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The Infantry School
 
The Army Marksmanship Unit
 

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The Infantry School, apart from conducting courses of instruction, also conducts important events such as conferences, seminars and workshops.  However, amongst the most important events organized by the School are the biennial Army Rifle Association Meets,  (what is now  known  as

the National Combat Forces Shooting Competition (NCFSC), the Young Blood Championship and the biennial Infantry Commanders’ Conferences.

The history of Army Rifle Association (India) dates back to over a hundred years, when it was known as the Bengal – Punjab Rifle Association’. A few civilians and military marksmen, under the name of ‘Northern India Rifle Association’ with the objective of ‘promoting and encouraging rifle shooting throughout India, ‘first formed it at Dehradun in 1863. In 1866, the venue of its annual meeting shifted to Meerut.

The Association was reconstituted and called the ‘Bengal Presidency Rifle Association (BPRA)’ a name that was changed in 1899 to ‘Bengal – Punjab Rifle Association’.  In 1921, the council of the association agreed to merge the  association  into  a  new  body

called the ‘Army Rifle Association (India)’. The Association was placed in suspended animation during World War – II, but was revived in the year 1950.

The aim of the Association is to generate interest in small arms shooting in the Armed Forces, as also to select talent for Army Marksmanship Unit with a view to achieve excellence in National and International Shooting Competitions. The Association is located at Mhow, in the premises of The Infantry School. An Executive Committee, under the Chairmanship of the Commandant, controls its activities. The Infantry School, along with the Army Commands, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Assam Rifles, Territorial Army, Border Security Force and Central Reserve Police Force are members of the Association. The Central Meets are held at Mhow in December / January biennially, under, the aegis of The Infantry School.

The 88 Carnatic Infantry Memorial Gold Cup was introduced in 1922 and was won for the first time by ¼ Hazara Pioneers. The Centre, Secunderabad, has won the Cup nine times, a record set up by any team so far. The ARA banner was introduced in 1953-54 and was won for the first time by the EME  Centre.  The  Infantry  School

participated in the meet as a team only once, in the year 1955, when it won the Gold Cup and ARA Banner.

In 2001, it was once again decided to change the name of the Army Rifle Association to National Combat Forces Shooting Championship (NCFSC). This was done with a view to encourage a wider horizon of participation and also to foster a spirit of sportsmanship amongst the three Services, Para Military Forces and Central Police Organisations of the country.

 In order to select better potential firers for the Army Marksmanship Unit, it was decided to introduce the Young Blood Match as an annual event. Young Soldiers, along with recruits from all Army Regimental Centres and the Assam Rifles, who are below 20 years of age, are permitted to participate in this competition.

The Championship awards various prizes to encourage firers in Rifle, LMG, Carbine, Pistol and various team events. The Walchand Hirachand Cup is exclusively meant for Combat Shooting matches. Forming part of these matches are the General Chaudhuri Trophy and the President’s Gold Medal for Rifle Day & Night matches and the Eastern Command Cup for the Carbine Day & Night matches.

The Roots Group Cup covers the Pistol and Carbine Quick Reaction Shooting Team Matches. The General KV Krishna Rao Trophy is awarded to the best three positions in Service Rifle Championship. The Mahindra & Mahindra Cup is awarded to individuals in Pistol fire. The overall best team is awarded the ARA banner; the second team receives the Corps of EME Trophy while the third team receives the Western Command Cup.

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