Good news for Punjab! The dedicated team which runs the Armed Forces Preparatory Institute (AFPI) in SAS Nagar has vindicated the trust reposed in them by the Punjab Government. Thirtyfive out of 50 cadets were successful in the entrance examination for the National Defence Academy (NDA) conducted in August 2013.
Out of these, 23 have been finally selected for NDA and the Naval Academy after clearing the Services Selection Board (SSB). This result compares very favourably with other feeder schools for the military run by the central government. Apart from the hard work put in by the cadets themselves, the credit for this fine result goes to the commitment shown by the staff of the institute, including the core group of the director, psychologist and group testing officer who prepared them for the gruelling SSB also. The last year’s batch had produced seven results. Not just success in the NDA selection interaction with the cadets shows that the AFPI’s products are in every way aware, disciplined and ready to take their place as young citizens of the nation.
IMA FEBRUARY 1964 GOLDEN JUBILEE
Following the Chinese aggression in 1962, the Army’s rapid expansion meant that a huge number of officers mostly emergency commissioned ones were required to man the new units, formations and logistic infrastructure under raising. One of the largest ever batches of 1,192 officers were consequently commissioned from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) on February 8, 1964. The core comprised the 151 Gentlemen Cadets of the abbreviated 33rd IMA regular course, including within it the 24th NDA course. The largest number commissioned, some 914 officers were of course from emergency course serial-7.
Fifty-one of these officers got together once again to celebrate the golden jubilee of their passing out into the ranks of the army on June 18 and 19. The veterans presented a trophy of a warrior in armour to the Academy and in IMA tradition were dubbed ‘The Warriors’. These were the young men who answered their country’s call in time of need and defended the nation in 1965 and in the insurgencies of the 60s and 70s. It was this generation whose fighting qualities brought us victory in 1971.
BATTLE OF PIR KANTHI
The Pir Kanthi feature at 10,930 feet dominates the routes to Uri, Chakothi, Bagh and the Haji Pir Pass in the Pir Panjal range in Kashmir. To get to the top meant ascending 6,000 feet over steep, rocky, trackless terrain the ultimate climb being almost vertical.
During the summer of 1948 (the First Kashmir War), this was strongly held by 2nd Frontier Force Rifles of Pakistan. Nothing daunted 2/3 Gorkha Rifles made it up the mountain in the way only Gorkha soldiers can on the night of June 27/28. The enemy surprised by the speed and stealth of the attack sought to make a desperate last stand. A final charge was made with Khukris leading to the Pakistanis being routed leaving over 80 dead behind. For their grit, determination and the outstanding victory 2/3 GR were awarded the battle honour ‘Pir Kanthi’. The battalion had an exceptional record in the two World Wars fighting in France and Palestine in the first and North Africa and Italy during the second winning many battle honours and gallantry awards, including two Victoria Crosses.
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