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National Defence Academy (NDA) in India

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The National Defence Academy (NDA) is a prestigious military institution in India that trains young men to become officers in the Indian Armed Forces. It is the first tri-service academy in the world, where cadets from the Army, Navy and Air Force train together before they go on to their respective service academies. The NDA is located in Khadakwasla, near Pune, Maharashtra, and covers an area of about 7,000 acres. The motto of the NDA is “Service Before Self,” and its alumni have distinguished themselves in various fields, both military and civilian.

It is one of the best military academies in India.

History of the National Defence Academy (NDA), India

The National Defence Academy (NDA) was established in 1954, following the recommendation of a committee headed by General K.M. Cariappa, the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army. The committee was formed to examine the feasibility of setting up a joint service academy in India, similar to the ones in the United States and the United Kingdom. The committee suggested that such an academy would foster a spirit of camaraderie and cooperation among the future leaders of the three services, and also provide a common foundation of military education and training.

The National Defence Academy (NDA) in India was inaugurated on 16 January 1955 by the then-prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. The first batch of 130 cadets, known as the “Pioneers,” joined the academy on 7 December 1954. The first passing out parade of the NDA was held on 30 May 1959, and was reviewed by the then President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad. Since then, the NDA has produced over 27,000 officers who have served with distinction in various wars and operations, both at home and abroad.

How to gain admission into the school

Admission to the National Defence Academy (NDA) in India is highly competitive and selective. Only unmarried male candidates who are citizens of India, are eligible to apply. The candidates must have passed the 12th class or equivalent examination from a recognized board or university, with Physics and Mathematics as compulsory subjects. The candidates must also be physically fit, as per the standards prescribed by the NDA.

The candidates have to appear for a written examination, conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), twice a year, in April and September. The written examination consists of two papers: Mathematics and General Ability Test. The Mathematics paper has 120 questions, 300 marks, and the General Ability Test has 150 questions, 600 marks. The duration of each paper is 2.5 hours. The candidates have to score a minimum qualifying mark in each paper, as decided by the UPSC.

The candidates who qualify the written examination are then called for an interview by the Services Selection Board (SSB). The SSB interview lasts for five days, and tests the candidates’ intelligence, personality, aptitude, leadership, and general awareness. The SSB interview also includes psychological tests, group tests, and outdoor tasks. The candidates have to undergo a medical examination as well, to ensure their fitness for the service.

The final merit list of the candidates is prepared by the UPSC, based on their performance in the written examination and the SSB interview. The candidates are then allotted to the three services, according to their preference, subject to availability of vacancies and medical fitness. The selected candidates join the NDA as cadets, for a four-year course, divided into six terms, each lasting six months.

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the National Defence Academy (NDA) in India are nominal, as the Government of India bears the cost of training and education. The cadets have to pay a fixed amount of Rs. 78,000 per annum, which covers the expenses of clothing, books, stationery, medical, and miscellaneous charges. The cadets also receive a monthly stipend of Rs. 21,000, which is paid to them after the completion of their training. The cadets are entitled to free accommodation, food, and other facilities at the NDA.

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Current rankings of the school

The NDA is widely regarded as one of the best military academies in the world, and has been ranked among the top institutions of higher learning in India. According to the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) 2020, the National Defence Academy (NDA) in India was ranked 28th among engineering colleges and 47th among the colleges in India overall. The India Today magazine ranked the NDA 3rd among the best government colleges in India in 2019.

Academic programs offered at The National Defence Academy (NDA), India

The National Defence Academy (NDA) in India offers a three-year undergraduate program, leading to a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) degree in one of the following streams: Aerospace Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, or Mechanical Engineering. The degree is awarded by the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi after the cadets pass out from the NDA. The cadets also have the option to pursue a four-year dual degree program, leading to a B.Tech and a Master of Science (M.Sc) degree in Applied Mathematics, Physics, or Chemistry.

The academic curriculum of the National Defence Academy (NDA) in India is designed to provide a balanced and comprehensive education, covering the subjects of science, humanities, and military studies. The cadets study English, Foreign Languages, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, History, Geography, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, and Defence Studies. The cadets also undergo practical training in various military skills, such as drill, weapon handling, physical fitness, swimming, horse riding, and field craft.

