Selection Centre East, Allahabad
History of SCE, Allahabad
Selection Centre East, Allahabad was raised in 1957 with a view to recommend suitable candidates based on prism concept viz Psychological Tests, Group Discussions, Ground Tasks and Personal Interview.
It has five Services Selection Boards namely 11 SSB, 14 SSB, 18 SSB, 19 SSB and 34 SSB with the aim to select and recommend potential candidates to become Officers in the Indian Army.
Selection Centre East, Bhopal
Selection Centre Bhopal was established in October 1975 by relocating 20 SSB & 33 SSB which was earlier located at Jabalpur and was raised on 15 Nov 1960 & 01 Jun 1966 respectively. Subsequently 22 SSB which was first raised and located at Meerut in Nov 1962, and subsequently re-raised at Roorkee in Apr 1971 moved to Bhopal in Mar 1976. The Centre functioned with three Boards till 01 Jun 2003 when a new board, 21 SSB was raised.
The Selection Centre Central is located in the area of Sultania Infantry Lines, Bhopal Military Station which is in close proximity to both Bhopal Junction railway station as well as Raja Bhoj Airport. The Centre is housed in the new KLP accommodation and stands out due to the imposing architectural design of the main building. The Selection Centre today boasts of a completely new infrastructure with modern facilities for the conduct of testing, accommodation, dining and recreational facilities for the candidates.
Selection Centre Central, Bhopal comprises of 20, 21, 22 & 33 (Navy) Services Selection Boards. It is headed by an officer of the rank of Major General who is the Commandant of the Centre as also the President of 22 SSB. The boards are posted with Interviewing Officers, Group Testing Officers, Technical Officers and civilian Psychologists from DIPR who carry out holistic assessment of the candidates. Due to an increase in the number of candidates additional assessors are also posted. Currently a new board is being raised in Bhopal which will subsequently be moved to Ropar in Punjab where the new Selection Centre North is planned to be raised.
The General Routine
The routine in the Selection Centre is unique in the sense that the SSBs function without any weekend breaks or holidays in between batches. A selection board will typically function for about twenty five days i.e. five batches at a stretch and thereafter have a break for five or six days. This break is termed as the Board break wherein the missed Sundays and holidays are adjusted. Service officers carry out assessment in civil clothing except for the conference day when uniform is worn.
Reporting of Candidates
The Selection Centre issues detailed joining instructions to the candidates in the form of a ‘call up’ letter. This letter is sent both by post and email. Where mobile numbers are available, candidates are also intimated basic details through SMS. The batches are planned based on total number of applications received from the Recruiting Directorate as also directly through online applications in certain cases of technical entries. The meticulous planning of batches and the calling up of individual candidates is complicated and involves a colossal effort by a team of dedicated staff of the ‘Call Up Office’ at the Selection Centre.
The Schedule of Events
The reporting and dispatch cycle works continuously. The Army bus which carries candidates back to the railway station on completion of a batch also receives and brings back a fresh batch. Arriving candidates are directed to report to the MCO office at the railway station by mid-noon on reaching Bhopal.
On arrival candidates are provided with refreshments, allotted chest numbers and briefed in detail. This is followed by basic documentation.
The Assessment , the Initial Screening
Candidates are put through a screening process which is also known as the Stage I Tests. This practice has been introduced due to substantial increase in number of candidates reporting for SSB. The Stage I Tests include an intelligence or logic test, a picture perception test and an individual narration cum group discussion test. The test ensures that all candidates are given a fair chance to project their capabilities. Those who fulfill the required standards are retained for further assessment.
The SSB schedule commences with the administration of the Psychological tests. Candidates are put through situation reaction, thematic perception, word association and self-description tests which lasts for approximately four hours. The tests are conducted through a computer based process which projects the requirements based on a timed programme.
The GTO test series are conducted over a period of two days. The tests include group tasks, command tasks, lecture, group discussions, group planning exercise and other outdoor exercises.
Each Candidate faces one interview which lasts for approximately forty five minutes. Interview is carried out on any one of the three days.
The Philosophy of Assessment
Manasa, vaacha, karmana are three Sanskrit words. The word manasa refers to the mind, vaachaa refers to speech, and karmanaa refers to actions. These three words are together used to describe a state of consistency expected of an individual. Manasa, Vaacha, Karmana is usually invoked to imply that one should strive to achieve the state where one's thoughts, speech and the actions coincide.
It is in accordance with this principle that three different assessors using three different techniques, namely the Psychology (manasa), Interview (vaacha) and GTO (karmana) assess candidates on their qualities. The assessors gauge a candidates present level and thereafter give him a predictive level which he is likely to attain on completion of military training. Those who come up to the required standards based on a rating scale are recommended.