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Short Service Commission Entries: 2021 Ultimate Guide

About Short Service Commission

Short Service Commission means a career in the defence forces for a limited period of 10 years. However, this tenure can be extended to 4 years, which means officers joining the defence forces through SSC can serve for a period of 10 or 14 years. For the Short Service Commission, only graduates are eligible to apply in the army/navy/ air force.

Note: Officers are not eligible for pension after retirement.

Why Short Service Commission?

The Short Service Commission provides opportunities to officers to enhance their organizational and planning abilities. It also helps them to develop their reasoning skills which make the officers take quick and effective decisions during their service period. Moreover, the qualities that officers gain help them adapt to the environment of any organization after retirement.  

Note: Only graduates can apply for the Short Service Commission in the army/navy/air force.

Short Service Commission in the Indian Army

Candidates can join the Indian Army through SSC Tech and UPSC CDS, also known as SSC Non-Tech, as commissioned officers. The officers serve the Indian army for 10 years and at the end of their service, they either continue for 4 more years or opt-out. Moreover, based on the vacancy, dedication and willingness of the officers, Permanent Commission (PC) is offered to the eligible officers in the Indian Army. Before we move on to SSC Tech and UPSC CDS, let’s discuss Permanent Commission in brief:

Permanent Commission:

Permanent Commission means you can serve the defence forces till the age of your retirement. Moreover, it is an opportunity for both 10+2 and graduate candidates to apply for the Permanent Commission in the army/navy/air force. 

SSC Technical Entry

Officers of the SSC Tech are responsible for maintenance and management of military equipment, weapons, ammunition, etc.

Eligibility: 

Age Limit: 20 to 27 years. For widows of defence personnel, the maximum age is 35 years.

Marital Status & Gender: Unmarried male and female.

Educational qualification: B.E. / B. Tech in engineering stream from government recognized University / Institute. Besides, the final year engineering students are also eligible to sit for this exam.

Nationality: The candidate must be

1. A citizen of India or

2. The subject of Nepal or  

3. Bhutan or

4. A Tibetan refugee who was permanently settled in India before 1st January 1962.

5.     A person who is of Indian origin but migrated from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, East African countries of Uganda, Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania, Malawi, Zaire, Zambia, Ethiopia and Vietnam to settle permanently in India. 

Note: A candidate from category (2), (3), (4), or (5) must present the recruiting body with a certificate of eligibility issued by the Government of India. Moreover, Gorkha candidates from Nepal do not need to provide a certificate of eligibility.

Selection Procedure:

The selection process of SSC Tech in the Indian Army is conducted in the following three stages:

  1. Shortlisting of Applications: 

The applications are shortlisted by the Integrated Headquarters (HQ)of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). It also decides the cut off percentage of marks for each Engineering discipline.

  1. Centre Allotment:

 The next process is the allotment of the centre. The candidates will be communicated of their centre allotment (SSB Interview) via email. Further, the candidates can select their dates for SSB Interview.

  1. Medical Examination: 

Lastly, the medical examination is the final round of the selection process. Candidates recommended by the SSB must clear the medical examination round to get selected in the SSC tech.

Notification: The Indian Army will release the SSC Tech application in May. The course commences in October at Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

UPSC CDS (Non-Tech):

Combined Defence Service is a national level exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. CDS is held twice a year for the recruitment of candidates into various academies, Indian Military Academy (IMA), Air Force Academy (AFA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), and Officers Training Academy (OTA).

Note: Short Service Commission is offered only to candidates opting for Officer Training Academy (OTA).

 Eligibility: 

The Union Public Service Commission has mentioned eligibility conditions for the CDS exam.

Age Limit: 19 to 25 years.

Marital Status & Gender: Only unmarried men and women.

Educational Qualification: A candidate must be a graduate in any discipline from a recognized university.

Nationality: Candidates willing to sit for the CDS exam must check the conditions of nationality or citizenship: 

A candidate must be: 

  1. A citizen of India, or
  2. A subject of Nepal, or
  3. A subject of Bhutan, or
  4. A Tibetan refugee who was permanently settled in

India before 1st January 1962. 

