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NDA


 By: Astha Raghav. 

The National Defence Academy (NDA) is the joint defence service training institute of the Indian Armed Forces, where cadets of the three services i.e. the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force train together before they go on to respective service academy for further pre-commission training. The NDA is located in Khadakwasla, Pune, Maharashtra. It is the first tri-service academy in the world.

The alumni of NDA include 3 Param Vir Chakra recipients and 12 Ashoka Chakra recipients. NDA has also produced 27 service Chiefs of Staff till date. The current Chiefs of Staff of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force are all NDA alumni from the same course. The 137th course graduated on 30 November 2019, consisting of 188 Army cadets, 38 Naval cadets, 37 Air Force cadets and 20 cadets from friendly foreign countries. The Supreme Court of India passed an order in August 2021 that allowed female candidates to appear for the 5 September 2021 NDA enterance examination.

At the end of the World War II, Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck, then Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, drawing on experiences of the army during the war, led a committee around the world and submitted a report to the Government of India in December 1946. The committee recommended the establishment of a Joint Services Military Academy, with training modelled on the United States Military Academy at West Point.

After the independence of India in August 1947, the Chiefs of Staff Committee immediately implemented the recommendations of the Auchinleck report. The committee initiated an action plan in late 1947 to commission a permanent defence academy and began the search for a suitable site. It also decided to set up an interim training academy, known as the Joint Services Wing (JSW), which was commissioned on 1 January 1949 at the Armed Forces Academy (now known as the Indian Military Academy) in Dehradun. Initially, after two years of training at the JSW, Army cadets went on to the Military wing of the Armed Forces Academy for two years of further pre-commission training, while the Navy and Air Force cadets were sent to Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth and Royal Air Force College Cranwell in the United Kingdom for further training.

In 1941, Lord Linlithgow, the then Viceroy of India, received a gift of £100,000 from a grateful Sudanese Government towards building a war memorial in recognition of the sacrifices of Indian troops in the liberation of Sudan in the East African campaign during World War II. Following partition, India's share amounted to £70,000 (Rs 14 Lakh at the time; the remaining £30,000 went to Pakistan).The Indian Army decided to use these funds to partly cover the cost of construction of the NDA.The foundation stone for the academy was laid by then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru on 6 October 1949. Construction started in October 1949. The revised estimated cost for the whole project was Rs 6.45 crores respectively. The National Defence Academy was formally commissioned on 7 December 1954, with an inauguration ceremony held on 16 January 1955. The 10th JSW program was transferred from Clement Town, Dehradun to NDA Khadakwasla.It is the first tri-service academy in the world.

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