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318 cadets graduate from NDA

Academy Cadet Captain Deepak Awasthi tops 121st course of defence academy

It was raining accolades for Academy Cadet Captain Deepak Awasthi, who bagged the maximum number of medals in the 121st course of the National Defence Academy (NDA) convocation ceremony that was held at the academy on Monday.


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Awasthi, an Air Force cadet bagged the Commandant's Silver Medal, the Admiral's Trophy and the crown jewel of the President's Gold Medal. While the first two medals were awarded during the ceremony on Monday, the gold medal was presented by the chief guest, Bangladeshi Army Chief General Mohammed Abdul Mubeen, yesterday.


NDA Academy Cadet Captain Deepak Awasthi who won the 
Commandant's Silver Medal, the Admiral's Trophy and the President's 
Gold Medal poses in front of the iconic Sudan Block during the NDA 
Passing out Parade. 
Pics/Krunal Gosavi 

"The hope of becoming the senior most cadet and leading the Passing out Parade (PoP) kept me going to finally earn the gold medal," said Awasthi, who hails from Kanpur. Awasthi said that he is an "average guy" who cherished the dream of flying. Leading the parade inspired his performance, he added. Retired army Subhedar Rajesh Kumar Awasthi said, "Nothing can make me happier than seeing my son joining the armed forces. He has made our family proud." Rajesh Kumar was a part of the army's Corps of Signal before his retirement. 

Meanwhile, for silver medalist and Battalion Cadet Captain Amit Dhankad, from Haryana, the inspiration was the family legacy of serving the country. His father Dilbagh Singh is Sub-Inspector in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Hyderabad, and grandfather Noor Singh had served in the army's Armoured Corps. Dhankad said he wishes to serve the Infantry divisions after joining the Indian Army.

Bronze medalist and Battalion Cadet Captain Vikram Mann, also said that he was keen to join the Infantry. He decided to join the armed forces after studying in a Sainik school. "My most cherished moment was when we represented the NDA in the world cadet games in Turkey where we finished fourth in volley ball," Mann said.

At least 318 cadets, including 16 foreign cadets who were at the ceremony, commenced their training on June 30, 2008. Among the foreign cadets, one was from Bhutan and Tajikistan, while four were from Maldives and 10 from Afghanistan.

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