This is the first time that the training of a batch culminated without a ceremonial march past due to COVID – 19
19, 259 trainees of Indian Naval Academy showed up for Course Completion Ceremony, in lieu of the traditional Passing Out Parade on 13th June 2020. 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.
The POP for any Armed Forces Academy is an 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.
Therefore, to prevent congregation of people, 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, 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 advised them to imbibe the core values of Indian Navy ‘Duty, Honour and Courage’ in letter and spirit. He encouraged the cadets to keep the fighting spirit intact irrespective of the circumstances around.
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.
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.
According to the statement issues by the Indian Navy, 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.