Officers Training Academy
|Officers Training Academy|
|Motto||Serve with Honour (OTA Chennai)
Shaurya, Gyan, Sankalp (OTA Gaya)
|Established||15 January 1963
14 November 2011 (OTA Gaya)
|Campus||750 acres (3.0 km2) (OTA Chennai)
800 acres (3.2 km2) (OTA Gaya)
|Affiliations||Jawaharlal Nehru University|
The Officers Training Academy, Chennai (OTA) is a training establishment of the Indian Army that trains officers for the Short Service Commission. The 49 weeks course at the OTA prepares graduates for all branches of the Army, except for the Army Medical Corps. Established on 15 January 1963, the academy is spread over 750 acres (3.0 km2) about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of Chennai, India. A new academy has been set up at Gaya.
Seven Officers Training Schools were established in India between 1942-45 to meet the huge demand for officers to serve in the Indian and Commonwealth Armies during World War II. However, these schools were closed down at the end of the war.
In 1962, following the Sino-Indian War, India identified the need to expand the number of officers for effective operations. Two Officers Training Schools (OTS) were established in Pune and Madras (now known as Chennai) to train officers for Emergency Commission into the Army. The process of establishing the schools was begun in September 1962. The Chennai school was inaugurated on 15 January 1963, with Brigadier Ram Singh as its first Commandant. The Pune school had a short run and was closed in 1964. However, the school in Chennai continued to operate and on 2 February 1965, it obtained the sanction to shift focus to train officers for the Short Service Regular Commission.
The Short Service Regular Commission has evolved into the Short Service Commission, and the OTS has continued to train officers for these commissions. The school was granted permanent status in 1985. On 1 January 1988, the school was renamed as the Officers Training Academy (OTA), at par with the NDA and IMA.
The first batch of 25 women to be commissioned as officers into the Army, were trained at the OTA with training commencing on 21 September 1992.
OTA Gaya, raised in July 2011, is the third pre-commission training (PCT) academy of the Indian Army with a planned training capacity of 750 cadets. The aim of the academy is to train Gentlemen Cadets to become part of a professionally competent commissioned officer corps of the Indian Army. The academy is located amid an estate of approx 870 acres in a hilly terrain of Paharpur at Gaya. The Academy is located en route from Gaya to Bodhgaya, approx 7 km from Gaya railway station. The international airport of Gaya is adjacent to the Academy. In its vicinity is Bodhgaya, an international tourism destination. Gaya Cantonment dates back to World War II, as one of the headquarters of the British Army.
To mark the commencement of the academy, a flag hoisting ceremony was solemnised and the consecration of the raising of the academy was carried out in true secular tradition of the Indian Army, with recital of scriptures from holy books of different religions. The academy has been equipped with state of the art training facilities, at par with other pre-commissioning training institutions. The insignia of Officers Training Academy, Gaya has a two-colour background, with upper half as grey and the lower half blood-red, having two cross swords superimposed with the Dharmchakra. A scroll below bears the motto of the academy - 'Shaurya, Gyan, Sankalp' in devnagri.
The first batch of 149 trainee-officers underwent training in the academy during the period July 2011 to Jun 2012 and first passing out parade was conducted on 8 Jun 2012. The second batch after successful completion of their training (January 2012 - December 2012) passed out on 8 December 2012. A total of 176 cadets from TES 26 And SCO 29 courses passed out on 8 December 2012. The academy currently has the capacity to train 350 cadets and Lt Gen G S Bisht is the current (and third) commandant of the academy, taking charge in Oct 2012.
The OTA moulds young men and women into dynamic and capable officers. The officers are trained to perform effectively while guarding national frontiers, quelling internal disturbances, assisting civil administration during natural calamities, countering low intensity conflicts and participating in peacekeeping missions.
