Study maritime heritage and to record with the objective of disseminating knowledge of maritime history among youth to keep alive our ancient maritime traditions.
⦁ Associate with government departments, educational institutions and other bodies with similar or allied aims.
⦁ Establish and maintain libraries and information services to facilitate study of maritime issues and undertake, facilitate and provide for the publication of news letters, research papers and books and of a journal for the exposition of maritime affairs.

Governance and Organisation

The NMF functions under the overarching guidance of a Governing Council (GC).

GC Members
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The Chairman of the GC (and hence of the NMF itself) is, by tradition, the naval Chief who has most recently demitted office. On 25 November 2016, Admiral Rabinder Kumar Dhowan[8],PVSM, AVSM, YSM (Retd.) took over as the Chairman of the NMF.
Former Chairmen at NMF:
VAdm KK Nayyar, PVSM, AVSM (Retd.) (15 Feb 05 – 14 Sep 08)
Admiral Arun Prakash, PVSM, AVSM, VrC, VSm (Retd.) (15 Sep 08 – 17 Jan 12)
Admiral Sureesh Mehta, PVSM, AVSM (retd.) (18 Jan 12 - 30 Oct 14)
Admiral D K Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (retd.) (31 Oct 14 – 24 Nov 16)
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The Director functions as the Chief Executive of the NMF. The current incumbent is Vice Admiral Pradeep Chauhan,[9]AVSM & Bar, VSM (Retd.). He took office as the Director on 01 August 2017.
Former Directors at NMF:
RAdm RB Vohra, VSM (Retd.) (01 Sep 05 – 30 Jun 09)
Cmde C Uday Bhaskar, VSM (Retd.) (01 Jul 09 – 31 Jul 11)
Vadm Pradeep kaushiva, UYSM, VSM (Retd.) (01 Aug 11 – 31 Jul 14)
Cdr Dr. Vijay Sakhuja, (Retd.) (01 Aug 14 – 31 Jul 17)
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Executive Director

The Director is assisted by an Executive Director, who is usually a serving officer of the Indian Navy. Captain (Dr) Gurpreet S Khurana, is the current incumbent and has held this office since 03 June 2014.
Former Executive Directors at NMF:
Cmde Rajeev Sawhney (15 Feb 05 - 18 Mar 08)
Cmde Nalin Dewan (19 Mar 08 – 09 Oct 09)
Capt Alok Bansal (10 Oct 09 – 28 Feb 11
Cmde RS Dhankar (05 Jan 12 – 03 Apr 12)
Capt JS Shergill, NM (11 May 12 – 30 Jun 12)
Cmde JS Shergill, NM (01 Jul 12 – 24 Jul 13)
Cmde PK Banerjee (25 Jul 13 – 02 Jun 14)

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