The core values of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, which nurtures officers of the British army, and of India’s officers training academies are the same, according to the United Kingdom cadets who visited the Officers Training Academy (OTA) on Monday.
The delegation of 18 cadets from Sandhurst in the United Kingdom, who earlier visited the Indian Military Academy (IMA) and the Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (MCEME), Secunderabad, were all praise for the infrastructure of Indian training institutes. “The core values are more or less the same. But we were impressed with the scale of training in the OTA and the IMA,” said cadet Charlotte Robin, one of the five woman cadets in the 18-member delegation.
The number of women graduating as officers in the British Army is much lower than in the OTA, which is not significant when compared to the number in America. “Last year, we had around 90 women graduating along with 650 male officers,” said Robin.
In the OTA there are 150 women among the 690 cadets undergoing training and the Defence Ministry is planning to increase the ratio of women officers in the armed forces.
The infantry is out of bounds for British women. Robin, who prefers the Corp of Signals, feels women should be given a chance to join the infantry. The physical fitness of British woman cadets could be seen from the fact that they, along with their male counterparts, whitewashed their Indian counterparts in the OTA in a friendly hockey match.
Lt General S S Jog, commandant, OTA, said that such friendly matches would give cadets an understanding of team spirit, unity and cohesiveness and strengthen their confidence, professional standards and sportsman spirit.
He said that this type of goodwill exchange programme was an excellent opportunity to showcase the Indian Army and to understand contemporary training schedules being followed by armies of friendly foreign nations.
The delegation will visit the National Defence Academy before flying back to the United Kingdom on Friday. The UK has already prepared a road map to meet the armed forces needs of the next 10 years as its role in Afghanistan decreases.