Arunachal: National Institute of Mountaineering & Allied Sports is without equal across country

The first Indian ascent of Mount Everest was commemorated with a golden jubilee ceremony. The Indian Mountaineering Foundation, India’s premier organisation for mountaineering and related adventure programmes, hosted the event on May 20, 2003 at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi, with then-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in attendance. Vajpayee announced the establishment of a national-level institute to give training for adventure sports and other similar activities during the conference. The seed was planted at the time, but it took ten years to sprout.

The National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, or Nimas, was founded on May 30, 2013, at Dirang Dzong, Arunachal Pradesh. It is the only national institute in the country mandated to conduct courses and expeditions in the sectors of land, air, and water, and it is run by the Union Ministry of Defence. Nimas is led by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, with Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu as vice-president.

Colonel Saffraz Singh, a seasoned paratrooper, mountaineer, and adventure activist with worldwide clout, keeps a close check on Nimas. He’s also a specialist in rafting and skydiving. Many excursions to the Arunachal Himalayas and Mount Everest have been organised by the institute.

Given China’s proximity, certain peaks in Arunachal Pradesh were previously off-limits to civilian climbers. The Chinese marched over the region in 1962, briefly seizing Dirang Dzong before retreating past Bum La, where the McMahon Line is claimed to exist.

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