The Asia-Pacific region looks increasingly as though it will be witness to the great dramas of the 21st century. This is an epic shift from those of the 20th in which the two World Wars, the end of colonialism and the Cold War had all involved Europe in a central fashion. The reasons are clear. India and eastwards, there is a great tide of prosperity, led by Japan and the Asian Tigers, and joined over the past couple of decades by China and India. To the west of India the Middle East remains a region of strategic interest to the world on account of its resources, Central Asia is a shifting scene of post-USSR realignments which along with Islamic resurgence adds to the continuing drama of the world's sole Jewish state and its neighbours. Thus this region has become of immediate importance to nations at its periphery and outside, including the United States, Russia and Australia all of whom have vital interests as specifically Pacific powers. The US furthermore has global interests and is involved in some fashion or other in most developments.

The M. L. Sondhi Institute for Asia-Pacific Affairs aims to engage this historic development from an Indian perspective. Our belief is that, as a matter of necessity, India must both understand the dynamics of this wider region and be an active participant in them. To this end the MLSIAPA will undertake studies, disseminate them, and organize conferences where analysts, members of the media and decision-makers can exchange views on developments in the Asia-Pacific region. Our focus is broad. We are interested not only in political and strategic issues, in economic issues, but also in cultural issues.

In this broad perspective we remain true to the intentions of our Founder Director, the late Professor M. L. Sondhi (1933-2003). He was a man of remarkable talents and great vision. Born in Jullundur, Punjab he came of age as India came to independence, and inspired by this development he resolved to devote his life to her national life. To this task he brought formidable intellectual skills: he studied Economics and Law, was selected Rhodes Scholar for Oxford University and served as Professor of International Relations at Jawaharlal Nehru University; he was a member of the Indian Foreign Service for six years having stood first in the national civil services examination and served in Czechoslovakia and the United Nations; in terms of political engagement he was elected member of the 4th Lok Sabha from New Delhi and remained a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party. He was interested in all aspects of India's experience: her cultural and spiritual life, her social and economic life and above all her interaction with the world beyond her borders. To him, these were a seamless web of interactions.

We will also remain true to his substantive commitments - his faith in India and its civilization, his insistence that she engage the world from a position of strength and confidence, his faith in political and economic freedom and democracy and his belief that dialogue could avert conflict.

Madhuri Santanam Sondhi

Director: Madhuri Santanam Sondhi

Advisory Council

Mr. MJ Akbar, Editor-in-Chief, Asian Age
Mr. SJS Chhatwal
, former Ambassador
Prof. Michiko Hasegawa, Seitama University
Prof. Ashok Kapur
, University of Waterloo
Research Professor Bharat Karnad
, Centre for Policy Research
Mr. Apratim Mukarji
, Senior Journalist
Mr. JM Mukhi
, Advocate, Supreme Court
Prof. Martin Sherman
, Tel Aviv University
Mr. Santanu Saikia
, Executive Editor,
Dr. Ajai Sahni
, Director, Institute of Conflict Management

Research Interests of the Institute:

  • Regional Co-operation, Institution building & Security

  • Great Powers in Asia- China, India, Japan and the US

  • Exploring India’s Asian strategic partnerships from Israel to Japan

  • Democracy and Parliaments in Asia

  • Tibet

  • An Indian Strategic Doctrine

  • Management of Weapons of Mass Destruction

  • Terrorism

  • Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution

  • Globalization and its impact

  • Human Security

  • Energy Security 

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