Memorial Lectures

K. Subrahmanyam Memorial Lecture

K SubrahmanyamThe National Institute of Advanced Studies organizes a annual lecture in the memory of Shri K. Subrahmanyam.

Shri K. Subrahmanyam (1929- 2011), was the doyen of Indian strategic thinking and had a clear and farsighted vision on issues ranging from foreign policy to nuclear deterrence. An intellectual progenitor of the Indian nuclear weapons programme and the most influential strategic thinker of his own and the subsequent generation.

In a long and distinguished career that began with his entry into the Indian Administrative Service in 1951, Subrahmanyam straddled the fields of administration, defence policy, academic research and journalism with an unparalleled felicity. It was his early advocacy of India exercising the option to produce nuclear weapons that made governments and scholars around the world sit up and take notice of his views.

He was the Founder-Director of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), and served in that capacity from 1968 to 1975. He  returned to IDSA in 1980 and nurtured it to become country’s premier think tank with focused research on defence and foreign policy issues.

Subrahmanyam chaired several Government committeesand commissions of enquiry, notable among them being the enquiry commission of the 1971 Indo-Pak war and the Kargil review committee in 1999. A major revamp of the Indian intelligence system took place based on the recommendations of the Kargil review committee.

First K Subrahmanyam Memorial Lecture – 13 April 2011

Title:  Emerging India: Strategic Challenges and Opportunities

Speaker: Ambassador Arundhati Ghose

Ambassador Arundhati Ghose had a distinguished career spanning nearly forty years in the Indian Foreign Service, which she joined in 1963. She was Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, Egypt, Permanent Representative to UNESCO in Paris and the UN Offices in Geneva and Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva.  Ambassador Ghose served as a member and Chairman of the UN Secretary General’s Disarmament Advisory Board upto 2001 and was also a member of the UN Committee on Economic and Cultural Rights till 2005. She was a member of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)  till 2004. In 2007, she was nominated by the Ministry of External Affairs as member of Task Force on Non-proliferation and Disarmament. Currently she is Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi and Global India Foundation, Kolkata.She has several publications on topics relating to arms control and non-proliferation in journals, chapters in edited volumes and newspaper articles to her credit. She has lectured extensively on these topics.

The complete text of the lecture can be accessed here

Second K Subrahmanyam Memorial Lecture – 6 September 2012

Title:  Borders and National Security

Speaker: Shri Jaswant Singh

Shri Jaswant Singh is an Hon’ble Member of Parliament. He was an officer in the Indian Army in the 1960s and is an alumnus of Mayo College and the National Defence Academy (India), Khadakwasla. He served as Finance minister in the short-lived government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which lasted just from May 16, 1996, to June 1, 1996. After Vajpayee became Prime Minister again two years later, he became Minister for External Affairs of India, serving from December 5, 1998 until July 1, 2002. Responsible for foreign policy, he dealt with high tensions between India and Pakistan. In July 2002 he became Finance Minister again, switching posts with Yashwant Sinha. He served as Finance Minister until the defeat of the Vajpayee government in May 2004 and was instrumental in defining and pushing through the market-friendly reforms of the government. Known for his moderate political views, he is a self-described liberal democrat even though the Bharatiya Janata Party is often described as a right-wing nationalist organization. He was conferred the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for the year 2001.

Introductory and Welcome remarks by Prof. V.S. Ramamurthy, Director, NIAS


Audio of Second K. Subrahmanyam Memorial Lecture by Shri Jaswant Singh



Third K Subrahmanyam Memorial Lecture – 30 July 2013

Title:  Strategic Parity for Peace: Engaging China in the 21st Century

Speaker: Prof Onkar Marwah

The complete text of the Lecture can be accessed here

Abstract of the Lecture:

The India-China relationship is likely to be the most complex, perhaps the most competitive relationship between two of the world’s mega-states in the twenty-first century. Their cooperative interactions will be edgy and formal, often brittle – irrespective of public professions to the contrary. Presently, the military and economic might of China is substantially higher than India’s, but this will be of less relative significance after the next 10-to-15 years – provided that, in this intervening period, India’s strategy is ‘smart’, selective, and consensually sustained by insulation from ad-hoc re-direction or neglect due to the periodic democratic changes of our political dispensations. The paper explores India’s historical, social, political and economic realities to analyze the constraints as well as the practical means by which the objective can be obtained of providing the country a dynamically-evolving process of strategic parity with China.

About the Speaker:

Dr Marwah is a former member of the Indian Administrative Service (1959 batch); He has studied at the University of Calcutta, the London School of Economics, Yale University and University of California, Berkeley; He has held research faculty appointments at Cornell and Harvard Universities, and was Deputy Director of the Programme for Peace and International Security Studies at the Graduate Institute of International Studies, University of Geneva. Dr. Marwah has authored/edited four books and over fifty published articles/monographs on nuclear, defence and security affairs, and is currently working on a study of India’s strategy and defence for the 21st century.

Introductory and Welcome remarks by Prof. V.S. Ramamurthy, Director, NIAS and Prof Rajaram Nagappa, Head, ISSSP


Audio of Third K. Subrahmanyam Memorial Lecture by Prof. Onkar Marwah


Audio of Discussion and Vote of Thanks



Fourth K Subrahmanyam Memorial Lecture – 11 August 2015

Title:  Climate Change and Energy Security: The Twin Challenges Confronting India

Speaker: Ambassador Shyam Saran

Ambassador Shyam Saran, Former Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Nuclear Affairs and Climate Change delivered the Fourth K. Subrahmanyam Memorial Lecture on “Climate Change and Energy Security: The Twin Challenges Confronting India” at the JRD Tata Auditorium, at NIAS, Bangalore on August 11, 2015.

Complete Video of the K Subrahmanyam Memorial Lecture  


Discussion, Question and Answer Session



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