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  • Ajey Lele

    Senior Fellow
    +91 11 2671 7983

    Group Captain (Retd.) Ajey Lele is Senior Fellow in the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses and heads its Centre on Strategic Technologies. He started his professional career as an officer in the Indian Air Force in 1987 and took early retirement from the service to pursue his academic interests. He has a Masters degree in Physics from Pune University, and Masters and MPhil degrees in Defence and Strategic Studies from Madras University. He has done his doctorate from the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. His specific areas of research include issues related to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), Space Security and Strategic Technologies. He has contributed articles to various national and international journals, websites and newspapers. He has authored six books and has also has been an editor for six books. He is a recipient of K. Subrahmanyam Award (2013) which is conferred for outstanding contribution in the area of strategic and security studies.

    Statement at the 22nd Session of the Conference of States Parties (CSP-22) to the Chemical Weapons Convention.
    Ajey Lele at CTC 2017

    Select Publications

    • Senior Fellow, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Gp. Capt Ajey Lele’s commentary ‘Venus: Science and Politics’ has been published by ‘The Space Review’ on September 21, 2020.

      The recent discovery indicating the possibility of life in the atmosphere of Venus is very exciting news for the scientific community. One can expect that now more research regarding Venus and its atmosphere will be funded, including missions by NASA and other space agencies, writes Gp. Capt. Lele.

      Read Complete Article [+]

      September 21, 2020
      IDSA News
    • Senior Fellow, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Gp. Capt. Ajey Lele’s Commentary, ‘DRDO’s Success with HSTDV: Hypersonic Missiles in Sight’ has been published by the Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict (SSPC), on September 15, 2020.

      It is expected that the hypersonic missiles, particularly in the arsenal of the Indian Navy would increase India’s deterrence potential significantly. However, all of this would take almost a decade. DRDO must expedite their research and development in the said field for this technology to fructify as a real gamechanger, writes Gp. Capt. Lele.

      September 15, 2020
      IDSA News
    • Senior Fellow MP-IDSA, Gp. Capt. Ajey Lele’s commentary ‘Mars race rhetoric’ has been published in ‘The Space Review’ on August 03, 2020.

      Nations would go to Mars only when they have clarity about their scientific focus and have capacity (both technical and economic) to develop spacecraft for such purposes. It is highly unlikely that, in the 21st century, nations will race against each other to conquer Mars, writes Gp. Capt. Lele.

      Read Complete Article [+]

      August 03, 2020
      IDSA News
    • Senior Fellow, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Gp. Capt. Ajey Lele’s commentary on UAE’s Mars Mission, titled ‘The UAE’s Mars Mission: Lesson for India’ has been published by The Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict (SSPC), on July 22, 2020.

      The UAE’s Mars agenda is clearly for a podium finish, and there is much for India to learn from this small Arab state. It would be advisable for ISRO to focus on one or two important projects and take them to their logical conclusions instead of trying out too many projects, writes Gp. Capt. Lele.

      July 22, 2020
      IDSA News
    • Senior Fellow, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Gp. Capt. Ajey Lele's commentary on COVID-19 and internet services, titled 'Could COVID- 19 Pandemic Lead to Long Term Disruption in Internet Services?' has been published by Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict (SSPC) on March 25, 2020.

      March 25, 2020
      IDSA News
    • The recently held second Belt and Road forum in April 2019 based on the theme “Shaping a Brighter Shared Future" gained considerable momentum in the world community. BRI has been an ever evolving concept that has changed considerably since its inception in 2013. It has generated a blend of optimism and consternation around the world.

      IDSA Occasional Papers
    • Senior Fellow, IDSA, Gp. Capt. Ajey Lele’s article on India’s space agenda, titled ‘Should India pursue a Space Force?’ has been published in The Space Review on May 13, 2019.

      India’s ASAT test has provided an opportunity for the country to recalibrate its defense structures. It’s now clear that India needs to establish the fourth arm of its defense structure, the Indian Space Force, writes Gp. Capt. Lele.

      Read Complete Article [+]

      May 13, 2019
      IDSA News
    • Senior Fellow, IDSA, Gp. Capt. Ajey Lele’s article on India’s space programme, titled ‘India makes strides towards space security’ has been published in East Asia Forum on May 04, 2019.

      India has a vibrant space programme and is keen to use space for developmental and commercial purposes. In the coming decades there could be a ‘space race for resources’ with asteroid mining becoming a reality. India needs to ensure that all treaties in the space domain are fair, writes Gp. Capt. Lele.

      May 04, 2019
      IDSA News
    • Senior Fellow, IDSA, Gp. Capt. Ajey Lele’s article on Mission Shakti, titled ‘A-SAT Mission Shakti: A project that made rocket science look simpler than politics’ was published in Financial Express on March 30, 2019.

      Commenting on the political turmoil over the test, Dr Lele writes that internationally, India has significantly raised the stakes of the issues concerning Space Security. For India space is a tool for a growth and wellbeing of its people.

      March 30, 2019
      IDSA News
    • Senior Fellow, IDSA, Gp Capt Ajey Lele’s opinion piece on ASAT test, titled ‘The successful ASAT test has earned India its rightful place on the high table’ was published in The Indian Express on March 29, 2019.

      The article describes the ASAT missile test as a demonstration of technological capability and a message of deterrence and says that it strengthens India’s claims to be a party to international negotiations on space.

      March 29, 2019
      IDSA News