Officers Training Academy or OTA, Chennai is the place which trains graduates for all branches of Army except the Army Medical Corps. Candidates can get admission in OTA through CDSE, SSC Tech, NCC Special Entry Scheme or Judge Advocate Entry. Once candidates are selected for the Indian Army, they are trained here. The Academy is situated near Chennai International & Domestic Airport and Grand Southern Trunk Road covering an area of approx. 750 acres.
During 1942-45, seven Officers Training Schools were opened in India. There was a huge demand for officers in the Army during World War II. After the end of the war, these schools were also closed.
After the Sino Indian War in 1962, again the need for officers was felt. For this purpose, two Officers Training Schools were opened in Pune and Madras. The OTS, Pune closed in 1964 but the School of Chennai continued. The purpose of opening the schools was to train officers for Emergency Commission in Army. Brigadier Ram Singh inaugurated the Chennai School with the then Union Minister for Steel and Heavy Industries, Mr. C. Subramaniam on 15th January 1963. The first EC started with only 442 cadets. Brigadier Ram Singh was also the first Commandant of the School.
The last EC Course was EC-12 after which the EC’s were discontinued. From April 1965 it started training Officers for Short Service Regular Commission in Army. In 1968, SSC courses for Technical Arms and Services started.
The journey from OTS to OTA
The School was working continuously to provide the best facilities to the officers undergoing training. In the seventies, several infrastructural developments were made like Auditorium, Drill Square, Science Block and laboratories, Weapon training sheds, Swimming Pool, Cadets Mess, etc. The School received permanent status in 1985. Following this in 1988, on the occasion of OTS’s 25th anniversary, it was renamed from OTS to Officers Training Academy, making it equivalent to IMA and NDA.
At OTA, the candidates undergo a 49-week training course for counter-insurgency operation. The cadets also get the training for administrative jobs, technical jobs or JAG entry, etc. OTA also train women candidates. It started in 1992 with a batch size of 25 women candidates.