The Professor M. L. Sondhi Memorial Trust and the M. L. Sondhi Institute for Asia-Pacific Affairs have instituted a Prize for International Politics beginning 2006, in honour of the late Professor M.L. Sondhi, to be given annually for “an outstanding contribution, relevant to India, to the theory or practice of international politics”. The Prize consists of Rs. one lakh, a plaque and an invitation to lecture in Delhi.

The M L Sondhi Prize is awarded by a Prize Selection Committee appointed by the Trust and Institute. The committee considers outside nominations and also commissions its own research.

Accordingly, the M L Sondhi Prize for 2006 was given to Dr. Ashley Tellis. Dr. Tellis has been a key figure in the endeavour of the US administration to substantially upgrade its political, economic and strategic relationship with India. He has served in the United States government, advised it, articulated with clarity and argued with vigour the case for sweeping aside old ideas and welcoming India’s arrival on the world stage. In doing so with considerable success, he has fostered friendship between two great democracies and strengthened the cause of international peace.

Ashley J. Tellis, MA Bombay University, PhD University of Chicago, today ranks as one of America’s foremost strategic thinkers. He has been a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation and Professor of Policy Analysis at the RAND Graduate School. Some of his major works include India’s Emerging Nuclear Posture, (co-author) Interpreting China’s Grand Strategy, Limited Conflicts Under the Nuclear Umbrella, Measuring National Power in the Post-Industrial Age and Confronting Terrorism in the Pursuit of Power. From 2001-2003, he was adviser to Robert Blackwill, US Ambassador to India, followed by a brief stint at the National Security Council, becoming the highest ranking Indian American in the White House. Today, apart from being a senior associate at the prestigious Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington he continues as an advisor to the US government.

Ashley Tellis has become a valuable bridge between India and the US because of his deep understanding of both countries. His report, India as a New Global Power: An Action Agenda for the United States, has significantly helped shape the current trajectory of US-India relations and he played a vital role in making US public and decision-making establishment understand the nature of the Indian nuclear programme.

Text of Dr. Ashley Tellis’ Lecture