The Indian Armed forces is one of the finest institutions in the country which offers excellent professional and personal lifestyle. One can have all the luxuries in the world at no cost and also have pride in serving the nation.
There are several ways to join the Armed Forces as officers . To broadly classify, you can either join after finishing your class 12 or after graduation. And also you can join either as a Permanent Commission Officer or a Short Service Commission Officer.
Entries after Class 12th
All entries after class 12 are compulsorily PERMANENT COMMISSION. As a Permanent Commission Officer you will be required to serve for a minimum period of 20 years from the date of commission. Though you may leave before 20 years also but you will not be eligible for life long pension and other ex-service men facilities which will be applicable if you retire after 20 years.
National Defence Academy
The National Defence Academy is situated in Khadakwasala, Pune. NDA produces the finest fighters of the Armed Forces in our country. The cream of the Armed Forces are produced from NDA. Most cadets from Army join Artillery or Infantry. All cadets from Air Force become pilots. All the Naval Cadets join the Executive Branch. The NDA offers BSc courses which are 3 years long.
The candidates who have completed the 12th Std examinations are eligible to join the NDA. NDA trains cadets to become future officers for the three services. NDA being a Tri Services Institute, Army, Navy and Air Force cadets get training under a single roof. The bonding formed between the cadets will help them function efficiently when they become senior officers in their respective service during war and peace.
Basic training is imparted in an Army fashion. All the Cadets wear Army uniforms. NDA offers B.Sc. In PCM, IT/CS and few seats in B.A for Army cadets (only). The NDA has an excellent infrastructure. All costs are borne by the government including the tuition fees and hostel fees during the course of training. Even the to and fro journey performed during semester holidays are free of cost.
The cadets on graduating will go to their respective service for further 1 year training before getting commissioned. The Army cadets will go to Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun. The Airforce cadets will go to Airforce Academy Dindugal, Hyderabad. And all the Naval Cadets will go to the First Training squadron for Sea Training followed by midshipmen time onboard fleet ships (procedure likely to be revised for Navy). At the end of this one year (four years from joining Academy) all trainees will be Commissioned as Officers.
In order to join the NDA, a student has to clear the UPSC exam and SSB interview. There are two batches every year. One starting in Jan and the other in Jul.
The UPSC exam consists of a 900 marks exam in 2 different papers. 300 marks for Maths and 600 for Physics, Chemistry, English, History, Geography, G.K, IQ etc. You will have to select your service Army, Navy or Airforce while filling up your UPSC form.
Once a service has been selected it can not be changed. There will be 4 options. Army, Navy, Air Force and Naval Academy. If you get selected then the Army, Navy and Air Force cadets will go to NDA for Training whereas Naval Academy cadets will go to Naval Academy, Ezhimala in Kerala for training. Navy being a technically more advanced service has the requirement to train its officers in a B.Tech degree.
Since NDA functions for 3 year courses only and introducing B.Tech is not feasible for one service, the navy has commenced training its cadets parallely in B.Tech stream in Naval Academy from 2010. However, inorder to maintain the tri services spirit of NDA the naval cadets of Navy in NDA continue to get trained in the traditional way. The date of commission and seniority of Officers from Naval Academy and NDA remains the same. There is no question of who has more advantage in service, since their date of commission remains the same and job profile will also be the same. Just that you will be a B.Tech if you are from Naval Academy or you will be a B.Sc. If you are from NDA.
The Naval Academy is similar to the National Defence Academy in all aspects except that it offers 4 years B.Tech course instead of a 3 years BSc course. Naval Academy is situated in Ezhimala, Kerala. The Academy en-composes a very vast campus with 3 different beaches, islands, rivers inside the Academy. The state of the art infrastructure, indoor swimming pools, computer aided training, excellent sports facilities etc make it the most modern and futuristic Defence Academy amongst all the other defence training academies in India.
10+2 Tech Entry
This entry was started to manage the short fall of expert engineers fields of Marine Technology, Armament Technology, Electronics (sensors and radar), etc which are other wise not met in the civil world. The Army and Navy carries out this entry. The Army cadets on joining the College of Military Engineering – Kirkee, Pune and Naval Cadets on joining Naval Academy -Ezhimala, Kerala undergo 4 years B.Tech courses. There are various branches available like mechanical, electronics and communication engineering etc. The cadets on completion of four years training get commissioned as Officers. The training facilities, way of functioning, rules and regulations etc are all the same as that of NDA.
10+2 Tech Navy
The 10+2 Tech cadets get trained in Naval Academy. Though their entry is different from NDA (Naval Academy Cadets), they get trained together. They are integrated with the Naval Academy Cadets. The cadets on completion of 4 years of training will be commissioned as technical officers. Whereas the cadets from NDA exam entry will be commissioned a Executive Officers. The cadets can opt to study either Mechanical; Engineering or Electrical and Electronics Engineering. Since the training takes place in Naval Academy, Naval Training is imparted from day one.
How to Join: The selection is based on the PCM percentage scored in class 12th and SSB performance only. Unlike NDA exam no written exams are being conducted for this entry. You can apply for this only on receiving your class 12 marks. Based on the number of applications received and marks obtained by students, students who have scored above 70% -75 % will generally get a call for SSB. On clearing the SSB interview the selected candidates will be put in a merit list.