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Army allows cadets to keep cellphones

For the first time in the history of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, 'Gentlemen Cadets' will be allowed to keep mobile phones. They will also get Internet access in their rooms. Rahul Singh reports.

delhi Updated: Aug 05, 2010 01:46 IST
Rahul Singh

For the first time in the history of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, 'Gentlemen Cadets' will be allowed to keep mobile phones. They will also get Internet access in their rooms.

But there's a rider.

The rookies can't flaunt BlackBerry handsets or other high-end models as the army does not want to create a class divide in the training institution, set up in 1932. The IMA has put a cap of Rs 2,000 on the price of handsets.

"Cadets have been allowed mobiles for the first time. They cannot carry phones to class but can have their fill during free periods," Lt Gen R S Sujlana, IMA commandant, told Hindustan Times.

Graduates sweat it out at the IMA for 18 months before joining the army as lieutenants. Cadets passing out from the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, also train at the IMA for a year.

Besides keeping the cadets in touch with family and friends, IMA authorities feel cellphones will help take the edge off the rough and tumble of military training.

"Cadets won't feel left out any longer as cellphones have become a necessity. A conversation with the family could be soothing after a bad day," said a lieutenant.

Furthermore, all 1,400 cadets at the IMA will get Internet access with the setting up of a 'thin client' network.

"We can foresee cadets taking exams in their rooms," Sujlana said.