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.