Aviation came to India by fits and starts mostly dictated by the British Empire’s strategic interests and commercial objectives and within India by English business community who were attracted by the speed of this new form of transport. It was in early thirties of the 20th century when flying clubs were started in major cities to attract young people to learn to fly.
The narrative takes the reader through the first steps when the Directorate of Civil Aviation was set up in 1927 and Indians learnt to fly themselves and the research work done by pioneers. It was during the inter-war period (1919-1939) that pioneer entrepreneurs tried to set-up an aircraft factory in the country and the obstacles they faced. And then came the long line of pioneer pilots who braved the odds and came out victorious.
The fair sex put in its claim too and the narrative gives the reader fascinating glimpses of how individual women pilots faced the problems of bias and succeeded to the extent that today (2020) India has the largest number of women pilots in the world.
Post-World War II, saw independence and private enterprise in the airlines sector struggling, and then the nationalisation of the industry with the state monopoly functioning for almost 40 years.
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