Indian Military Academy recently commemorated its 90 years of glorious existence. It was way back on October 1st, 1932 that IMA came into existence.
However, the roots of the substratum of the Indian Military Academy were not easy. The group of prominent Indian Army leaders persuaded the Indian government (back then led by British India) for almost a decade under the leadership of Field Marshal Sir Philip Chetwode. The Indian Military College Committee’s recommendation was taken into consideration making way for establishment of ‘Indian Military Academy in Dehradun on October 1st, 1932. Brigadier LP Collins was the first Commandant and led the 1st Batch of ‘40 Gentlemen Cadets’ in 1934 who are termed, Pioneers.
The 1st batch passed out of the Academy in December 1934 comprised the likes of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, General Muhammad Musa and Lieutenant General Smith Dun, who went on to become the Army Chiefs of India, Pakistan and Burma respectively. During the upsurge of the 2nd World War in the 1940s, the training time was reduced from 2½ years to 6 months. Since the time of Independent India, the alumnus of IMA has served in every single war and shown their heroics on all the battlefields. The IMA’s maxim is ‘वीरता और विवेक’ construed as ‘Valour and Wisdom’.
For an inter-academic rivalry and brotherhood, IMA had divisions comprising 4 battalions made in 1974, in the names of former legendary veterans- “Cariappa, Manekshaw, Thimayya and Bhagat”. Noticeably, the present Afghan Taliban leader- Abbas Stanikzai was a 1982 batch cadet under Indo Afghanistan Defence Cooperation Programme.
Since its inception, the IMA has trained more than 60,000 cadets who have gone on to serve armies across the world. Hrithik Roshan starrer Lakshya (2004) was partly shot in IMA Dehradun. At present, the intake capacity of IMA is 1,650 and the academy is assiduous to bring laurels and valour to the nation.