Indian Military Academy or IMA is situated 8 km west at Dehradun, Uttarakhand in the foothills of Himalayas. It spans an area of 1400 acres approx. The campus is situated on NH72 which separates the North and South Campus. The academy trains officers for Indian Army.
History of IMA
Before independence i.e. in British Raj, the British government was reluctant to appoint Indian Officers. There was no military institution to train young Indian officers because the British Raj was not very happy about local officers’ training. Then World War I happened and Indian soldiers proved what they are capable of. Even after it, only 10 soldiers per year were allowed to be trained and that too at Royal Military College, Sandhurst. In 1922, an institute was set up in Dehradun to train young Indians which was named as Prince of Wales Royal Military College.
Presently it is known as Rashtriya Indian Military College. In the first batch, 31 officers were commissioned in Army and Sam Manekshaw was one of them. But still, the British Government was reluctant for any expansion. So the Indian leaders pressed the issue at first Round Table Conference. It got the green signal and a committee was set up under the Chairmanship of Sir Philip Chetwode in 1931. The committee decided to establish the IMA in Dehradun which was to provide 2 ½ year training and only forty officers to be commissioned twice a year.
Establishment of IMA
The 206 acres campus and the associated infrastructure of Railway Staff College of Indian Railways was transferred by the Government of India to IMA. The First 40 Gentlemen cadets started their training on 1st October 1932 under the command of Brigadier L.P. Collins. The first batch of candidates passed out in Dec 1934. They are known as Pioneers. Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw of India, General Muhammad Musa of Pakistan and Lieutenant General Smith Dun of Burma were part of this batch.
Till May 1941, a total of 524 officers were commissioned through 16 courses. When World War II happened, there was a need of lot more entrants so the training period at IMA was reduced temporarily to six months. There was also a need to expand the campus. During the war i.e. from 1941 to 1946, the academy produced a total of 3887 officers. After the war, things got back to normal at the Academy.
After Independence, owing to the division of Military between India and Pakistan and several soldiers leaving for England, India needed to expand its forces. A Joint Service Wing was also under the planning as per the recommendation of a 1946 committee. At that time, Indian Military Academy was known as Armed Forces Academy and the Joint Services Wing was started on 1st Jan 1949 at IMA for the meanwhile. The JSW was later transferred to National Defense Academy on 1st Jan 1950 at Khadakwasla, Pune. IMA was renamed as Military College.
In 1960, the academy was given back its original name- Indian Military Academy. The Academy was also presented new colors by then President Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan in Dec 1962. From 1963 to 1964, the academy started several emergency courses and expanded the quarters for cadets owing to the Sino-Indian war.
In Dec 1976, it was presented with new colors by then President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. In 1977, the Army Cadet College of Pune was transferred to Indian Military Academy as its wing and later in 2006, it was merged as Siachen Battalion in IMA. Apart from India, Pakistan, and England, the IMA has produced officers for several countries like Bhutan, Burma, Philippines, Nigeria and many more.
Cadets and Training
There are four training battalions at IMA, each having four companies. The Battalions are named after Generals of the Indian Army and companies are named for battles fought by Indian Army. The four Battalions of Academy are Cariappa, Thimayya, Manekshaw, and Bhagat. The Army Cadet College was merged to IMA and is known as Siachen Battalion. The cadets at IMA are trained for one year. The candidates who are selected through CDS are trained for longer period i.e. 1 ½ year. They are given physical training, drills and weapon training and are trained to be a future military leader of the Indian Army.
The academy’s credo is “The safety. Honor and welfare of your country come first, always and every time.
The honor, welfare, and comfort of the men you command come next.
Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time.”
IMA expects its cadets to be the best. It expects them to have the highest moral and ethical values. The cadets here come from all the different backgrounds. IMA works on them and molds them into future officers. The cadets of IMA are known as Gentleman Cadets. All the cadets are treated equal and are given equal treatment and facilities to shape up themselves. They eat together, work together, and play together. The atmosphere at the academy helps them to recognize their capabilities, a sense of responsibility, cooperation, camaraderie, etc.
IMA has trained…
Since the academy is established, there has not been a battle where IMA alumnus has not proved their worth. Indian Military Academy has given several Officers to the country. Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was an alumnus of the IMA. He was also the first Indian to become a Field Marshal. The Param Vir Chakra awardees like Vikram Batra, Arun Khetrapal, Manoj Kumar Pandey, Hoshiar Singh, etc all have been part of IMA.