The National Defence Academy (NDA) is being expanded to augment its annual intake of military cadets. The increase of around 400 will address the shortage of officers in the armed forces.
Another reason for the increase is to cater to the demand for training of foreign cadets and ground duty cadets of the Indian Air Force (IAF). “The intake will increase. This will primarily cater to the current shortfall of officers in the armed forces, but also take care of the growing demand for training of foreign cadets from friendly countries and IAF cadets who are training for ground duty roles in NDA,” a defence source said.
The Print found out from a defence source that two more squadrons would be added to the existing squadrons, thus taking the overall strength to 2,400 cadets. Currently, 2,020 cadets are undergoing training at NDA and each squadron has about 120 cadets.
In 2019, Minister for Defence Sripad Yesso Naik had said in a written reply that there was a shortage of 9,427 officers in the armed forces. This includes a shortage of 7,399 officers in the Army, 1,545 officers in the Navy, and 483 officers in the IAF, against the authorised strengths of the three services.