Chairs of Excellence

Field Marshal KM Cariappa Chair

Lt Gen Shokin Chauhan, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM (Retd)

Lt Gen Shokin Chauhan, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM (Retd) is a distinguished military officer. He assumed the role of Chairman of the Cease Fire Monitoring Group in August 2018, following his retirement from the Indian Army in March 2018. With a rich academic and professional background, he has made significant contributions to national security and international relations. Lt Gen Chauhan began his military journey in December 1979 when he was commissioned into the Indian Army as part of the 11 Gorkha Rifles. Over the years, he held key positions, including commanding the 1 Corps, India's oldest and largest Strike Corps, and leading the 8 Mountain Division in Western Ladakh. He has played a pivotal role as the Director General of Assam Rifles, the country's oldest Para Military Force, and Chairman of the Cease Fire Monitoring Group. In this capacity, he revitalized the peace process in the insurgency-prone North East of India. His efforts led to the reintegration of the NSCN (K), an insurgent group that had broken its ceasefire with the Indian government in 2015, into the peace process. Lt Gen Chauhan's academic achievements include a PhD, and his research on "Strategic Relations with Nepal in the 21st Century" reflects his commitment to international relations. Furthermore, he has excelled in military diplomacy, having served as the Defence Attaché in the Indian Embassy in Nepal from 2004 to 2007. Currently based in Pune, Lt Gen Chauhan continues to contribute significantly to India's national security and international relations, emphasizing peace and strategic affairs.

He is doing research on “Leveraging North East’s Soft Power for Enhancing Peace and Stability and furthering India’s Act East Policy”. His project aims to focus on a strategic study on harnessing the soft power of India's North East region to enhance peace, and stability, and support the country's Act East Policy. Emphasising the cultural, historical, and geographical significance of the Northeast, the proposal aims to identify and evaluate unique soft power assets such as cultural heritage, cuisine, and ecological beauty. The study further seeks to assess the regional impact of leveraging these assets on diplomatic ties, people-to-people engagement, and conflict resolution. Proposing a multi-faceted methodology, including literature review, field surveys, interviews, comparative analysis, and policy analysis, the research envisages outcomes such as a comprehensive soft power asset inventory, policy recommendations, and enhanced diplomatic and cultural engagement. 

MEA Chair

Shri Tarun Vijay

Shri Tarun Vijay was a former Member of Parliament. He was also the President, Parliamentary Group on India-China Friendship, Convener in parliament on India-Israel and India-Japan Parliamentary groups, Member, Parliamentary Standing Committees on Defence, External Affairs & HRD, Member, Board of Governors, Parliamentary Network on World Bank and IMF. He participated in the Shangri La dialogue, Singapore. Also led a multi-party Parliamentary Delegation to Japan. He was also a member of India-Japan and India-China Eminent Persons Group (MEA). His two books – one on ‘PM Modi’s biography and his Economic Vision’ and another on ‘Kailas Manasarovar – An Odyssey in Tibet’, were translated into Mandarin. He also drove in seven countries in ASEAN-India Car Rally 2012. He is an environmentalist & tribal activist. He has travelled to 37 countries. 23 of his books have been published in Hindi, English, Marathi, Kannada & Gujarati.

He is doing research on “India-China Civilisational Connect”. Even though India’s bilateral relations with China have seen many ups and downs in the post-Independece era, the two countries share a deep civilizational bond. More than a thousand Indian monks had travelled to China, to teach Buddhism, though detailed record of approximately only 200 of them are available. Notable names include among them are Bodhidharma, Kashayp, Amoghvajra, Batuo, Kumarajiva, etc. This study aims to bring out the most significant of India’s contributions towards the making of a civilizational, spiritual and literary China through a comprehensive research on the greatest of the Indian monks, Kumarajiva. None in the Indian history has influenced a vast section of population in a foreign country as Kumarajiva who hailed from Kashmir and stayed in China till his death in c. 409 CE. 

Lt Gen PS Bhagat Chair

Maj Gen S G Pitre (Retd)

Maj Gen Shashikant Pitre was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army in 1962.  He took part in the 1965 and 1971 wars. During the Bangladesh War, he commanded a field company of the 102 Engineer Regiment. Maj Gen Pitre has a Master’s in Military Science and Engineering in Structures. He was also the Chief of Staff of the Army Training Command (ARTRAC). He has authored numerous books. Maj Gen Pitre is the Founder and Chairman of HORIZON. He was appointed as a member of the Marathi Vishwakosh Samiti and was appointed as trustee of the Services Preparatory Institute (SPI).

