Course Completion Ceremony held at Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala
Implementing all precautionary protocols of COVID – 19, 259 trainees of Indian Naval Academy smartly turned up in whites with mask and gloves for a unique event christened as Course Completion Ceremony, in lieu of the traditional Passing Out Parade on 13th June 2020. The POP for any Armed Forces Academy is a solemn occasion usually conducted with grandeur and sheen witnessed by parents, guests and dignitaries. However in times of the COVID – 19 crisis, the ceremony was aligned to follow the safety protocols, wherein health and of safety all trainees, is of paramount importance. To prevent congregation of people from myriad States and Union Territories, parents and guests were not invited.
The ceremony witnessed completion of training for the Midshipmen and cadets of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, and friendly foreign navies belonging to the 98th Indian Naval Academy Course (BTech), 98th Indian Naval Academy Course (MSc), 29th Naval Orientation Course (Extended) and 30th Naval Orientation Course (Regular). The successful trainees from friendly foreign countries comprised seven trainees; two trainees each from Sri Lanka and Myanmar, and one each from Maldives, Tanzania and Seychelles.
Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, PVSM, AVSM, NM, VSM, ADC, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, who was the Reviewing Officer for the occasion, awarded medals to nine meritorious trainees. Vice Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, AVSM, NM, Commandant, Indian Naval Academy was the Conducting Officer. The Reviewing Officer, in his address, congratulated the passing out courses and urged them to live by the Indian Navy’s core values of ‘Duty, Honour and Courage’. He advised them to remain updated with technological developments, geopolitical changes, developments in warfare and leadership skills. He affirmed his confidence that the cadets would continue the tradition of the Armed Forces being the true custodians of the honour and integrity of the country. He especially congratulated the parents, though not present, for supporting the cadets in their choice of career, which would undoubtedly bring them the satisfaction of serving their country and earn the respect of their fellow citizens. He also complimented the Instructors of the Academy.
The ‘President’s Gold Medal’ for the Indian Naval Academy B.Tech course was awarded to Midshipman Sushil Singh. The ‘Chief of the Naval Staff Gold Medal’ for the Naval Orientation Course (Extended) was awarded to Cadet Bhavy Gujral. The ‘Chief of the Naval Staff Gold Medal’ for the Naval Orientation (Regular) Course was awarded to Cadet Vipul Bharadwaj. The ‘Zamorin Trophy’ for the best women cadet was awarded to Cadet Riya Sharma.
On 20 November 2019, INA was bestowed with the President’s Colour for rendering 50 years of yeoman service in shaping Naval leaders for Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Friendly Foreign Countries. Ever since the establishment of present Naval Academy at Ezhimala in 2009, this is the first time that the training of a batch culminated without a ceremonial march past due to ongoing COVID – 19 pandemic situation. As the nation navigated the lockdown and the exit in phases, training structure at INA too was modified with effect from 24th March 2020 to ensure adherence to all Government of India, Government of Kerala and Naval Headquarters directives. Training was carried out initially by online assignments, and later with dispersed seating with minimum 6 feet interspacing in class rooms and exam halls. Stringent precautionary measures instituted by the academy has helped in accomplishing the challenging goal of training more than 900 cadets and successful culmination of the Spring Term with nil COVID-19 cases at INA.