HELLO! WARRIORS I am VIKASH SHAW born and brought up in Kolkata completed my B.Tech in 2018 from BHUBANESWAR ENGINEERING COLLEGE, Bhubaneswar in AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING. Like every DEFENCE ASPIRANTS, I too dreamt of joining INDIAN ARMED FORCES since the day I got my senses. I got recommended in my 11th (7 screen outs, 3 conference out and 1 recommended) attempt from 33 SSB BHOPAL for INDIAN NAVY for PC(LOG) 1/2020 Course on 18th of JUNE 2018 to Join INDIAN NAVAL ACADEMY. I would like to convey my regards to my parents, brother and sisters, BRIG. ANIL KUMAR KHOSLA (Retd), my college friends, SSB friends (brothers from different mother) and my Kota friends for their continuous support, morale uplifting and showing their faith in me in my hour of grief and need. I would also like to thanks all defence-related websites, bloggers, retired officers and you tubers that all are constantly helping candidates like to achieve their goal.
Now I would like to start my all SSB experience, it would be quite a long journey full of ups and downs, emotions, learning and ultimate RECOMMENDATION, so I would request you all to bear a little bit of patience with me.
My 1st SSB was at 2 AFSB MYSORE, 25th Dec 2017, screened out. Although it was dejecting I knew that I was not prepared.
2nd SSB was NSB VISAKHAPATNAM, 6TH MAY 2018, this time I was screened in, here interview went well. The interviewer was deputy president he started with how you reached here to explain in 5 sentences, distance from my house to Vizag, then time taken by train, speed of train in km/hr, then in m/hr, then in m/sec then again back-calculation, then questions from my branch like why Boeing aircrafts were crashing, speed of sound formula and value in km/hr and m/sec , Mach no., classification of aircraft based on Mach no., force diagram of aircraft when climbing and which will be more thrust or weight when climbing, which aircraft is more efficient turboprop or turbojet engine fitted at higher altitude and why … the interview went well but psych and GTO were not up to the mark in lecturette I got stuck due to lack of content and nervousness in Conference a small interview was again taken for 5 to 7 mins, the result was conference out. I understood that I was a borderline case just need to work more. No one got recommend out of 15.
3rd was at 19 SSB ALLAHABAD, MECCA OF SSB, 16TH MAY 2018. Here also I was conference out. Before leaving for Allahabad I had an interview scheduled at Tamil Nadu in my core branch but I left it because when I discussed with my father about the situation he suggested me to go for SSB because for these private jobs you will get other opportunities but SSBs u won’t get again as these are limited due to age factor. Lesson learned that how to make the decision with reasoning and always go for your dream job and always have a discussion with parents when in doubt which will help in answering when asked by the interviewer that how do you interact with parents and how do you resolve conflict with parents due to difference of opinion. Some of the technical questions asked at Allahabad were different control surface of aircraft and their functions, service ceiling and absolute ceiling of aircraft, how do bowlers do inswing and outswing. Only 1 got recommended out of 32.
After Allahabad, I prepared current affairs, lecturette notes from collecting topics form previous SSB friends, started studying books like the power of subconscious mind, the secret, agni ki udan, and practised psych little bit ,prepared interview questions, made myself fit, watched youtube videos of AFOSOP which helped a lot, SSBCRACK success stories, etc. But shockingly got back to back 3 screenouts, but I didn’t lose hope.
