KOLLAM: The Army recruitment rally held on the Asramam Ground here on Saturday, after a gap of 5 years, has drawn youngsters from six districts in the state. Army trucks, tents, ditches and pull up bars have made part of the park into an army training ground.
The casual atmosphere of the ground has changed into a serious affair with long line of anxious boys waiting under the sweltering sun to get ready for the gruelling physical fitness test at the command of men in uniform. They came to the ground at 5 am as it was mandated.
Thousands of men in the age of group of 17.5 years to 23 years from Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Thrissur and Kannur districts are expected to participate in the recruitment rally for 2,000-odd vacancies, jointly conducted by the Army Recruiting Offices of Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode. The eight-day recruitment is being made to the post of soldier general duty, clerk or store keeper, technical and tradesman categories.Regardless of the categories all of them will have to clear the physical and medical tests. The physical tests start with 1.6 km run within 6 minutes, followed by a successful walk on the zigzag balance, jumping across a 9-feet ditch and a minimum of 6 pull ups.
Those clearing these will have to undergo a physical examination where the weight and chest expansion are measured. This will be followed by a detailed medical examination and those clearing it will be given an admit card to appear for a common entrance examination at the Recruiting Offices on October 26.
Under two directors in the colonel-rank the rally is conducted by 12 officers. Besides there is an observer from the Army headquarters who looks after the recruitment process in Kerala and Karnataka.
According to Yogesh Rajadhyaksha, director of Army Recruiting Office, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala had been a high-response state and it is also the state with high pass percentage.
On Saturday the physical fitness tests for men from Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam in clerical and technical categories were held. In the same category men from Kollam will undergo the test on Sunday.
For those from the northern districts the tests will be conducted from October 15 onwards. Besides a re-enrolment into Defence Service Corps will be held for ex-servicemen from across the state, Lakshadweep and Mahe.