History Of Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala
The Indian Naval Academy is the starting phase of officer training establishment of the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard together, located in Ezhimala, near Kannur district, Kerala. INA has a 7 km beach front on the Arabian Sea. As we have already covered that INA conducts basic training for all officers inducted into the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard, let us now find out what circumstances forced the formation of Indian Naval Academy.
History Of Indian Naval Academy (INA)
Before independence, officer cadets of the Royal Indian Navy were trained in the United Kingdom with the Royal Navy. Cadets underwent four years of training in Dartmouth and were commissioned as Sub Lieutenants upon their return. In 1949, the officer training for the Navy began at the interim Joint Services Wing (JSW) of the Armed Forces Academy. The National Defence Academy (NDA) was established in 1954 as the Joint Services academy of the Indian Armed Forces.
By 1968, the Navy realised that the NDA could not keep up with its expanding staffing requirements. It also needed additional space and facilities to impart advanced maritime skills to officers and sailors. In May 1969, the Indian Naval Academy was established in Cochin to consolidate facilities for naval training.
The academy was consolidated with the Officers training school, at INS Mandovi in Goa in 1976. But with the growing use of INS Mandovi as an operational naval base, as well as the existing Provost and Physical Training school at the location, the Naval Academy operated under considerable space constraints. Hence the Navy developed plans for a new permanent Naval Academy to cope with increasing training load. The initial requirement for the site for the academy was at least 100 acres (0.40 km2), in the vicinity of the sea or a large lake for basic seamanship. Another requirement was relative proximity to a naval base, as well as a bracing and moderate climate.
In 1979, the Government of India approved the development of a new campus for the Indian Naval Academy. The Government of Kerala was keen to host the academy in the state and offered the Navy 960 hectares at Ezhimala. It also offered essential infrastructure facilities like water and electricity supply, approach roads and bridges, capital dredging of the Kavvayi backwaters (for basic rowing and small boat training), construction of a seawall to prevent erosion, as well as expansion of the nearest railway station at no cost to the Navy. In 1982, the Central Government approved the construction of the academy at Ezhimala and granted the Kerala Government a soft, medium-term loan for acquiring the land from private owners and the resettlement of the evacuees.
And thus, the Indian Naval Academy today stands tall at Ezhimala, the way we all know it. Had it not been the constant effort of Navy to expand its operations, it would have been staying in the same campus with NDA.