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.


    Provide constructive inputs for policy-formulation.

  Conduct substantial and substantive studies and research, spanning the entire spectrum of disciplines relevant to India’s maritime interests. 

    Study and evaluate factors affecting India’s holistic maritime-security, with special focus upon opportunities, challenges and vulnerabilities; and provide policy-recommendations relevant to the formulation of India’s national security strategy. 

   Carry out studies of international relations and geo-political factors of strategic significance to India, with a view to suggesting maritime Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) and enhancing maritime cooperation among seafaring nations, as also to achieve a stable security environment in the Indo-Pacific Region.

   Initiate, undertake, organise and facilitate study courses, conferences, seminars, lectures and research, in matters relating to relevant aspects of global maritime affairs and offer fellowships, prizes, scholarships and stipends in furtherance of the objectives of the Foundation.

     Promote awareness and informed public debate on the importance of the maritime dimension of India.

   Study India’s maritime heritage and record, with the objective of disseminating knowledge of maritime history among India’s youth, so as to generate abiding pride in our ancient maritime traditions and to keep them alive in the contemporary global environment.

    Associate with government departments, educational institutions and other bodies with similar or allied aims.

    Establish and maintain library-resources and information services so as to facilitate the study of maritime issues, as also undertake, facilitate and provide for the regular and periodic publication of newsletters, research papers, monographs, journals and books that would further awareness-of and interest-in maritime affairs.

Governance and Organisation

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

GC Members

Admiral Sunil Lanba
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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 07 June 2019, Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM(Retd.) took over as the Chairman of the NMF.

Former Chairmen at NMF:
Vice Admiral 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)
Admiral RK Dhowan, PVSM, AVSM, YSM (Retd) (25 Nov 2016- 07 June 2019)

Vice Admiral Pradeep Chauhan AVSM & Bar, VSM(Retd)
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Director General 

The Director General  functions as the Chief Executive of the NMF. The current incumbent is Vice Admiral Pradeep Chauhan, AVSM & Bar, VSM (Retd.). He took office as the Director on 01 August 2017.

Former Directors at NMF:
Rear Admiral RB Vohra, VSM (Retd.) (01 Sep 05 – 30 Jun 09)
Commodore C Uday Bhaskar, VSM (Retd.) (01 Jul 09 – 31 Jul 11)
Vice Admiral Pradeep Kaushiva, UYSM, VSM (Retd.) (01 Aug 11 – 31 Jul 14)
Commander Dr. Vijay Sakhuja, (Retd.) (01 Aug 14 – 31 Jul 17)

Captain Sarabjeet S Parmar
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Executive Director

The Executive Director at NMF is the serving Captain of the Indian Navy. On 04 June 2019, Captain Sarabjeet S Parmar took over as the Executive Direcor of NMF.

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 R S Dhankar (05 Jan 12- 03 Apr 12)
Capt J S Shergill, NM (11 May 12- 30 June 12)
Cmde J S Shergill, NM (01 Jul 12- 24 Jul 13)
Cmde P K Banerjee (25 Jul 13- 02 Jun 14)
Capt (Dr) Gurpreet S Khurana (03 Jun 14- 04 Jun 19))

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