Chandigarh, November 30
Two cadets from Punjab are among those who bagged the top honours in their course that passed out from the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla, on Thursday, on completion of three years’ training and graduation.
Battalion Cadet Captain (BCC) Pratham Singh, who hails from Pathankot, was awarded the President’s Gold Medal for standing overall first in the order of merit of the 145th Course.
He is also the recipient of the Chief of Naval Staff’s Trophy and Commandant’s Silver Medal for standing first in order of merit in academics in computer science.
The Chief of Air Staff’s Trophy and Commandant’s Silver Medal for standing first in order of merit in academics in social science was awarded to Division Cadet Captain Vikram Singh, who belongs to Bathinda.
A fourth generation officer in his family, Pratham is an alumnus of the Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehrudun. His mother, Col Anuvandana Jaggi is an officer with the Corps of Signals and is at present commanding an operational unit in Rajasthan.
She also had a stint as the leader of the United Nations Military Observer Team in the UN mission in Burundi, where she was awarded the United Nations Force Commander’s Commendation.
His grandfather Col Teerath Singh was decorated with the Vir Chakra for gallantry during the 1971 Indo-Pak War, while his great grandfather, Lt Col Randheer Singh Salaria was the first officer in the family.
Earlier, Pratham topped, both the RIMC batch, where he also excelled in equestrian at the national level and long jump, as well as the UPSC entrance examination for joining the NDA.
The passing out parade was reviewed by the President, Droupadi Murmu, who presented the awards to the outgoing cadets for excellence in various spheres during the three-year training period at tri-service ‘cradle of leadership’.
A total of 348 cadets, including 21 cadets from 10 foreign countries, passed out on Thursday, which included 186 from the Army, 105 from the Air Force and 36 from the Navy. They will proceed to their respective service academies for pre-commission training.
It was also for the first time that a contingent of 15 female cadets, at present in their third term at the NDA, took part in the passing out parade, a fact appreciated by the President during her address.
The first batch of 19 female cadets had joined the NDA last year. Cadets from second and third years take part in the passing out parade along with the outgoing course.
The NDA is completing 75 years of its establishment and all three current service chiefs – Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Admiral Hari Kumar and General Manoj Pande – are from the 61st course of the academy.
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