A person who is of Indian origin but migrated from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, East African countries of Uganda, Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania, Malawi, Zaire, Zambia, Ethiopia and Vietnam to settle permanently in India. 

Note: A candidate from category (2), (3), (4), or (5) presents the recruiting body with a certificate of eligibility issued by the Government of India. Moreover, Gorkha candidates from Nepal do not need to provide a certificate of

To know more about the OTA exam patterns and syllabus, read our blog on CDS here

CDS Exam Guide: 2021 Complete Strategy

Notification: CDSI & II applications are released by UPSC in October and August.

Short Service Commission In Indian Air Force

AFCAT Entry

 Students can apply through Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT) for Short Service Commission (SSC) in the flying branch. Short Service Commission (SSC) is a limited period career in the air force for 14 years. However, this period will not be extended further anymore.

Eligibility:

Age Limit: 20-25 years

Marital Status and Gender: Unmarried male and female.

Educational Qualification: A minimum of 50% marks is required each in Maths and Physics at 10+2 level.

  • Graduate (3 years course) in any discipline with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent from a recognised University.

OR

  • A minimum of 60% marks in graduation (in any discipline) from a recognised university OR minimum of 60% marks or equivalent in BE/B Tech (4 years course) from a recognised university.

OR

  • The candidate who has cleared Section A and B exam of Associate Membership of Institute Engineers (India) or Aeronautical Society of India from a recognised University with a minimum of 60% marks.
  • Students who are in their final year are eligible. But they should not have any backlog at the time of AFSB testing and produce degree certificates issued by the University as per the date given in the advertisement. 

Notification: The notification for AFCAT is released by Indian Air Force in June.

AFCAT Exam Pattern:

AFCAT exam comprises of two stages:

  1. Written Test
  2. AFSB Interview

AFCAT written test is compulsory for all candidates to clear the first stage of the exam. But Engineering Knowledge Test is mandatory for those who have applied for the technical branch.

Highlights of AFCAT Exam Pattern:
AFCAT Exam StagesDurationNo. of QuestionsMaximum MarksSections Covered
AFCAT written test (mandatory for all)2 Hours100300General Awareness, Verbal Ability in English, Numerical Ability and Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test
Engineering Knowledge Test (EKT)45 minutes15100Mechanical, Computer Science, Electrical & Electronics

Short Service Commission In Indian Navy

Indian Navy Entrance Test (INET)

The Indian Navy conducts the Indian Navy Entrance Test (INET) for the selection of candidates into Executive, Technical and Education branches. INET is a national-level test conducted twice a year. Selected candidates are offered Permanent Commission (PC) and Short Service Commission (SSC).

Executive Branch:

Officers of the executive branch manage the different affairs of the ships. They operate ships and submarines and are part of strategies during naval warships. Officers are also specialized in Anti-Submarine Warfare, Navigation, Communications, Gunnery and Diving. 

The executive branch is further categorized as;

  • SSC General Service (GS/X)/Hydro Cadre
  • SSC Naval Armament Inspectorate Cadre (NAIC)
  • Naval Architect
  • SSC Pilot
  • SSC Observer
  • SSC Logistics
  • SSC X (IT) 
SSC General Service (GS/X)/Hydro Cadre

Officers of the hydro cadre are responsible for making navigation charts used by mariners. They conduct surveys at Indian seas and in foreign waters(when required) as well.

Eligibility:

Age Limit: 19 ½ to 25 

Gender: Men

Educational Qualification: The candidates must have BE/B.Tech in any discipline with a minimum of 60% marks.

SSC Naval Armament Inspectorate Cadre (NAIC):

Officers inspect the armament supplied to naval ships. They also ensure the quality and safety of the naval armament.

