2 New Squadrons in NDA – To Address Officers’ Shortage in Army, Navy & IAF

The National Defence Academy (NDA) is increasing the strength of military cadets by around 400 to cater to the shortage of officers in the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. Hence, NDA is planning to expand its infrastructure keeping in mind a demand for training of foreign cadets and ground duty cadets of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

History of NDA, Pune

National Defence Academy (NDA) was established at Khadakwasla, Pune, in 1955, as the premier tri-service military training institution.

Number of Squadrons in NDA

Currently NDA has 18 squadrons however, with addition of 2 more squadrons, the count will go to 20. Each squadron has 120 Cadets undergoing rigorous training. About 2,020 cadets undergo training at NDA.
With the addition of 2 new NDA Squadrons, the overall strength will go around 2,400 cadets.

The intake will increase. This will primarily cater for the current shortfall of officers in the armed forces, but also take care of the growing demand for training of foreign cadets from friendly countries and IAF cadets who are training for ground duty roles in NDA,” a defence source said.

Name of Squadrons in National Defence Academy:

  • Alpha
  • Bravo
  • Charlie
  • Delta
  • Echo
  • Foxtrot
  • Golf
  • Hunter
  • India
  • Juliet
  • Kilo
  • Lima
  • Mike
  • November
  • Oscar
  • Panther
  • Quebec
  • Romeo

Shortage of Officers in Armed Forces:

According to the data of 2019, Minister of State for Defence Sripad Yesso Naik had said that there was an overall shortage of 9,427 officers in the armed forces. This includes:

  • 7,399 Officers shortage in Indian Army
  • 1,545 Officers shortage in Indian Navy
  • 483 Officers shortage in the Indian Air Force

Since last year, NDA has has started training air force cadets for ground duties since last year. The second batch of cadets reported in March-April this year.

As for foreign cadets, there are currently about 20 per course. “The aim is to take it to 50 per course,” a second defence source said.

Battalions in NDA

Currently, training cadets at NDA are divided into five battalions. Battalion No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 have four squadrons each (in alphabetical order) and Battalion No. 5 has two squadrons.

By adding new squadrons, existing infrastructure at NDA would accordingly be enhanced. There are plans to enhance the capacity of the cadets’ mess, the Arun Khetrapal parade ground as well as the auditorium called Habibullah Hall, which is named after Maj. Gen. E. Habibullah, the first NDA commandant.

Increase in NDA Vacancies

Lakhs of candidates appear for the National Defence Academy (NDA) examination and the Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination to join the defence services every year.

In December last year, the vacancies for the 147th course was 370. With the addition of 2 NDA Squadrons, additional vacancies would be released on a half-yearly basis, which means around 30-35 additional vacancies per course would be admitted.

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