Indian Military Academy (IMA) Dehradun

Indian Military Academy or IMA is the pride of India, as it is responsible for shaping young boys into Army officers. Established in 1932, IMA is a famous officer training academy of the Indian Army based in Dehradun.

The institution was recommended by the Indian Military College Committee and was set up under the chairmanship of Field Marshal Philip Chetwode in 1931. From a class of 40 gentlemen cadets in 1932, IMA now trains over 400 gentlemen cadets in a batch, having a total strength of 1,650 cadets.

This premier institution is a badge that our country wears, which boasts about independent India’s national security.

IMA Overview:

  • Address: 19, Chakrata Rd, Phase 2, Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, Uttarakhand 248007
  • Campus Size: 5.666 km²
  • Motto: वीरता और विवेक (Valour and Wisdom)
  • Founded: 1 October 1932
  • Campus: 1,400 acres (5.7 km²)

Motto of IMA:

The Academy lives up to its credo “Veerta aur Vivek” which translates into “Valour and Wisdom”. All army cadets have to undergo rigorous training for a year. After completing the course at IMA, the gentleman cadets are permanently commissioned into the army as Lieutenant.

It a great pride that until October 1, 2019, which marks the 87th raising day, over 61,000 gentleman cadets have graduated from IMA.

Character building is embedded in the honour code of IMA, which swears by the lines– “I shall not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate those who do so.”

The “Warrior Code” of IMA has been taken from “Bhagwat Gita“, which goes like– “I am a Warrior, fighting is my dharma.” Along with this it also speaks of compassion.

Honours bestowed upon the alumni of IMA Dehradun:

IMA has produced many notable alumni including India’s First Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw and the recipients of Param Vir Chakra, which is India’s highest military decoration.

The name of Param Chakra receipts are as follows: Somnath Sharma, Captain Vikram Batra, Lieutenant Colonel Hoshiar Singh and Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria. Other gallantry awards bestowed upon the alumni of IMA include 17 Ashoka Chakras, 84 Maha Vir Chakras and 41 Kirti Chakras.

How IMA came into Existence:

During British rule in India, the English gentry didn’t allow Indians to rose up to officer level or permitted local officer training. It was during World War I, where the Indian soldiers truly outshined among others.

Seeing their valorous act, the Montague-Chelmsford Reforms facilitated ten Indians per year to undergo officer training at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.

In the year 1922, the Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College (now known as the Rashtriya Indian Military College or RIMC) was set up in Dehradun. With the motive to prepare young Indians for admission to Sandhurst.

History of IMA:

The Indianisation of the army started with the commissioning of 31 Indian officers. However, the British still suppressed the demand for expanding the Indian officer cadre. The representatives brought forward this issue at the first Round Table Conference in 1930.

Gladly, the establishment of an Indian officer training college was one of the few concessions made at the conference. The first step towards it was setting up the Indian Military College Committee, under the chairmanship of Field Marshal Sir Philip Chetwode.

In 1931, the committee recommended the establishment of an Indian Military Academy in Dehradun to produce 40 commissioned officers twice a year, following two and a half years of training.

Another major turn in the glorious history of IMA was its expansion in January 1949 into Armed Forces Academy with the addition of Joint Services Wing at Clement Town, Dehradun, where Cadets of Army, Navy and Air Force were trained.

  • On 1st January 1950, the Armed Forces Academy in Dehradun was bestowed with a new name “National Defence Academy”.
  • Then in 1954, the Joint Services Wing of the National Defence Academy moved from Dehradun to Khadakvasla, Pune.
  • Only the Military Wing stayed back in Dehradun, which was renamed as Military College.
  • Finally, in 1960, the Military College was given back its original name “Indian Military Academy” by which it is known till date.

Rules and Life of Trainees at IMA Dehradun:

The centre of training for IMA is based in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. The Academy brings together GCs hailing from various ethnic backgrounds under one roof to inculcate a feeling of brotherhood and harmony. This encourages the young cadets to reflect on the greatness of India’s diversity and her secular fabric.

  • On admission, the trainees are known as gentleman cadets.
  • The GCs are to undergo Physical Training, Drills, Weapons/Artillery Training, Leadership Development, and Practices.
  • The academy ingrains the sense of responsibility amongst the gentleman cadets, that they should maintain the decorum of the academy at all times.
  • All Gentlemen cadets have to follow the rules and regulations of the academy, whether they are inside or outside the campus.
  • Even visits by family, friends or loved ones are made on particular days and timings.
  • One cannot overstay their visit and out-campus visits by GCs must be approved by the officials.

Since the academy offers outstanding career opportunities to its graduates. Therefore, many young guns are inspired to join the Indian National Army.

Training at IMA:

There are four training Battalions viz, Bhagat, Cariappa, Thimayya, and Manekshaw commanded by Colonels and assisted by Majors and Captains, who are the Company and Platoon Commanders.