Eligibility:

Age Limit: 19 ½ to 25

Gender: Men and Women

Educational Qualification: The candidates must have BE/B.Tech degree with minimum 60% marks in any of the following steams:

Mechanical / Mechanical with Automation / Electrical / Electrical & Electronics / Electronics / Microelectronics / Instrumentation / Electronics & Communication / Electronics & Telecommunication / Instrumentation & Control / Control Engineering / Production / Industrial Production / Industrial Engineering / Applied Electronics & Instrumentation/ Electronics & Instrumentation / Information Technology / Computer Science / Computer Engineering / Computer Application / Metallurgy / Metallurgical / Chemical / Material Science / AeroSpace / Aeronautical Engineering 

OR

 Post Graduate degree in Electronics / Physics. Candidates must have 60% aggregate marks in class X and XII and a minimum of 60% marks in English in class X or class XII. 

SSC Naval Architecture

The SSC Naval Architecture officer has to design the warships and submarines. They also supervise constructions at shipyards, platform trials at sea, appoint onboard warships as well as refit and operational support for ships and submarines, including dry docking. 

Eligibility 

Age Limit:19½-25 years

Marital status & Gender: Unmarried male and female

 Educational Qualification:

The candidates must have BE/B.Tech degree with a minimum of 60% marks in any one of the following disciplines:

  • Mechanical
  • Civil
  • Aeronautical
  • Metallurgy
  • Naval Architecture
SSC Air Traffic Control

The role of ATC in the Indian Navy is to control naval fighter aircraft, maritime reconnaissance aircraft and multi-role helicopters both ashore and afloat.

Eligibility:

Age Limit: 19-25 years

Marital status & Gender: Unmarried male and female.

Educational Qualification:

B.E/ B.Tech (Any Discipline) with 60% marks, with Maths & Physics at 10+2 level.

SSC Observer

As an observer, officers operate various equipment such as sonics, radars, sonars and communication equipment. In addition, participate in all aspects of naval operations and fly onboard helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft of the Indian navy. 

Eligibility:

Age Limit: 19-24 years

Marital status & Gender: Unmarried male and female.

Educational Qualification:

BE/B.Tech in any discipline with a minimum of 60% marks. Candidates must have 60% aggregate marks in class X and XII. Moreover, they must score a minimum of 60% marks in English in Class X or Class XII.

SSC Pilot

The work of naval pilots is to operate aircraft and helicopters, provide information about ships or submarines of the enemy. Apart from this, they also protect the naval assets at sea.

Eligibility

Eligibility conditions of SSC Pilot are the same as SSC Observer.

Note: Candidates who have valid and current Commercial Pilot License (CPL),  issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) (India), can apply for SSC Pilot entry in the Indian navy.

SSC Logistics:

The role of logistics officers is to manage and organize the requirements of ships, from finance, supply chain management, inventory management to Information Technology. They are also responsible for supplying food and clothing to the personnel of the Indian navy.

Eligibility Requirements:

Age Limit: 19 ½ to 25

Gender: Men and Women

Educational Qualification: The candidates must be a graduate with a minimum of 60% marks in any of the following disciplines:

(i) BE/B.Tech

OR

(ii) MBA

OR

 (iii) B.Sc / B.Com / B.Sc.(IT) with First class with a PG Diploma in Finance / Logistics / Supply Chain Management / Material Management 

OR

 (iv) MCA / M.Sc (IT)

SSC X (IT):

IT personnel manage naval networks and software applications. They administer ashore and afloat networks. They are also responsible for the administration of cyber security and cyber forensic.

Eligibility

Age Limit: 19 ½ to 25 years

Gender: Men

Educational Qualification: The candidates must be a graduate with a minimum of 60% marks in any of the following disciplines:

Computer Science / Computer Engg / IT / M.Sc (Computer) / MCA / M.Tech (Computer Science)

Technical Branch

The technical branch officers deal with Marine Engineering and Marine Electrical equipment of the Indian navy. The technical branch is further subdivided into two branches:

  1. SSC Engineering Branch [General Service (GS)]
  2. SSC Electrical Branch [General Service (GS)]

SSC Engineering Branch [General Service (GS)]

Engineer officers operate and maintain the equipment related to ships/submarines/aircraft. They also get an opportunity to be a part of Design and Production organizations to add to indigenous ship-building. 

