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  • Nisha Sahai Achuthan

    Visiting International Fellow
    +91 11 2671 7983
    Archive data: Person was International Visiting fellow at IDSA from January to June 2009

    Dr. Achuthan, a Senior Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) is from the 1968 batch of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and she is a New York based Consultant on Security issues and Sustainable Development. She has also spent considerable time in the academe, together covering a broad spectrum of areas:

    International Relations: Ph.D in I R from Columbia University’s Russian Institute in 1986; Visiting Scholar, Russian Research Center, Harvard (1979-80) and Peace Studies Program Cornell (1980-81); Book entitled, Soviet Arms transfer policy in South Asia; Politics of International arms transfers (1955-81), Lancers1989, (earlier, published as a monograph by the IDSA). Forthcoming book,in 2009 is entitled Soviet and post-Soviet Security Policy towards South Asia (1971-2008),650pp. Earlier, as a doctoral candidate all 7 of her term papers got published as articles / monographs in referenced journals of India and the US, including the Journal of Asian Studies, Michigan. Professionally, she served in the Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India (1971 –77), holding the Soviet Union and East European Desk. Upon return from USA in 1986, she served as Joint Secretary, Joint Intelligence Committee, Cabinet Secretariat (1987-89) and in the latter in 1992. During 1989-92, she served as Joint Secretary, Narcotic Control, also handling narcotics intelligence. Currently, her research focuses on Women, Peace and Security and advocacy for related Security Council Resolutions. At the IDSA she is researching on the Post-Soviet–-Indian Strategic partnership.

    Sustainable Development Studies with focus on Women’s development and Gender Issues, Gerontology, Disaster Management and Rural Dev.: Dr. Achuthan was Commissioner, Hill Dev. UP Govt. (1992-96) and Member Secretary, National Commission for Women, Govt. of India (1996-98) . In 1997, she proceeded to the US as a UNDP-Govt. of India Fellow, and obtained a certificate in Gender Studies at the USDA, Wash. DC,;thereafter, she applied for early retirement from the IAS to rejoin her family in the US , where she is currently based. In 2000, she obtained a certificate in Gerontology from LIU, New York, where she taught as an Adjunct Full Professor Women's Studies and Gerontology (2001-02); she was a Visiting Scholar designate at Women Studies Centers at Stanford and Berkeley, (2002-2003). During 2002-2008, she has researched and conceptualized 10 public-policy –oriented project proposals in the above areas including one on a replicable model for sustainable rural development in India, collaboration for which is being worked out with the Earth Institute, Columbia University. Together she has published in these areas 10 articles/monographs, including one in the UN Journal on Aging, and another in Disaster Prevention Journal, UK.

    Performing Arts: Having had a rigorous training in this field, and having obtained her MA degree in Ancient Indian History and Philosophy from Miranda House, Delhi Univ., her ongoing research is for a book length work: Gender and Genre in North Indian classical Music . She was also on the Board of the Opera Company of Brooklyn, New York (2004-06).

    Dr. Achuthan’s cross-disciplinary background continues to inform her ongoing research.