Indian Military Academy (IMA), Deharadun is the officer training academy of Indian Army. Since its establishment in 1932, it has won many accolades in India and abroad for the quality of Cadets it has produced.
For the benefit of UPSC NDA & CDS aspirants, we are presenting 10 interesting facts about the Indian Military Academy. They are as follows.
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1. Origin: As a result of Indian leaders’ persuasion during the 1st Round Table Conference (RTC) in 1930 in London, the British Government agreed to set up the Indian Military College Committee under the chairmanship of Field Marshal Sir Philip Chetwode.
In 1931, the Committee recommended for the establishment of an Indian Military Academy in Dehradun to produce forty commissioned officers twice a year following two and a half years of training.
2. Picturesque Location: The IMA is located in the foothills of the Himalayas in a picturesque location. It is located about 8 km west of Dehradun in Uttarakhand. The Academy is spread over 1400 acres near the famous Tons Valley.
Complimenting the natural beauty, the IMA consists of man-made architectural beauties such as the Chetwode Hall, Commandant's residence, Kingsley Block and Collins Block.
3. National Highway 707: The Indian Military Academy Campus is located on the National Highway 707 (previously NH 72). Interestingly, the highway separates the North and South Campus of the IMA.
4. The Pioneers: The first batch of IMA Cadets is known as The Pioneers. Sam Manekshaw belonged to this batch, who is India’s first army officer to be promoted to the rank of Field Marshal. The Pioneers got high reputation due to the fact that it produced future Army Chiefs of three countries, namely, Manekshaw (India), Smith Dun (Burma) and Muhammad Musa (Pakistan).
Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was the 8th Chief of the Army Staff in independent India. He served in this position for about four years between 1969 and 1973. He was instrumental in India’s victory over Pakistan during the 1971 War, after which Bangladesh has emerged as a new nation.
5. Gentlemen Cadets: A trainee on admission to the IMA is referred to as a Gentleman Cadet. One reason for this is that the academy expects its graduates to uphold the highest moral and ethical values. Besides Manekshaw, the alumni of the IMA includes Ved Prakash Malik, who was the Army Chief during the Kargil War with Pakistan in 1999 and many other Army Generals and the recipients of honours like Param Vir Chakra.
So far, 50,000 foreign cadets were trained in the IMA. Some of the countries that have sent cadets to the IMA to get trained are – Afghanistan, Bhutan, Ghana, Malaysia, Nigeria, Uganda and Yemen.
Notable among the foreign cadets are the third Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Hussein Onn and former President of Nigeria Badamasi Babangida.
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6. War Memorial: The IMA War Memorial, with its pillars and columns of Dholpur stone, pays homage to the alumni of the academy who have fallen in the course of action. At the sanctum sanctorum of the memorial is a bronze statue of a Gentleman Cadet with a sword presenting arms. The memorial was inaugurated by Field Marshal Manekshaw on 17 November 1999, just weeks after the Kargil War.
7. Training Aimed at All-Round Development: Apart from the daily physical training, route-marches and lectures, the IMA provides a variety of training programmes that are aimed at the all round development of the Cadets. The programmes include photography, painting, seminars, term-papers, tours and sports.
8. Four Battalions: IMA Cadets are organized as a Regiment with four training battalions. These Battalions are named after four generals of the Indian Army, namely, Cariappa, Thimayya, Manekshaw and Bhagat. These four battalions have four companies each. Besides, there is one more battalion – Siachen Batallion – in the Indian Military Academy.
9. Life at IMA: ‘Making of a Warrior’ is the official documentary on the Indian Military Academy. The documentary was made by Dipti Bhalla and Kunal Verma and gives a glimpse of the IMA’s culture, traditions and training regime. The Hritikh Roshan’s 2004 Bollywood movie Lakshya was partly shot in the IMA.
10. IMA’s Motto & Credo: The Indian Military Academy’s motto is - वीरता और विवेक (Valour and Wisdom). And, the IMA has a credo, which is inscribed in the oak panelling at the Eastern entrance of the Chetwode Hall. The credo was excerpted from the speech of Field Marshal Chetwode at the inauguration of the academy in 1932, which is as follows -
The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time.
The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next.
Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time.
For the aspirants of National Defence Academy (NDA) and Combined Defence Services, getting trained at the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun is the most exciting and motivational part. We advise the NDA & CDS aspirants to work hard and fulfil their dream of getting trained in the Indian Military Academy.