  • The multi-dynamic training of GCs at IMA aims at working on the development of intellectual, moral and physical qualities, essential for leading and guiding the force. With the motive to produce future military leaders of the Indian Army.
  • The strict training regime at IMA pumps up the mental and physical strength.
  • It also sharpens the operational and administrative skills of the cadets.
  • Along with sweat and pain comes the fun too, and the gentleman cadets aren’t barred from it.
  • They are encouraged to actively take part in sports and indulge in gameplay including hockey, basketball, polo, athletics, football, aquatics, volleyball and boxing.
  • Even adventure activities are also undertaken at IMA, some of which are trekking, cycling, and rock climbing.
  • An annual sports meet is also held at IMA Dehradun, where other Indian military academies are invited.

Selection Procedure of Indian Military Academy:

The IMA cadets are required to undergo training at the academy for one year. While the graduates of a non-military college have to carry forward the training for one and a half years. The candidates who make it up to IMA are selected through various competitive exams.

There are various levels for which candidates have to prepare themselves for joining IMA. Some of the basic pre-requisite requirements for selection are Age limit, Physical and Medical requirements, etc.

If you are an Army aspirant, you need to check out the selection procedure of the Indian Military Academy Examination (IMA exam) attested below:

  1. Written Examination
  2. Medical Test
  3. Interview

The IMA aspirants must have a degree in any discipline from a recognised university. Similar to any other force, you need to pass the entrance exam to join IMA.

How to Join IMA? Here are the ways to join Indian Military Academy (IMA), the pride of Dehradun:

Through NDA Exam:

  • Candidates who have passed their 10+2 are eligible for appearing in NDA.
  • Only unmarried male candidates are eligible to write this exam.
  • The age limit of the male candidate should be between 16.5 to 19 yrs.
  • Candidates should have 10+2 degree with PCM as the main subjects.

Through CDSE:

  • Male graduates can join IMA through CDSE.
  • They have to appear for CDSE written and Pass SSB exam.
  • The candidates should be medically fit and come in the final merit.
  • The age limit of the candidate should be between 19 – 24 yrs.
  • There is no percentage bar which you need to get to apply for the CDS exam.
  • The exam is held twice a year in March/ April and September/October.

Technical Graduate Course (TGC):

  • Those who are studying in the final year or have completed B.E/B. Tech in required streams can join IMA through the technical graduate course within the age of 19 – 25 years.
    The duration of the training is 1 year.
  • Look out for the advertisement published in leading newspapers/employment news in May/Jun & Nov/Dec every year.

Through University Entry Scheme:

This entry can be made by a candidate who is in the final or pre-final year of engineering. The minimum percentage required is 60% and the age limit is between 20-25 years. Campus SSB interview is the mode of selection here.

  • Technical graduates, ex-NDA, ex-ACC, and University entry cadets undergo training at IMA for one year.
  • Direct entry cadets train for one and a half years while the TA officers for 3 months.
  • A Gentleman Cadet gets a stipend of Rs. 56,100/- per month (as per the 7th pay commission) for the entire duration of the course.

Physical Standards and Fitness Level expected from an Army aspirant:

One of the most important requirements that an army aspirant must work on is their physical fitness. Regularly working on strengthening the core strengths i.e. both mental and physical is necessary for an IMA aspirant.

It will help them not only during their training but also in the long run. Irrespective of the branch you may choose for yourself. It is mandatory to fulfill the basic physical standard check-marked by the academy itself.

Following are the General Physical Requirements common for all candidates:

  • The candidate must be physically fit and have sound mental health.
  • He should be free from any disease/disability.
  • There should be no skin infection, disease of bones and joints of the body.
  • The chest should be well developed, having a minimum of 5 cm expansion.
  • There should be no sign of functional or organic disease of the heart and blood vessel.
  • Blood pressure should be normal.
  • Urine examination is done and any abnormality if detected will lead to rejection.

Passing Out Parade (POP) in IMA:

One of the most talked about ceremonies in IMA is its Passing Out Parade or POP, which marks the completion of the training period. Traditionally, the adjutant leads the parade cracking a joke to lighten the atmosphere.

The ceremony is attended by senior officers and the family members of GCs, who come there to boost the morale of the cadets.

The army band plays an Aarti starting the POP ceremony, where the GCs pray to their respective gods. In 2019, the reviewing officer for the 136th parade was Lt. Gen. Cherish Mathson.

How to reach IMA Dehradun:

Indian Military Academy is located on NH72, approximately 10 km from Clock Tower, Dehradun. The national highway bifurcates the campus between the North campus and South campus. It is located on Chakrata road and is around 7 km away from Clock Tower, Dehradun.

One can easily reach here by taking shared autos, Vikram or bus which runs two and fro from the city centre Clock Tower. Dehradun railway station at 7 km is the nearest railhead and Jolly Grant airport at 35 km is the closest air connectivity from IMA.

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