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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

A Fat Alert From The Armed Forces For Aspirants

Here’s a fat alert from the armed forces. A recent study called “Disabilities found during services selection board medical examination — an overview”, carried out by a brigadier-ranked army doctor, revealed that obesity is one of the common reasons behind the rejection of candidates appearing for the Special Medical Board (SMB) tests.

Candidates who are selected for the army after written tests at various selection centres undergo a detailed medical examination called SMB at the local military hospital. Only after being declared fit can they join the various training academies. This medical examination aims to find out if there is any disability that would interfere with the strenuous training imparted and thereafter, the employability as an armed forces officer.

Speaking to Mirror, Brigadier S K Kathpalia — consultant (obstetrics and gynaecology), Base Hospital, Delhi, and the paper’s author — said, “Obesity is one of the common reasons behind the rejection of candidates who appear for Special Medical Board (SMB). We have observed that many candidates are declared fit after Appeal Medical Board (AMB) as they get adequate time to lose weight. As a result, advertisements for commissioning candidates should have more detailed information like standards for colour vision, visual accuracy, lasik, tattoo, ear wax and so on. Even the height and weight charts should be known to the prospective candidates.”

The study was conducted at a service hospital near a selection centre, which had a large annual intake. The author has considered 6,166 candidates (5,378 males and 888 females) over five years (2009 – 2013) to carry out the study. The candidates go through a detailed physical, surgical, ophthalmological and dental examination. According to the study, 1,591 out of the 6,166 candidates were declared unfit owing to different disabilities. Medical disabilities accounted for 19.9 per cent of total disabilities; being overweight and having cardiac problems were the most common ones.

An army doctor of Colonel rank, who did not wish to be named, said, “After the medical examination, the candidates are informed about their results. All unfit candidates can approach Appeal Medical Board (AMB) at one of the designated command hospitals of the candidate’s choice. The time period for getting AMB is 42 days. During this period, an unfit candidate with a temporary or treatable disability may become fit.” As many as 363 candidates were declared fit after the AMB. Obesity, ear wax and limb abnormalities were the common disabilities for initially being declared unfit, the study states.

Interestingly, the National Defence Academy (NDA) has recently noted a rise in the number of physically unfit cadets coming to the institute in recent years. NDA has also issued a specific fitness regimen for its 134th course, asking prospective candidates to follow it before joining the academy in order to facilitate their smooth adaption to the training schedule. Sources at NDA told Mirror, “Due to the present unhealthy lifestyle, fitness has become a major issue. Even though many candidates are declared fit after AMB as they took special care to reduce their weight, what about their long-term fitness level? Thus, those candidates often find it difficult to cope with the rigorous training schedule and prefer to leave the academy midway.”

Adverts for candidates should have standards for colour vision, visual accuracy, lasik, tattoo, ear wax and so on. Even the height and weight charts should be known.Indian army bodybuilders

The Editorial Team at SSBCrack consists of professional writers, journalists and defence aspirants.
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