New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the Passing Out Parade of the 137th course at the National Defence Academy (NDA) in Pune today. A total of 284 cadets graduated from the Academy as they passed through the portals of the prestigious Khetrapal Parade ground. There were 188 Army cadets, 38 Naval cadets, 37 Air Force cadets and 20 cadets from friendly foreign countries. The foreign cadets belonged to Bhutan, Tajikistan, Maldives, Vietnam, Mauritius, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
Addressing the gathering, the Singh complimented the cadets for their turnout and impressive drill movements. He congratulated the parents of the cadets and appreciated the decision of sending their children to the Armed Forces. Singh said the grit and grime of the National Defence Academy toughens cadets to face any challenge in their military career ahead. He said professionalism can only be attained by discipline which these cadets have imbibed.
The Defence Minister added that India has been spreading the message of peace under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the country has shown that it can be tough and aggressive whenever required. He credited the jointness of all the forces, including military and paramilitary, to achieve this goal, saying that the credit for India’s fight against terrorism goes to the Armed Forces, Central Armed Police Forces as well as the Police.
“India has always believed in building peaceful and friendly relations with all countries. We have no extra-territorial ambitions and we do not interfere in the affairs of any other country. But if someone tries to disturb peace in our country, we will give a befitting reply,” Singh said. He reiterated the Government’s commitment to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation.
Singh stressed on the need to remain prepared to deal with terrorism as well as the new threats of the 21st Century, including cyber threats and hate-filled ideologies.
The Defence Minister added that it is remarkable how officers in uniform provide humanitarian assistance during natural calamities and help their brothers and sisters in distress without a thought for their own safety.
At the Passing Out Parade, the President’s Gold medal was awarded to Academy Cadet Captain Majji Giridhar for being first in overall order of merit. The President’s Silver medal was awarded to Battalion cadet captain Kushagra Mishra, while battalion Cadet Captain NK Vishwakarma won the President’s Bronze medal. ‘Mike’ Squadron bagged the Chief of Staff banner presented during the parade for being the champion squadron.
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Southern Command Lt General SK Saini also attended the Parade.