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Careers for engineers in the armed forces

Think of armed forces and the picture that comes to mind is of valiant soldiers fighting with enemies to make their homeland a safe place. But the defence establishments have not remained simple. In fact they have emerged as the most sophisticated systems. There are numerous well defined works for engineers, medical practitioners, cooks, technicians, religious teachers and others. This article focuses on the career of engineers in armed forces.

An engineer in the Defence Forces is responsible for multifarious tasks like construction of bridges, roads, mining and de-mining operations, constructions of bunkers, provision of efficient radio and signal communications, repair and recovery, administrative assignments and so on. In this way, an engineer is exposed to all kinds of technical and administrative duties while serving in the armed Forces.

Indian Army

For a commission in the Indian Army men up to the age of 27 years and women up to 25 years of age can apply. The applicants should either be in the final year of engineering or should have cleared the final in any of the following branches Electrical, Electronics, Electronics and Telecommunications, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Technology, Information Technology, Mechanical, Production, Manufacturing, Industrial Rubber and Elastic Technology, Metallurgy, Aeronautical, Civil, Architecture etc. Males who are in the Third year/Final year can also apply under a special scheme known as the University Entry Scheme.

Indian Navy

Men and women engineers below the age of 25 years can apply for a commission in the Indian Navy. The men could be a part of an Executive branch or Education branch of the Indian Navy. The applicants should have secured an aggregate of above 60% in anyone of the following disciplines of engineering: Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics, Telecommunication, Control, Instrumentation, Marine, Computer, Information Technology, Civil, and Architectural Engineering.

Indian Air Force

Engineers can be part of the Indian Air Force in the technical stream as well as ground duties (administration and logistics). For this, the applicants need to be below 28 years of age for technical stream and below 25 years for ground duties and need to secure aggregate percentage of above 60% in the engineering degree. For applying in the technical field, the degree has to be from one of the following disciplines – electronics, Telecommunications, Electrical Communication, Electronics and Telecommunications, Instrumentation, Computer Science, Aeronautical, Mechanical Production or Industrial Production. For being an officer in the Administration or Logistics, the engineering degree could be from any sub branch of engineering.

Engineers can also be a par of the flying branch. For being an officer one should be below 23 years of age and needs to apply for the CDS examination. Women below 23 years of age can apply directly.

Application procedure

 Applicants are advised to go through the Employment News/Rozgar Samachar published every Saturday. The criteria for age, height, weight, qualifications, etc should be met for applying for the post. Applicants must follow all the instructions given in the advertisements/notification. The applications are likely to be rejected in case they are incomplete or the instructions mentioned in the notification have not been followed.

Engineering degree in Army and Navy

There is a facility for young male aspirants in the 16-191/2 years age-group to become Army/Naval officers (Technical), the details of which are given below:

10+2 Technical Entry (Army and Navy)

Male aspirants on completion of XII science who are in the age group of 161/2 to 191/2 years are eligible to apply in the Army if they have secured more than 70% marks in aggregate of Physics, Chemistry and Maths and would also be eligible to apply in the Navy if they have secured more than 75% marks in aggregate of Physics, Chemistry and Maths and above 50% marks in English language. On completion of training, the selected students would become officers (Technical) in the Army/Navy. These applicants would receive an engineering degree on completion of training.


NDA/CDS/ACC students who get commissioned into the Indian Army are eligible to undergo Degree in Engineering provided they have completed their graduation in science stream. The officers commissioned in the technical arms and services are sent for the Degree engineering course in one of the under mentioned Army establishments:

  1. College of Military engineering (CME), Pune.
  2. Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (MCEME), Secunderabad.
  3. Military College of Telecommunication Engineering (MCTE), Mhow.

Officers from arms and supporting arms can also do the engineering degree provided they are graduates from science stream and have an aptitude for doing engineering course and have been recommended by their unit commanders for the same.

Selection Procedure

The screened and short-listed candidates are called for an SSB interviews at one of the Services Selection Board centres. The Air Force optees are required to qualify the Engineering Knowledge Test (EKT), Common Entrance Test (CET), Pilot Aptitude Batter Test (PABT) for the technical, administrative and flying branches respectively. The qualified candidates are then subjected to SSB interviews in a similar manner as for the Army and Navy selections. The SSB stage I is the preliminary screening stage which consists of intelligence test, picture perception test and group discussion. Only those candidates who qualify Stage I undergo psychological tests, group tests and an interview which forms Stage II of the SSB selection process. The candidates who are recommended by the Services Selection Board are required undergo medical examination at the Military hospital. They are then placed in the order of merit. The final selection is based on the number of vacancies available at that point of time.



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