The Indian Military Academy (IMA) is a premier military academy in India that trains young men to become officers in the Indian Army. It is the alma mater of many brave and distinguished soldiers who have served the nation with honor and valor. The IMA is located in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, and covers an area of about 1,400 acres. The motto of the IMA is “Veerata aur Vivek”, which means “Valour and Wisdom”, and its alumni have exemplified these qualities in various fields, both military and civilian.
History of the school
The Indian Military Academy (IMA) was established in 1932, following the recommendation of a committee headed by Field Marshal Philip Chetwode, the then Commander-in-Chief of India. The committee was formed to examine the feasibility of setting up an Indian military academy, to train the Indian officers, who were then commissioned through the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, in England. The committee suggested that such an academy would foster a sense of nationalism and loyalty among the Indian officers, and also provide a better understanding of the Indian culture and conditions.
The Indian Military Academy (IMA) was inaugurated on 10 December 1932 by the then Viceroy of India, Lord Willingdon. The first batch of 40 cadets, known as the “Pioneers”, joined the academy on 1 October 1932. The first passing out parade of the IMA was held on 4 December 1934 and was reviewed by Field Marshal Chetwode. Since then, the IMA has produced over 61,000 officers, who have served with distinction in various wars and operations, both at home and abroad.
How to gain admission into the Indian Military Academy (IMA)
Admission to the Indian Military Academy (IMA) is highly competitive and selective. Only unmarried male candidates, who are citizens of India, are eligible to apply. The candidates must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, from a recognized university or institution. The candidates must also be physically fit, as per the standards prescribed by the IMA.
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: General Studies and Mathematics. The General Studies paper has 120 questions, carrying 300 marks, and the Mathematics paper has 100 questions, carrying 300 marks. The duration of each paper is 2 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 Indian Military Academy (IMA), according to their preference, subject to availability of vacancies and medical fitness. The selected candidates join the IMA as gentlemen cadets, for a one-and-a-half-year course, divided into three terms, each lasting six months.
Tuition fees of the Indian Military Academy (IMA)
The tuition fees for the Indian Military Academy (IMA) are nominal, as the Government of India bears the cost of training and education. The gentlemen cadets have to pay a fixed amount of Rs. 87,000 per annum, which covers the expenses of clothing, books, stationery, medical, and miscellaneous charges. The gentlemen cadets also receive a monthly stipend of Rs. 56,000, which is paid to them after the completion of their training. The gentlemen cadets are entitled to free accommodation, food, and other facilities at the IMA.
Current rankings of the Indian Military Academy (IMA)
The IMA 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 IMA was ranked 21st among the engineering colleges, and 37th among the overall colleges in India. The IMA was also ranked 2nd among the best government colleges in India, by the India Today magazine in 2019.
The IMA offers a one-and-a-half-year postgraduate program, leading to a Master of Science (M.Sc) degree, in one of the following streams: Defence and Strategic Studies, Defence and Management Studies, or Defence Technology. The degree is awarded by the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, after the gentlemen cadets pass out from the IMA. The gentlemen cadets also have the option to pursue a two-year dual degree program, leading to a M.Sc and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, in Defence and Management Studies.
The academic curriculum of the IMA is designed to provide a comprehensive and relevant education, covering the subjects of military science, management, technology, and humanities. The gentlemen cadets study English, Foreign Languages, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, History, Geography, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, and Defence Studies. The gentlemen cadets also undergo practical training in various aspects of military skills, such as drill, weapon handling, physical fitness, swimming, horse riding, and field craft.
The Indian Military Academy (IMA) has a well-equipped library, with over 1.5 lakh books, journals, and periodicals, covering a wide range of topics. The IMA also has a state-of-the-art computer center, with over 500 computers, and a high-speed internet connection. The IMA has several laboratories, workshops, and studios, to facilitate the learning and research of the gentlemen cadets. The IMA also has a museum, which showcases the history and heritage of the academy, and the achievements of its alumni.
Campus life at the Indian Military Academy (IMA)
Campus life at the Indian Military Academy (IMA) is challenging, rigorous, and rewarding. The gentlemen cadets have to follow a strict schedule, which starts at 5:00 am and ends at 10:00 pm. The gentlemen cadets must attend classes, practical sessions, drills, parades, sports, and other activities, throughout the day. The gentlemen cadets must maintain a high standard of discipline, conduct, and dress.
The gentlemen cadets have to live in barracks, divided into 16 companies, each with about 100 gentlemen cadets. The companies are named after the famous battles and operations of the Indian Army, such as Chushul, Dograi, Jessore, Keren, Meiktila, Naushera, Poonch, Sangro, Sinhgarh, Srinagar, Zojila, Alamein, Imphal, Kohima, Bana, and Siachen. The companies compete with each other in various fields, such as academics, sports, and extracurricular activities, to win the coveted “Champion Company” trophy, every term.
