Pune, May 30, 2020: The 138th course of National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla, Pune successfully passed out on 30 May 20 after a ‘Solemn Ceremony’ conducted at ‘Habibullah Hall’ of the Academy. The Commandant NDA, Lt Gen Asit Mistry, AVSM, SM, VSM presided over the function, which was attended only by the cadets of the passing out course and limited members of the faculty at NDA. In view of the restrictions due to ongoing pandemic across the country, the passing out ceremony, which otherwise is a ‘Landmark Event’ of the Academy, had to be modified and conducted in a scaled down manner. While keeping the sentiment and symbolism of the lifetime occasion for the cadets fully intact, the military procedures were improvised and adapted to ensure ‘Do Gaj ki Doori’, the mandated social distancing.
A total of 335 cadets graduated from the Academy which includes 226 Army cadets, 44 Naval cadets and 65 Air Force cadets. It is a matter of pride for NDA that 20 cadets from friendly foreign countries (Bhutan, Tajikistan, Maldives, Vietnam, Tanzania, Mauritius, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Turkmenistan, Fiji, Uzbekistan, Sudan, Mongolia and Bangladesh) also form part of the passing out cadets.
Notwithstanding the limitations imposed by COVID-19 related restrictions, true to unmatched military traditions of NDA, the spirit of the passing out events was absolutely intact. The hall mark of the ceremony was award of medals to the meritorious cadets. While the military drill was at its best, the medals were awarded without any physical contact. Battalion Cadet Captain Shivam Kumar won the President’s Gold Medal for standing first in overall order of merit. Battalion Cadet Captain Mukesh Kumar won the President’s Silver Medal for standing second in overall order of merit and Battalion Cadet Captain Parth Gupta won the President’s Bronze Medal for standing third in overall order of merit. ‘Kilo’ squadron bagged the prestigious ‘Chiefs of Staff Banner’ for being the Champion Squadron which was also presented during the ceremony.
The most significant restriction was the lack of presence of the parents of the passing out cadets, who could not be invited due to travel limitations across the country. Traditionally, the parents of passing out cadets are invited and accommodated in the Academy for about three days, during which, they witness various facets of training that a cadet undergoes in the academy, which not only gives them a sense of pride but also reassures them that their wards are in best hands in the country.
The Commandant NDA while addressing the passing out cadets brought out the importance of a military leader to quickly adapt to any situation and face the challenge head on. He explained that even this adversity has immense training value for a military leader. He highlighted impeccable integrity, sense of responsibility, self discipline, moral courage and empathy as essential ingredients of a good military officer to successfully lead his men during war as well as peace. He expressed his confidence that all cadets would continue to further develop and earnestly practice all these attributes instilled in them during three years training at NDA and bring glory to their Alma Mater as they move onto their respective service academies and sere the nation.
Normally after passing out, the cadets go home for a term break and then proceed to their Respective Service Academies. However in view of the vulnerabilities and travel restrictions, it has been decided that all the passing out cadets would move from NDA directly to the respective Service Academy. Necessary arrangements for the same are being coordinated with the concerned agencies.