☛ 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.
The Society brings out every four months a professional journal titled' Journal of Indian Ocean Studies' which is now published by Prints Publications Pvt Ltd, New Delhi and is subscribed by the Indian Coast Guard, Universities, Libraries and other institutions in India and abroad. During the year 2021, three issues on the themes:
a) Evolving Geopolitical Dynamics in Indo-Pacific during the Pandemic Era.
b) Re-emergence of Quad: Mechanism for Dialogue and Security.
c) Island States of Indian Ocean: Development and Security Perspective, were published.
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 been erected on the plot and the Society has established its office there and started functioning from its new premises from early 2021 thus fulfilling the vision of its founders 34 years ago.