History Of INA

  • Before the National Defence Academy (NDA) was established in 1954, Indian Naval officer- cadets underwent four years of training at Dartmouth, United Kingdom with the Royal Navy and were commissioned as Sub Lieutenants upon their return. 'Direct' Entry Sub Lieutenants underwent basic training in the officer wing of the B & D School in Cochin.
  • By 1968, the shortage of officers became a cause of concern. As in the case of sailors, intake had to be stepped up to meet the requirements of the Russian acquisition programme. The required strength of 3,500 officers by 1975 necessitated an annual intake of at least 150 cadets. Since the NDA could not take more than 65 naval cadets per year, it became necessary to start a RSES (REVISED SPECIAL ENTRY SCHEME), and set up a Naval Academy, separate from the NDA. A temporary location for the Naval Academy to function, therefore, was required till such times a permanent Naval Academy could be set up. 
  • In 1969, approval was accorded for the commencement of the RSES. Under this scheme, naval cadets in the age group 17-20 years who had passed the Intermediate examination could be recruited in the Executive Branch. This scheme was identical to the NDA's SES (SPECIAL ENTRY SCHEME) except that the initial training of one year was to be conducted at Cochin. 
  • A temporary Naval Academy was, therefore, set up at Cochin in May 1969. RSES training commenced in Jan 1970 and the first batch of executive cadets passed out of the Naval Academy in December 1970. The Naval Academy continued training RSES cadets until January 1974. 
  • In 1973, the NDA got affiliated to the JNU (JAWAHARLAL NEHRU UNIVERSITY), New Delhi.  NDA cadets, on successfully passing their final examinations, received a Bachelor of Science degree from the JNU. The RSES cadets of the Naval Academy were thus, out-of-sync with their NDA counterparts. It was, therefore, decided that instead of taking in pre-graduate candidates, it would be cost-effective to recruit Science graduates, thereby reducing the duration of their training at the Naval Academy. 
  • In July 1974, the first batch of GSES (GRADUATE SPECIAL ENTRY SCHEME) cadets joined the Naval Academy for an initial training period of six months. Whereas the original sanction was for a total of 80 cadets to be trained every year, the Naval Academy now trained 80 cadets every 6 months.
  • As part of the 1974 reforms of naval training, it was decided that all officer courses should be conducted at the Naval Academy, and, it was to take over all the courses being conducted by the B & D School. The B & D School in Cochin was to be closed down after the shift of Direct Entry Seamen Training to Goa as soon as the STE (SAILORS’ TRAINING ESTABLISHMENT) was commissioned in 1976. From 1974 onwards, the Naval Academy, in addition to running basic courses for cadets, commenced conducting the following officer courses:
           Initial Training for Direct Entry officers of the Engineering and Electrical branches.
             Naval Science Orientation Course for officers of the Supply Branch and officers from friendly foreign navies.
             SDPPC (Specilal Duties Post Pomotion Course for sailors promoted to officers in the rank of Acting Sub Lieutenants in the SD cadre.)
             DM (Divisional & Management Course.)
             Lieutenants War Course.
             Upper Yardmen Course.
             Commanding Officers and Junior Commanders Course. 
The Interim Naval Academy at Mandovi
  • By 1976, the Naval Academy found that it was not cost effective to separately train cadets and  Acting Sub Lieutenants of various branches. It was decided, therefore, that initial training for cadets of the Executive Branch as also Acting Sub Lieutenants of all technical branches should be of the same duration, should have a common syllabus, and, should run concurrently. This was implemented from 1976 onwards. 
  • After 1976 and the acceptance of the Third Pay Commission's recommendations regarding changes in sailors' conditions of service, the Boy Entry Scheme was dispensed with and only Direct entry matriculate sailors were recruited. Training effort and costs could be minimised by having only one STE at INS Chilka, which was expected to be commissioned in 1980.
