Kulwant Singh Gill is new commandant of National Defence Academy

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  1. Daredevil

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    Air Marshal Kulwant Singh Gill took charge as the new commandant of the National Defence Academy (NDA) at Khadakwasla on Tuesday.
    The NDA is the only triservices academy of its kind in Asia that offers three-year training in defence and academics before the cadets move on to their respective officers' training academies for another one-year course and get commissioned into the armed forces. It is controlled by the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) and trains more than 2,000 cadets, including those from friendly countries.

    Gill was commissioned in the flying branch of the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 1977 and has more than 7000 hours of accident-free and incident-free flying experience to his credit. He is also a qualified flying instructor.

    In his career spanning 35 years, Gill has had the distinction of commanding various frontline bases of the IAF and also has the distinction of being the contingent commander for the first United Nations mission to Congo.

    While commanding the IAF station at Leh, he was instrumental in recommissioning of two airfields. During his command, Air Force Station Leh was declared the 'Pride of Western Air Command'. Gill is a highly decorated officer, having received the Presidential award of Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) in 1990, Yudh Seva Medal in 2005 and Ati Vishisht Seve Medal in 2010. He has also been commended by the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief twice and also by the chiefs of the air and army staff.

    Gill replaces Lt Gen Ashok Singh, who had had a brief stint of five months as the NDA commandant prior to being transferred to a new posting. Singh, who was heading one of the Indian army's frontline strike corps, was handpicked by the army chief to head the NDA with a specific mandate of giving a new fillip to the academy following the alleged bribery racket in the Group 'C' recruitments that rocked the NDA in July. This was after the then NDA commandant Lt Gen Jatinder Singh was shifted to the army headquarters to ensure a free and fair investigation in the alleged recruitment scam.

    In his short stint, Singh presided over an extensive internal and external audit of the NDA and also introduced some of the key changes in the academy's policies related to punishment, training and allied aspects and sports activity. The outgoing NDA commandant silently carried out with his task and barely made any public statements or interaction with the media.

    Taking over from Singh, the new NDA commandant finds the task cut out for himself in terms of maintaining the momentum of reforms and changes introduced by his predecessor at the academy.

    Air Marshal Kulwant Singh Gill is new commandant of National Defence Academy - The Times of India
     
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