About Us

About US



Background: SIOS

☛ Just as former PM Indira Gandhi sent an expedition to Antarctica in 1981, and simultaneously set up the Department of Ocean Development, the eminent trio of Sh PN Haksar, Professor S Nurul Hassan and Professor Satish Chandra decided to establish a not-for-profit NGO that would serve as a research Centre/think tank to stimulate India’s profile in the maritime domain and particularly, to encourage research on the history, geography, living and non-living resources of the Indian Ocean.

☛ Accordingly, the Society for Indian Ocean Studies was established by the above-mentioned eminences in 1987 and registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1960.

☛ In its endeavor to promote awareness of ocean affairs, the Society has been conducting regular interactions through seminars, roundtable discussions and a journal, on subjects as varied as climate change, cultural contact, geopolitics, the Act East policy, ocean economy and even the South China Sea imbroglio. The following paras detail the Society’s curriculum since 2016.

Major Activities 2016-2019



  • ▶ An international Seminar on ‘Emerging Geopolitics in the Indian Ocean’, was conducted at Delhi, on 18-19 Mar 2016. Speakers from Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Mauritius, apart from India, presented their perspectives.

  • ▶ A seminar titled ‘The South China Sea Imbroglio: Looking for a Solution—Legal and Political’, was conducted on 03 Oct 2016, at Delhi. This seminar was very well attended, given the theme and the variety of speakers, who deliberated various possibilities in the South China Sea—three months after the tribunal verdict against China.

  • ▶ Eminent Person’s Talk titled ‘Indonesia, the Fulcrum of South East Asia: In which Direction is it Moving?” was delivered by Dr Dewi Fortuna Anwar, leading scholar and Secretary to Vice President of Indonesia, on 15 Mar 2017, at Delhi. This was a topical theme and aroused great interest amongst the thinking classes and diplomats.

  • ▶ Book titled ‘Indo-Pacific Axis: Peace, Prosperity or Conflict’ released by SIOS, on 28 Jun 2018, at Delhi.

  • ▶ Seminar titled ‘South China Sea after two Years of PCA: Can it become the basis of CoC?’, held on 31 Jul 2018, at Delhi

  • ▶ Seminar titled ‘South China Sea on the Third Anniversary of UN Tribunal Judgement: Rising Tensions Amidst China’s Bellicosity’, held on 12 July 2019, at Delhi.

  • ▶ Seminar titled ‘South China Sea on the Third Anniversary of UN Tribunal Judgement: Rising Tensions Amidst China’s Bellicosity’, held on 12 July 2019, at Delhi.

Journal of Indian Ocean Studies


The Society publishes a journal, titled ‘Journal of Indian Ocean Studies’ which is subscribed by the Indian Coast Guard and by some universities, libraries and other institutions. Generally, it is aimed to publish an edition every four months.


SIOS Building


Since the organization was established without seed money or recurring financial resources, and was deliberately launched as a not-for-profit NGO (research Centre/think tank), it could never afford a building of its own. It therefore operated from a rented accommodation from 1987 till Apr 2014, and from the founding Vice Chairman’s (Prof Satish Chandra’s) residence thereafter—till the latter’s demise in Oct 2017. After that date, the Society has not had a venue to operate from. However, due to the single-minded focus of the founding Vice Chairman, the Society managed to receive allotment of a (leased) plot from the DDA, in the Lado Sarai Institutional Area, in 2002. A building has finally been erected on the said plot and the Society expects to establish an office in it, in the coming weeks. Thereafter, the SIOS will function at its full potential as envisaged by the founders 33 years ago.