A State of Play and the Avenues it holds
By Vivin Kumar (B.E. Mechanical, 2011-15)
India, a nation of a billion hopes and aspirations is a growing superpower on the world stage, be it on the economic front or human resources. With alternating dynamics across the globe, analysts predict this century to be an “Asian Century” which further directs a spotlight on India, for it being a major player in this part of the world. As in the case of any natural happening, when the balance slides in the side of positives, negatives too weigh up bringing the needle to equilibrium. Here, it is the threat of a hostile neighborhood and the wily plays of existing superpowers that necessitates a strong defense capability, enabling a smooth sail for the nation in the 21st century.
An organization with the largest number of foots on ground, the Indian Army operates 124 home-grown MBT-Arjun Tanks each weighing about 58 tons. Being established as the British Indian Army during the late 18th century, it has played a leading role in both the world wars and in safeguarding mother India post-independence. Today, with more than a million active personnel and equally numbering reserve personnel, who are ably supported by state-of-the-art weapon systems, the army is taking up the challenges of the modern world security, head on.
Three football fields, placed next to each other (284 meters) are glued together. Below it is a city of 22 decks, powered by 18 MW of energy and propelled by a lakh and eighty thousand horsepower. Home to almost thousand six hundred people, this floating city is vested to safeguard Indian shores with an array of aircrafts, helicopters, missiles and guns. It is the flag bearer of the nation’s naval security, the Indian Navy. Fast approaching towards achieving its self-assigned goal of being a “Blue Water Navy”, this arm of the Indian defense is among the best of its class in the world.
“IAF can stand toe-to-toe with the best air forces in the world. I pity the pilot who has to face the IAF and chances the day to underestimate him; because he won’t be going home”, were the words of an American colonel who led a delegation to India for a joint exercise between the USAF and the IAF. As a technology intensive wing of the defense setup, the Indian Air Force shoulders the responsibility of protecting the country’s airspace and provides crucial support to the other wings. Ranging from trainer jets to 4+ generation fighter squadrons to huge transport and surveillance aircrafts, the IAF is well built to land a deadly blow to the enemies.
Apart from the three major facets of the defense forces, there are numerous organizations that lend their invaluable support in successfully defending the sovereignty of the country and its people. All that said, the Indian defense has been achieving a unique record of being the “Largest importer of defense equipment” in the world and this fact is not pleasing. It is because of the navy’s indigenous push in ship building that this tag is wielding on a lower price level. Though there have been a lot of efforts in making arms locally, many have followed along the lines of our indigenous fighter aircraft program, LCA Tejas, that has been into development for three decades now. A cheerful note at this juncture is that our institution (PSG Tech) is a proud technological research center for the Tejas project.
I am hopeful that this piece of text would have inspired any person with an edge for defense forces to seek an opportunity to venture into it. A vast range of options exist for people who wish to pursue a career aligned with the defense forces. If one is looking at serving the force from an industry viewpoint, the call for indigenization and the union government’s “Make in India” program assures a bright future. So if you sense that you can take a plunge into such an industry or create one of your own, it’s not time to have second thoughts.
The avenues for college students are huge; given the vast requirement of officers in the defense corridors with the latest numbers being put at eleven thousand officers. The Army opens its doors through the University Entry Scheme (UES) in the pre-final year of the undergraduate study. On close lines, the Navy come calling in the final year via the same mode of UES. The Air force presents two opportunities; each in pre-final and final year to make its stables by undertaking a test called AFCAT. All the entries follow a convention of preliminary screening, SSB interview and medical tests. People who have undergone these processes say that, going through them is in itself a great experience for life. Moreover organizations like DRDO recruit people by the Recruitment and Assessment Centre, while other establishments like the Hindustan & Aeronautics Limited (HAL) host it on their websites.
With all roads leading to the defense forces shining with a bright welcome note, it is up to the youth of this vibrant nation to take forward the challenge of indigenization and the pride of serving the defense forces to an all-new paradigm.
Some useful links:
- Indian Army- joinindianarmy.nic.in
- Indian Navy-nausena-bharti.nic.in
- Indian Air Force-careerairforce.nic.in
- Make in India(Defense)-makeinindia.com/sector/defence-manufacturing/
- Recruitment and Assessment Centre-http://rac.gov.in/
VIVIN KUMAR (B.E. Mechanical, 2011-15) has varied interests ranging from Defense and Space research to Public life. He is a techie whose life motto is “enjoy reading and enrich knowledge.”
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