Says Navy poised to acquire high-end weaponry

Defence Minister A.K. Antony reviewed the passing out parade of the first batch of 60 Navy officer-cadets in the flagship B.Tech. course of the Indian Naval Academy (INA) here on Saturday.

Along with them were 242 other officer-cadets of the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG).

Mr. Antony said the INA had made considerable progress in every facet of naval training. The academy could be among the best in the world, he said in his address to the cadets. More infrastructure projects to modernise the armed forces were in the pipeline, he said adding that these would ensure the best training to the personnel.

Congratulating the cadets on completing the B.Tech. curriculum along with rigorous military training, Mr. Antony advised the officers to treat their subordinates with dignity and character.

Referring to the Navy’s decision to make B.Tech. degree mandatory for officers in its executive branch, the Minister said this would pave way for a technological transition as the Navy was poised to acquire high-end weaponry.

The B.Tech. course was started at INA when it was commissioned in January 2009 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Till then, only officers in the technical branches were required to have engineering degree. The cadets who passed out included those in the 84th Integrated Cadet Course, the 15th Naval Orientation Extended Course, and the 16th Naval Orientation Regular Course.

Eby P. Henry was awarded the President’s Gold Medal for coming first in the overall order-of-merit. The Chief of the Naval Staff Gold Medals for the cadets adjudged first in the overall order-of-merit for the Naval Orientation Extended Course and the Naval Orientation Regular Course were conferred on Anshu Bhau and Arun Kuriakose respectively. Archana Sharma got the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command Gold Medal for the best women trainee. There course had 23 women cadets from the Indian Navy and the ICG.

The parade concluded with the cadets marching past the INA’s Saluting Dias (known as the Quarterdeck), to the traditional notes of ‘Auld Lang Syne.’

Dornier aircraft of the Navy and the ICG flew past the venue in formation. On completion of the parade, the ceremony of Shipping-of-Stripes was held. During the ceremony, parents of the cadets affixed the rank insignias, known as ‘stripes,’ on the shoulders of their wards, symbolising their transformation from cadets to military leaders. The Defence Minister also paid homage at the INA War Memorial after the parade and inaugurated a state-of-the-art library named Panini.

Admiral D.K. Joshi, Chief of the Naval Staff; Vice-Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command; and Vice-Admiral Pradeep Chauhan, INA Commandant; were present. Also present were K. Sudhakaran, MP; and C. Krishnan, MLA.

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