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Speakers

Wing Commander
Podcast host

Date & Time

Mon, 22 Jun 2020

Location

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 071 India
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Contact

+91 98865 99675 bic@bangaloreinternationalcentre.org

Aeronautical engineer and retired test pilot Joseph Thomas talks to host Pavan Srinath about aerial survey and mapping of the India-China border, about the evolution of mapping technology in the subcontinent, and about the longest contested border in the world.

Mr Thomas discusses how maps were drawn and land was measured between the 19th century and today, the advent of aerial mapping in India, to where we are today. He elaborates on his time in aerial mapping using Canberra aircraft, a time when India had better maps of the border areas and a technological lead over China for almost two decades. He also discusses how international borders are delineated and demarcated, and provides context for the full long India-China border, as well as the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh.

Joseph Thomas is an Indian Air Force pilot who flew transport and logistics during the 1962 Indo-China War. From 1967 to 1971 he flew in the reconnaissance and aerial survey squadron, taking part in border surveys, and aerial mapping of the entire country. He is also a test pilot and helped start the Indian Air Force Test Pilot School. He retired as a Wing Commander in 1984, and was awarded a Vayu Sena Medal.

Do also read:

Lifeline Through the Sky – Ladakh 1962, 30 Dec 2013.

Sino-Indian Border: The Way Forward, 20 Nov 2012.

Nain Singh: An Intrepid Explorer, 14 Feb 2013.

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Speakers

Joseph Thomas

Wing Commander

Joseph Thomas is an Indian Air Force pilot who flew transport and logistics during the 1962 Indo-China War. From 1967 to 1971 he flew in the reconnaissance and aerial survey squadron, taking part in border surveys, and aerial mapping of the entire country – in this time he flew 230 sorties of aerial survey, which required very accurate planning and execution. Flying over rugged, mountainous terrain using inaccurate maps he achieved results of a very high standard. He was awarded a Vayu Sena Medal.

He was also a test pilot (trained in the US under Astronaut, ‘Buzz’ Aldrin) and helped start the Indian Air Force Test Pilot School – Joseph’s students include both Indian cosmonauts, one Naval Chief and several Air marshals. In 1980 Joseph was appointed to command his old squadron.  During his tenure, the squadron did extensive border survey and once again did aerial mapping of the entire country.

He retired as a Wing Commander in 1984.

Pavan Srinath

Podcast host