THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Brains over brawn or brawn over brains: what makes a good soldier? The Army has decided to ‘tweak’ its recruitment process to make sure smarter youngsters are recruited to its units. “We ‘re planning to reverse the procedure,” Brigadier P S Bajwa, Dy Director General, Recruiting, Bangalore Zone, told Express on the sidelines of a 10-day recruitment rally at the Pangode Army Ground.“At present, physical tests are conducted first, and the selected candidates appear for the written examinations. In the new procedure, the written examination will come first followed by the physical test. It has not been implemented yet.’’
The idea is to ensure youngsters with sharper brains do not get short shrift during the physical tests. The gruelling physical test consists of 1.6 km run, negotiating the zig-zag balance, clearing a nine-foot ditch and pull-ups. A large number of candidates fail to clear these tests which currently form the first stage.
‘’In the present scenario, we may be eliminating boys with better mental faculties. In the new concept, the physical tests will remain the same, but it will come after the written exams. This will attract brighter candidates,’’ Bajwa said. But the Army has no plans to compromise on the toughness of physical tests.
Army recruitment rallies have been attracting more and more youngsters in southern states, especially Kerala. At a six-day rally for southern districts held at Tiruvalla in May 2015, 16,945 candidates had applied, and 11,048 candidates had attended.
The numbers rose to 25,823 and 16,147 respectively in April 2017 in Kollam. A whopping 31,000 candidates had applied online for the rally under way in Thiruvananthapuram. There is increased awareness in Kerala about the recruitment process and Army jobs now, said Bajwa. ‘’The faith in the recruitment system has gone up. Now applications can be filed online which too has contributed to the increase,’’ he said.