Dehra Dun : Yet another prestigious school of Uttarakhand, though under the control of the ministry of defence, will become 90 years old. The Rashtriya Indian Military College (Royal Indian Military College prior to partition) will be celebrating its Founders’ Day on March 12-13, when it will become 91.
Victoria Cross winner, Lt Gen P S Bhagat and Maj Somnath Sharma who was awarded the country’s highest war award, the Param Vir Chakra are its former students, besides a number of others who have been decorated and have laid down their lives for the country, including the 14 Rimcollians (as they are known) who made the supreme sacrifice for the country in the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars.
The Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC), traces its origin to the Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College. Inaugurated on 13th March 1922 by his Royal Highness, Prince Edward VIII the Prince of Wales, it is set amidst 138 acres of lush green countryside adjacent to Garhi Village in Dehradun Cantonment. During his address to the first thirty-seven cadets he said, “It is the first few blows on the anvil of life that give the human, weapon, the set and temper that carry him through life’s battles”.
RIMC has a long history and rich traditions. Over the years it has produced many leaders of society, both military as well as civil. Five chiefs of Army staff and one chief of the Air staff in India; one Commander-in-chief of the Army and two chief of the Air staff in Pakistan; besides, many high civilian dignitaries like Governors, Ambassadors, Ministers and Captains of industry have passed through the RIMC’s hallowed portals.
The purpose of this institution was to provide Indian boys with suitable education and training to ensure a high pass-rate for the Indians being sent to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, as part of the Indianisation program of the officer cadre of the Indian Army. RIMC was not, in fact, a College, but a pre Sandhurst institution run along the lines of an English public school. The British believed that for becoming an army officer, if an education in Britain was impossible, a public school education in India was an absolute necessity.
Nestled in the foothills of the Shivalik ranges in the sylvan surroundings of the Doon Valley, the RIMC has a sprawling campus of 138 acres; an ideal setting green and serene for developing young minds. It houses a mint township, a mini India with 250 boys selected from every state strictly on merit by a written examination, interview and a medical test. The campus has quite a few heritage buildings in Tudor Style, some nearly a hundred years old.
Those who have come to the school include the Prince of Wales, Queen Mary, Lord Mountbatten, Gen Wavell, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru, Shah of Iran, King of Nepal, Dr V V Giri, Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma and A P J Abdul Kalam.