Cadets are awarded bachelor’s degrees on completion of training

FOR EDUCATION PLUS -

If you are currently taking your final year intermediate examination or have passed intermediate in the last academic year, then the National Defence Academy (NDA) exam to be held by the UPSC in August 2009 is an excellent career option. You can tap your inclination towards a career in the armed forces as a Class I Commissioned Officer.

In the armed forces, one can opt for administration, logistics, meteorology, accounts, engineering, computer sciences, signals and communication technology, apart from sailing, flying, architecture and a host of other options.

The forces is one place where professional growth takes place at every step. Nowhere else will you get such phenomenal opportunities to constantly upgrade your skills.

NDA cadets are awarded bachelor’s degrees in arts, science or computer science upon completion of training. If you join the technical stream, you will acquire graduate and post-graduate degrees in engineering at some of the finest institutes of technology with all expenses taken care of by the government. Selection for the prestigious Defence Services Staff College course results in the award of M.Sc. in Defence and Strategic Studies.

What’s more, one can also get study leave for a two-year period to upgrade professional skills. Growth opportunities like these are virtually unlimited. One could even get into Research and Development.

The forces run some of the country’s most prestigious academies and institutes from engineering to medicine, from administration to strategy, from armament technology to management. You name it, they have it.

About NDA exam

UPSC conducts the entrance examination in April and August every year. Candidates need to be in the age group of 16 to 18 years and should have successfully completed 10+2 (any discipline) at the time of writing the examination.

Selection process

The first step is to fill the UPSC form and forward to the UPSC authorities if you meet all eligibility conditions. Sit for the examination after receiving the hall ticket. Selection process for the NDA involves two stages – NDA written examination followed by a Service Selection Board (SSB) interview (900 marks each).

The written examination, which consists of two papers, is objective type. Candidates are usually tested in matrices and determinants, algebra, trigonometry, analytical geometry of two & three dimensions, differential and integral calculus and differential equations, vector algebra, statistics and probability in the mathematics paper while the general ability paper tests students on English, physics, chemistry, biology, economics, geography, history, political science, and international and national affairs.

Interview

Only if your name appears in the national merit list are you qualified for the next stage viz. the interview stage (SSB), which includes medical examinations.

In this stage, candidates will be tested in basic intelligence, verbal and non-verbal perception tests, psychological projective Word Association Test (WAT), personality Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) and Situation Reaction Test (SRT). There will also be group testing, indoor tests, group discussions, series group planning exercise, outdoor tests, command tasks /progressive group task/half group task, individual/group obstacle race, personal interview and indoor sequential.

Candidates are selected on total final score obtained both in the written and SSB out of 1,800 marks. Try to score the maximum marks in the written exam stage because the maximum marks possible for an individual to score in the interview stage is usually about 40-50 per cent.

Only after clearing these stages can one join the National Defence Academy (NDA) at Khadakwalsa in Pune, for a three-year graduation programme with all expenses taken care of by the Union Government.

After completing the graduation course at NDA, one automatically branches out either into the Army, Navy or Air Force based on one’s choice. In case a candidate opts for Air Force, he proceeds to the Air Force Academy at Hyderabad and passes out as a Commissioned Officer in the rank of a Flying Officer after completion of his basic training.

Those who opt for the Navy head to the Indian Naval Academy at Kochi and after completion of their basic training pass out as Commissioned Officer in the rank of a Sub-Lieutenant while those seeking a career in the Army advance to the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun and pass out as Commissioned Officers in the rank of a Lieutenant, after successful completion of basic training.

After being commissioned as Class I Gazetted Officers, they begin their career with any of the Defence establishments in the country. Pay and perks are excellent.

The Officers Academy based at Secunderabad, with its experience of over 20 years, has the necessary resources to guide and prepare interested candidates to score maximum percentage in a short duration.

CAPT. R. SIRCAR,

Director, Officers Academy