Lifeline Through the Sky — Ladakh 1962

Nabhsa Jeevan Dhara

1…2…3……43 !

Lifeline Through the Sky – Ladakh 1962

By J Thomas

Around 1960 Sqn Ldr Chandan Singh was a flight commander in 43 and he opened up valley routes for operation to Kargil, Leh, Thoise, Fukche and Chushul airstrips and to many DZs. Soon after, the C-119G Packets operated in strength and the AN-12s entered the scene. Fukche and Chushul were handed over to the Packets while Leh and Chushul became the mainstay of the AN-12s. In 1962 43 squadron operated to Kargil , Leh and Thoise airstrips and to Sultan Chushku DZ. Except for Leh, we were the only fixed wing operators to these places. In winter, Zoji La was snowed under and the whole of Ladakh was purely air maintained. Thoise and Sultan Chushku were air maintained even in summer. Our squadron offices were in tents and so ……

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A Tribute to Air Commodore Jasjit Singh

Air Cdre Jasjit firsr



J Thomas

Veteran Air Commodore Jasjit Singh, AVSM, VrC, VM passed away in New Delhi on 04 Aug 2013 at the age of 79. He was a well known Military Analyst, and did deep research on Air Power for the National Defense. A prolific writer, he has published several books and scores of papers for various journals and news papers. Veteran Wing Commander Joseph Thomas, VM introduced me to him in 1986, and I borrowed books from his rich personal library many times. Given below, is a brief tribute to the departed soldier sent to me by Thomas. [Editor}


Air Commodore Jasjit Singh was a former Director of Operations of the IAF and former Director of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA). He was one of the leading analysts of Indian military and strategic thought. His tenure as the Director of IDSA and as the founder of the “Center for Air Power Studies” has cemented his legacy in the annals of Indian Aviation.

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Science Competitions for Students in the USA

Science Competitions for Students in the USA


J Thomas

Every year, more than 9 million school students enter a science competition. Of those, several thousand students in classes 9–12 participate in the topmost levels of competition. These prestigious competitions include:

Google Science Fair!/en/2013/ The Google Science Fair is an online science competition open to students ages 13-18 from around the globe. Top prize is a $50,000 scholarship.

Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology: A competition for high school students. Top prize is a $100,000 scholarship.

Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS): A competition for high school students only. Regional winners proceed to a national competition.

Sanofi-aventis International BioGENEius Challenge: For high school students only; recognizes outstanding research in biotechnology. Process is state, regional, international—all held by sanofi-aventis. Top prize is a $7,500 cash award.

Various state and regional fairs.

Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS): A competition for high school seniors. Top prize is a $100,000 scholarship.

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

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Nain Singh Rawat


Nain Singh

By Joseph Thomas

When I first mentioned Nain Singh, Surjit asked Who was Nain Singh ?”

While awarding the Patron’s medal in 1877, the Royal Geographic Society said “either of his great journeys in Tibet would have brought this reward to any European explorer; to have made two such journeys adding so enormously to accurate knowledge . . . is what no European but the first rank of travelers like Livingstone or Grant have done . . . . His observations have added a larger amount of important knowledge to the map of Asia than those of any other living man.”

Yet, Nain Singh Rawat is little known outside of the small world of Indian surveyors. So this is a tribute to a great but little known surveyor.

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By Veteran Wing Commander Joseph Thomas, VM

Three decades ago, when my team was tasked with aerial survey of the Macmahon Line (ML), I was asked whether I knew the Chinese version of the ML. Even though a veteran of the 1962 war, I had never before heard of a Chinese version. Surprised, I went into the matter a little more deeply and made some startling discoveries. Not the least among them is that both sides have been talking at each other, rather than to each other.

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