The second lecturer in exploration geophysics in Australia – later to become Surveyor General of India The first lecturer in exploration geophysics in Australia, Dr Thirlaway, only held the position at the University of Sydney for 18 months, from October 1949 to April 1951 (Henderson 2016). He left Australia to establish a geophysical observatory in Quetta in Pakistan. Dr Hari Narain, who became the second lecturer in exploration geophysics in Australia, replaced Dr Thirlaway in 1952. At first, he was a Teaching Fellow, then a Temporary Lecturer (1953–1955), and finally Lecturer (1955– 1956). Dr Narain completed a PhD in exploration geophysics at the University of Sydney in 1955. His PhD was the first PhD awarded in geophysics in Australia. Dr Narain’s appointment is of interest for a number of reasons. He came to Sydney on a UNESCO fellowship from Allahabad, India, where he had already received a PhD in physics and geophysics. At the University of Sydney, he lectured on all fields of geophysics, but focused his research on regional potential fields. The PhD thesis he completed in Sydney reported on a large number of field surveys with a gravity meter (Figure 1), and the interpretation of the results in terms of geological and crustal structure (Narain 1955). Narian’s thesis work was the basis of a Department of Geology and Geophysics Memoir co-authored by the then Head of Department, Prof C. E. Marshall (Marshall and Narain 1954). This memoir reports on more than 900 gravity observations along a total of 16 000 km of traverses. Over 16 traverses were plotted as Bouguer and Residual gravity anomaly profiles with elevation and geological sections plus the route on geology maps. Figure 2 is an example of one of these plots. Dr Narain was held in high regard in Australia because of his survey work and was well known as a consultant to private companies (Figures 3 and 4). During his six and a half years in Australia Dr Narain showed an interest in politics and foreign affairs, especially in relation to Australia and his homeland, and he became Secretary of the India League of Australia, Sydney. He did not shy away from public debate. In a 208-word letter to the Editor of The Age newspaper of 28 March 1953 (The Age 1953), Dr Narain, writing in his capacity as Secretary of the India League of Australia, appears to question the claims of a letter from the Press Attaché of the Pakistan High Commission in Australia. Readers will remember that Pakistan was formed by the partition of India in 1947 and was almost an entirely Muslim nation. The period from 1947 to 1956, which overlapped with Dr Narain’s time in Australia, was a time of political turmoil in Pakistan. On 18 May 1953, Dr Narain was the guest speaker at the Newcastle Rotary Club, where he suggested in a 442 word speech that ‘Communism was only a passing phase in China’ (sic!) (Newcastle Morning Herald and Miner’s Advocate 1953). He claimed that China’s ‘urge for freedom of spirit’ would not permit ‘mental regimentation’ of its people. At the time of this speech there was much controversy regarding communism in Australia. In 1951 an attempt that was made by the Australian government, under PM Menzies, to ban the Communist Party of Australia was ruled constitutionally invalid by the High Court. In June 1956, Dr Hari Narain returned to India with his wife and baby son to become a senior geophysicist with the Oil and Natural Gas Directorate of the Department of Natural Resources. Later in his career he would become the Director of India’s National Geophysics Research Institute, and then, India’s 41st Surveyor General. He held the position of Surveyor General from May 1972 until March 1976. Some of his publications in India include Political Map of India (Narain 1972), Road Map of India (Narain 1973) and Scientific Research in India: progress in earth sciences (Narain 1988). Roger Henderson Figure 1.  Dr Narain, wearing a tie, shown reading what is possibly a Worden gravity meter. The other item is possibly a fluxgate magnetometer. His assistant is unidentified. Source: National Archives of Australia. 32 PREVIEW Feature Australia’s second lecturer in exploration geophysics FEBRUARY 2019