Gen. Indar Jit Rikhye was born in Lahore on 30 July 1920, and "attended the Central Model School and Government College there. He graduated from the Indian Military Academy in 1940, was commissioned in the Indian Army by King George VI, and joined the recently mechanized 6th D.C.O. (Bengal) Lancers. He served with the regiment in Persia, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine and through the Italian campaign during World War II, with the British 8th and United States 5th Armies. After the war, 6th Lancers were posted on the North West Frontier of India. On the partition and independence of India, he led armored cars in Kashmir and later commanded the Royal Deccan Horse (Sherman IVs). After duty as an instructor at the Senior Officers School and attending the Defense Services Staff College, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the armored division.
"Rikhye's service with the United Nations began in 1957 when he was commander of the Indian troops in the Sinai and Gaza. He became Chief of Staff of the UN Emergency Force in 1958. After two years he returned home to raise a special brigade and deploy it along Ladakh's border with Sinkiang and western Tibet. When the civil war broke out in the Congo in July 1960, the UN Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjold, called for Rikhye to be his Military Advisor. After Hammarskjold's death, in addition to his military advisory duties, Rikhye carried out special assignments for his successor, U Thant, in the Congo, Cyprus, Yemen, West New Guinea (Irian Jaya), Cuba, between the Arabs and Israelis, and in the Dominican Republic. He was Commander UNEF 1966-67, and for the next two years was Middle East advisor.
"He was promoted to the rank of Major General in 1962. After he had been away from the Indian Army for more than five years, and on being informed by the Indian Government that he would have to remain with the United Nations for as long as his services were needed by the Secretary-General, his request to retire from the army was approved in 1967.
"With the reduction in peacekeeping activities, Rikhye retired from the United Nations in 1969 to found the International Peace Academy, a non-government institute for research and training in peacekeeping. The training programs of the Academy were organized in affiliation with universities and diplomatic and higher military institutes in several countries of most of the continents. On completion of 20 years' service as President of the Academy, Rikhye stepped down from the office but retains his ties with the institute as the founding president.
"Rikhye has been Visiting Distinguished Fellow, and later, Advisor on the United Nations at the United States Institute of Peace; Visiting Fellow, School of International Affairs, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Visiting Professor, Patterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa; Adjunct Professor, School of International Service, American University, Washington, D.C.; and is currently a Senior Research Associate, Institute of Public Policy, Program on Peacekeeping Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. He is an Honorary Research Fellow of the South Asia Center and Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Global Policy Research at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. He continues to lecture at several institutes with studies on the maintenance of international peace and security.
"His honors and awards, which he accepted only after leaving the United Nations, include the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education, 1985; the Medal of Honor from Kyung Hee University, Seoul; Doctor of Laws from Carleton University, Ottawa; the Order of Merit by the Republic of Austria and the Distinguished Peacekeeping Award from the International Peace Academy.
"He has published several books and articles on peacekeeping and negotiations within the United Nations system, including The Sinai Blunder, Oxford & IBH, New Delhi, 1976, and Frank Cass; The Theory and Practice of Peacekeeping, C. Hurst & Company, London, 1984; and Military Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General, C. Hurst & Company, London, 1992. And United Nations Peacekeeping: the Politics and Practice of Peacekeeping, Past, Present, and Future, Pearson Peacekeeping Center, Clementsport, Nova Scotia, Canada. He has co-authored The Thin Blue Line Yale University Press, 1974 and 1977) and Peacekeepers Handbook, International Peace Academy, New York.
"Rikhye is a member of several organizations, notably, the Defense Services Institute, the United Services Institute and the India International Center, New Delhi; the Cavalry and Guards Club, London, and the Charlottesville Committee on Foreign Relations, He was founding president of the U.S.-India Society whose membership he later merged with the Asia Society, New York. He is on the International Advisory Committee of the Institute of World Order, Washington, D.C. and is on the International Advisory Board of the Peacekeeping and International Relations periodical published by the Pearson Peacekeeping Center, Canada. He is the chairman Peace Committee of the National Advisory Council of South Asian Affairs, 1314 Towlston Road, Vienna, Virginia.