NDA alumni have led and fought in every major conflict in which the Indian Armed Forces has been called to action since the academy was established. The alumni include 3 Param Vir Chakra recipients and 9 Ashoka Chakra recipients. National Defence Academy has produced 27 service Chiefs Of Staff till date. Current Chiefs Of Staff of theArmy, the Navy and the Air Force are all NDA alumni.
The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) was established on 5 February 1964 in response to the defence needs of independent Nigeria to train officers for the Armed Forces of Nigeria. Before then, the institution was known as the Royal Military Forces Training College (RMFTC). After independence in 1960, it became known as the Nigerian Military Training College.
The role of the Academy is to provide each officer cadet with knowledge, skills and values necessary to meet the requirements of a military officer through military, academic and character development. In essence, the NDA is an institution where selected young able-bodied men and women are groomed into well educated, courageous, virile and erudite subalterns.
The vision of the NDA is to produce officers with broad-based training in both military and academic subjects designed to serve as a foundation for the future progressive development of officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
Mission Statement of NDA
The mission of NDA is to provide each officer cadet with the knowledge, skills and values necessary to meet the requirements of a military officer through military,academic and character development.
Applicants to the NDA are selected via a written exam conducted by the UPSC, followed by extensive interviews covering general aptitude, psychological testing, team skills as well as physical and social skills, along with medical tests. Incoming classes are accepted twice a year for semesters starting in July and January. About 320,000 applicants sit for each written exam. Typically, about 9,000 of these are invited to interview. Applicants to join the Air Force also go through a Pilot Aptitude Battery Test. About 300-350 cadets are accepted to the academy each semester. About 66 cadets are accepted for the Air Force, 39 for the Navy and 195 for the Army.
Cadets who are accepted and successfully complete the program are sent to their respective training academies for one year of training before granting of commission: army cadets go to IMA at Dehradun, Air Force cadets to AFA at Dundigal, Hyderabad, and naval cadets to INA, Ezhimala, Kerala. A cadet can only decline a commission in case of a serious permanent medical condition caused during the program
About NDA Academic Activities
The NDA offers only a full-time, residential undergraduate program. Cadets are awarded a Baccalaureate degree (a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science or a “Bachelor of Technology” ) after 3 years of study. Cadets have a choice of two streams of study.
The Science stream offers studies in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science. The Humanities (Liberal Arts) stream offers studies in History, Economics, Political Science, Geography and Languages.
In both streams, academic studies are split into three categories.
- In the Compulsory Course, cadets study English, Foreign Languages (Arabic, Chinese, French or Russian), Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science, History, Political Science, Economics and Geography. Note that all cadets must take basic classes in all these subjects except Foreign Languages. Cadets then take advanced classes depending on their chosen stream.
- The Foundation Course is mandatory and comprises Military Studies and General Studies. Subjects such as Military History, Military Geography, Weapons systems and Armaments, etc. are covered in Military Studies. Subjects such as Geopolitics, Human Rights, Laws of Armed Conflict and Environmental Sciencesare covered in General Studies.
- The Optional Course focuses on subjects specific to the cadet’s chosen Service.
Cadets spend the first four semesters on the Compulsory Course and the Foundation Course. They take the Optional Course during the fifth and sixth semesters. They may transfer to other Service academies for the optional courses.
Training in NDA
All the cadets joining the NDA after their 10+2 Examination are trained in the Academy for three years culminating in graduation with BA/BSc or BCs (Computer Science) degree of Jawaharlal Nehru University. Apart from academic training they are also trained in outdoor skills, like Drill, PT and games. The emphasis in NDA is on character building, esprit-de-corps, mental and physical robustness, leadership and a sense of keen observation.
NDA has an excellent infrastructure for all-round training of cadets and a vast array of facilities like spacious and well-maintained classrooms, well-equipped labs, two Olympic size swimming pools, a gymnasium, 32 football fields, 2 polo grounds, a cricket stadium and a number of squash and tennis courts. The academic year is divided into two terms, viz. Spring (Jan. to May) and Autumn (July to Dec.). A cadet must undergo training for a total of six terms before graduating from the NDA.