Q – I am a Final year student of a BA with English, Pol. Science and history as my subjects. Am I eligible for a career in the Army. if yes, Please tell me how to go about it?
The Indian Armed Forces are in desperate need of bright, motivated youngsters to join their ranks – what with the increased demands on them in the light of the prevailing security climate.
For someone with your academic background and subject combination, the entry route into the Indian Army is the Combined Defence Service Examination (CDSE). The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts this CDSE twice a year – in February and August – to admit cadets to the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, and the Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai. CDSE also admits cadets to the Navy or Air force – for which you require either a BSc (physics/maths) or a BE/Btech.
For IMA: Unmarried males with Bachelor’s degree in any discipline
For OTA (SSC course): Married or unmarried males with Bachelor’s degree in any discipline
Selection is on the basis of an objective type written exam followed by Service Selection Board (SSB) tests and interview for those who qualify the written exam. The intelligence and personality tests essentially cover outdoor, group and psychological activities.
The written exam is held at various centres all over the country and consists of three papers for admission to IMA, Naval and Air Force Academy. The examination for OTA consists of only the first two papers.
Paper I tests your English.
Paper II tests your general knowledge of current events and general science. Also includes questions on geography and history of India.
Paper III tests your knowledge of elementary mathematics, arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry, geometry, mensuration and statistics.
You can take the GK and Math papers in English or Hindi.
Each paper is of two-hours duration and carries 100 marks. There is negative marking for wrong answers.
Once you clear the written tests you will proceed for the next stage of the selection process, which is conducted by Service Selection Board. The SSB tests evaluate your potential and aptitude in terms of reasoning, intelligence, communication skills, courage, initiative, confidence, responsibility, social adaptability, decision-making and organization ability (‘officer-like qualities’).
The tests call for average intelligence and comprise: Personal interview, outdoor/group tasks, officer’s test and psychological tests. There are conducted at designated army, navy and air force selection centres. For details, click here
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