Source: outlookindia As many as 1,256 cadets quit the National Defence Academy (NDA) between January 2008 and November 2017, allegedly due to excessive nature of the unsanctioned punishments.
Asia Times has accessed a report jointly prepared by the Integrated Defense Staff Headquarters and the NDA that has revealed the rate of young cadets quitting the institution. The dropout rates amount to between 16% and 20% of the intake each year.
Alumni of the premium defence school blame ragging, unofficial training and excessive physical punishment for the high attrition rate and describe the torture at the hands of senior cadets as sadistic and misguided.
In 2015, Pune Mirror reported that perhaps for the first time in the history of the NDA, as many as 40 cadets have dropped out of the 127th course (spanning the three-year period of 2011- 14), unable to bear the hardship of physical training. Up until then, the average dropout rate has veered between 10 and 15 from each batch.
Retired Colonel PK Royal Mehrishi, an NDA alumnus, told Asia Times senior cadets ask juniors to roll down staircases of three-story buildings, vault over a wooden horse, do backflips, hand-springs etc without the supervision of any qualified instructor.
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Senior cadets believe they’re toughening them for war or better performance in the hard-fought inter-squadron competitions,” he said.
Colonel (retired) Vinay Dalvi, a former NDA instructor, said senior cadets often justified the punishments as a mode of getting the freshmen into the grind. He said a senior cadet, or the overstudy, often faced punishment from divisional officers for newcomers’ mistakes. This, he said, put severe pressure on the freshmen.
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