Commodore Udai Rao

Adjunct Faculty
School of Maritime, Air and Space Studies (SMASS)

About Commodore Udai Rao

Commodore Udai Rao was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 1st Jan, 1974. During his 32 years of naval service, he has served in various appointments, both ashore and afloat, with rich command, staff and administrative experience. He has commanded three frontline ships, INS Kavaratti, INS Hosdurg and INS Gomati as also other shore units. He holds an MSc (Defence studies) degree from Madras University and is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) Wellington. He has subsequently also been a Directing Staff on the faculty of DSSC Wellington. He has undergone the “Army Higher Command Course” at Army College of Combat, Mhow, M.P.

He was a part of IPKF operations and was Indian Naval Commander (INCOM) at Kankesanturai in Northern Sri Lanka in 1987.Earlier he had patrolled the Palk bay extensively while in command of INS kavaratti. He has also served as Chief Staff Officer (Operations) at Navy Office in Chennai from 1994 – 1996 where he oversaw operations such as OP TASHA in the Palk bay, Gulf of Mannar and in the waters around Sri Lanka.

An important appointment that he held was that of Principal Director Naval Intelligence (PDNI) at Naval Head Quarters, New Delhi for a period of five years from 2001 to 2006 including during OP PARAKRAM.

Commodore Udai Rao has the distinction of having served as a Director in the Cabinet Secretariat where he set up the Maritime Division and handled strategic and security issues at the National level. He has also been a Diplomat at our mission in the Fiji Islands with concurrent accreditation to Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Commodore Udai Rao’s areas of interests include Maritime and Coastal Security, Maritime Diplomacy, Blue Economy. Indian Ocean issues, China in the IOR, Intelligence and Security issues, and Geo Political & Geo Strategic issues impinging on the Maritime Domain pertaining to countries and areas of interest to India.

Commodore Udai Rao is a recipient of the ‘Binoculars’ on being adjudged the best cadet on board INS Krishna in 1972. He was awarded the Lentaigne memorial medal for the best dissertation while undergoing the Staff Course at DSSC, Wellington in 1986. He has received the Chief of Naval Staff’s Commendation on two occasions.

Commodore Udai Rao superannuated from Government service in Sep 2013 and has settled down in Bangalore. He keeps himself busy writing and talking on ‘Matters Maritime’ at universities / colleges/think tanks such as National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) Bangalore , Christ University , Bangalore ; Pondicherry University , Manipal University, Osmania University ,SV University Tirupati, Aerospace and Defence Seminars conducted by IESA, Indian Naval Academy ( INA) Ezhimala, Acharya Bangalore Business school (ABBS), National Academy of Customs (NACIN )Bangalore, NMIMS Law school Bangalore etc. He has also conducted seminars on Coastal Security at Takshashila in Bangalore and at Mangalore University and lectured at the Press Institute of India, Chennai .He is closely associated with the Coastal Security Police of Karnataka and has conducted sea work up of Coastal Security personnel ,of approximately 60 days duration between 2015-2018. He has recently conducted harbour and sea training of the customs marine wing Mangalore for 10 days and sea training of customs marine wing, Mumbai for 14 days . He also occasionally writes for Deccan Herald and Hindu Business line on maritime subjects.