Indian Military Academy

 

 

Indian Military Academy Main Building

Indian Military Academy Dehradun

 

Indian Military Academy is an Institution Par-Excellence

The boundaries of a nation are the  creation of mankind and even in the time of kings and emperors there were dedicated people who upheld that sanctity and security of their boundaries. These people who dedicated their lives to a country’s freedom and security were proud soldiers of nation. It is a common parlance that soldiers are not born, but they are made. In ancient times record shows that famous warriors accepted students for providing them training in various martial arts, just like Arjun was accepted as a pupil by Dhronacharya. Since then worldwide a lot of changes have come about and institutions have been set up to provide a country with trained manpower, these are called military academies.

One such institution that was created during India’s independence struggle was Indian Military Academy (also known as IMA) to train Indian Army Officers.  However until world war 1, the Britishers were not in favour of inducting Indians as commission officers in the Indian Army. It was only after the world war1 when the Indian soldiers proved their mettle the Britishers facilitated 10 officers per year to undergo training in Royal Military Academy, in Sandhurst. In the year 1922 the Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College was set up in Dehradun as a feeder institution to prepare Indian boys for admission to Sandhurst. This prestigious institution is now known as the Rashtriya Indian Military College. The Indian leaders for protection and safety of the people and country organized round table conferences to decide about better security and protection. These conferences led to the establishment of an Indian military college committee. In 1931, Field Marshal Philip Chetwode the chairman of this committee suggested establishing a military officers training academy in Dehradun, which was named as the prestigious Indian Military Academy to commission 40 officers twice a year after a two and a half year of training. The Government of India then relocated Indian Railway Staff College to the city of Dehradun which shared its campus of 206 acres of land with the Indian Military Academy. This institution is located on the hilly terrains of Dehradun which became an important centre for training Indian Army Officers.

This institute was formally inaugurated by Field marshal Chetwode on 10th December 1932 at the end of the first session of training. This prestigious institution started its first training on 1 October 1932 with 40 gentlemen cadets ( popularly known as GC ) with brigadier L.P. Collins as its first commanding officer. Many furthers cadets and officers were trained in this institution and many batches passed out which included some of many well-known officers like Sam Manekshaw, Muhammad Musa and Smith Dun,  among many others who later become the Army Chiefs of India, Pakistan and Burma respectively. Post 1941, 524 such officers were appointed until World War II, which saw an extraordinary augment in quantity of entrants.

Right after independence of India in August 1947, many successful trainers and cadets went to England and Pakistan and Brigadier Thakur Mahadeo Singh, DSO, was appointed as the first Indian commandent of the academy. In the same year after receiving recommendations from a committee, a decision to start a Joint Services Training Academy was taken. Indian Military Academy was later named at the Armed Forces Academy and after 1950 it became National Defence Academy. Since India became a republic, the NDA was shifted to Khadakwasla, near Pune. This time around the academy in Dehradun was rechristened Military College. It was only in 1960 that the academy got back its old name as Indian Military Academy.

On 15th of December 1976, the President of India, the erudite Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed passionately presented myriad new colours, thereby added to the Indian Military Academy after new battalions were created. Four new battalions created were called as Cariappa, Thimayya, Bhagat and Manekshaw Battalions. These were in honour of Field Marshal K.Cariappa, General K.S.Thimayya, Field marshal Manekshaw and Lieutenant General P.S.Bhgat respectively. In 1977 the Indian Military Academy got Siachen Battalion as a result of merger of the prestigious Army Cadet College from Pune to Dehradun. By 2007 this amazing academy had trained over 46,000 officers who have got inducted into various armies of the world. Some of the countries that joined this league were Bhutan, Burma, Ghana, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Philippines, and even United Kingdom, besides others. Today the training period for cadets is one year . The only exception are the cadets joining through Combined Defence Services exam who has to to undergo  training for one and a half years. The officers from IMA has earned many gallantary awards like the Victoria Cross, George Cross, Military Cross, Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra.

Indian Military Academy is positioned at the foothills of the Himalayas and is around 8km west of Dehradun. The present area of its campus is around 1,400 acres and is located on national Highway the size of its original campus was a mere 206 acres. However when the Railway Staff College was relocated to Pune they got additional space and that is how it is presently such a huge compound of 5.7km(square) . In1938 The Indian Military Academy added a new wing which presently houses a central library. This magnificent library houses more than 100,000 volumes, has a multimedia separate segment. Besides the War memorial made up of Dholpur stone the campus also houses an IMA museum displaying war relics and artifacts of historical importance including the pistol of lietenant General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi of the Pakistan army who surrendered during the 1971 Indo- Pak war.

It is expected that every would-be cadet that joins Indian Military Academy will uphold its highest code of moral conduct and ethical values. This is inscribed in an oak panel that is visible at the entrance of the Chetwode Hall, as is taken from the opening speech delivered by field Marshal Chetwode in the inauguration programme in 1932. That message conveys that it is –

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.

Every cadet that leaves this marvelous institution is expected to leave on learning and assimilating the qualities of grace, dignity and all that makes for a true gentleman. The nation is indeed fortunate that we have the Indian military academy, which is one of the finest in this world.