General Bipin Rawat Chair

Lt Gen (Dr) Rakesh Sharma, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd)

Lt Gen (Dr) Rakesh Sharma PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd) was commissioned in Gorkha Rifles in 1977, and had a career spanning forty years in the Army. He has had extensive operational experience in Jammu and Kashmir, North East and on the Western Borders. The officer had trained the Botswana Army for three years in Africa, and attended the National War College at Abuja, Nigeria. Lt Gen Rakesh Sharma attended the NDC at New Delhi. He was Research Fellow at IDSA and has done PhD in Defence Studies. Lt Gen Rakesh Sharma commanded the Fire and Fury Corps in Ladakh responsible for Kargil, Siachin Glacier and Eastern Ladakh – facing both Pakistan and China. He was the Adjutant General of the Indian Army responsible for the Human Resource Management and he superannuated in 2017. He is a regular participant in seminars, lectures in various institutions, and regularly writes for newspapers and military journals. He is currently Distinguished Fellow with Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) and Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) and on the Executive Council of Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and of Global Counter Terrorism Council (GCTC).

He is doing research on “Modern Wars Future Force in Indian Context”. His project aims to focus on modern wars and future forces, in the Indian Context emphasising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for the Indian armed forces to evolve into a "Future Force" by shedding legacy systems and enhancing indigenisation in national security. The research aims to delve into the challenges and determinants for this military transformation, focusing on the changing nature of warfare influenced by technological advancements, particularly in artificial intelligence. It highlights the need for joint doctrines and strategies, considering the unification of land, sea, and air environments in future conflicts. 

Bhawanipur Education Society College

Lt Gen Raj Shukla, PVSM, YSM, SM (Retd)

Lt Gen Raj Shukla, PVSM, YSM, SM (Retd) was the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Army Training Command (GOC-in-C ARTRAC). He has commanded a Medium Regiment in the Eastern Theatre as part of a Mountain Division. He later took the regiment to the Desert as part of a Strike Corps. He has also commanded an Infantry Brigade in Counter Insurgency operations and an Infantry Division in the Kashmir Valley, along the Line of Control. On 5 July 2018, he took over the Command of the X Corps at Bhatinda. In his staff appointments, he has served as the General Staff Officer, Grade I (GSO-I) of an Infantry Division, as well as two tenures in the Military Operations Directorate at Army Headquarters. He has also served in instructional appointments in the School of Artillery and the Indian Military Training Team in Bhutan. He has been the Director General Perspective Planning (DGPP) at Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence. He has been a Research Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS). He is also a qualified aviator. Currently, he is a Distinguished Fellow, United Service Institution of India.

He is doing research on “Civil Military Fusion For Enhancing India’s National Security”. His project study aims to research the transformative potential of Civil-Military Fusion (CMF) in shaping India's national security landscape. Emphasising the historical silos and frictions between civil and military components, the research focuses on underlining the need for a paradigm shift towards comprehensive collaboration. The opening of the position of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and strategic policy shifts symbolise a positive trend. It aligns with global practices promoting productive civil-military engagement. The research aims to focus on a qualitative leap into complete fusion, addressing institutional silos, and uniting diverse talents such as civil services, research, academia, business, and the armed forces. CMF as an ambitious instrument is essential for addressing the complexities of national security, resonating the lessons learned from the pandemic and underscoring its relevance to contemporary global challenges such as semiconductor supply chain dynamics.

Flying Officer Amandeep Singh Gill Chair

Colonel Paramjit Singh Gill (Retd) in memory of his only son, late Flying Officer Amandeep Singh Gill of 45 Sqn AF who died in an aircraft accident while on duty, established Flying Officer Amandeep Singh Gill Chair.  It was a tribute to all Indian air force officers who died in the IAF aircrafts during 1932-2012. The Chair commenced in the year 2016.  The first Chair was allotted to Air Marshal Bharat Kumar, PVSM, AVSM (Retd) who researched on the topic “In Memoriam – The Fallen Air Warriors". 


Admiral RD Katari Chair

Admiral RD Katari was an Indian Navy Admiral who served as the 3rd Chief of the Naval Staff.  He was the first Indian to hold the office and succeeded as the last British officer to the post, Vice Admiral Sir Stephen Hope Carlill.  In the year 1995 the Naval Headquarters decided to established a Chair in the name of Admiral RD Katari and the Chair commenced in the year 1997.  The first Chair was allotted to Vice Adm RB Suri, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd), who researched on the topic “Shape and Size of the Indian Navy in the Early 21st Century”. 

Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee Chair

Air Marshal Subroto Mukerjee OBE was an Indian military officer who was the first Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the Indian Air Force.  He has also been called the Father of the Indian Air Force.  In the year 1995 the USI Centre for Research (USICR) and the Air Headquarters decided to establish a Chair in the name of Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee. The Chair commenced in 1997 and the first Chair was allotted to Air Marshal Vir Narain, PVSM (Retd), who researched on the topic “Sustainable Defence: Harmonising Long and Short-Term Goals”. 

Prof DS Kothari Chair

Dr. D S Kothari (Padma Bushan & Padma Vibhushan), then Scientific Advisor to Ministry of Defence, Government of India is an outstanding physicist, educationalist and considered as the ‘Architect of Defence Science’ in India.  He was also the founder of most of the DRDO labs in India.  In his honour DRDO decided to sponsor a fellowship in the name of Prof DS Kothari Chair which commenced in the year 1998. The first Chair was allotted to Rear Adm KR Menon (Retd), who researched on the subject “A Nuclear Strategy for India”.