Pune: The recent COVID-19 pandemic has witnessed unprecedented events unfolding across the world. The presence of over 1,900 cadets at the premier armed forces training establishment National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla, has necessitated comprehensive action and strict preventive measures to keep the NDA campus safe from Corona pandemic. The Passing Out Parade (POP), which is the culmination of the academic training, scheduled to be held at the end of the month, had come under a cloud. However, the authorities have clarified that the event will be held.
Reply to a query sent by Sakal Times, NDA stated, “The conduct of passing out parade (which will be as per schedule) and calling parents is still being deliberated upon as it depends on lockdown situation, government policies implied at that time.”
The POP is held twice every year in May and November. The parade is organised on the Khetrapal ground and witnessed by family members, friends of the cadets besides serving officers and veterans and other dignitaries. They are given special passes to enter the NDA campus.
According to NDA, keeping in view the vulnerability, precautions were initiated from the beginning of March itself. Activities like central functions, social gatherings and screening of movies etc were stopped. Subsequently, based on the instructions from higher headquarters and advisories of the Govt of India, the conduct of training at NDA has been suitably modified with effect 23 March.
“Quickly adapting to the lockdown and attendant restrictions, the faculty and staff at NDA initiated a vigorous drive to maximise usage of available IT infrastructure for the continuation of the academic curriculum of cadets. The ‘Thin Clients’ with cadets, connected through a ‘campus Area Network’ (CAN), were quickly configured to facilitate online classes, uploading of lecture videos, study material, online assignments and interface in conformity with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) guidelines”, the statement reads. NDA is affiliated to JNU, Delhi.
The officials further said that harnessing the full potential of the available IT resources has enabled NDA to complete the academy syllabus on schedule. The exams for the final term cadets are already in progress. For the ‘Junior Term’ will be conducted during the first half of May 2020.
While ensuring the requisite social distancing norms flexibility, adaptability and innovation have guided a constructive approach that endeavours to keep NDA campus COVID free and yet conduct essential training activities while conforming to the directions and guidelines about the prevailing situation.
The conduct of exams was planned under the direction of Deputy Commandant and Chief Instructor, adhering to all guidelines of social distancing as issued on time to time basis.