What comes to your mind when you think of joining Indian Army as a Commissioned Officer? Well, there will be two names that bombarded in your mind i.e. Indian Military Academy and Officers Training Academy. With the halt of Technical Graduate Course (TGC Entry), most of the engineering candidates are being commissioned under the Short Service Commission and hence undergo vigorous training at the OTA.
Currently, there are two Officers Training Academies, one is situated in Chennai and second is in Gaya. OTA Chennai is the oldest among the two that encompass a vast history and amazing facts. So, we are presenting some amazing facts about Officers Training Academy, Chennai.
Amazing Facts about Officers Training Academy, Chennai:
1. Even before the actual establishment of OTA, seven Officers Training Schools were set up in different parts of the country during 1942-45. The establishment was made to train huge count of officers, required at the time of World War II. But after WWII ends, these schools were totally closed down.
2. The OTA was then started as Officers Training School and was established in Pune and Chennai (then Madras), in 1962. The OTS Pune was not successful and was closed in 1964. But OTS Chennai continues to train the Officers for Indian Army. The OTS Chennai was initially established for Emergency Commission into Indian Army, but later it was granted permission to train Officers for Short Service Commission in Indian Army.
3. It was officially inaugurated on 15th January 1963 by Brigadier Ram Singh. He was also designated as the first Commandant of the Chennai Training School. With the regular delivery of commissioned officers, on 2nd February 1965, OTS Chennai got permission to train Army officers for Short Service Commission.
4. Till 1985, OTS was not permanent. It was given a permanent status in 1985. On 1st January 1988, the Officers Training School was renamed to Officers Training Academy to make a tally with National Defence Academy (NDA) and Indian Military Academy (IMA).
5. Since the beginning, OTA Chennai was established to train male officers, but from 1992, the era changed as the first batch of 25 women officers were commissioned in Indian Army. Major Priya Jhingan was the first lady cadet of the Officers training academy. The cadet number of Major Priya was Cadet-001.
6. At OTA Chennai, Officers for all branches of Indian Army are trained except Army Medical Corps. The officers for AMC are trained at the AFMC, Pune.
7. The Officers Training Academy, Chennai is considered to be the toughest Military academy among other training academies. The major reason behind is the harsh climate conditions that affect the physical stamina of the cadets undergoing training.
8. OTA has its own song “Rohini”. The song was composed by the combined efforts of Subedar SP Gautam, Gentlemen Cadets, and other officers. It was finally approved by the Commandant Major General N Vishwanath.
9. There are many OTA alumni who showed their skills in spots and made India proud. In 1973, Officer Harcharan Singh led his battalion to show the best of their skills that made them enter World Cup Hockey Championship at Amsterdam. He also represented India at 1976 Olympics. Officer Harcharan Singh was honored with Arjuna Award in 1981. Captain Romeo James also made India proud when he represented Indian hockey team as the star Goalkeeper at Los Angeles Olympics.
10. Major Mohammed Ali Shah is one of the famous theater personality and Social Activist. He is actually a notable alumnus of Officers Training Academy, Chennai. His acting skills can be seen in many of the Bollywood movies like Agent Vinod, Haider, Vodka Diaries and Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
11. Major Gaurav Arya is also a notable alumnus of OTA, Chennai who served the 17th Battalion in Indian Army. After getting retirement, he turned into a media personality and is nowadays seen with the famous news channel Republic TV owned by Arnab Goswami.
12. Colonel Saurabh Singh Shekhawat is one of the highly decorated officer who is commisioned form Officers Training Academy. He has ascended Mount Everest for three time. Along with that, he has also climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mount Blanc. He has climbed more than 14 peaks.
13. The officers training academy has also produced many heroes that recite the story of bravery during the war and made this institution proud. All of them are named as OTA Alumni. Major Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri, Lt. Navdeep Singh, Major Ramaswamy Parameswaran are some of the renowned names.
List of Notable Alumni from OTA Chennai:
|Maj Ramaswamy Parameshwaran||Param Vir Chakra||8th Battalion Mahar Regiment|
|Maj D. Sreeram Kumar||Ashoka Chakra||39 Assam Rifles|
|Lt. Navdeep Singh (Posthumous)||Ashoka Chakra||15th Battalion Maratha Light Infantry|
|Capt (now Lt Col) Jas Ram Singh||Ashoka Chakra||6th Battalion Rajput Regiment|
|Capt Jasbir Singh Raina||Ashoka Chakra||10th Battalion Brigade of the Guards|
|(Retd) Maj Gen Cyrus A. Pithawalla||Ashoka Chakra||17th Battalion JAK Rifles|
|Lt Col Harsh Uday Singh Gaur||Ashoka Chakra||10th Battalion Bihar Regiment|
|Major Mukund Varadarajan (Posthumous)||Ashoka Chakra||44 Rashtriya Rifles|
|Colonel Jojan Thomas (Posthumous)||Ashoka Chakra||45 Rashtriya Rifles|
|Maj Kuldip Singh Chandpuri||Mahavir Chakra||23rd Battalion Punjab Regiment|
|2 Lt SS Samra (Posthumous)||Mahavir Chakra||Brigade of The Guards|
|Maj PS Ganapathi||Mahavir Chakra||8th Battalion Mahar Regiment|
|Maj Krishna Gopal Chatterjee||Mahavir Chakra||3rd Battalion 4 Gorkha Rifles|
|2 Lt Rajeev Sandhu||Mahavir Chakra||7th Battalion Assam Regiment|
|Maj Padmapani Acharya (Posthumous)||Mahavir Chakra||2nd Battalion Rajputana Rifles|
|Maj Sonam Wangchuk||Mahavir Chakra||Ladakh Scouts|
|Col Balwan Singh||Mahavir Chakra||18th Battalion The Grenadiers|
|Lt Keishing Clifford Nongrum (Posthumous)||Mahavir Chakra||12th Battalion JAK LI|
|Captain Pratap Singh (Posthumous)||Mahavir Chakra||75 Medium Regiment|
All of you, who are either preparing to join Indian Army, preparing for the SSB or are waiting for their Merit list to join the Officers Training Academy, Chennai, this article will help you learn more about your new home. Under your 49-weeks of training, a disciplined and responsible Army officer will be churned out from you.