Officers Training Academy

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Officers Training Academy
OTA Chennai
MottoServe with Honour (OTA Chennai)
Shaurya, Gyan, Sankalp (Valour, Wisdom and Resolve) (OTA Gaya)
TypeMilitary academy
Established15 January 1963 (1963-01-15) (OTA Chennai)
14 November 2011 (2011-11-14) (OTA Gaya)
Campus750 acres (3.0 km2) (OTA Chennai)
800 acres (3.2 km2) (OTA Gaya)
AffiliationsMadras University

The Officers Training Academy (OTA) is a training establishment of the Indian Army that trains officers for the Short Service Commission (SSC). The 49-week course at the OTA prepares graduates for all branches of the Army, except for the Army Medical Corps.[1] Established in 1963, the first academy is located in Alandur, a southern neighbourhood of Chennai. OTA chennai has an impressive tally of gallantry award including 1 Param Vir Chakra, 8 Ashoka Chakra, 10 Maha Vir Chakra, 22 Kirti Chakra, 63 Vir Chakra, 119 Shaurya Chakra and 587 Sena Medal earned by the officers commissioned from this academy bears testimony to the Valour and dedication displayed by the Alumni. A new academy was set up at Gaya in 2011;[2][3] but was given the go-ahead in December 2019 to be disbanded.[4]


OTA Chennai[edit]

2013 stamp dedicated to the Officers Training Academy at Chennai

Seven Officers Training Schools were established in India between 1942–45 to meet the huge demand for officers to serve in the Indian and Commonwealth Armies during World War II. However, these schools were closed down at the end of the war.

In 1962, following the Sino-Indian War, India identified the need to expand the number of officers for effective operations. Two Officers Training Schools (OTS) were established in Pune and Madras (now known as Chennai) to train officers for Emergency Commission into the Army. The process of establishing the schools was begun in September 1962. The Chennai school was inaugurated on 15 January 1963, for nation by and with Brigadier Ram Singh as its first Commandant.[5] The Pune school had a short run and was closed in 1964. However, the school in Chennai continued to operate and on 2 February 1965, it obtained the sanction to shift focus to train officers for the Short Service Regular Commission. OTA Chennai is spread over 750 acres (3.0 km2).

The Short Service Regular Commission has evolved into the Short Service Commission, and the OTS has continued to train officers for these commissions. The school was granted permanent status in 1985. On 1 January 1988, the school was renamed as the Officers Training Academy (OTA), on a par with the NDA and IMA.

The first batch of 25 women to be commissioned as officers into the Army were trained at the OTA, with training commencing on 21 September 1992.[6]

Cadets go through holistic training activities in their curriculum at OTA Chennai , including auxiliary programs such as Emergency Medical Response,[7] Search and Rescue[8] and Hand to Hand[9] combat from organizations such as Red Cross and Survival Instincts.

Cadets are organised in 2 Battalions namely Ranjith Singh Battalion and Shivaji Battalion. RS Bn consists of three companies, namely, Kohima, Jessami, and Phillora; Shivaji Bn consists of three companies, namely, Meiktila, Naushera and Zojila.

OTA Gaya[edit]

OTA Gaya, set up in 2011, is located amid an estate of approximately 870 acres in a hilly terrain of Paharpur at Gaya. The academy is located en route from Gaya to Bodhgaya, approx 7 km from Gaya railway station. The international airport of Gaya is adjacent to the academy. In its vicinity is Bodhgaya, an international tourism destination. Gaya Cantonment dates back to World War II, as one of the headquarters of the British Army.

Crest of OTA Gaya

To mark the commencement of the academy, a flag hoisting ceremony was solemnised and the consecration of the raising of the academy was carried out in true secular tradition of the Indian Army, with recital of scriptures from holy books of different religions.

The academy has been equipped with state of the art training facilities, at par with other pre-commissioning training institutions.

The insignia of Officers Training Academy, Gaya has a two-colour background, with upper half as grey and the lower half blood-red, having two cross swords superimposed with the Dharmchakra. A scroll below bears the motto of the academy – 'Shaurya, Gyan, Sankalp' in devnagri.

The academy provides basic military training to officer cadets of the TES (Technical Entry Scheme) course and the SCO (Special Commissioned Officer) course for a period of 12 months. Post the completion of basic military training, the cadets of TES proceed to Cadets Training Wing (CTW) in Pune, Secunderabad and Mhow for technical training, while cadets of SCO are commissioned as officers in the Indian Army after the passing out parade.

