Indian Air Force conducts Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT) to recruit appropriate candidates for various prestigious posts in the Force. Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT) provides Permanent Commission and Short Service Commission to candidates in various sections in the Indian Air Force. On the other side, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) also conducts CDS and NDA exams to select candidates for Commissioned Officer in the Air Force.
Male and Female candidates both are eligible to appear for Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT). Having after qualified Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT), candidates are recruited for Commissioned Officer in Flying, Technical and Ground Duty branches.
Indian Air Force conducts AFCAT twice a year. Applications for AFCAT are invited in May and December months usually and AFCAT Online exam is conducted during February and August months.
Online examination is conducted for Officer and Airman Cadres in Air Force. In this process, AFCAT is conducted for Officer Cadre while STAR (Scheduled Test for Airman Recruitment) for Airman Cadre. A candidate is deputed as Commissioned Officer in Flying, Technical and Ground Duty branches after qualifying AFCAT.
Air Force conducts the test IT based online method for all three branches. It helps all such aspirants who live in remote areas. Earlier there were more than 100 exam centers across the country for officer cadre exam while only 14 exam centers were for Airman Cadre. There were not even a single exam centre in many states and union territories. But through Online mode, there are 760 exam centers across the country which helps every aspirant to appear for the AFCAT without a lot of travelling. It helps around six lac candidates who appear for the AFCAT being conducted every six months.
Eligibility: To appear for AFACT, a candidate must have qualified 12th standard with Math and Physics subjects. After this, s/he should have qualified graduation / B Com / BE / B Tech degree according to the branch. Candidates are advised to visit the official website to know more details about eligibility criteria.
Recruitment in Flying, Ground Duty (Technical / Non-Technical)
For the Flying branch a candidate needs to have done 12th with Math and Physics subjects and should be Graduate or BE / B Tech qualified with minimum 60% of total marks. S/he must be in the age group of 20 to 24 years.
Ground Duty (Technical)
To apply for Aeronautical Engineer in Technical branch a candidate must be graduate in Engineering or have got graduation membership from Institute or Engineers. According to this, candidates are recruited for Electronics, mechanical or similar kind branches. The candidates must be have secured minimum 60% of marks in Physics and Math each and have done four years degree in Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Aeronautical Engineer. The age limit is 20-26 years.
Ground Duty Non- Technical
Administration and Logistics
• To apply in Administration and Logistics branch, the candidate must have secured at least 60% marks in Graduation or s/he must be a post graduate.
• For accounts branch, candidates must be Graduate or Post Graduate in Commerce or CA or ICWA qualified.
• For education branch entry, candidates must be Post Graduate with minimum 50% marks. The age limits are 20 years to 26 years.
• Meteorology Entry - (Ground Duty Non - Technical)- For Meteorology branch entry, the candidate must be post graduate in any discipline from a recognized university. Age limits for the branch are 20 years to 26 years.
NCC Special Entry:
NCC Air Wing Senior Division with ‘C’ certificate and other criteria similar to the Flying branch eligibility. Age limit minimum is 20 years and maximum is 24 years.
Selection Process for AFCAT
Having written the Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT) candidates are required to appear for Engineering Knowledge Test – Technical Branch, Intelligence Test, Psychological Test, Group Test and Interview Process.
For AFCAT, IFA prepares the list of candidates who acquire minimum qualifying marks in the written exam. Candidates successful in the Online AFCAT candidates are called for Air Force Selection Board (AFSB). All such candidates who apply for NCC Special Entry and Meteorology branch are called directly to any centre of AFSB at Dehradun, Mysore, Gandinagar or Varanasi. For Flying branch, candidates are called at Dehradun, Mysore or Varanasi centre.
AFSB consists of Three stages as following:-
(I) Stage - I- It is a screening test. On first day, Officer Intelligence Rating Test, Picture Perception and Group Discussion are conducted. Document Verification is also done on the same day.
(Ii) Stage- II- On first day itself, a Psychology Test is conducted during afternoon. After this GD and interview rounds are conducted for next five days.
(iii) Flying Branch – Only those candidates are given preference who are recommended through the Computerized Pilot Selection System (CPSS). A candidate gets this opportunity only once in a life. Those candidates who are not able to qualify in first attempt or suspended from flying training in Air Force Academy are not eligible.
Age Limit: For Flying Branch the age of a candidate must be minimum 20 years and maximum 24 years. For Ground Duty Branch, the upper Age Limit is 26 years.
Any candidate whose age is below 25 years should be unmarried.
Candidates are not allowed for marriage during training.
Married candidates are eligible after 25 years.
Flying Branch, Ground Duty (Technical) Branch, Ground Duty (Non-Technical) Branch
For Male Candidates – Height must be 157.5 CM and weight should be in proportion to the chest with minimum expansion of 5 cms.
For Female Candidates - Height must be 152 CM
The candidate neither should be suffering from any kind of colour blindness, night blindness nor wearing the specks. He should have any kind of physical deficiency or illness. The candidates must be physically and mentally fit and must be able to comply the medical standards laid down in the Air Force.
The candidates selected for Permanent Commission (Male) and Short Service Commission (SSC) (Female) are sent to Air Force Academy, Hyderabad or other centers for training as Flying Cadets. Training for Ground Duty (Non Technical) at Air Force Training Centers is conducted for 52 weeks while for Flying and Ground Duty (Technical) the duration of training is 74 years. After successful completion of the training they are given the appointment as Flying Officer. Initially service duration continue to 10 years since receiving the commission which can be extended further for five years.
The candidates must be able to run 01 Mile (1.6 KM) in 10 Minutes, to do 10 Push Ups and 3 Chin Ups.
It includes Running, Swimming, Rope Climbing and other forms of Physical Training / Conditioning.
(i) Running: 4 KM in 15 Minute (ii) Skipping (iii) Push Ups and Sit Ups: Min 20 each (iv) Chin Ups: 08. (v) Rope Climbing: 3 to 4 Meter (vi) Swiming (25 Mrs).
Salary and Allowances
During training cadets are given a Stipend of Rs.56,100. After getting the Commission, they are given a salary according the Matrix Level – 10. Flying Officer gets salary according to the Defence Matrix Rs.56,100 – 110700/-. In addition to this, candidates get Rs.15500/- MSP. Apart from salary, many allowance and perks are given to the personnel.
If any candidate has a hobby of Tattoo then he or she can have this only on the inner part of arms. It should not be on the reverse side of Palm or Hand or any other part of body, if exists, the candidate will be disqualified from the selection process.
To know more about AFCAT, candidates are advised to visit the official website of Indian Air Force, i.e. www.careerairforce.nic.in and afcat.cdac.in/AFCAT.