Officers Training Academy or OTA Chennai is a premier institute of Indian Army for training Men and Women into officers for the Short Service Commission into Indian Army. This institute holds a great importance as it has been giving able officers to Indian Army since a long time.
The difference between IMA and OTA is that while IMA trains men for Permanent Commission, all men and women for Short Service Commission are trained in OTA.
The Academy is located amid a sprawling estate of 650 acres traversed by River Adyar adjoining the Chennai International and Domestic Airport, about 15 kms from the Chennai Central Railway Station along the Grand Southern Trunk (GST) Road in Chennai.
About OTA Chennai
The history of OTA dates back to World War II, when seven Officer Training institutes established in India. However, these schools were closed down after the war. In 1962 after the war with China, India felt the need to establish Institutes to train more officers for Indian Army, two officers training schools were established as a result, one in Chennai (then Madras) and one in Pune. These Officer Training Schools (OTS) were established with the motive to cater officers for the emergency commission.
Picture Courtesy: Dilip Muralidaran
The first Emergency Commission (EC) course began with a complement of 442 young Indians. Their training began in this prestigious institution on 15 Jan 1963. Brig Ram Singh the first Commandant along with Shri C Subramaniam, the then Union Minister for Steel and Heavy Industries, formally inaugurated it with an inspiring speech that has proved prophetic time and again.
The Emergency Commission courses continued till April 1965 and EC–12 was the last course to pass out. When the Emergency Commission Courses were discontinued, OTS started training Gentlemen Cadets for Short Service Commission (SSC).
The scheme also included SSC Course (compulsory liability scheme) for Class I and II Gazetted Officers of the Central Government and Public Undertakings. The scheme ended in 1968 when SSC courses for Technical Arms and Services were introduced.
In the seventies few essential infrastructural developments like Swimming Pool, Auditorium, Science Block and Laboratories, Drill Square, Cadets Mess; Weapon Training sheds were created to facilitate GC’s training.
Renaming of OTS to OTA
In 1985, the institution was granted permanent status and proposal was sent to convert the School to an Academy. The much awaited approval from Army HQ was received on the New Year’s Eve.
A Special Sainik Sammelan was held on 01 January 1988 in the auditorium as a part of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations, where Maj Gen N Vishwanathan, the then Commandant, announced this significant re-naming from OTS to the Officers Training Academy (OTA), placing the Academy at par with the Indian Military Academy and the National Defence Academy.
With due course of time, when women were taken in Indian Army as commissioned officers, OTA has trained them as well into able officers of Army. The first batch of women consisting of 25 candidates was trained by OTA Chennai, the training began on 21 September 1992. OTA excels in providing real life atmosphere for training. It is well equipped to train officers for Counter Insurgency operations giving a real jungle lane shooting range and grenade lobbing area.
Officers for all kinds of job who have been appointed for SSC are trained here, be it administrative jobs, technical jobs or JAG entry etc. OTA has been an honor for India, giving able officers to the Army. It is indeed a dream of many to join this institute, keep working hard as dreams do come true!