Squadron Leader RTS Chhina (Retd)

Squadron Leader Rana TS Chhina served in the Indian Air Force as a helicopter pilot. He saw active service on the Siachen Glacier and with the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka, as well as in counter-insurgency operations in Mizoram, Nagaland and Tirap He is a recipient of the prestigious Macgregor Medal for best military reconnaissance in 1986, and had the distinction of carrying out the highest landing in the world by a medium-lift class of helicopter, at the time. He is currently Director, Centre for Military History and Conflict Studies, the United Service Institution of India and Vice President of the Indian Military Historical Society, UK.

Squadron Leader Chhina’s main field of interest is colonial Indian military history. The author of a number of books, he is a member of the joint USI-MEA Steering Committee responsible for coordinating national commemoration of India’s participation in the First World War in connection with the centenary of the conflict. He is also a member of the IAF Aerospace Museum Apex Steering Committee and the Government of India’s Archival Advisory Board. He was appointed an Honorary Member of the Order of the British Empire by the Govt of UK in 2016. In 2017 he was awarded Belgium’s highest honour, the Order of Leopold, for contributing to Indo-Belgium ties through his work on the history of the Indian Army in Flanders during World War I.

Major General Jagatbir Singh, VSM (Retd)

Major General Jagatbir Singh was commissioned into 18 Cavalry in December 1981 a Regiment which he subsequently commanded. He is a second generation officer and is an alumnus of Doon School, Dehra Dun and St Stephens College, Delhi. During his 38 years of service in the Army he has held various command, staff and instructional appointments and served in varied terrains in the country. He has served in a United Nations Peace Keeping Mission as a Military Observer in Iraq and Kuwait in the period between the two Gulf Wars. He has served as a Brigade Major of a Mountain Brigade which was actively involved in insurgency operations in the North East, served in the Military Secretary’s Branch in Army Headquarters dealing with career management of officers and been a Director of Tri Services Institutes at Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff amongst his staff appointments and headed a project seeing to the implementation of a Command Decision Support System. He has also been posted to Indian Military Academy in Dehra Dun as a Platoon Commander and served two tenures; one as an Instructor and one as a Senior Instructor in the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. He retired in February 2018 as the Director General Resettlement under the Ministry of Defence. He is  a prolific writer in defence & national security and adept at public speaking. 

Gaurav Kumar is the Project Leader for the Gallantry Awards Portal project. He has worked as an Associate Fellow and Editorial Assistant at the USI. He has also been associated with National Security Council Secretariat as a researcher.  He has published more than 100 articles/journals/book chapters on issues as regional security, peace and conflict, internal and external threats in India and South Asia. He is a Co- editor of two Books: India - Uzbekistan Partnership in Regional Peace and Stability: Challenges and Prospects and India's Emerging Challenges and Way Forward. 

Senior Research Fellow at USI-CMHCS- Dr Archna Tyagi- She is a Doctorate in History with around 20 years of working experience in the government and other varied fields which has given her a very good understanding of functioning of varied sectors, in both governmental and non-governmental setup. In her last appointment, she was the Senior Consultant at the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), an autonomous body under the Ministry of External Affairs. She has been a part of several committees for different projects and has created complex RFP for procurement of different services as per the government norms. Her past portfolios have included the task of dealing with various stakeholders across the nation, creating budgets, introducing and implementing programmes, conducting seminars, conferences and other meetings of national importance. She has the experience of conceptualizing and managing programs/ projects in diverse fields.

Saanjana Goldsmith is a Senior Research Assistant at the Centre for Military History and Conflict Studies (CMHCS), United Service Institution of India(USI). She is currently looking after amongst others, the maiden project of the center- UDBHAV, which is an informal cluster to revive indigenous historical knowledge. Prior to this, she was working as a Research Assistant at the center in the Ministry of Defence Gallantry Awards Portal Project. Her work focused on creating and developing an online repository of gallantry awardees of India post-Independence along with its associated War History. She has a Master's degree in International Relations and Area Studies from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Literature with Political Science and Journalism from St Xaviers College, Kolkata. In addition, she also has a Post-Graduate Diploma in English Journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication.  Her work has been published in different monographs and websites across national and international platforms. Her research interest lies in War History, Security Studies, and Nuclear Disarmament.


Anusha Mishra is a Research Assistant at the United Services Institution of India’s, Centre for Military History and Conflict Studies (CMHCS). She holds an Honours degree in Political Science and a minor in English from the University of Delhi. She has completed her Post-graduation from the Department of Political Science at the University of Delhi. Her research interest lies in the field of Global Justice and Cosmopolitanism, specifically to analyse how cosmopolitanism is causing a rise in religious conflicts in South Asian countries. Previously, she has taken up roles in community leadership and has worked for several community-building initiatives. Her role at USI allows her to develop a robust understanding of the Post-Independence wars fought by India. She works in association with the Ministry of Defence on The Gallantry Awards Portal Project.


Saransh Srivastav is a Research Assistant at the Centre for Military History and Conflict Studies (CMHCS), United Service Institution of India(USI). He holds a Master's degree in History from Ambedkar University Delhi. He has also worked as a researcher with multiple academic and non-academic institutions. Prior to joining USI, he worked at the Centre for Community Knowledge as a historical researcher on the Delhi City Museum project in collaboration with the Delhi Archives. His work entailed conducting research and producing dissemination material on the thematic of Delhi’s industrial past, and developing a 'Then and Now' digital map of ‘Shahjahanabad'. At USI, his work includes specific research on  Wars and Operations carried out by the Indian Military post Independence and developing an archival repository for a joint project on Gallantry Awardees of India between the Ministry of Defence and USI. His research interest lies in political and social history, urban history, preservation and archiving, and heritage studies.


Dhananjay Shinde, Research Assistant holds a Bachelor's degree. He has been a researcher with multiple think tanks. At USI, he is engaged in intense defence and  Indian armed forces related research and has contributed extensively in the form of articles, write-ups to the project of recording India’s post-independent military history focussing on the valour and sacrifice of Indian gallantry awardees. He is engaged in content creation, curation for the Gallantry Awards Portal project. 

Digitisation Project of Records for Indian Army

Meghna is an accomplished professional with 12 years of proven experience in running large scale conservation & digitization projects for organizations of high repute. She is currently working for USI (United Service Institution of India) as Archivist where she is accountable for running the Digitization Project of Records for Indian Army. In her past assignments she has worked for Delhi State Archives as an Assistant Archivist. Her main skills and competencies include- project management and technical guidance. She is graduate in English literature from Delhi University and Masters in conservation from IP University.

Jharna Sonowal is an Archivist at the Centre for Military History and Conflict Studies (CMHCS). She holds a Master’s Degree in History from University of Delhi and a Diploma in Archives & Records Management from School of Archival Studies at National Archives of India (NAI), New Delhi. She has worked as a researcher and with the Assam State Archives as well as NAI with the key responsibilities pertaining to Records Management and Outreach Programmes. Prior to joining USI, she worked as an Archival Assistant at the Delhi Archives with the key responsibilities pertaining to archiving, microfilming and digitisation of records. At United Service Institution of India (USI), she is currently engaged with the project ‘Digital Archiving of Military History of Indian Army’ as an Archivist. Her work includes research and archiving of Military Records to develop an online archival and dissemination platform for the Indian Army.