There are at present 18 Sainik Schools in the country, almost one in each state, except in Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Goa.
Boys from States and Union Territories which do not have a Sainik School of their own can be accommodated in the schools in the adjoining states. The schools are affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education and follow the 10+2 pattern, in science stream.
Admission is made to class VI on the basis of an all-India entrance examination held every year in February in which boys in the age group of 10-11 years are eligible to appear. From 1992-93 academic sessions lateral admission to class IX has also been started for which the boys have to be 13-14 years of age on July I of that year.
Since its inception, over 10,000 boys from these schools have been selected for admission to the National Defence Academy, Naval Academy, Armed Forces Medical College, etc.
National Defence Academy
The National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla, near Pune, is a joint services institution which imparts academic as well as service training. The NDA has been brought in step with the national education format of 10+2+3.
The syllabus of the Academy was reviewed to meet these requirements and has been approved by the Jawaharlal Nehru University for the grant of B.A./B.Sc. degree at the time of passing out from the Academy.
The first course commenced training on revised syllabi in January 1989. After passing out from the NDA, the cadets go to their respective service academies for further training before being commissioned as officers in the Armed forces. The present authorised training strength of the Army, Navy and Air Force cadets at the academy is 1,800. This includes cadets from Bhutan and other friendly countries.
Indian Military Academy
The Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehra Dun, caters for training of cadets for admission into the Army. Cadets join the Indian Military Academy as per the following modes of entry: (i) on passing from the NDA; (ii) on graduation from the Army Cadet College which is a wing of the IMA itself; (iii) Direct Entry Graduate cadets who join on qualifying the UPSC examination and the Services Selection Board; and (iv) Technical graduates and University Entry Scheme.
The present authorised strength of trainees at the IMA is 1,200 which includes cadets from Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Mauritius and Nepal. The authorised training strength of Army Cadet College is 450.
Officers Training Academy
The Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai, imparts pre-commission training for the following type of courses:
(i) Short Service Commission Course of 44 weeks for university graduates who qualify in the UPSC examination;
(ii) Course of six months for lady cadets (Women’s Special Entry Scheme);
(iii) Permanent Commission on Special list (PC) (SL) to selected service candidates, who qualify after a training of four weeks; and
(iv) Regimental Commission Course for selected Service candidates, who qualify after a training of 13 weeks duration. Authorised training strength of the Academy is 500. So far only 520 lady cadets have been granted Short Service Commission.
Education on public school lines is imparted at the Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC), Dehra Dun, principally for the boys who subsequently desire to join the NDA with a view to obtaining a commission in the Armed Forces.
The College runs classes from eighth to 10+2 class. Selection for the RIMC is through a written examination-cum-viva conducted through the state governments. Seats for the respective states are reserved based on population. Intake into the RIMC is bi-annual.
National Defence College
Inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1960, the National Defence College is an inter-service organisation functioning under the Ministry of Defence.
The NDC is the highest defence training institution in India, imparting instructions on all elements of national security and strategy to officers due to become Major Generals and equivalent and attain similar status in the Civil Services. The head of the college is the Commandant, with six faculty members each (Senior Directing Staff) from the Army, Navy, Air Force, IAS and IFS.
Army Cadet College
Army Cadet College is a wing of IMA which caters for the training of services cadets selected for Commission. The academic format is similar to the NDA on the lines of 10+2+3 and the syllabus is common.
On the completion of the course these cadets also qualify for a BA/BSc degree recognised by the Jawaharlal Nehru University. After passing out from the ACC Wing, cadets join regular course of IMA for training of one year before being commissioned as officers of the Indian Army.
Army School of Physical Training (ASPT) established at Pune in 1947 is the cradle of physical and recreational training in the Army.
It a training infrastructure which is second to none in the country to impart systematic and comprehensive instruction on physical training. Selected ranks in the army, students from the police, para military forces and friendly foreign countries attend various courses on physical training and allied subjects at ASPT.