In my 7TH attempt at 19 SSB ALLAHABAD (MECCA OF SSB) on 25th Nov 2018 for 108th NON TECH course OTA Chennai. Out of 80 approx 36 got screened in and I was one of them. Here GTO went well-got bomb diffusing in my Command Task, in psych I made huge blunder as in my all TAT I gave all average response but interview again went well, all of the candidates were asked from current affairs so I also prepared accordingly but the interviewer didn’t ask a single current affairs question all were technical like from my final year project of tailless flying wing, if rudder is not present in aircraft then how will it yaw (turn), force distribution in quadcopter drone, the interviewer interestingly asked did u had Rocket Engineering in B.Tech then he asked difference between rocket engine and aircraft engine , then he asked had u seen SU 30 MKI ,I said yes , then asked what is that vertical surface which stands behind its cockpit, what is Canard, etc. and last question was he said why don’t we give Kashmir to Pakistan because although it had a Hindu king was majority population was Muslims, so why not to end this war totally .? He asked me this question as I mentioned watching war documentaries in my PIQ as one of my hobbies. Here in the conference, the IO asked me how am I feeling, confident? single confident or double confident? and all those normal questions of stay and food . 4 got recommended from 36. I again got conference out. I knew that I was again a borderliner case and got it confirmed when UPSC published marks of non-recommended candidates as I fell short of 10 marks in SSB from the last recommended candidate for OTA.
Again after ALLAHABAD, I got screened out in back to back 3 attempts, 9th being at 1 AFSB DEHRADUN in March 2019, after this my dream of becoming fighter pilot came to an end. It totally shattered me, all my past pain of setback of KOTA, BREAKUP of a 4-year relationship, sitting jobless at home after BTech ( although I got campus placement) flashed up which made me felt worthless but I made a friend of a lifetime in DEHRADUN. It was his last attempt but his talks and views about life and hardships totally made up my mind and motivated me to bounce back.
After coming back I decided to do job because I analysed that my GTO and interview was going well but my psych was not good due to past memories and joblessness so I planned and moved to Bangalore took a job whatever I got just for supporting my expenses in Bangalore so that I dint have to asked for money from home.
While I was doing the job I used to regularly study current affairs from STUDY IQ youtube channel, read blogs of Col. M M NEHRU’s in Instagram, run regularly in the morning, kept wallpaper of Hrithik’s LAKSHYA in my office desktop. I surrounded myself with my passion and never allowed my dream to fade off from my eyes and mind in the city of IT hub of INDIA and “chaka chound ki duniya”. Doing a job totally transformed my thought process it gave me a social atmosphere, interacting new people with new ideas and it gave me peace of mind.
Then I went to BHOPAL for SSC TECH 52 in 10th attempt on 11th of JUNE 2019 where I was screened out again I knew that I was doing well in OIR, writing a good story but couldn’t find that why am I not getting in? then ringed my friend she told me told her the situation then she explained to me that your rate of speech is too high and you eat up words while speaking what she observed in me while in college days, then she suggested me that take your whole 1 minute of narration and practice as much as you can before entering for DT.
After two days of screen out I again reported at BHOPAL but for NAVY at 33 SSB on 13TH of JUNE 2019. Next day gave OIR, PPDT went fabulous as I did the same suggested by a friend which helped to get screened in. The officer who came for giving instructions was highly motivating and filled the atmosphere with the JOSH. This time I kept myself calm and composed throughout the process because after screening selection we get excited that affects our performance and output, so planned each and every move in advance.
This time PSYCH also went well as all my responses in TAT, WAT, SRT & SDT were synchronised with each other and justifying my PIQ. This I did 32 SRT,60 WAT and in blank slide wrote my own life story of progress, playing cricket and managing studies simultaneously. In TAT used names of my friends with different religion which made my responses realistic rather than using RAM, SHYAM, GITA, etc. & gave a quality response in WAT & SRT. I carried 1 scale in psych test to bifurcate sheet for TAT which I learned from the one who got recommended at ALLAHABAD out of 32.
In GTO, I followed only two mantras HELPING the team to clear the obstacle and achieving the team objective because the name suggests only GROUP TESTING. MY group was of repeaters consisting of two previously recommended and 1 NDA dropout and I knew that there will hardly any opportunity so I tried to help the group as much as possible and gave useful ideas whenever I got a chance either in PGT, HGT or FGT. In snake race also I was helping the team members to clear the obstacle and supported them who were shivering while climbing, used airchair back wall support technique for climbing the wall. Throughout the GTO I was helping as it was nature and I also mentioned it in SDT, plus in TAT, WAT and SRT responses it reflected.
