I am a resident of Pune, appearing for my CBSE board exams. It’s my dream to serve the country by joining the defence services. My plan was to get educated at NDA. Unfortunately, I came to know that NDA at Pune prefers only boys. I want to know whether any NDA branch is for girls too. If there is, how can I join it as soon as I complete my class XII. What subjects should I opt for in class XI so as to satisfy the qualifications essential for entering NDA? Is Air Force for girls too? Can a girl be a pilot to serve the nation when there are wars in our country? What qualifications are necessary for being a squadron leader?
NDA doesn’t have any branch. And NDA is for boys alone. Entry for girls to the Armed Forces is possible after graduation. You can fulfil your ambition of joining the Air Force and becoming a pilot. But you will be able to fly helicopters and transport planes. Eligibility is BSc physics or maths or BSc general with physics and maths. Selection is on the basis of SSB tests, interview, a medical exam, and pilot aptitude battery test.
But there are scores of other opportunities for women candidate in the Indian Air Force and the other two wings of the Armed Forces. Thus, for example, there is direct entry for science graduates in air traffic control. There’s also direct entry for graduates in ground duty branches like administration & logistics and education.
In the Indian army women are recruited to the army service corps, army ordnance corps, Army intelligence corps, in the signals, and in engineering corps (technical services require an engineering degree). In the navy too women get entry in the education branch, logistics branch and Air Traffic Control, the last one being open to science graduates. Women can also join the Armed Forces Medical Service, after an MBBS at Armed Forces Medical College, Pune. If you are an NCC ‘C’ certificate holder, you can avail of the vacancies reserved for them in the three wings.
As to your query regarding qualification for a squadron leader, you become a squadron leader after promotions in the Indian Air Force. And you don’t have to be a fighter pilot for that. Ground duty officers also get that designation, or even higher designations. In fact, in 2002, Padma Bandopadhyay, became the first woman officer of the Indian Air Force to be promoted to the rank of Air Vice Marshal. She has risen to this high position as part of the medical service.
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