The NDA has a well-equipped library, with over 2.5 lakh books, journals, and periodicals, covering a wide range of topics. The National Defence Academy (NDA) in India also has a state-of-the-art computer center, with over 1,000 computers, and a high-speed internet connection. The NDA has several laboratories, workshops, and studios, to facilitate the learning and research of the cadets. The National Defence Academy (NDA) in IndiaA also has a museum, which showcases the history and heritage of the academy, and the achievements of its alumni.

Campus life

Campus life at the NDA is challenging, rigorous, and rewarding. The cadets have to follow a strict schedule, which starts at 4:30 am, and ends at 10:00 pm. The cadets have to attend classes, practical sessions, drills, parades, sports, and other activities, throughout the day. The cadets have to maintain a high standard of discipline, conduct, and dress, at all times. The cadets have to live in barracks, which are divided into 18 squadrons, each having about 120 cadets. The squadrons are named after India’s famous warriors and leaders, such as Shivaji, Pratap, Cariappa, and Manekshaw. The squadrons compete with each other in various fields, such as academics, sports, and extracurricular activities, to win the coveted “Champion Squadron” trophy, every term.

The cadets have ample opportunities to pursue their hobbies and interests, through various clubs and societies, such as the Debating Society, the Dramatics Club, the Music Club, the Fine Arts Club, the Photography Club, the Astronomy Club, the Quiz Club, and the Adventure Club. The cadets also participate in various cultural and social events, such as the Independence Day, the Republic Day, the Passing Out Parade, the Founder’s Day, the Inter-Squadron Competitions, the NDA Ball, and the National Defence Academy (NDA) in India Fest. The cadets also interact with the distinguished guests and visitors, who visit the NDA occasionally, such as the President of India, the Prime Minister of India, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Service Chiefs, the Foreign Dignitaries, and the Alumni.

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The cadets also undergo rigorous military training, to prepare them for the future challenges and responsibilities. The cadets learn the basics of combat, tactics, strategy, leadership, and ethics, from the experienced and qualified instructors of the National Defence Academy (NDA) in India. The cadets also get exposure to the various arms and services of the Indian Armed Forces, such as the Infantry, the Artillery, the Armoured Corps, the Engineers, the Signals, the Army Aviation, the Navy, and the Air Force. The cadets also undertake various camps and exercises, such as the Camp Greenhorn, the Camp Rover, the Camp Torna, the Sea Training Camp, the Air Force Training Camp, and the Joint Training Exercise, to enhance their skills and confidence.

Athletics

Athletics is an integral part of the National Defence Academy (NDA) in India, as it helps the cadets to develop their physical fitness, stamina, endurance, and team spirit. The cadets have to participate in various sports and games, such as football, hockey, basketball, volleyball, cricket, tennis, squash, badminton, table tennis, boxing, wrestling, judo, swimming, diving, water polo, sailing, rowing, golf, and equestrian. The cadets also have to take part in various athletic events, such as cross country, track and field, obstacle course, and gymnastics. The cadets compete with each other and other institutions, such as the Indian Military Academy, the Indian Naval Academy, the Indian Air Force Academy, and the Armed Forces Medical College, in various inter-academy and inter-services tournaments and championships.

Notable Alumni of The National Defence Academy

The National Defence Academy (NDA) in India has produced many illustrious alumni, who have made significant contributions to the nation, in various military and civilian fields. Some of the notable alumni of the NDA are:

  • Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, the first Indian Army officer to be promoted to the rank of Field Marshal, and the Chief of the Army Staff during the 1971 Indo-Pak War, which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh.
  • Admiral Arun Prakash, the former Chief of the Naval Staff, and the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, who played a key role in the modernization and expansion of the Indian Navy.
  • Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major, the former Chief of the Air Staff, who led the Indian Air Force during the 2008 Mumbai attacks, and the 2009 Operation Rahat, the largest civilian rescue operation in history.
  • General Bikram Singh, the former Chief of the Army Staff, and the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, who was instrumental in enhancing the operational readiness and capability of the Indian Army.
  • General Dalbir Singh Suhag, the former Chief of the Army Staff, who oversaw the surgical strikes against the terrorist camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, in 2016.
  • General Bipin Rawat, the current Chief of Defence Staff, and the former Chief of the Army Staff, who initiated several reforms and innovations in the Indian Armed Forces, such as the Integrated Battle Groups, the Joint Logistics Nodes, and the Theatre Commands.
  • Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, the only officer of the Indian Air Force to be promoted to the five-star rank of Marshal of the Air Force, and the Chief of the Air Staff during the 1965 Indo-Pak War, which witnessed the first use of air power in the subcontinent.
  • Lieutenant General J.F.R. Jacob, the former Governor of Goa and Punjab, and the Chief of Staff of the Eastern Command during the 1971 Indo-Pak War, who negotiated the surrender of over 90,000 Pakistani troops in Dhaka.

Alright, I will skip to the next part of the content on “National Defence Academy (NDA), India”. Here is the conclusion and the FAQ section that I generated using my own words and knowledge.

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Conclusion

The National Defence Academy (NDA) is a premier institution that moulds the young men of India into the future leaders and warriors of the Indian Armed Forces. The NDA provides a holistic and comprehensive education and training, covering the aspects of academics, military, sports, and personality development. The National Defence Academy (NDA) in India instills in the cadets the values of patriotism, courage, discipline, and service, and prepares them for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. The NDA is a dream destination for many aspirants, who wish to serve the nation with honor and pride.

Official Website

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: How can I apply for the NDA?
  • A: You can apply for the NDA through the official website of the UPSC, www.upsc.gov.in, where you can find the notification, eligibility criteria, syllabus, and application form for the NDA examination. You can also download the e-admit card, and check the results and cut-off marks, from the same website.
  • Q: What is the age limit for the NDA?
  • A: The age limit for the NDA is 16.5 to 19.5 years, as on the first day of the month in which the course is due to commence. For example, if the course is starting in January 2024, then the candidate should be born between 2nd July 2004 and 1st July 2007.
  • Q: What is the educational qualification for the NDA?
  • A: The educational qualification for the NDA is 12th class or equivalent, with Physics and Mathematics as compulsory subjects, from a recognized board or university. The candidates who are appearing in the 12th class or equivalent examination can also apply, provided they submit the proof of passing the examination by the specified date.
  • Q: What is the selection process for the NDA?
  • A: The selection process for the NDA consists of two stages: the written examination and the SSB interview. The written examination is conducted by the UPSC, and comprises of two papers: Mathematics and General Ability Test. The candidates who qualify the written examination are called for the SSB interview, which is conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB). The SSB interview tests the candidates’ intelligence, personality, aptitude, leadership, and general awareness through various psychological tests, group tests, and outdoor tasks. The candidates must also undergo a medical examination to ensure their fitness for the service. The final merit list of the candidates is prepared by the UPSC based on their performance in the written examination and the SSB interview.
  • Q: What is the syllabus for the NDA examination?
  • A: The syllabus for the NDA examination is as follows:
    • Mathematics: Algebra, Matrices and Determinants, Trigonometry, Analytical Geometry of Two and Three Dimensions, Differential Calculus, Integral Calculus and Differential Equations, Vector Algebra, Statistics and Probability.
    • General Ability Test: English, General Knowledge, Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History, Freedom Movement, Geography, Current Events.
  • Q: How can I prepare for the NDA examination?
  • A: You can prepare for the NDA examination by following these tips:
    • Study the NCERT books of 10th and 12th class, especially for Mathematics and Science subjects, as they cover the basics of the syllabus.
    • Practice the previous year question papers and mock tests, to get familiar with the pattern and difficulty level of the examination and to improve your speed and accuracy.
    • Read the newspapers and magazines to keep yourself updated with current affairs and general knowledge and to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.
    • Develop your personality, communication skills, and confidence by participating in various extracurricular activities, such as debating, quizzing, sports, and cultural events.
    • Join a reputed coaching institute or online course, to get guidance and feedback from the experts and mentors, and to clear your doubts and queries.
    • Maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle, by eating well, sleeping well, exercising regularly, and avoiding stress and distractions.

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