The Team at CDPS 

Executive Director

Journalist, author and political commentator, Mr Wasbir Hussain is a former two-time Member of the National Security Advisory Board, India. He has been covering insurgency, ethnic strife, and other major political and social developments in the northeastern states for the past 32 years for major newspapers and magazines. Hussain was Consulting Editor, The Sentinel, Guwahati, Consulting Editor, The Newspaper Today, India Today Group Online, Editor, The Northeast Daily, Guwahati, Special Correspondent with The Asian Age; Regional Editor of The Telegraph; and Special Correspondent of The Telegraph.

He bagged the 1996 Sanskriti Foundation National Award for excellence in journalism. Hussain currently writes for The Asian Age, The Sentinel and The Associated Press. Besides, his writings on security issues concerning India’s Northeast and its surrounding foreign neighbours appear regularly in several strategic affairs journals. He has authored and edited several books on a variety of subjects.

Director (Research)

Dr Abu Nasar Saied Ahmed is a sociologist and former Professor at Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati. He was awarded Fullbright Post doctoral Fellowship in 1981 and has been a Visiting Fellow/Professor in four research institutions in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Dr Ahmed has participated and presented papers in dozens of national and international seminars, has written and edited a number of books, a former Professor of Political Science in Dibrugarh University, Assam, a former member of regional selection committee of Fullbright fellowship, former expert member of UGC, former member of Indian Council of Social Science Research New Delhi and former Director of Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development, Guwahati. He is also associated with Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA.

Assistant Director

Mr Arunav Goswami has been engaged in research on peace, security and development issues since 2009. Some of the projects he has been engaged in include dynamics of extremism, situation of children and women in conflict situations, peace processes and spread of Maoism in Northeast India. He is the co-researcher of the book Northeast India: The Maoist Spread. He can be contacted at

Senior Research Associate

Ms Rani Pathak Das has been engaged in research on peace, security and development issues for the past twelve years. She was honoured with the Kunjabala Devi Memorial Award for Investigative Journalism on Women's issues by The Assam Tribune group in 2011 for a series of published articles focusing on the problem of trafficking of women and children from Northeast India and particularly from Assam.

Ms Das has several published research papers and features to her credit. Besides, she has co-edited the book titled The Autonomy Discourse: Ethnic Aspirations in India’s Northeast (2013). Ms Das has a Masters’ degree in English literature and is pursuing her Ph.D on Government of India’s Policy on Peace in Northeast India. She can be contacted at

Research Assistant

Mr Abhijit Sharma is a researcher on peace and development issues. He can be contacted at



Research Assistant

Ms Parmita Das is a researcher on peace and development issues. She can be contacted at


Research Assistants

2. Ms REENI KEMPRAI, Haflong, Assam
3. Mr LAKHESWAR KATHAR, Karbi Anglong, Assam
5. Ms NEZELU NYEKHA, Nagaland
7. Ms E P NONGSIEG, Meghalaya


Our Distinguished Fellows

GENERAL J J SINGH is a National Leader with over 48 years contribution to nation building and having the distinction of being the Chief of Army Staff and later Governor of Arunachal Pradesh. He is a distinguished international personality and a public speaker with vast experience.

Gen. Singh has a strategic perspective on foreign policy and defence relations with neighbouring countries. He has a global insight and vision for strategic defence relations, indigenisation of defence industry on PPP mode and modernisation of Defence Forces. His perspective and knowledge is a valued national asset which can used to steer long term national defence and security policy. He is luminary of great distinction and by his exemplary vision, leadership and sagacity, he can contribute to development of corporate governance, CSR and steer international and national growth and excellence agenda for any global corporation. His thesis on ‘India’s Strategy to Boost Defence Exports’ was published in the National Defence College magazine in 1994.

The General became the 22nd Chief of Army Staff and commanded the second largest Army of the world from 31 Jan 2005 - 30 Sept 2007. During 2007 he held the appointment of Chairman Chief of Staff of the three forces. During his tenure General JJ Singh, refined operational planning by co-opting the battle winning role of revolution in military affairs and provided focussed direction based on the ‘Doctrine of the Indian Army’ having earlier been its architect, He has handled an army of 1.2 million soldiers and managed defence assets of many billion rupees as the Army Chief. He has done all the professional courses to include Defence Services Staff Course, Senior Command, Higher Command and National Defence College Courses and holds a masters degree in Defence Science. He has also had the privilege of being the first Indian Defence Attache in Algeria.

