Career In Indian Navy: All Your Child Needs To Know

Is your child interested in a career in the Indian Navy? Here’s information on eligibility criteria, educational qualifications, exams, selection process, physical tests and the training involved.

By Shaswathi Sandeep  • 10 min read

Career In Indian Navy: All Your Child Needs To Know

In today’s world, there are very few professions that give as much satisfaction and pride as the armed forces do. As Commander P S Sreenivasan, VAM, a retired naval officer says, “What we learn here is this - My nation comes first; my fellow others come second; for me, I come last. For us, the nation and the flag is first.”

How to become a Navy officer?

If your child is looking for a challenging and exciting career in the armed forces, the Indian Navy might be the right choice for him. We explain to you in detail the eligibility criteria, educational qualifications, entrance exams, physical requirements and the training needed to successfully achieve a career in the Indian Navy.

Eligibility criteria for Navy officer

  • Age limit to be eligible for NDA: 16.5 to 19.5 years
  • Nationality: Resident Indian. Nationals from friendly countries like Bhutan, Nepal are also eligible subject to permission from the Government of India.
  • Marital status: Unmarried male candidates.

Educational qualifications

12th class pass of the 10+2 pattern of school education or equivalent with Physics and Mathematics conducted by a State Education Board or a University.

Exams for Indian Navy

Your child needs to pass class 12 to apply for the Indian Navy. There are different ways to apply for it:

  • NDA Entry Level Exam: National Defence Academy (NDA) caters to all the three pillars of the armed forces – military, navy and air force. The NDA exam is conducted by the UPSC twice every year – NDA 1 and NDA 2 in the months of April and September, respectively.
  • 10+2 (B.Tech) Cadet Entry: Those who have passed 10+2 with physics, chemistry and mathematics and have secured 70 per cent as an aggregate can apply for this exam. This is a technical entry and applications are shortlisted based on the percentage scored by the applicant at the 10+2 level. SSB (Services Selection Board) calls are given to eligible candidates. The training duration is of four years. An engineering degree is awarded on successful completion of the training.
  • CDSE Entry: Combined Defense Service Examination is an exam conducted by UPSC, twice every year. This again, like the NDA exam, is a written exam followed by SSB interview. Once selected, the candidates are given their choice of forces (army, navy, etc.), based on their marks and the seats available.
  • UES (University Entry Scheme): Pre-final year and final year male students of engineering degree can apply for this entry. There are a number of branches like General Services and Executive entry. For Naval Architecture Branch, both women and men can apply. The specific branches and commission types vary and are mentioned in the advertisements given by the Navy.

For all other permanent commission entries and short service commission entries, there is no written examination. Instead, the applicants are selected as per the criteria laid down by the Directorate of Manpower Planning and Recruitment.

Selection process at the SSB

If you are wondering what happens at the Service Selection Board stage, Commander Sreenivasan gives you a lowdown. “In Service Selection Board, there are various stages. Once you are shortlisted after the written exam, you go through the Service Selection Board. One test is the psychological test. They give you situations and, according to how you react, they decide whether you have the right attitude to be an officer. They also place you in a group and check whether you have good leadership qualities. These tests are followed by an interview. The whole process is a five-day event followed by the medical board examination, which takes another three to four days. During this process, the SSB takes care of the candidates' food and accommodation.”

There are various stages, including a number of tests, ranging from picture perception and description to group discussions and group obstacle races.

Recruitment of sailors in the Indian Navy, on the other hand, is application-based and relies on the all India merit list of candidates, who go through a written examination, physical fitness test and medical examination.

Skills and physical requirements

All candidates applying for a job in the Indian Defense services need to clear the written tests following which certain physical and medical standards need to be met. These physical and medical tests are held by various medical boards of the Indian Armed Forces.

Physical tests

  • The candidate applying for the post of Naval Officer should have a minimum height of 157cm with proportionate body weight.
  • Candidates should have well-formed chests, with minimum range of expansion on inhalation 5cm.
  • Proficiency in sports, swimming and extra-curricular activities is a bonus.

Medical tests

  • Good physical and mental health (should be disease, deformity and disability free).
  • Should have a colour perception standard of CPII and the prescribed Eyes Visual standard, with and without glasses.
  • Normal hearing ability is required.
  • Normal blood pressure is required.
  • No hydrocele, varicocele, piles.

The candidates recommended by Service Selection Board should undergo medical examination at the nearest Service Hospitals. Candidates can be declared fit, temporary unfit or permanent unfit. If declared unfit, candidates can approach the Appeal Medical Board and further at the Review Medical Board.

Remuneration and Perks

The pay scale for a Naval officer begins at 3-4 lakhs per annum and goes up to 8-9 lakhs per annum for a senior officer.

  • Officers are entitled to 60 days annual leave and 20 days casual leave. A sailor is entitled to 60 days annual leave and 30 days casual leave. You can also accumulate 30 days of leave in a year, which can be later encashed at the time of retirement.
  • Officers and their family members are entitled to free rail / air travel on leave once a year. Six travel concession forms are also authorised to each officer for a train journey.
  • Sailors and their families are entitled to free rail travel on leave once a year. Travel concessions by rail/ air are also provided on other occasions.
  • The Indian Navy provides medical care to each and every officer and sailor, as well as their families at their Military Hospitals and Military Dental facilities.
  • The men who serve on these platforms get to visit the numerous foreign ports that these ships and submarines visit.
  • Officers and sailors are entitled to free accommodation. Most of the residential areas have markets, ATMs, playgrounds, swimming pool, gymnasium, etc.
  • All officers and sailors are entitled to free ration. Sailors can also seek money in lieu of ration while staying with their families.
  • The Navy has special housing schemes in almost all major cities. Officers and sailors have an opportunity to acquire a modern apartment of their own in planned surroundings at a station of their choice, for post-retirement settlement.

The Indian Navy offers a sea of opportunities to your child. More than anything, being in the Navy will teach your child the true purpose of living. To sum up the experience, Commander Sreenivasan says, “If there is a war tomorrow, you are not going to use your mind or intelligence alone, you require implicit obedience. There are no runners-up here; you have to be a winner every time. That is what the Indian Navy trains you for.”

About the author:

Written by Shaswathi Sandeep on 6 June 2018; updated on 28 November 2019

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