Feb 20, 2010
Indian Armed Forces consisting three wings of Army, Navy and Air Force has roughly around thirteen lakhs of strength including Officers, Junior Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks. There are plenty of opportunities to our younger generation to serve in different ranks. Approximately 65 to 75 thousand personnel leave the service every year and equal numbers are required to be filled in different categories. This is a continuous process, which runs throughout the year. However, of late, we find very few individuals who succeed in securing the job in the defence forces from Karnataka State especially from the coastal districts. Though there is much ambition amongst younger generation to serve the Nation through Defence Forces, due to lack of motivation, proper preparation and guidance they do not get through in the final selection. For this, some of the following may be the contributing factors:
Educational Qualification. To get an entry into the defence forces as a soldier, one has to get a minimum pass in the SSLC examination. To get an entry into the Technical Trades a pass in the HSC (10+2) is the minimum qualification. However, due to lack of proper approach to the examination, they do not succeed in the test.
Physical Standards. Educational qualification, general knowledge and pass in the test are not the only criterion to get into the defence forces. The youth should have robust physical stamina to undergo the tough training. Youth must be between 16 and 23 years of age, with a minimum height of 165 cm (5 ft 5 in.) and 50 kg (110 lbs) in weight; a minimum chest measurement of 77 cm with an inhale-exhale expansion of 5 cm; should not have squint eye or flat foot. Candidate lacking any one of the above criteria will be rejected in the starting stage of the selection process itself.
There is a provision for recruitment for sons of ex-servicemen at the Regimental Centres. Such individuals in order to get information regarding recruitment details need to approach the centre where his father served his duty.
Zonal Recruitment Centres conduct recruitment rallies at district levels for which announcement is made in all leading newspapers. Eligible youths can approach for these rallies along with the required documents.
The above details are mainly for recruitment for personnel below the officers’ ranks. However, civilian candidates who would seek entry as Commissioned Officers can look into the following avenues:-
Entry to National Defence Academy (NDA): Candidates aged 15½ to 17½ years with a minimum educational qualification of 10+1 in the Science stream are eligible to write the Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination that is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The date and venue of the examination are notified in all leading newspapers. The shortlisted successful candidates will be called for service selection board (SSB) interview and test, which will be for a duration of four days. Candidates clearing this test will undergo further medical test, after which a merit list will be drawn for entry into NDA Khadakwasla (Pune). They are then called as cadets during training, and on successful completion of three years are divided into three wings of the defence forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) after which they are further trained at their respective academies for a year, from where they pass out as Commissioned Officers.
For Graduates/Technical Graduates: Graduates/Technical graduates are also called on regular basis into the above three services.
Candidates interested can follow the procedure given in the advertisement for vacancy in leading newspapers by respective wings of the defence forces. Shortlisted candidates will be called for the SSB interview. The successful candidates are medically examined and a merit list is prepared. Selected candidates will undergo a certain period of training at their respective academies. On completion of the training, they will be commissioned into the Officer rank.
Short Service Commission (SSC): The selection procedure is similar to Para (b). However, on completion of training, the cadets will be commissioned into the officers’ rank for an initial period of 5 years. The services will be extended according to their performance and service conditions. During this period, these officers are also tested for permanent commission. Based on this test, the successful ones are absorbed into permanent commission and the remaining officers are released from service on completion of their SSC period.
Selection to all the three types of entries shown in (a), (b) and (c) above is through competitive examinations for which lakhs of candidates apply initially. Hence, a very thorough preparation is essential and only the best out of the lot succeeds finally.
Considering the service conditions of the defence forces, the Sixth Central Pay Commission has recommended a separate Military Service Pay of Rs 2000/month for Junior Commissioned Officers/Other Ranks and Rs 6000/month for Commissioned Officers including the Honorary Commissioned Officers, which has been accepted by the Central Government. This has given an edge over corresponding equivalent posts in the other departments as far as pay is concerned. To facilitate the readers to know the corresponding ranks in the three services and their pay scales, the details are given below:
*Personnel coming under X Group gets an additional pay of Rs 1400/month. Military Service Pay (MSP), Grade Pay and X Group are counted towards the Basic Pay.
Yearly increment rate is 3% on the Basic Pay. Dearness Allowance will be twice a year (Jan & July) based on inflationary trend.
Service Conditions: Armed Forces personnel are bound to serve in any part of the country. They are also required to serve in any foreign country if the need arises.
Retirement, Pension and other facilities: JCOs/NCOs and other ranks are eligible for pension on completion of 15 years of qualifying service. Commissioned officers are eligible for pension on completion of 20 years of qualifying service. Canteen and Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) facilities are available after retirement. Educational scholarships are also available to the children of Ex-servicemen.
Due to advancement in technology, the modernisation is a continuous process in all the departments and the defence force is not an exception to this. Hence, the service conditions in the defence force are considerably improved which will be exciting and challenging for the future generations.