A fourth generation soldier, a son of a farmer from Rajasthan and a cadet who views three years of rigorous training as a “marathon rather than a sprint” were among cadets who topped the National Defence Academy’s 145th course.
A total of 353 cadets were conferred their degree and course completion certificates from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) at the convocation of the 145th course of the NDA held on Wednesday. The cadets passing out include 77 cadets in science stream, 87 cadets in computer science and 55 cadets in arts stream.
As many as 137 cadets of the Navy and Air Force from the BTech stream received their three years’ course completion certificates. The Naval and Air Force cadets will be conferred their degree after completion of one year training at their respective pre-commissioning training academies i.e. Indian Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy (AFA) respectively.
The passing out course comprised 21 cadets from friendly foreign countries. Vice Chancellor of Savitribai Phule Pune University, Dr Suresh Gosavi was the chief guest and delivered the convocation address to the cadets.
The Chief of Army Staff’s trophy and Commandant’s silver medal for the cadet standing first in order of merit in academics in Science stream were awarded to cadet Ram Prasad Gurjar, who hails from Sanganer in Jaipur. Son of a farmer, Gurjar topped his course in third, fourth and fifth term and will be joining the Air Force after one year of pre-commissioning training.
When asked about initial days at the academy when his batch joined in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, cadet Gurjar said, “During that period, distant learning played a key role, which the academy was already fully equipped with. All the study material was available on the Local Area Network of the academy.”
The Chief of Naval Staff’s trophy and Commandant’s silver medal for the cadet standing first in order of merit in academics in computer science were awarded to Battalion Cadet Captain Pratham Singh, of Pathankot in Punjab. He will be the fourth generation Army officer when he is commissioned one year later.
An alumnus of the prestigious Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehrudun, Pratham said the friendships made during academy days last forever. “My great grandfather Lt Col Randheer Singh Salaria was our family’s first Army officer. My grandfather Colonel Teerath Singh is a Vir Chakra awardee from 1971 war and my mother Colonel Anuvan-dana Jaggi is serving with Corps of Signals. I feel lucky to continue this legacy,” said Pratham. “I have no words. This is a dream come true,” his mother said.
The Chief of Air Staff’s Trophy and Commandant’s Silver Medal for the cadet standing first in order of merit in academics in arts were awarded to Division Cadet Captain Vikram Singh, who belongs to Bathinda in Punjab. “The journey was more of a marathon rather than a 100 metre sprint. The journey gave us many life lessons which will be with us as we serve the nation,” said Singh.