The Foundation, a non-governmental organisation set up in 2005, aims to "redress India`s historic neglect of its maritime security domain, and to fill an acute intellectual void by providing a common platform for discourse between maritime related institutions, organisations and disciplines, countrywide," says a slick brochure handed out to the limited number of guests invited to the event.
Welcoming the gathering on the sprawling lawns of the compound, the director of the Delhi chapter of the NMF, Commodore Uday Bhaskar, noted that the NMF had been conceived and set up during the tenure of former Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Arun Prakash, who now serves as the chairman of the foundation.
Apart from organising several Round Tables and seminars on issues pertaining to the maritime community at large, in which experts from India and abroad took part, the foundation had also published several books, papers and pamphlets on the subject, he said. In order to expand its scope and reach, new chapters had been opened in Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, and now Chennai, he said, noting that the Chennai chapter has been operational since September 2009 under the leadership of Commodore S Shekhar,
Image: Eastern Naval Command chief Vice Admiral Anup Singh (right) lights the traditional "Kuthu vilakku" assisted by Admiral Arun Prakash and Commander Venkatesan as former Governor of West Bengal, Gopal Krishna Gandhi, and commodore Uday Bhaskar (back to camera) look on. All pictures courtesy National Maritime Foundation, Chennai chapter.