In this article, I will cover the complete details of Indian Air force, step by step regarding the entrance exam of the flying branch because in general most of the students can’t afford CPL training. So for them, this is a very good option and an opportunity to fulfill their dreams Moreover an opportunity to serve the nation as well, which is unmatched to any other work as per my opinion. So you can join Indian Air Force in 3 Streams or Branches they are Flying Branch, Ground Duty Technical Branch and Ground Duty Non-technical branch.
Every branch has its own set of eligibility criteria depending upon your qualification which you have to fulfill before applying. And here I will cover specifically about the Flying branch only, as you can become a pilot through this only. So under this branch, you could become a fighter pilot OR transport pilot OR helicopter pilot. You will get an option to choose between these three when you join after clearing the selection process. But it highly depends upon your performance, throughout your training period when you join as a cadet and it’s not an easy training, many cadets quit in between plus you will be evaluated in each and every stages by flying supervisors, on a continuous basis and finally as per the merit list of cadet’s performance plus latest policy and requirements of the air force. According to that, only a few top cadets get a chance to become a fighter pilot, rest cadets join the transport or helicopter pilot wing.
But all of them have exactly the same rank i.e flying officers. There is no difference or any kind of discrimination is done. Through the flying branch, you can join or apply in two types of commission, based upon the tenure period of service.
- In this, the first is permanent commission. In this, you serve till your retirement age, but only men are allowed to apply here, women are not allowed.
- Second is a short service commission, In this, you have to serve for a limited period of 14 yrs only, which is non-extendable. But in this commission, both men and women can apply.
Now let’s see different entry schemes and their eligibility criteria, So you can join by any entry scheme, you have to clear AFSB interview i.e Air force Selection Board After clearing this you will have a medical phase, which is done very strictly and no compromise is done at any cost or circumstances. In Fact, commercial pilot medical is nothing in front of Air Force Medical standards, So if you clear all these phases successfully then after you will be inducted as a cadet at any one of the Air Force Training Establishments And your training starts from there only.
We will see about other different entry schemes,
- In this first entry scheme is NDA i.e National Defence Academy this exam is conducted by UPSC twice a year, and their advertisement comes in January & June And to apply in this your age must be 16.5 to 19.5 yrs at the time of commencement of your course.
- Next point, only Indian Nationals can apply in this, and specifically only men, women are not allowed to apply.
- It’s a compulsory requirement to have physics and maths in your 12th standard plus you are eligible to apply in both cases whether you are appearing or passed your 12th standard and in this entry scheme you get a permanent commission job.
- Second entry scheme is CDSE i.e Combined Defence Service Examination So, this exam is also conducted by UPSC twice a year and their advertisement comes on November and August, here also only Indian nationals, unmarried single men can apply whose age is 20 to 24 yrs at the time of commencement of course In this scheme again women are not allowed to apply.
- The compulsory requirement is you must have physics and maths in your 12th standard. In addition, you must have a graduation degree in any discipline either 3 yr or 4 yr course i.e BE/ B.Tech from a recognized university and you are eligible to apply if you are in your final year or semester of your graduation OR pass out. But here one important point is, there is no specific percentage required in graduation. And here also you get a permanent commission job.
- The third entry scheme is NCC Special Entry Scheme i.e National Cadet Corps So in this scheme, only NCC Air wing Senior Division “C” certificate holders can apply and only Indian Nationals, unmarried single Men & Women can apply. Men have the option to apply either in permanent or short service commission. But women can apply only in short service commission and here age criteria are 20 to 24 yrs at the time of commencement of your course. But DGCA CPL holders have been given an age relaxation of 2 yrs, so they can apply up to 26 yrs.
- You must have minimum 60% marks in your 12th individually physics and maths, In addition, you must have a graduation degree in any discipline either 3 yr Or 4 yr course i.e B.E / B.Tech from a recognized university with minimum 60% aggregate overall and here also you are eligible to apply if you are in the final year or semester of your graduation or pass out. But one important point is, you do not have any present backlog at the time of AFSB test plus in this entry scheme you will be directly shortlisted on basis of your NCC “C” certificate and other qualifications as I told you just now so this is an advantage OR plus point for NCC cadets.
- And their advertisement comes twice a year in June & December ( conducted by IAF )
- The fourth and last entry scheme is AFCAT i.e Air Force Common Admission Test This is one of the popular exams conducted by IAF twice a year and their advertisement comes in June and December. In this scheme, both Men & Women can apply, But only unmarried, single & Indian Nationals only plus here you get a short service commission job i.e for 14 yrs only. Your age must be 20 to 24 yrs at the time of commencement of your course and again here also DGCA CPL holders can apply up to 26 yrs.
- Qualification required is a minimum of 60% marks in your 12th standard individually physics and maths. In addition, you must have a graduation degree in any discipline either 3 yr Or 4 yr course i.e B.E / B.Tech from a recognized university with minimum 60% aggregate. And here also it is required that you don’t have any present backlog at the time of the AFSB test.
So all these 4 entry schemes are available to you and I think you must try this till you are eligible especially those students who must apply who can’t afford CPL training because regardless of whether you get selected or not, your experience matters specifically AFSB interview experience that will help you somewhere at some point in your life and also motivate you to do any task and one important point is, after retiring from IAF you can join commercial aviation as per DGCA guidelines. So don’t lose hope or say you don’t have any option. Take responsibility for your life and start working from today itself without giving any excuses.