The gentlemen 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 gentlemen cadets also participate in various cultural and social events, such as Independence Day, Republic Day, the Passing Out Parade, the Founder’s Day, the Inter-Company Competitions, the Indian Military Academy (IMA) Ball, and the IMA Fest. The gentlemen cadets also interact with the distinguished guests and visitors, who visit the IMA from time to time, 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.
The gentlemen cadets also undergo rigorous military training, to prepare them for the future challenges and responsibilities. The gentlemen cadets learn the basics of combat, tactics, strategy, leadership, and ethics, from the experienced and qualified instructors of the IMA. The gentlemen cadets also get exposure to the various arms and services of the Indian Army, such as the Infantry, the Artillery, the Armoured Corps, the Engineers, the Signals, the Army Aviation, the Special Forces, and the Para Military Forces. The gentlemen cadets also undertake various camps and exercises, such as the Camp Torna, the Camp Shoorveer, the Camp Vijayanta, the Camp Chakravyuh, the Camp Yudh Abhyas, and the Joint Training Exercise, to enhance their skills and confidence.
Athletics is an integral part of the Indian Military Academy (IMA), as it helps the gentlemen cadets to develop their physical fitness, stamina, endurance, and team spirit. The gentlemen 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 gentlemen cadets also have to take part in various athletic events, such as cross country, track and field, obstacle course, and gymnastics. The gentlemen cadets compete with each other, as well as with other institutions, such as the National Defence Academy, the Indian Naval Academy, the Indian Air Force Academy, and the Officers Training Academy, in various inter-academy and inter-services tournaments.
Notable alumni of the Indian Military Academy (IMA)
The IMA 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 IMA are:
- Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa was the first Indian commander-in-chief of the Indian Army and the second Indian to be appointed as the field marshal after Sam Manekshaw.
- General K. Sundarji, the former Chief of the Army Staff, and the architect of the 1984 Operation Blue Star, the 1986 Operation Brasstacks, and the 1987 Operation Pawan, in Sri Lanka.
- General V.P. Malik, the former Chief of the Army Staff, and the Army Chief during the 1999 Kargil War, which saw the Indian Army evicting the Pakistani intruders from the Indian territory.
- General J.J. Singh, the former Chief of the Army Staff, and the first Sikh to hold the post, who played a key role in the modernization and transformation of the Indian Army.
- General Deepak Kapoor, the former Chief of the Army Staff, and the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, who initiated the doctrine of “Cold Start”, a proactive strategy to deal with Pakistan.
- General V.K. Singh, the former Chief of the Army Staff, and the current Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, who exposed the corruption and irregularities in the defence procurement system, and also led the 2011 Operation Ginger, a cross-border raid against the Pakistani posts, in retaliation to the beheading of Indian soldiers.
- 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.
- General Manoj Mukund Naravane, the current Chief of the Army Staff, who has extensive experience in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations, especially in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.
- Lieutenant General Sagat Singh, the hero of the 1971 Indo-Pak War, who led the 4th Mountain Division and captured the Chittagong Hill Tracts, and the port city of Chittagong, in Bangladesh, and was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award in India.
The Indian Military Academy (IMA) is a premier institution that moulds the young men of India into the future leaders and warriors of the Indian Army. The IMA provides a comprehensive and relevant education and training, covering the aspects of military science, management, technology, and humanities. The IMA instills in the gentlemen cadets the values of valour and wisdom and prepares them for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. The IMA is a dream destination for many aspirants who wish to serve the nation with honor and pride.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: How can I apply for the IMA?
- A: You can apply for the IMA 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 IMA 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 IMA?
- A: The age limit for the IMA is 19 to 24 years, as on the first day of the month the course is due to commence. For example, if the course starts in January 2024, the candidate should be born between 2nd January 2000 and 1st January 2005.
- Q: What is the educational qualification for the IMA?
- A: The educational qualification for the IMA is a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, from a recognized university or institution. The candidates who are in the final year of their degree course can also apply, provided they submit the proof of passing the examination by the specified date.
- Q: What is the selection process for the IMA?
- A: The selection process for the IMA consists of two stages: the written examination and the SSB interview. The written examination is conducted by the UPSC, and comprises of two papers: General Studies and Mathematics. 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 IMA examination?
- A: The syllabus for the IMA examination is as follows:
- General Studies: Current Events, History of India, Geography of India, Indian Polity and Economy, General Mental Ability.
- 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.
- Q: How can I prepare for the IMA examination?
- A: You can prepare for the IMA examination by following these tips:
- Study the NCERT books of 10th and 12th class, especially for Mathematics and General Studies subjects, as they cover the basics and fundamentals 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 the 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.