UPSC Exam Preparation: This Day in History – Oct 8

8 October 1932

Indian Air Force established.


What happened?

In this article, you can read about the establishment of the Indian Air Force. This will help you in understanding certain aspects of internal security for the UPSC exam.

On 8 October 1932, the Indian Air Force was officially established as an auxiliary air force of the British Empire.

Background

  • The Indian Air Force or Bharatiya Vayu Sena, the air arm of the Indian armed forces came into being on 8 October 1932. It was established as an auxiliary air force of the Royal Air Force of Britain. The Indian Air Force Act 1932 removed its auxiliary status.
  • On 1 April 1933, the first squadron of the Indian Air Force (IAF) ‘No. 1 Squadron’ was commissioned with four Westland Wapiti biplanes and five pilots. All the pilots were Indians and they were commanded by British RAF Commanding officer Flight Lieutenant Cecil Bouchier who later became Air Vice Marshal. In 1943, the squadron was led by Acting Squadron Leader Arjan Singh, who later went on to become Marshal of the Indian Air Force (bestowed in 2002).
  • In March 1945, acknowledging the IAF’s achievements and contributions in the Second World War, the service was honoured by the bestowal of the title ‘Royal’ on its title by British monarch King George VI. On becoming a republic in 1950, the prefix ‘Royal’ was dropped.
  • During the Indo-Pakistan immediately after independence, the Royal Indian Air Force provided effective logistics support and transport to Indian troops although there was no direct air-to-air combat with Pakistani air force.
  • In 1950, the Royal Indian Air Force became the Indian Air Force.
  • The IAF has played important roles in the annexation of Goa from Portugal, in UN operations worldwide, and in the various wars with Pakistan. The IAF also supported the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka.
  • After the 1971 war with Pakistan, the IAF received the highest award for gallantry in India, the Param Vir Chakra which was awarded posthumously to Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon.
  • HAL HF-24 Marut is the first Indian developed jet aircraft to enter into service and also the first in Asia to go beyond the test phase. It is a fighter-bomber aircraft and was developed by Hindustan Aircraft Limited (HAL).
  • The national Commander-in-chief of the Air Force is the President of India. The Commander of the Indian Air Force is the Chief of the Air Staff with the rank of air chief marshal. The present chief is Air Chief Marshall Birender Singh.
  • At present, there are 12,244 officers and 138,596 enlisted personnel in the IAF.
  • Apart from the National Defence Academy, other training institutes for air force personnel include the Air Force Academy, Dundigul; the Pilot Training Establishment at Allahabad; the Institute of Aerospace Medicine at Bangalore; the Air Force Administrative College at Coimbatore; the Air Force Technical College, Bangalore; the Paratrooper’s Training School at Agra and the Tactics and Air Combat and Defence Establishment at Gwalior.
  • The IAF inventory includes several aircrafts such as MiG series, Sukhoi Su-30, HAL Tejas, SEPECAT Jaguar, Boeing 707, Ilyushin series, helicopters like the indigenously developed HAL Dhruv, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for reconnaissance and surveillance, and missiles.

 

Also on this day 

1936: Death of eminent Hindi writer Munshi Premchand. 1979: Death of Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan.

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