Introduction :
Today we have Women Officers in all the three services of the Indian Armed Forces i.e., the Army, Navy & Air Force. Women are having equal opportunities in the terms of employability. The commission is a Short Service Commission of five years extendable upto 14 years in all the three services. [It is only in the Medical Services that women can apply for a permanent commission which is being covered in a separate article (Careers for Doctors in the Armed Forces)].

Indian Army :
After every six months 75 women are inducted for training at the Officers Training Academy, Chennai. These women are called the Lady Cadets (LCs). The LCs undergo a six month military training after which they are commissioned as Officers in the Indian Army. Unmarried women below the age of 25 years can apply if they are Graduates and below the age of 27 years if they are Post Graduates. They need to have a height of above 152 cm (5 ft). The eligibility conditions in respect of qualifications and percentage of marks are as follows:- 1. B Sc (PCM / Computer / Non PCM), BA, BCom, BBA, BCA 60% and above. 2. MSc (Computer Science / Electronics / Maths / Organic / Biochemistry / Microbiology / Food Technology / Hotel Management / Catering Technology), 50% and above. MCA, MA (Psychology / History / Geography / English), LLB 3. BE / BTech (Computer Science / Computer Engineering, Electronic Engineering / Telecommunication / Pass Electronics & Telecommunication / Information Technology / Civil / Electrical / Mechanical / Production / Architecture) Note : Women in their final year of Engineering are also eligible to apply provided they should be in receipt of the degree prior to commencement of the course.

Indian Navy :
Women can get commissioned in the Executive branch or the Education branch of the Indian Navy. For being eligible to apply, women need to be below 25 years of age with a height of more than 152 cm (5 ft) and should have secured more than 60% marks at Graduation level in any of the following disciplines :- BCA / MCA BA (Economics) BCom BE / BTech (Mechanical / Marine / Electrical / Electronics / Electronics & Telecommun- ication / Instrumentation / Computers / IT)

Indian Airforce :
Women can be commissioned into the Indian Air force in Flying branch, Technical stream as well as in the Administration and Logistics. The following are the eligibility conditions :- Nature of duties Height Age Qualifications Flying 162.5 cm (54) and above,with leg length 99cm-120cm Below 23 years BA / BCom /BSc / BE /BTech / Any Graduate Ground Duties 152 cm (50) and above Below 23 years for GraduatesBelow 25 years for Postgraduate/ CA / ICWA / LLB BA / BCom / MCom /BSc /BE / BTech (any stream)MA (English / Defence Studies / Psychology / Geography)MSc (Any branch)MBA / CA / ICWA / LLB Technical 152 cm (50) and above Below 28 years BE / BTech (Electronics / Electrical / Mechanical / Telecommunication / Electronics & Telecom / Instrumentation / Computer Science / Aeronautical Engineering / Production / Industrial Production )MSc (Computer Science / Computer Application)

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 advertisement / notification. The applications are likely to be rejected in case they are incomplete or the instructions mentioned in the notification have not been followed.

Selection Procedure
The screened and short- listed candidates are called for an SSB interview at one of the Services Selection Board Centres. The Air Force optees are required to qualify the PABT, CET, EKT, for the flying branch, Ground Duties, Technical 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 to 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.

(The author is Director - Training at Apex Careers, Pune. )