In 2015, the Indian Army is falling short by 18% with an existing strength of 40,525 officers, when it can accommodate 49,737 officers
IT CAME as a sigh of relief for the Indian Army, fearing a shortage of officers, when the toppers of NDA’s 129th batch showed their preference for it over the Navy or the Air Force.
Divisional Cadet Captain (DCC) Rakesh Kadian, Battalion Cadet Captain (BCC) Abhishek Kundalia and Cadet Jitender Kumar who topped in Science, Social Sciences and Computer Science respectively, have chosen Army as their preferred career choice and will be heading to the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun for specialised training.
According to the recent data, the Indian Army in 2015 is falling 18 per cent short, with an existing 40,525 working officers, while it can accommodate 49,737 officers. The decision that the toppers of NDA have made is a positive sign, say experts.
Cadet Jitender Kumar, who got Commandant’s Silver Medal for standing first in Computer Science stream with the highest FGPA (Final Grade Point Average) and also bagged the Chief of Naval Staff Trophy for standing first among all the three streams, said that he wishes to join the Military Intelligence after completing his training at the IMA.
Kumar whose origins are in Haryana, first came to Pune after clearing the entrance exam for IISER (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research). However, six months into the course, he came to know that he has cleared the NDA entrance exam, after which he quit the former institute. “I feel proud. I never thought I’d top the class when I came here. But after I stood first in the first term, I realised that it was possible to clinch the trophy. My grandfather and father both served the Army, so it was an obvious choice for me,” said Kumar.
DCC Rakesh Kadian, whose father is a farmer and mother a housewife, says that it was his uncle who inspired him to join the armed forces. Kadian, who hails from Jhajjar district of Haryana, says that the villagers respected his uncle who served the Army a lot. “My parents asked me to appear for the NDA entrance as they wanted me to be like my mamaji (uncle).” Kadian studied in R.E.D Senior Secondary School in Jhajjar, which has given 11 cadets to NDA in the past. “After my selection at the NDA, the rigorous physical activity didn’t bring me down because in Haryana, we’re used to tough physical work. Although communication was a hassle, as years passed by, my language skills improved,” said Kadian, who now speaks fluently in English. Kadian’s choice after training at IMA is Artillary, a branch of Indian Army.
BCC Abhishek Kundalia, who hails from Uttarakhand, comes from a military background. While his father has served the Navy, his uncle was an officer in the Army. Kundalia has set his eyes on the Gorkha Regiment, which he feels suits him the best. “We lived with the Gorkha infantry, and on a field visit, I loved it.” Kundalia hails from Dehradun, where the IMA is based. “There’s just one hill separating my house and the IMA, I’m excited to go back to my hometown,” he said.