My Interview held on the first day of GTO. This time the interview took by President of the board who was MARCOS of Commodore rank, went for 1hr 15 mins and all full of technical questions for 45 mins approx. from starting only. He first asked what was GTO lecturette topic, I told mobile technology, from this he asked to explain it, then how does a GPS work in your phone, how does call gets connected to which I totally messed up I explained him satellite call and then he probed are you sure and I said confidently yes sir, then about satellites like different types of satellite, their height and application, which mobile phone I use , then certain questions regarding my job ,then questions from my branch that how does an aircraft fly in which there a was cross question, every time he was putting a new conditions on my answers and kept on me insisting to change my answer but I didn’t , then what is the length of the INS VIKRAMADITYA, how does an aircraft take off from an aircraft carrier, and also asked why there is elevated ramp on aircraft carriers, I explained it but here also he was putting new conditions on my answers and kept on asking different questions based on answers, then different types of ship used by INDIAN NAVY, what is nuclear in nuclear submarine, how power is generated in nuclear reactor (fusion and fission) and conversion of nuclear energy to mechanical energy to drive the propeller of submarine, how oxygen is generated in onboard submarine (I explained electrolysis), then drinking water generation in submarine, how does ship move , floating principle of ship, why does a small block iron(metal) sinks whereas a ship made metal doesn’t relative density, suppose the rudder of the ship is not working how will you turn the ship in both case of single propeller driven and double propeller driven ship, there was a small model of ship was kept pointing to which he asked you can see that base of ship is narrow and above is wide then how come is it possible that being the lower portion of ship is narrow displaces so much of fluid which makes the ship float ? what is ballistic and cruise missile and what is ballistic ? which aircrafts and helicopters are present on VIKRAMADITYA ? how does the helicopter fly (hover), how it moves forward, why there is rotor at the end of helicopter ? why some helicopter don’t have rotor ? why there is two rotor in Kamov helipcoters on same hub ? he asked based on answers that they both rotate opposite to each other then thrust produced by one is cancelled by other ? then basic rapid fire questions and he only asked questions from the first side of my PIQ, how did I got attracted towards the aura of WHITE UNIFORM ? and the interview came to an end and he wished me to perform well in remaining GTO tasks tomorrow and while leaving the room I asked for Handshake proactively from my side.
In 2nd day of GTO I was called twice by group members for Help in CT and I got a simple CT which I finished easily although I got stuck in the beginning where GTO helped me a bit .But I got little sad due to easiness of CT as we all have view that whoever get hard CT are more likely to get recommended.Before my CT GTO asked some questions like it is my which number of attempt, what were the previous results he asked these questions because I mentioned every details of previous attempts in details with batch number, chest number & date and which aircraft I like and why , 3 aircrafts of foreign which are not in IAF & IN . I used to keep track of details my each SSB minutely which reflected my seriousness and precision regarding data tracking and same was advised this time JCO before filling PIQ where he said “ OFFICER apko banna hai mujhe nai to apko pata hona chahiye each details with date “.
Debriefing was GTO was great which I ever had till now compared to previous ones where everyone shared their views regarding life and SSB and GTO himself was MECHANICAL ENGINEER shared his personal life, professional life and the requirement of the Forces which motivated us to excel in life.
On the Conference day, in Closing Briefing the Deputy President explained the working and recommendation parameters of the SSB and the VETO powers of ASSESSORS which helped us to understand it more effectively and then when calling of chest number was started I had to wait approx. 15 mins before entering and upon entering I noticed PSYCH officer was smiling beside me and the President Sir asked that when will go out what will give two advice to candidates who are preparing for SSB , what was different this time and did went outside to see city and remaining formal questions.
Then came the most heart beating moment, results were announced and my chest number was called first and everyone stared clapping I thanked everyone and went outside as told to do so and started crying . One more candidate got recommended along with me who became a great friend of mine during the SSB.
So I would like to close my story addressing all FUTURE WARRIORS that NEVER EVER GIVE UP, use each and every pain and tears as your driving force to propeller you to get recommended and never hesitate to ask for help unless required & be ready to help others as much as you can.