Serve The Indian Armed Forces – Serve Thy Nation
The Indian Armed Forces, a name with ethos of nationalism, patriotism and discipline as its bedrock.
The deeds of valour in sacrificing their lives, their emblematic humanism and professionalism, their courage in preserving our territorial integrity and the way they serve people during times of national calamities, the Indian Armed Forces make every citizen proud.
A career in the Indian Armed Forces is lot more than just element of pride in donning the uniform. A soldier in the Indian armed forces is an example of a soul who is willing to perform the supreme sacrifice for the Indian Republic, without fear or favour, without any prejudice based on ethnic, religious, linguistic, regional or caste identity; all in all as a proud Indian. There is nothing to beat a career in the armed forces, crucial responsibilities, service to the nation, respect from all sections of society all rolled into one.
The chief institutions that frame the future soldiers of the Indian Armed forces are National Defence Academy (NDA) – External website that opens in a new window, India Military Academy (IMA) – External website that opens in a new window, Officers Training Academy (OTA) – External website that opens in a new window, Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) – External website that opens in a new window, National Defence College (NDA) – External website that opens in a new window.
Recruitment in Indian Armed Forces
Recruitment in the armed forces is done though various schemes and is categorised into two main Commissions; Permanent Commission and Short Service Commission.A permanent commission is for those who want to make a career in the army until retirement, while a short-service commission allows one to join on a five-year contractual basis, after which one can exercise the option to continue.
Schemes under Permanent Commission
For 10+2 (entry through NDA)
For entry through this scheme one has to take an entry level exam conducted by UPSC to join the NDA, which is conducted twice a year in all major cities throughout India. The months of commencement of course are January and July. This mode of entry is only for boys between the ages of sixteen and a half to nineteen years. Announcements are made in all leading newspapers. Those who clear the written exam go through a five-day interview process with the State Selection Board (SSB). On completion of the NDA course, candidates are sent to the respective service academies for their pre-commission training: to the IMA (Dehradun) for Army, Naval Academy (Goa) for Indian Navy, Air Force Academy, Hyderabad for Air Force and the OTA Chennai (for those who get recruited on the Short Service Commission).
The UPSC also holds an all-India competitive examination, known as the Combined Defence Services Examination (CDSE), twice a year for University graduates or equivalent. Successful candidates can join Indian Military Academy for their pre-commission training after they clear an interview conducted by the SSB and if finally selected, depending on their merit list ranking, are sent to Indian Military Academy. The age limit for this is between nineteen to twenty four years. The advertisement under this scheme is also given in all leading newspapers.
For Engineering Graduates
An Engineering graduate can directly join the IMA after qualifying a SSB interview. The age at the time of joining under this scheme should be between twenty to twenty seven years.
For University Entry Scheme
Students who are in the final and pre-final years of engineering degree course can also apply to Indian army as an officer as they eligible for induction into technical branches/services of the army as commissioned officers under the University Entry Scheme. The age limit under this scheme is between eighteen to twenty five years. The selection process is based on campus interview and a SSB interview.
For 10+2 PCM (Tech.) Scheme
For all those students who have PCM in their 10+2 PCM (Tech.) can enter directly to IMA and the age limit under this scheme is between sixteen and a half to nineteen and a half years.
Other Procedure for Recruitments
Apart from the above mentioned schemes, there is another scheme under the Special Commissioned Officers. For entry under this scheme the candidate should be between the age group of thirty to thirty five years and a holder of Army Senior School Certificate Pass. Candidates under this scheme are sent for a screening test through SSB and Medical Board. Post this they are sent for a pre-commission training of one year duration.
Medical graduates from the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune are directly inducted as permanent Commissioned Medical officers in the Armed Forces. However for recruitment under Regular Commissioned / Short Service Commissioned Medical Officers from the graduates / Post graduates of Civil Medical Colleges an all India competitive exam is conducted.
Schemes under Short Service Commission
Another service option offered by the Indian Armed Forces is recruitment under the Short Service Commission and this gives an option of joining the Forces as a Commissioned officer for 5 years. Once the tenure of 5 years gets over the officers allowed to opt for a permanent commission. The short-service commission is also open to women.
Under this scheme, technical graduates have to apply through the SSB and after clearance at SSB they are sent to OTA Chennai. A medical test is done and later the candidates undergo a ten month course. The age limit for this scheme is between nineteen to twenty four years. On completion of training, the successful candidates are inducted as Short Service Commissioned Officers in the technical branches.
Women’s Special Entry Scheme (WSES)
Women are recruited usually in the support services and recruitments are done in non-technical, technical and specialist entry for unmarried females or issueless widow or divorcee candidates who are between nineteen to twenty seven years of age. For entry under this scheme the candidate must have any of the following degrees B.A., B.Com, BCA, B.Sc (physics, chemistry or maths) with a minimum aggregate of 60% and above. NCC Cadets with 50 per cent marks and holders of C or B or higher certificates can also apply in this category.
For Technical Entry a degree in B.E. / B.Tech in Civil / Electrical / Mechanical / Electronics / Computer Science / Telecommunications or Architecture is needed.
For the Specialist a candidate must be any of the following; a graduate BSc with a minimum one-year diploma in Computer Science, a graduate with a minimum one-year diploma in Communication or Journalism or Public Relations or Psychology, B.E. in Remote Sensing, a PG degree in Earth Science / Computer Science / English / Geography / Maths / Physics / Computer Applications / Botany/ Zoology / Biochemistry / Organic Chemistry or Statistics. The candidate must have an aggregate of 50 per cent marks in the above mentioned disciplines.
Selection is done on the basis of a written exam followed by SSB interview and medical examination.
NCC Special Entry Scheme
Under this scheme unmarried male graduates with a total of 50 per cent marks and above and between 19 to 25 years of age and who have a minimum of B Grade in NCC C Certificate can apply. These cadets exempted from appearing in the CDSE conducted by the UPSC and are directly selected through the SSB in Allahabad, Bhopal and Bangalore.
Short Service Commission Technical
Under this scheme unmarried male engineering graduates can apply. Educational qualification of the candidate should be a degree in engineering or equivalent degree from a recognised University in any disciplines; Civil / Electrical / Mechanical / Tele-Communication / Electrical & Electronics / Computer Science / Engineering / Technology / Architecture / Industrial / Production.
For entry under this scheme candidates should be between the age group of twenty to twenty seven years. The selection process includes initial screening and the short-listing of applicants done at the Recruiting Directorate of the Army headquarters. Later the candidates have to undergo group test, psychological test and interview at SSB. This is followed by a medical test by the Medical Board and final selected candidates are sent to the OTA Chennai for a training of 49 weeks.