With an aim to help young officers during their posting in Jammu and Kashmir, the National Defence Academy has included Kashmiri, Pashto and Dari languages in its curriculum from this academic year. The course started this month and these languages will be compulsorily taught to cadets in their last year (of the three-year course) at the academy, a National Defence Academy (NDA) official told PTI.
"Young leaders are invariably required to serve on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, where Pashto and Dari languages are frequently used by the adversary. "Kashmiri is our language and we have a large number of men from the state," the official said. Dari and Pashto are languages spoken in Afghanistan.
Asked if there was a specific requirement from the service headquarters for initiating a study of these languages, the official said there was no specific demand. "It has been felt that the same (introduction of these languages) is the need of the hour in view of the normal service requirements of young officers," the official said. The study of modern languages has been a mandate at the NDA since its inception. Hindi is already in the curriculum and is taught to cadets.
Foreign languages are taught in the second, third and fourth semesters as a compulsory component of the academic curriculum of the premier defence education and training institute. "Chinese, Arabic, French and Russian are the other foreign languages currently being taught at the tri-service academy," the official said. The NDA's syllabus and curriculum are periodically reviewed by headquarters of the three defence services and its implementation is reviewed by a joint training committee along with the institute.
An iconic institute located at Khadakwasla on the city's outskirts, NDA is the joint services academy of the armed forces where cadets receive training together before they go to their respective service academies for further pre-commissioning training. The academy is recognised by the Jahwaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, and offers BA, B.Sc and B.Tech degree courses to cadets.