THE National Defence Academy (NDA) is soon going to launch a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) course in Applied Electronics and Communication Engineering for Naval cadets training at the academy. The course is being introduced considering the increasingly technical nature of modern warfare and to ensure training compatibility at the Indian Naval Academy (INA).
NDA is a tri-services training academy, which cadets join after Class XII. At NDA, they undergo a three-year training at the end of which they are awarded a BA or BSc degree. Thereafter, these cadets go for a year to the Indian Military Academy (IMA) at Dehradun, INA at Ezhimala or the Air Force Academy (AFA) at Dundigul for their pre-commissioning training into respective forces. Cadets from the Navy stream who pass out of NDA are awarded a BSc degree and, at INA, they are awarded a masters degree in science.
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However, other cadets who directly join INA after Class XII study a four-year engineering course.
“It is apparent Naval officers passing out of INA with an engineering degree will fare better than NDA officers, who have been trained in pure science. The fact that INA offers an engineering degree and NDA a BSc degree has made INA the preferred choice for Naval cadets. Of late, this is reflected in more number of cadets joining INA than NDA from feeder institutions like Sainik Schools,” an officer at NDA said.
“As per the proposal, the Naval cadets will complete three years of the BTech course at NDA along with service training. The remaining one year of academic and Naval service training will be imparted at INA. We have started the process for accreditation from the All India Council for Technical Education and approval from the affiliating university, which is Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), in the case of NDA,” the officer added.
Every year, around 10 per cent of the total cadets pass out from the Naval stream, which is around 40 at present. NDA authorities said they were planning to start the course from the next term and officers from the Naval Training Team (NTT) and education branch would be given the primary responsibility of co-ordination. Expansion of infrastructure and faculty recruitment too are in the pipeline.
In March 2012, NDA had started teaching BE (Military Engineering) to 350 cadets of the 127th course, who had joined in January 2012, after teaching the cadets BSc for the first three months. The teaching had begun though the course was awaiting approval.
In June 2012, when the 128th course joined, 400 cadets enrolled for BE and 50 for BA as the 127th course progressed to the second term of the yet-to-be-approved BE syllabus. A year later, in March 2013, NDA suddenly scrapped the course as it did not get approval. This time, sources said, NDA has already taken steps to obtain the necessary approvals.