Passion is the ingredient to success
What does it take to join the National Defence Academy? Or, for that matter, what does it take to succeed in life? "Passion," says Nikhil Jayant Prabhune without batting an eyelid."You have to be passionate about joining the armed forces and that will get you into the NDA," says Nikhil who has bagged the President's gold medal for standing first in the overall order of merit of the 120th course of the NDA which passed out on May 31, 2011.
Son of an Indian Air Force sergeant, the choice of armed forces as a career was a natural one for Nikhil. Besides, he is an alumnus of the prestigious Rashtriya India Military College (RIMC) in Dehra Dun which is a dedicated feeder to the NDA and admissions to which are held through an all India competitive examination. Nikhil studied in the RIMC from the eighth grade to XII before joining the NDA.
Nikhil was a naval cadet at NDA and would be undergoing specialized training in a naval academy for a year before getting commissioned as an officer in the Indian Navy.
Asked whether he had been expecting to top the overall order of merit, he replies modestly, "I worked hard but did not aim at topping. However, the others expected me to do so."
And what motivated Kishor Kunal to join the NDA? "I motivated myself," says Kunal who bagged the bronze medal for standing third in the overall order of merit.
Kunal does not come from a defence background. His father is a teacher and mother a home-maker. Kunal, who hails from Champaran in Bihar, did his schooling from the Purulia Sainik School in West Bengal. He will be undergoing a further one year's specialized training in the Indian Military Academy before getting commissioned as an officer in the Indian Army.
Asked whether he faced any opposition from his parents on his decision to join the armed forces, Kunal says on the contrary they were very encouraging.
The National Defence Academy is a prestigious tri-services training academy which imparts joint training to cadets from all the three wings of the armed forces - the Army, Navy and Air Force. Cadets are selected through a rigorous all-India competitive examination and are trained to become officers in the armed forces. They also, simultaneously, study for their degrees which are conferred by the Jawaharlal Nehru University.