Indian Air Force

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Career in the Indian Air Force offers not just a rewarding lifestyle but also offers many benefits that become a value addition to the profession. For a selfless service the organization takes care of the personnel’s and their families’ welfare and requirements. The best part is that the association does not get over with the tenure but continues post-retirement too.

  • Life insurance cover under the Air Force Group Insurance Scheme ( AFGIS) with minimal monthly contribution rates
  • Easy and soft loans for housing, computer, medical and conveyance
  • Officers and their families have free access to medical facilities
  • Scholarships and welfare schemes from Air Force Wives Welfare Association
  • Annual leave for 60 days and casual leave of 20 days per year
  • Leave travel and rail concessions
  • Subsidized rations
  • Best recreational and sports facilities
  • Opportunity to pursue higher education from institutes like IIT, BHU-IT and IGNOU
  • Study leave for 24 months extendible up to 28 months
  • Post-retirement benefits include pension, insurance, medical facilities and grant for commercial venture
  • Employment assistance by the Placement Cell of Air Force Association

Permanent Commission is a career in the Indian Air Force till you retire. The routes are

  • After 10+2 – through NDA
  • After Graduation – through CDSE
  • For Technical and Ground Duty Branches – PC course through AFCAT and join Air Force Academy

At present, women officers can opt for Permanent Commission only in Education and Accounts Branch. Option for PC is also offered on completion of Short Service Commission (SSC) tenure, depending on vacancy and merit. Short Service Commission offers a limited period of 10 to 14 years of career in the Air Force.

Here are the three steps you have to ace to join the Indian Air Force:

Step 1: Entry through NDA and CDSE: The advertisement for written entrance tests for NDA appears twice in May and December and for CDSE in June and October by the UPSC. All other entries other than NDA and CDSE and for all branches are through Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT) conducted in February and September

Step 2: Selected candidates need to clear the SSB (Services Selection Board) common to all armed forces apart from Pilot Aptitude Battery Test (PABT). It aims at assessing a candidate’s aptitude to be trained as a pilot.

Step 3: The third hurdle is the medical examination either at Air Force Central Medical Establishment (AFCME), New Delhi or Institute of Aviation Medicine, Bengaluru.

Air Force training establishments:

  1. National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune
  2. Air Force Academy, Dundigul
  3. Air Force Technical College, Bangalore
  4. Flying Training Establishments

Listed below are various modes to join the force:

10+2 Entry

Eligibility: Age between 16 ½ to 19 years

Qualifications: 10+2 with Physics and Mathematics

FLYING BRANCH

Graduate Entry

Eligibility: Age between 19 to 23 years

Qualifications: Graduate (three-year course)/ BE / B Tech (four-year course) with physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level

Examination pattern: Combined Defence Services Examination (CDSE) by UPSC, SSB interview, medical test National Cadet Corps Special Entry

Eligibility: Age between 19 to 23 years

Qualifications:

  • Graduate degree (three-year course)/ BE / B Tech (four-year course) with minimum 60 percent aggregate in all papers put together in graduation with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level
  • NCC Air Wing Senior Division ‘C’ certificate. Flying (Pilot) Short Service Commission (For Men & women) Both men and women are eligible to apply for short service commission in the flying branch.

Eligibility: Age between 19 to 23 years

Qualifications: Graduate degree (three-year course)/ BE / B Tech (four-year course) with minimum 60 percent aggregate in all papers put together in Graduation with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level.

TECHNICAL BRANCH

Direct Entry Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics)

Eligibility: Age between 18 to 28 years

Qualification: (Aeronautical Engineer – Electronics with minimum 60 percent marks in aggregate in all papers put together in (any of the following)

  • BE / B.Tech in Electronics / Telecommunication / Electrical / Communication/ Electronics & Communication / Instrumentation / Information Technology /Computer Science & Engineering or a combination of these subjects.
  • Diploma in Electronics of Madras Institute of Technology.
  • B.Tech in Radio Physics and Electronics / Optics and Opto Electronics.
  • M.Sc Degree in Physics (With Electronics) / Electronics / Computer Science Computer Applications
  • MCA with Maths, Physics and Electronics at graduation level.
  • M.Sc. Tech in Electronics and Radio Engineering
  • Section A&B Examination of the Associate Membership Examination of the Institution of Engineers (India) in Electrical, Electronics or Telecommunication subjects
  • Graduate Membership Examination of the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers with subjects of Section A & full subjects of Section B by actual studies (Maths, Applied Electronics and Circuits, Principals of Communication Engineering, Transmission lines and Networks) Section A & B of Examination of Aeronautical Society of India by Actual Studies in Avionics / Communication streams