The academy has two battalions: Khetarpal battalion and Batra battalion, named after two of India's PVC awardees. Each battalion has two companies. Khetarpal battalion has Gurez and Kalidhar companies, whereas Batra battalion has Tithwal and Rezangla companies. They companies are named after famous battles of the Indian Army. Each battalion can accommodate upto 90 officer cadets each.

The first batch of 149 trainee-officers underwent training in the academy during the period July 2011 to Jun 2012 and the first passing out parade was conducted on 8 June 2012. The second batch after successful completion of their training (January 2012 – December 2012) passed out on 8 December 2012. A total of 176 cadets from TES 26 and SCO 29 courses passed out on 8 December 2012. The academy has capacity to train 350 cadets.

A gap of one and a half years due to covid pandemic saw minimal activities during the passing out parade. TES-38 was the first course to pass out from the portals of this academy after the hiatus.

Lt Gen PS Minhas is the current commandant of the academy, having taken charge in April 2022.[2][3]

The fort wall of OTA Gaya parade ground

In December 2019 the Defence Ministry gave the go-ahead to shut OTA Gaya due to lack of intake.[4][10]

Notable alumni[edit]

The academy has produced many war heroes and distinguished officers. Many have gone on to work for corporations after leaving the Indian Army. The OTA Alumni Association[11] was registered under the Societies Act 1860 at Chandigarh with all India jurisdiction.

Param Vir Chakra[edit]

Ashoka Chakra[edit]

Mahavir Chakra[edit]

Vir Chakra[edit]


  • Capt. Tania Shergill became the first Indian woman Parade Adjutant to lead an all-men contingent at an Army Day function in Indian Army.

President's Colours[edit]

Colour Presentation

The coveted Presidential Colours to the Academy was presented on 18 August 1990 by Shri R Venkataraman, the then President of India.

List of Commandants[edit]

The Commandant of the Officers Training Academy is the overall in-charge of all the functioning of the Officers Training Academy, Chennai. The Commandant of the College is a three-star rank officer (Lieutenant General) from the Indian Army. He is supported by the Deputy Commandant and Chief Instructor (DCCI), held by a Major General.[13]

OTA Chennai[edit]

S.No Rank Name Appointment Date Left Office References
1 Brigadier Ram Singh January 1963 October 1965 [14]
2 Brigadier Pritpal Singh November 1965 October 1967
3 Brigadier A M M Nambiar January 1966 December 1966
4 Major General I C Katoch, PVSM March 1970 September 1972
5 Brigadier Russi Hormusji Bajina, VrC September 1972 January 1974
6 Brigadier C M Cariappa, AVSM January 1974 December 1975
7 Brigadier S M Suri, AVSM January 1976 April 1978
8 Brigadier E A Thyagarajan, AVSM April 1978 August 1982
9 Major General T S Verma, PVSM September 1982 January 1985
10 Major General N S Nair, VSM February 1985 April 1986
11 Major General N Viswanathan July 1986 December 1987
12 Major General N K Oberoi April 1990 November 1992
13 Major General V Rajaram December 1992 February 1995
14 Major General K C Dhingra, VSM March 1995 June 1997 [15]
15 Major General V Jayashankar July 1997 July 1999
16 Major General G H Israni, VSM July 1999 July 2000 [16]
17 Major General Sudhir Mohan August 2000 February 2003
18 Lieutenant General S D Awasthi March 2003 September 2004 [17]
19 Lieutenant General K K Kohli, AVSM, VSM October 2004 July 2006 [18]
20 Lieutenant General R K Swamy, AVSM, VSM October 2006 September 2008 [19]
21 Lieutenant General J S Bajwa, UYSM, SM September 2008 July 2010 [20]
22 Lieutenant General Gautam Banerjee August 2010 July 2011 [21]
23 Lieutenant General S S Jog, SM, VSM November 2011 October 2014 [22][23]
24 Lieutenant General R P Sahi, AVSM January 2015 October 2015 [24]
25 Lieutenant General Bobby Mathews, PVSM, AVSM & Bar, VSM October 2016 February 2017 [25]
26 Lieutenant General Rajan Ravindran, VSM March 2017 February 2018 [26]
27 Lieutenant General Sanjeev Kanal, AVSM March 2018 January 2021 [27]
28 Lieutenant General Manik Kumar Das, PVSM, SM**, VSM January 2021 till date [28]

