Emphasising that the upcoming admission of 19 women candidates to the National Defence Academy (NDA) for the first time in June this year is “not a big deal”, Army chief General M.M. Naravane Wednesday hinted that the training criteria would be the same for men and women.
The Army chief also said common training for both men and women officers at the Officer Training Academy (OTA), Chennai, has ensured “all-around improvement in standard”.
Gen. Naravane said he had witnessed joint training when he visited the Bangladesh Military Academy, equivalent to India’s NDA. The Bangladeshi commandant had said that other than separate accommodation, everything else was the same, including physical training and endurance tests.
“When I came back, as GOC ARTRAC (head of Army Training Command), I knew that the training was done separately. The first order I passed was that all training at OTA Chennai will be combined. Apart from the staying part, all training is together,” he said. Gen. Naravane served as GOC ARTRAC from December 2017 to September 2018.
Gen. Naravane said this has led to great improvement in standards. “Men candidates who were shunning are now trying to impress everyone else. Lady cadets are also trying to match the standard of men. It has led to an all-around improvement,” he said while responding to a question at his annual press conference ahead of Army Day on 15 January.