Pune: National Defence Academy (NDA) Celebrates 75th Anniversary

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Khadakwasla, 16th January 2024: The National Defence Academy (NDA) has exerted a profound and indelible influence on the fabric of our Nation’s Armed Forces. It has endured the test of time, becoming an important part in nation-building. The National Defence Academy’s rich history commencing in 1949 has travelled alongside that of independent India. Over the years, the iconic institution has stood as a steadfast pillar of support, not only for the Armed Forces but also for producing notable personalities who have made significant contributions to India’s progress.

The Academy, since its inception in 1949, has served as a robust crucible in preparing officers to meet tasks entrusted to the Armed Forces. The Academy, trains young boys and girls, not only in aspects of prosecution of war but also in diverse fields that make them excel at the national and international level. Alumni of the Academy have brought laurels in sports, have been the Nation’s informed diplomats in furthering India’s position through military diplomacy in United Nation’s Peacekeeping Missions and in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief tasks. That India’s Tricolour has been flown into outer space too, by an NDA alumnus is a testament to the high standards of the Academy’s leadership training that furthers nation-building.

The 75 Glorious Years Celebrations termed as 75-GYC commenced on 19 January 2023 with unveiling of the 75-GYC logo, symbolising the Tri-services essence with the three service colours and the theme ‘Forging Joint Military Leadership’. The year-long celebration was undertaken through an array of illustrious gatherings and events. These celebrations meticulously showcased the Academy’s vast accomplishments across a broad spectrum of domains. The celebrations unfolded in three thematic segments, each with its distinct essence. Ceremonial Activities, which highlighted the multifarious facets of the National Defence Academy as well as the events that span an entire training year. Outreach Activities, which widely communicated the mission of the Academy throughout the entirety of our Nation, with a particular emphasis on cultivating awareness about the institution and its legacy in the emerging generation of young Indians. Adventure Activities, which instilled in the cadets a sense of adventure and provided them with exposure and an opportunity to establish connections with diverse regions of our Nation, spanning all four corners of India.

A melodious tribute titled ‘Bharat Maa Tujhe Salaam’ which highlights the Academy’s role in shaping future leaders of the Indian Armed Forces was commissioned. Gen Anil Chauhan, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC Chief of the Defence Staff, released this composition on 29 May 2023. The song embodies the Academy’s core values and the commitment of the Armed Forces to the Nation.

On 30 November 2023, Droupadi Murmu, the President of India, released a First Day Cover, Stamp and a Commemorative Coin in the resplendent aura of the majestic Sudan Block as part of the ongoing celebration of 75 glorious years. On 23 December 2023, in a momentous ceremony at Raj Bhavan, the Governor of Uttarakhand, Lt Gen Gurmit Singh, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd), flagged off the car rally from Clement Town to Pune, as a poignant tribute to Operation ‘Badli’, marking the 75th anniversary of shifting of the academy from Clement Town to Khadakwasla.

The culmination of 75 Glorious Years Celebration unfolded from the 14 January 2024 to 16 January 2024, paid befitting homage to the Academy’s rich legacy. At the forefront of this distinguished affair is the Leadership Seminar by eminent military and civilian luminaries on the contemporary theme ‘Forging Joint Military Leadership’ at NDA. A poignant Wreath Laying Ceremony was held on January 16 at the Hut of Remembrance, attended by alumni, including the Chief of Defence Staff and the two – Navy & Air force service chiefs paying homage at the historic symbol of sacrifice. The Grand Finale event also provided an opportunity for interaction between the alumni and cadets over games and cultural evening.

A short film by Punit Balan Group showcasing the journey and training of NDA cadet, essentially capturing the essence of a cadet’s life, was also unveiled as a timeless tribute to the credo of NDA, valour, duty, and honour. The 75 Glorious Years Celebration showcased that the National Defence Academy is not just an institution; it is a living and breathing testament to the enduring spirit of our Nation. Its legacy, intertwined with India’s own, stands as a beacon of excellence and professionalism, lighting the path for generations to come.