The training at the OTA aims at inculcating moral values, leadership traits, mental and physical robustness, a spirit of adventure and a will to win. The training emphasises the need of camaraderie and a commitment to excellence based on the four pillars of duty, honour, integrity and self-esteem.
Although the duration of training used to be changed to meet the emerging exigencies from time to time, it was reverted to 44 weeks in 1972 and recently changed. It is now 49 weeks. The training includes service training with camps, TEWTs and outdoor exercises, and General Awareness Training. While the first prepares the cadets for the command of an infantry platoon in war and during peace, the second provides the essential orientation towards technological advancement and the power of reasoning and expression.
Speech training to help the gentlemen cadets overcome glaring regional angularities and develop communication skills as well as leadership and management traits are accorded due importance in the curriculum. Traditional methods of ‘chalk and talk’ have given way to the extensive use of audio and visual aids. These include an audio-visual feedback system incorporating the best of micro-teaching and educational technology for generating an interest in multimedia research.
The extensive deployment of the Indian Army for counter-insurgency operations (CI operations) necessitated some restructuring of the curriculum at OTA. A CI operation capsule incorporating jungle lane shooting as well as the creation of a mock tribal village to impart training in cordon and search operations and house clearance drills was introduced. Talks and discussions on CI-operations related case studies are held with experienced service officers.
Lectures form a part of an ongoing series by experts in diverse fields who are invited to improve cadets’ awareness on various subjects.
The OTA entered the age of information technology with the inauguration of a state-of-the-art computer centre in February last year. The centre is equipped with pentium computers along with necessary peripherals. The centre has the capacity to train 70 cadets at a time. The work has also been completed on the Local Area Network (LAN) comprising 27 nodes for automation of the entire campus which became functional in April last year. The requisite software for the automation of cadets dossiers is at an advanced stage of preparation. This stride in information technology is bound to revolutionise all facets of functioning at OTA. An additional sum of Rs 50 lakh has already been allotted for further development in the field. Another multimedia computer lab along with a state-of-the-art language lab incorporating the latest language teaching software is now in the offing.
Competition is of paramount importance in a training programme in order to draw the best from the trainees. Numerous prizes and awards instituted include the Sword of Honour for the overall best Gentleman Cadet and the gold medal for the overall best lady cadet. Collective excellence and team spirit are fostered by the Chief of the Army Staff Banner and the Commandant’s Banner awarded to the companies declared all-round-best in a term in various events.
The alumni of the OTA have won numerous honours and gallantry awards.
Major Ramaswamy Parameshwaran, 8 Mahar, was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra (PVC), India's highest honor for gallantry, during Operation Pawan. Lieutenant Rajeev Sandhu was also posthumously awarded the Maha Vir Chakra during Operation Pawan.
Other famous OTA alumni include Second Lieutenant S.S. Samra and Kuldip Singh Chandpuri who were awarded Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) during Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Major Jasram Singh and Capt J.S. Raina were awarded the Ashok Chakra during counter insurgency operations in the northeast. Major K.G. Chatterjee won the Maha Vir Chakra in Siachen. Second Lieutenant C.A. Pithawalla was awarded the Ashok Chakra for counter-insurgency operations.
Four OTA alumni were awarded the Maha Vir Chakra during the Kargil war. These included Major Padmapani Acharya (Posthumous), Lieutenant Balwan Singh, Major Sonam Wang Chuk and Lieutenant Keishing Clifford Nongrum (Posthumous).
On 26 January 2012, Lt. Navdeep Singh, 15 Maratha Li was awarded with the Ashok Chakra posthumously. Lt. Navdeep Singh was of Kohima Coy, RS Bn during his cadet days at OTA.
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- "Gaya Officers Training Academy poised to conduct maiden passing out parade". Yahoo News. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "Gaya to get Army's second Officers Training Academy". Times of India. 10 Feb 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "OTA: Grooming Leaders". Sainik Samachar, Ministry of Defence. 2001-05-15. Retrieved 2011-11-27.