Ajay Chitnis

Vice President of the Indian Maritime Foundation

Ajay Chitnis

Vice President of the Indian Maritime Foundation

Biography

Being born in an Air Force family, Ajay did his early schooling in a number of schools across the country, but the last six years were at the Air Force School at Delhi. He joined IIT Bombay in 1966 and was pursuing a course in Electrical Engineering, when after three years decided that this was not his calling and joined the Indian Navy as an Aviation Cadet. Two years later in June 1971, he qualified as a Fighter Pilot and was commissioned in the Navy.

In June 2001, Ajay took premature retirement from the Navy in the Rank of Commodore, after 30 eventful years, during which he clocked over 2500 hours of operational flying, mostly on ship borne antisubmarine helicopters. He also commanded three frontline warships and an operational air base, besides being the Naval Area Commander of Gujarat during the 1999 Kargil conflict. His other important assignments in the Navy were Chief Staff Officer (Operations) of Headquarters Southern Naval Command, Directing Staff (Faculty) at the Defence Services Staff College and Deputy Director of Naval Air Staff (Operations and Flight Safety) at Naval Headquarters. He is the recipient of two gallantry awards – Shaurya Chakra (SC) and Nao Sena Medal (NM) from the President of India. During this period he also completed his M.Sc program in Defence and Strategic Studies.

In his second career, Ajay specialized in Marine operations in the Oilfields off the West and East Coasts of India. Having spent 5 years at sea, engaged mainly in Anchor Handling and Towing Operations as master of 170-T Bollard Pull AHTSV, his company requested to join the office as Head of Training, and set up a training center for offshore operations, in which he was instrumental in helping create a state-of-the-art offshore vessel handling simulator. He was then asked to head the HR and Admin functions in addition to Training, which he continued to do till the end of January 2016. During this period, was a regular speaker at International Conferences in London, Singapore, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Seychelles, in addition to seminars in Mumbai, Chennai and Pune. The subjects covered were Modernization of Training, Manpower optimization, Maritime Security, Advanced Anchor Handling and Towing Operations for professionals across the industry.

Currently teaching at the Gulf Coast Training Technologies (India) Institute, Pune, for the License Course in MODU Stability and the Offshore Installation Manager (OIM) course. He is also a visiting faculty at the Savitribai Phule Pune University, for the Maritime Security Course.

He is the Vice President of the Indian Maritime Foundation, an NGO committed to spreading awareness of the oceans amongst Indians. Recently organized the IMF Seminars on International Jointmanship in the Constabulary Role, and Indian Maritime Paradigm, the Past, Present and Future. Recently convened the IMF Seminar titled – Role of Disruptive Technologies in the Maritime Domain, at Pune.

Ajay is also an active Rotarian and will be the Vice President of his Rotary Club in 2019-20..

All sessions by Ajay Chitnis