  • With the steady increase in the number of trainees in the 1970s, the Naval Academy found that it neither had the accommodation, nor the infrastructure to cope with extant training loads. It was, therefore, decided to obtain sanction for a new permanent Naval Academy. A decision was taken to re-locate the temporary Naval Academy from Cochin to INS Mandovi in Goa as soon as possible after the STE moved to INS Chilka. For this, it was necessary to remodel the existing STE at Mandovi to function as a Naval Academy for officer-level training. The Naval Academy eventually shifted to INS Mandovi in 1986. 
Conceptual Requirements for the New Naval Academy
  •  The 'essential' requirement was for a site of 100 acres, in the vicinity of the sea or a lake for seamanship and waterman-ship training, near a railhead yet removed from the township. The 'desirable' requirements were that the location should be within a short distance of a naval port with a bracing and moderate climate, thrown in for good measure. 
The Choice of Ezhimala
  • Ezhimala was chosen by Indian Navy to locate the Naval Academy due to its picturesque surroundings, seafaring traditions of the region and rich historical past. In 1982, the Government of India approved the Navy's proposal after the Government of Kerala agreed to provide the proposed 2500 acres of land and basic infrastructure for area development, free of cost. The predominant hill feature of Ezhimala, the Mount Dilli which is 260 m high. Mt Dilli Light house is situated in the southern part of the base and to the north lies with the Kavvayi backwaters.
  • The name ‘Ezhimala’ is believed to be the malayalam equivalent of ‘Seven Hills’ and is derived from the seven hills dominating the skyline of this area. The place was also known as ‘Elimala’ meaning ‘Rat Hill’ possibly due to the large number of rodents infesting the forests here. The name 'Ezhimala' was derived from ‘Ezhil Malai’ meaning land of beauty. Folklore has it that the seven hills are part of the ‘Rishabadri’ mountain that fell to the earth when Lord Hanuman was carrying the mountain with Mrita Sanjivani and other herbs to Lanka.
  • The history of the area is well documented over the last 1500 years. The area has been successively ruled by the Ashoka and Vijayanagaram empires as well as by Tipu Sultan. Ruins of fortifications erected by Tipu Sultan can be seen near Mt Dilli light house. The area fell into British hands, after they defeated Tipu Sultan in the third Mysore war. The Portuguese are also known to have held this land during the nineteenth century. The name Mt Dilli is understood to be a refinement of Mt D'elli which was the original name given by the Portuguese.
Selection of Design Architects
  • Naval Headquarters quite rightfully took the view that a Naval Academy was not built frequently, but once. After all, this Academy when commissioned was to provide us with the future leadership of the Indian Navy. The nation's best private architects, therefore, were invited to compete for the design of the prestigious Naval Academy.
  • The foundation stone was laid by the then Prime Minister (late) Shri Rajiv Gandhi on 17 January 1987 and in the same year,  Government approval for the design of the  Naval Academy by private architects and construction through consultants, was received. Consequently, in 1988, a PMB (Project Management Board) was constituted under the Defence Secretary, and a two-stage, all-India, architectural design competition was conducted.
  • Soon after, in 1991, during the economic crisis in the country, the Central Government was forced to cut back spending for the construction of the Academy. Further, this development was not helped by litigation resulting from the land-acquisition process. Consequently, construction could be commenced only after a decade later.
 Commencement of Training at Ezhimala
  •  On 06 Apr 05, the base depot ship INS Zamorin was commissioned at Ezhimala as part of Phase I of the three phases under which the entire Naval Academy Project was planned. In addition to being the base depot ship for the Academy, Zamorin was tasked with the responsibility of conduct of training for Naval Orientation Courses for Direct Entry Officers and cadets inducted under the 10+2 Technical Entry Scheme. Training for the first such course commenced on 08 Aug 05.  Zamorin’s responsibility of providing training came to an end in Jan 09 with the inauguration of the Indian Naval Academy proper at Ezhimala.  A total of seven Naval Orientation Courses has passed out from the portals of Zamorin prior to this transformational change in roles. Zamorin continues to provide complete administrative and logistics support to the Indian Naval Academy.