How to join the Indian Air Force through AFCAT-2019


Keen on joining the IAF in the air or on the ground? This article provides complete information on AFCAT-2019, the online test to get commissioned into the Indian Air Force as Group-A Gazetted Officers in Flying and Ground Duty branches. Details of the branches, eligibility criteria for each and the online application procedure have been provided.

Indian Air Force is conducting an online test (AFCAT) for men and women who are citizens of India to join them as Group-A Gazetted Officers in Flying and Ground Duty branches. The online test is scheduled for August this year. Those who are selected to join on Permanent Commission will serve till the age of superannuation in the branch they are in, as per their rank. In the case of Short Service Commission of the Flying Branch, they will serve for 14 years from the date of Commissioning and there will be no extension. In the case of Short Service Commission for Ground Duty (Technical & Non-Technical, the initial tenure is 10 years, which may be extended for a further four years as per merit, suitability and vacancies. Note that those who are serving Airmen must submit online applications like other applicants and also apply as per the service format which is given in AFO 11/ 2015 through the service channel.

Type of Entry and Branches

AFCAT entry

There are three branches, Flying branch, Ground Duty technical branch and Ground Duty non-technical branch.
Flying Branch (course no. 208/20F/SSC/M & W): This is offered for Short Service Commission (SSC) for both men and women, with totally 60 vacancies.

Ground Duty-Technical: This is for (i) men only, offered for Permanent Commission (PC) (course no. 207/20T/PC/M) and (ii) for Short Service Commission for both men and women (course no. 207/20T/SSC/M & W). For Aeronautical Engineer (Electronics) there are 28 vacancies for PC and 42 for SSC. For Aeronautical Engineer (Mechanical) there are 12 vacancies for PC and 20 for SSC.

Ground Duty-Non-Technical: This is for (i) men only, offered for Permanent Commission (PC) (course no. 207/20G/PC/M) and (ii) for Short Service Commission for both men and women (course no. 207/20G/SSC/M & W). For Admin. there are 16 vacancies for PC and 24 for SSC. For Education, there are 6 vacancies of PC and 10 for SSC.

NCC Special Entry

There is only one branch, namely Flying branch which offers PC for men (course no. 208/20F/PC/M) and SSC for both men and women (course no. 208/20F/SSC/M & W). The vacancies are: 10% of CSE vacancies are for PC and 10% of AFCAT vacancies for SSC.

Meteorology

There is only one branch, namely Ground Duty-Non-Technical which offers PC for men (course no. 207/20G/PC/M) and SSC for both men and women (course no. 207/20G/SSC/M & W). There are 10 vacancies for PC and 14 for SSC.

Note: The number of candidates selected would be on the basis of requirements and the number of training slots available, as also the number of vacancies which would come up in Jan 2020.

Eligibility requirements

As mentioned at the beginning, only citizens of India can apply. You should also check if you fulfil the required physical and medical standards as mentioned in the official notification.

Other criteria are as follows –

Age and Marital status

Those applying for the Flying Branch through AFCAT and NCC Special Entry should be of the age of 20 to 24 years as on 1st July 2020, that is, born between 2nd July 1996 to 1st July 2000, both dates inclusive. Those who have a valid and current Commercial Pilot License issued by DGCA (India) will be allowed a relaxation in upper age limit up to 26 years, that is born between 2nd July 1994 to 1st July 2000, both dates inclusive.

In the case of those applying for Ground Duty (Technical & Non-Technical) branch, the acceptable age is 20 to 26 years as on 1st July 2020, that is, born between 2nd July 1994 and 1st July 2000, both dates inclusive.

Further, those who are below 25 years of age must be unmarried at the time of starting the course. Others who are ineligible to apply are: (i) Widows/Widowers and divorcees below 25 years of age; (ii) A person who gets married subsequent to the date of the application, even if he/she successfully goes through the SSB's selection process. Anyone who gets married during the training period will be discharged and have to refund the entire expenses incurred on him by the Government. While those who are above 25 years of age and are married can apply, during the course of the training they will not be given married accommodation and they are not permitted to out with their family.

Important note: The date of birth should be as mentioned in the Matriculation/Higher Secondary Examination certificate or an equivalent certificate.



Academic qualifications

Those applying for the Flying Branch should have passed 10+2 with a minimum of 60% in Maths and a minimum of 60% in Physics. Additionally, you should be a Graduate of a three-year Degree course in any discipline from a recognized University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent. Optional graduate qualification: Four-year B.E./B.Tech. degree from a recognised University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent; or cleared Section A & B exam of Associate Membership of Institution of Engineers (India) or Aeronautical Society of India from a recognised University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent.

For Ground Duty Technical branch

Aeronautical Engineer (Electronics): same as above for 10+2 level and four-year Degree/integrated post-graduation qualification in Engineering/ Technology from a recognized University. Also acceptable is clearing Section A & B exam of Associate Membership of Institution of Engineers (India) or Aeronautical Society of India or Graduate membership exam of the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers by actual studies from a recognised University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent in the relevant disciplines (please refer to the official notification for the complete list).

Aeronautical Engineer (Mechanical): same as above for 10+2 level and four-year Degree/integrated post-graduation qualification in Engineering/ Technology from a recognized University. Also acceptable is clearing Section A & B exam of Associate Membership of Institution of Engineers (India) or Aeronautical Society of India by actual studies from a recognised University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent in the relevant disciplines (please refer to the official notification for the complete list).

