It is there in the National Defence Academy, Indian Military Academy, and Officer’s Training Academy.
It is a plaque with the words ‘Antim Pag’ (literally meaning final step) engraved on it. The plaque is plastered on the ground and strategically placed.
Every cadet who graduates from the academies must cross the ‘Antim Pag’.
Once they do so, they cease to be who they were before they arrived at the academy and transform into brave men and women ready to face the challenges facing the security of India.
In fact, they do not become officers until they ceremoniously cross the ‘Antim Pag’ plaque.
It is only after they do so, their drill instructors at the academies become their subordinates by rank with the exception of the NDA.
At the IMA in Dehradun, the gentleman cadets cross the ‘Antim Pag’ and enter the ceremonial hall.
The doors are closed behind them and when they opened again, out emerge proud, confident and valiant officers of the Indian Army.
The same is the case at the OTA in Chennai.