The largest naval academy in Asia is Indian Naval Academy situated in Ezhimala, Kannur District, Kerela, India. INA provides basic training for all officers of the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard. INA was inaugurated on 8th January 2009 though it was established in May 1969.
Earlier the Navy officers were trained at Joint Services Wing of Armed Forces Academy. The National Defense Academy was established and the joint training was provided at NDA for Army, Navy and Air Force. But the Navy realized that due to increase in a number of requirements of Navy staff, a separate academy or establishment is required. Apart from Navy, the Indian Coast Guards requirement was also there to fulfill. So in May 1969, Naval Academy was established in Cochin which was later consolidated with OTA, Chennai in 1976, But the facilities were not sufficient to provide for the Physical and Practical Training to Navy officers and sailors.
Indian Naval Academy: Establishment
The plan for the development of a new campus for Indian Naval Academy was approved by Government in 1979. The campus has to be in proximity with a railhead, a sea or a large lake and a substantial distance from any neighboring town. Some sites were initially considered near the towns of Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Kannur, etc. Kerala Government provided 960 hectares of land at Ezhimala, electricity and water support, expansion of nearest railway station, capital dredging of Kavvayi for training purposes, etc. and all at no cost to Navy.
In 1987, the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi laid the foundation stone but due to the economic crisis of 1991, the construction was stalled. It finally started back in 1997-1998. The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the Academy on 8th January 2009. It covers an area of 9.92 km2 with the Academy, Naval base depot, INS Zamorin and the Naval Hospital Navjivani and its project cost were Rs.7.21 billion.
Indian Naval Academy: Admission
Cadets who want to join Navy have two options –to get entry through 10+2 Navy Tech entry or to clear the NDA exam. The NDA cadets go through a 3-year joint training at NDA, Khadakwasla. After it, they are transferred to INA for another 1 year. They are awarded a B. Tech. degree with the option to major in Electronics & Communication Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Naval Architecture. The students of Naval Architecture have to go through another six months of training at Naval Dockyard, Vishakhapatnam. They can also opt for post graduation from IIT Delhi. After graduation, they are commissioned as a sub-lieutenant in Navy.
UPSC conducts an exam for Admission in INA as graduate officer trainees who also undergo SSB interview for Admission. These graduating officers go for additional training and specialization in naval aviation, submarine warfare, etc. The officers who join the Indian Coast Guard also undergo basic training.
Indian Naval Academy: Cadet life
There are presently six squadrons-Achiever, Braveheart, Cheetah, Daredevil, Eagle, and Fighter. Each squadron has four divisions. A Divisional Cadet Captain (DCC) heads each division who is a commissioned officer of the rank of lieutenant. Every squadron has a Squadron Cadet Captain (SCC) who is an officer of the rank of Lieutenant Commander. A Squadron Cadet Adjutant (SCA) assists the SCC. All the six squadrons make a Flotilla. It is headed by a Flotilla Cadet Captain (FCC) and Flotilla Cadet Adjutant (FCA). The Academy Cadet Captain and Academy Cadet Adjutant, they together head the organization and ensure the overall functioning and maintaining the discipline in the Academy.
After the admission, the cadets are assigned to these squadrons. Every year 1200 cadets get admission into the academy. They are trained as per their selected options for major and specialization. They are provided outdoor training like physical training, drill, equitation, swimming, x-country running, etc.
Indian Naval Academy: Facilities
The INA is situated at 35 km. north of Kunnur. The nearest railway station is 5 km. away in Pazhayangadi. Mangalore is the nearest International Airport at a distance of 123 km. On the highest point is the Academy Building. It has Service and Technical Wings, laboratories, workshops, auditorium, etc. The training zones have an auditorium, firing range, physical training, aquatics, squadrons, etc.
There is a naval hospital, logistics complex, a motor transport complex, a campus fire station along with the administrative complex in the administrative zone. The campus has accommodation facilities for staff and their families. The Navjivani Hospital provides healthcare to cadets, staff, and others.
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