Eligibility:

Age Limit: 19 ½ to 25

Gender: Men

Educational Qualification:

BE/B.Tech with minimum 60% marks in streams in any of the following discipline:

 (i) Mechanical / Mechanical with Automation

 (ii) Marine 

(iii) Instrumentation 

(iv) Production 

(v) Aeronautical

(vi) ) Industrial Engineering & Management (vii) Control Engg

 (viii) Aero Space 

(ix) Automobiles

 (x) Metallurgy 

(xi) Mechatronics 

(xii) Instrumentation & Control 

SSC Electrical Branch [General Service (GS)]

Officers of the electrical branch are responsible for maintaining and operating Marine Electrical equipment of ships/submarines/aircraft.

Eligibility

Age Limit: 19 ½ to 25

Gender: Men

Educational Qualification:

BE/B.Tech with minimum 60% marks in streams (i) Electrical (ii) Electronics (iii) Tele Communication (iv) Electronics & Communication (v) Power Engineering (vi) Power Electronics (vii) Electronics & Instrumentation/Applied Electronics & Instrumentation (viii) Instrumentation & Control (ix) Instrumentation (x) Applied Electronics and Communication (AEC).

Education Branch

Education Officers give instructions in various Indian Naval Training Establishments including the prestigious Indian Naval Academy (INA) at Ezhimala. In addition, they teach science, technical and service subjects to naval cadets who undertake B.Tech training at Indian Naval Academy (INA).

Eligibility

Age Limit: 21 to 25 years

Gender: Men and Women

Educational Qualification: 

(i) First Class in M.Sc. (Maths/Operational Research) with Physics in B.Sc.

 (ii) First Class in M.Sc. (Physics/Applied Physics/Nuclear Physics) with Maths in B.Sc.

 (iii) First Class in M.Sc. Chemistry 

(iv) 55% in MA (English) 

(v) 55% in MA (History) 

 (vi) BE / B.Tech with minimum 60% marks (Electronics & Communication/ Electrical & Electronics/ Electronics & Instrumentation/ Electronics & Telecommunications/ Electrical) 

(vii) BE / B.Tech with minimum 60% marks in Mechanical Engineering 

 (viii) BE / B.Tech with minimum 60% marks (Computer Science/Information Technology/Computer Technology/Information Systems/Computer Engineering) 

 Note: Candidates applying for the Education entry must have scored a minimum of 60% marks in class X and class XII and a minimum of 60% marks in English in class X or class XII.

INET Exam Pattern: 

SectionMaximum MarksToal No. of QuestionsDuration
Reasoning and Numerical Ability10025120 minutes
English Language10025
General Knowledge10025
General Science and Mathematical Aptitude10025
TOTAL400100

 Notification: The applications for INET are released by the Indian Navy in November.

Did you check out our blog on INET? Click the link to get a complete guide to INET

INET: A 2021 Comprehensive Guide

SSC Under University Entry Schemes (UES)

 Candidates selected for UES will be inducted as Officers in the rank of Sub Lieutenant. They will undergo 22 weeks of Naval Orientation Course at the INA, Ezhimala. They will be given professional training in Naval Ships and Training Establishments. In case of Executive (General Service) entry, the course duration of NOC at INA would be 44 weeks.

Eligibility:

Age Limit: 19-25 years

Marital status & Gender: Unmarried male and female

 Educational Qualification: 

B.E/B.Tech degree in naval architecture / Mechanical / Civil / Aeronautical / Metallurgical / Aerospace engineering with aggregate of 60%. 

Note: Candidates must note that for University Entry Schemes (UES) written exams are not conducted by the Indian Navy. Candidates are selected based on their marks. However, for the final selection, they are called for SSB Interview and medical tests. 

For detailed information on SSB Interview, read our blog on SSB here

SSB Interview: A Definitive Guide To 5 Days Procedure

Note: The schedule for all the SSC entries are tentative. The conducting body may change the notification schedule. Therefore, the candidates are advised to check the website for official advertisements. 

We have mentioned all the SSC entries for Indian defence forces. We hope this blog is informative for aspirants who are willing to join SSC in the army/navy/air force.

All the best!

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