OTA Gaya[edit]

S.No Rank Name Appointment Date Left Office References
1 Lieutenant General V Sharma, AVSM July 2011 December 2011
2 Lieutenant General J Sikand, VSM January 2012 September 2012 [29]
3 Lieutenant General G S Bisht, VSM October 2012 July 2014 [30]
4 Lieutenant General R K Sharma, SM July 2014 October 2015 [31]
5 Lieutenant General V Vashisht, VSM** October 2015 December 2016 [32]
6 Lieutenant General R K Jagga, VSM December 2016 November 2017 [33]
7 Lieutenant General V S Sreenivas, VSM** November 2017 November 2018 [34]
8 Lieutenant General S Srivastava, VSM** November 2018 December 2020 [35]
9 Lieutenant General GAV Reddy, SC, VSM January 2021 April 2022 [36]
10 Lieutenant General PS Minhas April 2022 Till Date

In Popular Culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Recruitment and Training". Ministry of Defence, Government of India. Archived from the original on 20 November 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Gaya Officers Training Academy poised to conduct maiden passing out parade". Yahoo News. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Gaya to get Army's second Officers Training Academy". The Times of India. 10 February 2010. Archived from the original on 16 September 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  4. ^ a b Pandit, Rajat (10 December 2019). "With few takers for Army, Officers' Training Academy at Gaya to be shut down". The Times of India. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Pranab Mukherjee to review passing-out parade at Chennai OTA". The Hindu. Chennai. 27 August 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  6. ^ "OTA: Grooming Leaders". Sainik Samachar, Ministry of Defence. 15 May 2001. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Survive the Unforeseen with Deccan Chronicle's Survival Instinct Safety Training!". Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  8. ^ "Training in Tactical Survival". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  9. ^ "Train Your Mind and Body for CQC with India's Finest at the Officers Training Academy Chennai by K!". Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  10. ^ Dutta, Amrita Nayak (10 December 2019). "Army proposal to disband Officers Training Academy in Gaya gets defence ministry nod". ThePrint. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  11. ^ OTA Alumni Association
  12. ^ "A determined officer's ultimate sacrifice in the service of nation". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  13. ^ "The Official Home Page of the Indian Army".
  14. ^ "The Official Home Page of the Indian Army".
  15. ^ "T H E B O M B A Y S A P P E R S Quarterly News Letter" (PDF).
  16. ^ "The Official Home Page of the Indian Army".
  17. ^ "The Official Home Page of the Indian Army".
  18. ^ "Army Chief visits OTA". Oneindia. 10 July 2006.
  19. ^ "Maj Gen Swamy to be new OTA commandant". Oneindia. 25 October 2006.
  20. ^ "Seminar on integration of women in the Indian Army".
  21. ^ "Post-graduate Diploma launched for OTA cadets". The Hindu. 29 June 2011.
  22. ^ "h11".
  23. ^ "350 officers commissioned into Indian Army". The Economic Times. 14 September 2013.
  24. ^ Alexander, Deepa (13 March 2015). "These boots are made for marching". The Hindu.
  25. ^ "Lieutenant General Bobby Mathews retires". Deccan Chronicle. 28 February 2017.
  26. ^ March 10, Press Trust of India; March 10, Press Trust of India; Ist, Press Trust of India. "Lt Gen Rajan Ravindran takes over as OTA Commander". India Today.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  27. ^ "The Official Home Page of the Indian Army".
  28. ^ @adgpi (7 January 2021). "Register" (Tweet). Retrieved 23 March 2021 – via Twitter.
  29. ^ "Gaya Officers Training Academy poised to conduct maiden passing out parade". 6 June 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  30. ^ "Lt Gen Phillip talks duty, valour at parade". The Times of India. 15 June 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  31. ^ "59 Commissioned officers inducted into the Indian army". The Times of India. 13 June 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  32. ^ "149 Gaya OTA officers inducted into Army". The Times of India. 11 December 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  33. ^ "Training of Gentleman cadets culminates with scintillating Parade". 1 July 2017. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  34. ^ "166 cadets commissioned as army officers from Gaya". 9 December 2017. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  35. ^ "91 cadets commissioned as Army officers from Gaya academy". The Economic Times. 9 December 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  36. ^ "Lt Gen GAV Reddy takes over as Commandant of OTA Gaya". 10 January 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2021.