The General served as Governor of the State of Arunachal Pradesh from 2008-2013. He was proactively instrumental in implementation of the Prime Minister’s development package of Rs 20,000 crores for development of state in major infrastructural projects related to road, rail, air connectivity and power.

He has endeavoured to earn the sobriquet of being ‘A Soldiers General and People’s Governor’. His autobiography A Soldiers General was published in 2012 by Harper Collins, India. The book has been translated into Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi and Bengali besides being a best-seller in English. India’s national security challenges such as Siachen, Kargil, Counter-terrorism operation in J & K and the NE, relations with our neighbours, Pakistan and China in particular, have been discussed in a brilliant manner. The General Officer is widely travelled and has been to over 50 countries and enhanced mil-to-mil co-operation in a significant manner.

A thinking General who has distinguished himself as a hands on professional who leads from the front. He believes in the credo ‘Fight to Win’; a warrior and a winner, he is an achiever against odds. The General Officer has shown great enterprise in ‘turning around’ weak organisations and creating capabilities of our armed forces. The project of ‘ultra-light howitzers along with the heavy-lift helicopters’ which India will be acquiring soon, was the General’s brainchild. He is a member of the jury of the Institute of Directors (IOD) for the selection of corporates and PSU’s for the prestigious Annual Golden Peacock Awards.


Mr PC HALDAR is a Member of the National Security Advisory Board. A former Director of Intelligence Bureau, Government of India (2007-2008), Mr Halder is currently Government of India’s Peace Interlocutor with various insurgent groups in Assam, including the ULFA and the NDFB. A 1970-batch IPS officer from Bihar cadre, Mr Haldar has had extensive experience in counter-surveillance, tackling insurgency and VIP security. He has also served in missions abroad, including in the UK.

Lt. Gen. ARVINDER SINGH LAMBA retired as Vice Chief of Army Staff after more than four decades of service to the nation.

As Vice Chief of the Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Lamba was responsible for review of the External and Internal security environment, and synergizing Military Planning towards overall readiness of the Indian Army. He has a vast exposure to defence cooperation, military diplomacy, strategic leadership, international relations, and conflict prevention. A veteran of the 1971 war in Bangladesh, he served across the country, and had several tenures in insurgency in the Northeast and the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka.

Lt. Gen. Lamba has done his Ph.D., his MA in International Affairs from Kings College London, and MBA in International Marketing. He is presently engaged with various forums for strategic and defence reviews/analysis, and as part of international delegations and Track II dialogues.

Prof. Dr. NAYAN SHARMA is with the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee teaching River Engineering, Hydraulic Structures, Inland Navigation and Concrete Dams. Earlier, as a professional engineer with the Assam Flood Control and Irrigation Department, he designed several barrages or dams, river training structures in the Brahmaputra basin.

Dr Sharma is member of 63 national and international technical committees and has edited and authored three books. He received the Indo-Swiss Bilateral Research Award as Visiting Professor in Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne. He has been guiding 166 M. Tech theses and 20 Ph.D scholars in IIT Roorkee.


Prof Nani Gopal Mahanta is currently Professor and head of the department, Political Science and Director, Global Studies Centre, at Gauhati University. Formerly he was the Coordinator, Peace and Conflict Studies, a UGC Innovative project from 2004-2009 at the Gauhati University.

His research interest includes issues of Peace and Conflict Resolution, Human Development and Security, Insurgency, Ethnicity and Identity Politics. He was selected as the Rotary World Peace Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley from 2002-2004. As a World Peace fellow, he travelled to various parts of the world including Europe and South Asia for his internship and empirical work. Prof Mahanta was a visiting fellow to International Peace Research Institute (PRIO), Norway, Oslo. He is also the president of North East India Political Science Association (NEIPSA) for the last four years.

Prof Mahanta did his MA in Political Science from JNU, New Delhi in 1992. His PhD thesis was on State, Identity and Politics of Violence: ULFA and vision of peace in Assam (2006). Apart from authoring the book titled Confronting the State: ULFA’s Quest for Sovereignty, published by Sage, a number of books have been edited by him both in English and Assamese including Shifting Terrain: Conflict Dynamics in Northeast India published by DVS, Delhi, in 2012. He has published articles in various journals and often appeared as an expert in television and other media. He is the recipient of the ERDF award of Excellence 2009 for creating Public awareness about civic and social rights and responsibilities.