Ezhimala Indian Naval Academy commandant vice-admiral Pradeep Chauhan has said the academy is on a fast pace of developmentdespite the infrastructure bottlenecks it is facing.
“We are confident of overcoming infrastructure shortcomings with the completion of the second phase of development. An academy of this stature is not built in a day, it is a continuous process,” he told while interacting with the media on Saturday.
“We induct more persons, which is beyond the present capacity of the academy, as the demand for officers, sailors and civilians has increased. After the admissions for next term in January we expect to have more than 1,100 cadets against the capacity of 750. We have over 960 cadets now,” he said.
He said work on the second phase is expected to complete in four years which would raise the capacity to 1,200. According to INA officials unavailability of labourers has been affecting the progress of construction works.
“Staff requirement will also go up with the expansion of the academy. INA is already facing huge staff shortage, especially at the professor level,” he added.
Also, more state-of-the-art equipment would be installed for training the cadets. As of now the academy has only one simulator to train students about sea voyage. It is planning to buy three more such simulators.
“At the same time INA has increased interaction with prestigious institutions in the country, especially the NITs in Surathkal and Kozhikode,” said the INA commandant. He also said the academy is developing a sea-based training infrastructure that would give more practical experience to students.
“We are here to protect, promote and preserve the maritime interest of the nation, as our economy mainly depends on the sea,” he said.
“Though the academy has not started taking residential students from other nations, there are some short-term programmes as part of which marines from other nations visit here,” said the INA commandant. A team from Germany had visited the academy recently.
Against the backdrop of recent reports of hoax bomb threat in Ramanthali near the academy, the academy has beefed up security measures. “We have to take precautions and tighten security measures and will not be terrorized by any threat,” he said.
Though many programmes had been planned for the Navy Day celebrations on Tuesday, including the ongoing international sailing regatta, it was later decided to make it a low-key affair due to the demise of former Prime Minister I K Gujral. He also said the Navy has a great role to play in the economic well-being of the nation because majority of the trade takes place via sea routes and hence guarding the seas is a major responsibility.