For Ground Duty (Non-Technical) Branches

Administration: You should have a Graduate Degree through a min. three-year degree course in any discipline from a recognised university, having scored at 60% marks or equivalent or cleared section A & B examination of Associate Membership of Institution of Engineers (India) or Aeronautical Society of India from a recognised university with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent.

Education: Acceptable qualifications as per UGC/ Competent Accreditation Authority include MBA/ MCA or MA/ MSc degree in English/ Physics/ Mathematics/ Chemistry/ Statistics/ International relations/ International Studies/ Defence Studies/ Psychology/ Computer Science/ IT/ Management/ Mass Communication/ Journalism/ Public Relation. The marks in the final qualifying exam should be a minimum of 50% marks in aggregate of all papers put together in Post-Graduation (which should be a minimum two year-program) and 60% marks in graduation. For integrated courses (single degree without permission to exit and lateral entry), the minimum duration must be as per UGC norms with a minimum of 50% marks in aggregate of all papers put together.

For NCC Special Entry (Flying Branch)

You must hold a valid NCC Air Wing Senior Division 'C' certificate acquired on or after 2nd June 2017. You should have also passed 10+2 with a minimum of 60% marks each in Maths and Physics and have a Graduate Degree (minimum three-year degree course) in any discipline from a recognized University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent, or B.E./B.Tech. degree (four-year course) from a recognised University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent; or cleared Section A & B examination of Associate Membership of Institution of Engineers (India) or Aeronautical Society of India from a recognised University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent.

For Meteorology

Post Graduate Degree in any Science stream/ Mathematics/ Statistics/Geography/Computer Applications/Environmental Science/ Applied Physics/ Oceanography/Meteorology/Agricultural Meteorology/Ecology & Environment /Geophysics/Environmental Biology with minimum of 50% marks in aggregate of all papers put together (Provided Maths and Physics were studied at Graduation Level with a minimum of 55% marks in each).

Note: If you have LLB qualification or an integrated/ dual degree, you may get an opportunity to be employed on legal duties of the IAF, after commissioning.

AFCAT application process

First read the instructions provided in the official notification before proceeding to apply. Applications should be made online only at Indian Air Force Career website or at AFCATwebsite

It is important to note that a valid Aadhaar Card is mandatory for online registration. Other scanned images required to be uploaded as jpg/ jpeg files in the size between 10 and 50 kb are: (i) Recent passport size colour photograph (ii) Signature (iii) Thumb impression created by pressing on ink stamp pad and then on plain blank paper (the left thumb for male applicants and the right thumb for female applicants).

Once the online application form is filled in, proceed to pay the exam fee of Rs. 250/- (non-refundable) for AFCAT entry. There is no fee for NCC special entry and Meteorology. The payment can be paid online with a credit card or a debit card or via Net banking through the payment gateway.

The last date to submit online applications: 30th June 2019.

Test Admit card

Those eligible for AFCAT will receive an e-Admit Card three weeks before the date of the exam at their registered email Ids. This is mandatory to be produced at the exam centre. The e-Admit Card will also be available at www.careerindianairforce.cdac.in. For any problems or incorrect data in the e-Admit Card, contact the AFCAT Query Cell at C-DAC, Pune at Ph. 020-25503105 or 02025503106. E-mail queries can be sent to afcatcell@cdac.in.



Entrance test details

You have to appear for AFCAT at the exam centre allocated to you as per your choice, on either 24th August 2019 or 25th August 2019. It is mandatory for those who opt for Ground Duty (Technical) branch to appear in both AFCAT as well as the Engineering Knowledge Test (EKT). Both are in English with objective type questions. For every correct answer, three marks will be given and one mark will be deducted for an incorrect answer. An online practice test will be available on official websites.

AFCAT is of two hours' duration, with 100 questions having a maximum of 300 marks. The subjects include General Awareness, Verbal Ability in English, Numerical Ability and Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test.

EKT is for those applying with one of the choices as a technical branch. It is of 45 minutes' duration, with 50 questions having a maximum of 150 marks. The topics include Mechanical, Computer Science and Electrical & Electronics.

In addition to the e-Admit card, you must bring to the exam centre: (i) Aadhar Card; (ii) any other valid photo identity card, such as PAN card/ passport/ driving licence/ voter identity card/ college identity card with details of name, father's name, date of birth and a clear photograph; (iii) Two passport size colour photos, these being the same as the photo which was uploaded during the online application; (iv) Ballpoint Pen (Blue or Black) for signing on the attendance sheet and rough work.

Contact information

1. For queries related to the online exam, registration process, and Admit cards contact AFCAT Cell on 020-25503105 or 020-25503106. E-mail queries can be sent to afcatcell@cdac.in.

2. For queries related to eligibility, allotment of AFSB centres, date of AFSB interview, merit list, Joining Instructions, and any other relevant information regarding the selection process, contact on 011-23010231, Extn: 7610 or Toll-free number 180011-2448.

Note: Telephonic query timings are from 0930 hrs to 1300 hrs and 1400 hrs to 1700 hrs (Monday to Friday, except holidays).


Article by Vandana
Vandana is based in India with over 15 years experience as a freelance writer. Writing, no doubt, is her primary passion! Having learned the art of blogging from ISC, Vandana is enjoying the thrills of blogging, taking pleasure in sharing information & getting good pageviews at her various blogs.

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