Chennai: Army chief General Dalbir Singh on Saturday said the force was the "most admired and respected institution" in the country and it was even being recognised by the international community.
"Indian Army has an image. Our Army is the most admired and respected institution in the country. We have rendered
exemplary service in the face of external and internal challenges," he said in his address after reviewing a passing out parade at the Officers' Training Academy in Chennai.
He said that Indian Army's role in UN peacekeeping operations had been "lauded by the international community" and noted that Indian Army was not just for the power it represents, but also for maturity and responsibility.
Earlier, 183 cadets, including 37 women, passed out as officers following an impressive parade.
Among those inducted as officers were Lt Nikita A Nair, a former 'May Queen Miss Pune' who had walked the ramp for two fashion pageants, the Army said.
Lt G Vaishali was a professional Bharatnatyam dancer while Lt Balveer Singh Rathore from Jodhpur is the son of a tourist guide who wanted to make it to the Army.
General Singh also gave away awards to outstanding cadets.
Later, Singh visited the Army's Southern Command where he was briefed about the training activities being carried out at various regimental centres.
Singh was also briefed on the assistance provided by the Army during the December 2015 floods in Chennai and the rescue and relief effort undertaken, where "19,500 civilian were rescued, 20,000 were provided with medical aid and more than two lakh relief packages distributed", a PIB (Defence) release said.
Singh expressed his appreciation on the work undertaken by the Army, it added.