With an eye on recruiting officers who have the technical capabilities of handling and managing its hi-tech overhaul, the Indian Navy will shortlist candidates under one scheme using their performances in the Joint Entrance Exam (Main).
Aspiring candidates for the 10+2 B Tech cadet entry scheme will now have to take the JEE (Main) in 2017 to be eligible for entry to the January 2018 course at the Indian Naval Academy.
About 120 candidates will be shortlisted based on their JEE (Main) scores to appear before the Services Selection Board (SSB) for interviews. The 10+2 B Tech cadet entry scheme will no longer use the candidate’s scores in Physics, Math’s and Chemistry (PCM) in the Class XII exams. As TOI reported earlier, the first direct-entry batch of BTech officers graduated from the INA in May 2013.
The JEE scores have been chosen as a benchmark to negate the uneven nature of scoring systems adopted by various state examination boards.
“Different state examination boards have gone berserk in awarding high marks in Class XII. We were finding the quality of candidates coming for the SSB interview or training very uneven,” said a senior Navy officer.
“The JEE (Main) ranks, which the CBSEhas agreed to share with us, will be a better benchmark. With the government approving the move, youngsters will have to appear for the JEE (Main) in 2017 to be eligible for the January 2018 course at INA,” the officer added.
The Indian Navy has been tweaking its recruitment procedures to better suit the increasingly technological and technical nature of roles of its officers. The force is undergoing a major technological overhaul, considering the advancements and upgrades to its weapon systems and sensors on existing ships. The Navy has also been inducting state-of-the-art warships that too have raised the technological profile of the job of officers on board.
The Navy had earlier implemented its plan to ensure that almost all its new officers have B Tech degrees. This would be combined with the traditional military and leadership skills that they are expected to have gained when they graduate from Indian Naval Academy in Kerala.
At present, the Navy uses other modes of officer recruitment as well. First, there is the National Defense Academy (NDA) route, where 78 cadets undergo the three-year course at the tri-service NDA. These cadets get commissioned as officers with BTech degrees after another year of intensive training at the INA.Second, 110 cadets are picked to directly join the INA for the four-year-BTech programme after clearing the UPSC exams. This happens across two batches each year.