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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since the academy offers outstanding career opportunities to its graduates. Therefore, many young guns are inspired to join the Indian National Army.
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 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:
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.
Through NDA Exam:
Technical Graduate Course (TGC):
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.
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:
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.
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.