| || Physiological Research of Defence Interest in India Part I : Studies in High Altitude Physiology
Author : Ramaswamy, S.S.
Source : Defence Science Journal ; Vol:44(3) ; 1994 ; pp 231-239
Subject : 612 Physiology;61 Medical Sciences
Keywords : Toxicology ;Bioclimatology;Thermal stress;High altitude physiology;Physiology
Abstract : Our troops have to operate under a variety of adverse environments including hypoxic, dry cold/wet cold conditions of high altitudes, hot dry/humid conditions in the plains, high noise levels from machinery, engines in ships and aircraft, gunfire, etc. Professor DS Kothari, the first Scientific Adviser, Ministry of Defence, could foresee as early as the late forties that it was only a scientific understanding of the basic physiological mechanisms that would lead to solutions which would ensure the optimal operational efficiency of men under such trying environments. He sowed the seeds of defence physiology as a major discipline in the then Defence Science Organisation, which developed into the Defence Research and Development Organisation. As a result, there have been outstanding contributions by the defence physiologists as well in the direct applications of their work in optimizing the operational efficiency of our defence personnel. This paper reviews the wide spectrum of problems relevant to defence physiology studied over the last four decades, the significant findings, and their practical applications. Part I reviews in detail work on the most pressing problem in our current geopolitical context, viz. high altitude physiology. Part II discusses studies on thermal stress, bioclimatology, noise exposure hazards, physical work capacity, effects of ageing on physical and mental capacities, and toxicology. In addition, the contributions of defence scientists towards the rationalisation of service ration scales, and resource development efforts are dealt with.