AFCAT 1 2023: No More Permanent Commission in Indian Air Force?

The Indian Air Force released the notification for AFCAT 1 2023 exam a couple of days ago. Registration will be open from 1st December 2022 to 30th December 2022. The AFCAT 1 2023 exam will be conducted on 24th Feb, 25th Feb and 26th Feb 2023. The application will be open on the Indian Air Force’s Official AFCAT Site.

AFCAT 1 2023’s Notification was a bit different and something we have never seen. There was no Permanent Commission this year except for NCC Special Entry. Since candidates applying for NCC’s flying special entry do not appear for the AFCAT examinations, we will leave it out.

All Courses offered this year through AFCAT Entry offer Short Service Commission only be it Flying, Ground Duty: Technical and Ground Duty: Non-Technical. The Indian Air Force even specified the length of service for each Short Service Commission Entry. For Flying, the length of service is 14 Years, For Ground Duty, the length of service is 10 years+4 years if there are vacancies for service extension.

Since this is the first time IAF is only allowing Short Service Commission Entry, it raises the question…

Is Indian Air Force Getting Rid of Permanent Commission in AFCAT?

Though we can only speculate since the Air Force has not made any statement in this regard, the answer unfortunately is likely yes. Over the past few years, we have seen a push by the Ministry of Defence to lower the number of personnel in all three branches of the armed forces. This has been stated by the Prime Minister and Defence Minister numerous times over the past few years.

The Armed Forces have been steadily reducing the number of vacancies in all three branches of the Armed Forces despite facing a shortage of over 9000 Officers. Vacancies in Officer Entry via CDS have already been reduced by 35% over the past few years. Agnipath Scheme was specially launched to reduce the number of enlisted in all three branches of the armed forces. The government is even planning to slash the prestigious “Honorary” Commission rank given to NCOs of the Army, Navy and Air Force after serving over 35 Years.

Going by this trend, it is safe to say that the Indian Air Force has finally pulled the plug on Permanent Commission Entry in AFCAT. We may even see similar cutbacks in other entries of the Armed Forces in 2023. Hence, defence aspirants should really gear up for a tough fight to join the armed forces. With a rising population, more youths becoming eligible to join the armed forces and the government sharply cutting jobs, it’ll be a hard fight to reach the top.

What is Short Service Commission?

Short Service Commission is a type of officer entry in which you join the Armed Forces for a limited period of time. This time period is 10 to 14 years. After 10 to 14 years of service, you have to leave the armed forces. Short Service Commission can be converted into Permanent Commission but that depends on the number of internal officer vacancies, merit, performance and other factors.

Short Service Commission Officers do not get any pensions or any other armed forces benefits after they leave the service. They do not get access to medical facilities of the armed forces nor do they get access to military canteen facilities after they leave the armed forces. Converting a Short Service commission into a permanent one has gotten tougher over the years and it will only get harder as more internal vacancies are slashed within the armed forces.

Quick Details about AFCAT 1 2023:

Here are some quick details about the AFCAT 1 2023 exam.

Total Vacancies: 258

Vacancies Breakdown:

AFCAT 1 2023 Vacancies

Eligibility Conditions:

AGE:

  • Flying Branch through AFCAT and NCC Special Entry: 20 to 24 years as on 01
    J
    anuary 2024 i.e. born between 02 January 2000 to 01 January 2004 (both dates
    inclusive)
    .
  • Ground Duty (Technical & Non-Technical) Branch: 20 to 26 years as on
    01 January 2024 i.e. born between 02 January 1998 to 01 January 2004 (both dates
    inclusive).

Educational Qualifications:

  • Flying Branch: Candidates should have mandatorily passed with a minimum of
    50% marks each in Maths and Physics at 10+2 level
    and
    • Graduation with a minimum three years degree course in any discipline from a
      recognized University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent.

      OR
    • BE/B Tech degree (Four years course) from a recognised University with a
      minimum of 60% marks or equivalent.

      OR
    • Candidates who have cleared Section A & B examination of Associate
      Membership of the Institution of Engineers (India) or Aeronautical Society of India from
      a recognized University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent.
  • Ground Duty (Technical) Branch:
    • Aeronautical Engineer (Electronics) {AE (L)}: Candidates with a
      minimum of 50% marks each in Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level and a
      minimum of four years degree graduation/integrated post-graduation qualification
      in Engineering/ Technology from a recognized University OR cleared Sections A and
      B examination of Associate Membership of Institution of Engineers (India) or
      Aeronautical Society of India or Graduate membership examination of the
      Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers by actual studies with
      a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent
    • Aeronautical Engineer (Mechanical) {AE (M)}: Candidates with a
      minimum of 50% mark each in Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level and a
      minimum of four years degree graduation/integrated post-graduation qualification
      in Engineering/Technology from a recognized University OR cleared Sections A & B
      examination of Associate Membership of the Institution of Engineers (India) or
      Aeronautical Society of India by actual studies with a minimum of 60% marks.
  • Ground Duty (Non-Technical) Branches:
    • Weapon Systems (WS) Branch: Candidates should have
      mandatorily passed with a
      minimum of 50% marks each in Maths and Physics at
      10+2 level
      and
      Graduation with a minimum of three years degree course in any
      discipline from a recognized University with a minimum of 60% marks or
      equivalent.
      OR
      BE/B Tech degree (Four years course) from a recognised University
      with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent.
       
    • Administration & Logistics: Passed 10+2 and Graduate Degree (Minimum three years degree course) in any discipline from a recognized university with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent or cleared section A & B examination of Associate Membership of the Institution of Engineers (India) or Aeronautical Society of India from a recognised university with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent.
    • Accounts Branch: Passed 10+2 and graduated in any of the following streams with 60 % marks or equivalent from a recognized university with B. Com Degree (Min three years course,  Bachelor of Business Administration, Qualified CA/ CMA/ CS/ CFA, B.Sc. with specialization in Finance.
    • Education Branch: Passed 10+2 and PostGraduation with 50% marks in any discipline
      including integrated courses offering PG (Single degree without permission to exit and lateral

      entry) and with 60% marks in Graduation in any
      discipline.
      Meteorology Branch: Passed 10+2 and B Sc with Physics and Mathematics
      with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent or four-year Graduation in
      Engineering/Technology discipline with a minimum of 60% marks
      .

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