Direct Entry Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical)

Eligibility: Age between 18 to 28 years

Qualification: Aeronautical Engineer-Mechanical with minimum 60 percent marks in aggregate in all papers put together in (any of the following)

  • BE / B.Tech in Aeronautical / Mechanical / Production / Industrial Production or a combination of these subjects
  • Section A and B of Associate Membership Examination of Institution of Engineering (India) with Mechanical / Aeronautical subjects by actual studies
  • Section A and B of Associate Membership Examination of the Aeronautical Society of India with Group I (Design and Production) or Group II (Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul) subjects by actual studies University Entry Scheme (UES) Permanent Commission (For Male only) Qualifications: Pre-final year of BE / B.Tech degree course in the relevant streams of engineering as mentioned above with minimum 60 percent aggregate unto the last semester for which results have been declared, at the time of applying / AFSB testing.

GROUND DUTY BRANCHES

Administration Branches

Eligibility: Age between 20 to 23 years for Graduates, 20 to 25 years for Post

Graduates and 20 to 26 Years for Law Graduates (three-year course)

Qualifications: (any of the following)

  • Any graduate with minimum 60 percent marks in aggregate in all papers put together
  • Post Graduate Degree with minimum 50 percent marks in aggregate in all papers put together in Arts / Science / Commerce / Management / Engineering
  • LLB [For law graduates (three years course) the upper age is relaxed upto 26 years]

Accounts Branch

Eligibility: Age between 20 to 23 years for Graduates, 20 to 25 years for Post Graduates and 20 to 27 years for CA / ICWA.

Qualifications: (any of the following)

  • Graduate degree in Commerce with minimum 60 percent marks in aggregate in all papers put together.
  • Post-graduate degree in Commerce with minimum 50 percent marks in aggregate in all papers put together.
  • CA / ICWA with minimum 50 percent marks in aggregate in all papers put together after BCom / M Com.

Logistics

Eligibility: Age between 20 to 23 years for Graduates, 20 to 25 years for Post Graduates and 20 to 26 Years for Law Graduates (three-year course)

Qualifications: (any of the following)

  • Any graduate with minimum 60 percent marks in aggregate in all papers put together
  • Post-graduate degree with minimum 50 percent marks in aggregate in all papers put together in Arts / Science / Commerce / Management / Engineering
  • LLB [For law graduates (three years course) the upper age is relaxed upto 26 years]

Education Branch

Eligibility: Age from 20 to 25 years for Post-graduates and 20 to 27 for M.Ed and

PhD

Qualifications: (any of the following)

  • Post-graduate degree with minimum 50 percent marks in aggregate in English / Psychology / Defence Studies / Mathematics / Physics / Statistics /

Computer Science / Management

  • M.Ed degree after PG in above stated subjects
  • Ph D in above stated subjects

Meteorological Branch

Eligibility: Age between 20 and 25 years

Qualifications: Post-graduate degree with minimum 50 percent marks in aggregate in Science / Geography / MCA (having passed Mathematics and Physics at graduation level.

Perks and Growth

The Indian Air force is the air arm of the armed forces. Its main aim is to secure India’s airspace and lead a conflict with aerial warfare. It has played a significant role in many of our country’s past wars. Apart from protecting the sovereignty, the Air Force is also responsible for various peacekeeping missions and rescue operations. It is the fourth largest air force in the world and has some of the most sophisticated fighter-crafts and weapons. Broadly the Air Force has three branches with further sub-streams :

Flying Branch

Fighters: The most adventurous and thrilling job where a pilot trains and specialises to hit enemy target either air-borne or on ground.

Transports: Pilots are responsible to transport defence personnels, weapons, ammunition and light vehicles through secure routes to reach their destination.

Helicopters: These are primarily used to carry personnels and food. They however play a very significant role in reaching inaccessible places during rescue operations.

Technical Branch

Mechanical – responsible for the maintenance and capability of aircrafts and other machinery

Electronics – maintain sophisticated electronic communication network between ground and air

Ground Duty Branch

Administration – responsible for the administration and management of air force bases

Air Traffic Control – aim to provide instructions for safe navigation, even in adverse conditions

Accounts – overall in-charge of financial and budgetary requirements of the force

Logistics – ensure supply management in the most cost effective way

Education – trains air force personnel to hone their skills

Meteorology – forecasting weather conditions for air movements.

Growth opportunity

Flying Officer — – Flight Lieutenant — – Squadron Leader — – Wing Commander — –

Group Captain — – Air Commodore– – Air Vice Marshal — Air Marshal — – Air Chief

Marshal