Youngsters can join the Indian Air Force (IAF) in many ways. The IAF provides opportunities to the candidates who have passed 10th, 12th, graduation and post graduation. There are other special entry schemes like NCC entry or University Entry Scheme (UES). To start with, let us have a look at the branches of the Indian Air Force.
Branches of the IAF
The IAF has the following branches. These are:
Flying Branch: Flying Branch consists of the Pilots. Both men and women can become pilots. The persons in this branch actually fly the planes during operations and battles. There are three kinds of pilots: Fighter Pilot, Helicopter Pilot and Transport Pilot.
Ground Duty Branch: Ground Duty Branch deals with the control tower and meteorological functions. The Officers are expected to co-ordinate with the pilots and keep them informed of the weather conditions. Ground Duty Branch has two different branches. These are:
Ground Duty (Technical Branch): Technical Branch is concerned with the aircraft and other air force equipment.
Ground Duty (Non-Technical Branch): Non-Technical Branch includes the Logistics, Accounts, Education, Administration and Medical & Dental Branch.
6 Ways to Join Indian Air Force
IAF recruits for various civilian posts like Multi Tasking Staff (MTS), Stenographer, Content Assistant (Material Assistant), Lower Division Clerk (LDC), Watchman, Cook, Carpenter, Messenger, Gardener, Fitter, Vendor, Barber, Tin and Copper Smith, Mechanic, Tailor, Painter etc.
To get recruited for these posts, the candidates must have passed 10th class or having diploma in the concerned field to get recruited. In some posts, qualification is limited to 10th class only while in some others, ITI is required. It is also to be noted that preference is given to the candidates who have passed class 12th.
After 12th (10+2)
The candidates can enter the IAF after passing class 12th also. All men, who have passed the exam of class 12th, may join National Defence Academy (NDA) by passing the written exam and SSB interview. Once the training is completed, the candidates join the IAF. The exam for NDA is conducted by the UPSC twice a year.
Graduates can also join any branch of the IAF by passing the Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam which is conducted by the UPSC twice a year. The candidates can also appear in the Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT) to get selected in the IAF. After the selection, the candidates get training at one of the IAF training institutes and then they are commissioned and posted as Officers.
After completing the post-graduation, the candidates can join the technical or ground duty branches. It is easy to join the IAF if the candidates have a degree in Aeronautical Engineering or Electronics.
The entry in the Meteorological Branch is possible only after post-graduation in any Science stream / Mathematics / Statistics / Geography / Computer Applications / Environmental Science / Applied Physics / Oceanography / Meteorology / Agricultural Meteorology / Ecology & Environment / Geo-physics / Environmental Biology with minimum 50% marks in total in all the papers put together (Provided that Maths and Physics are the subjects at Graduation Level, with minimum 55% marks in both).
National Cadet Corps (NCC), also known as the Fourth Line of Defence, provides an opportunity to join the IAF. If the candidates have completed NCC training and obtained a ‘C’ Certificate from the Air Wing NCC then they are eligible to join the IAF.
University Entry Scheme (UES) Entry
University Entry Scheme (UES) is for those candidates who are currently pursuing their Pre-final year of BE/B.Tech degree. It is to be ensured that there should not be any backlog in any paper in the previous semesters at the time of SSB Interview. On the completion of the degree, the candidates must obtain minimum 60% marks in total in all the papers.
Now, it is quite clear that the candidates can enter the IAF anytime from class 10th to the post-graduation degree. The age plays a role in joining IAF therefore the candidates need to be careful about the age limit before applying to IAF.