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Thursday, October 25, 2012

SSB Army/Navy/Airforce- shortcut to success

Well i know this is an embarassing post-

People often say that there is no shortcut to success.. true.. but candidates especially teens love some shortcuts, the very reason you are looking at this blog before your interview states my purpose..

1- You applied cause there were no job opportunities in your respective field
2- Saw some armed forces guy, was impressed had no clue about the life ahead and applied
3- Saw some inspirational movie- list is endless
4- Wanted to live a target free life( for private sector people)
5- etc etc

Whatever might have been your purpose for filing that application and writing the exam.. it's a noble task that you have committed upon yourself.

I am not interested in making this a long, boring piece of blog.

So here i go.

1- You already read a thousand blogs before arriving here. So you know all #@$#@
2- Still some of the good ones i am mentioning here are -
The gentleman above has taken a lot of pain in writing out minute details// so it's a good read..

My blog is like student life.. when you decided before your exams that you will read for 10 hrs every day and somehow you are just left with 24 hrs :) happens with everyone.

1- The concentric circle

The innermost circle is about you ( aims, strength , etc, etc, parents
next your city, state, school, etc,
next india
next india's neighbours
next foreign countries us russia etc

This should provide a brief idea about things to study properly before leaving.

Officers love asking about inter state affairs, realtions with neighbouring countries.

2- Dress properly at all times.

3- Get an edge over other candidates at the centre,,read extra, get up early, go read the newspaper for some time at the ANTE room.

4- if possible , chat up with fellow ssb aspirants asking them to cooperate during all tasks and avoid any confrontation, mock gd's in room can be great. will show who's aggressive- ask him to cooperate a bit more.

5- If you are left with a few days of preparation.. internet can be a great tool

Must read

Try to read your respective department- army. navy. af
atleast 2 months details

6- If somehow you had an uneventful life in school/ college- reading about interesting activites like trekking, sports would not harm

7- Interviewers also love book readers.. so pick up a list of best sellers. and ( read the book summary ) good enough

8-  Last but not the least get a book on ssb preparation by Arihant.. read from cover to cover.. that's all

for the outdoor tasks,, coaching is not a necessity.. in case you are curious about them
go through some videos on youtube

There are lots of them( was not available when i went :)

So you get the entire idea before you leave and you can be confident.. rest leave it upto them .

Last but not the least -- there are correct answers and then there are thoughtful answers

Q- Tell me something about your school
A- I studied in XYZ school, located in ABCD city from class 2- 12

A-  Another one: i studied in DPS which is a non-profit, not proprietary, private,educational organization.The DPS Family with its transcontinental identity is not merely a list of institutions or facts It is a network of value systems and relationship

So you get it... answers v/s researched answers.... 

Please write to me when you get through.. feels great to be able to help someone virtually.

Best Regards

( Was recommmended in my 1st attempt
from NSB Coimbatore- Oct 2008)


Not a Flop Show

Thank you for your satire comedy.. Although the show was named flop show.. I believe it was the most successful show ever. :)
Rest in Happiness

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Armed Forces as a career option

Recently the Army celebrated it's 62nd Army Day on January 15, 2011.

The question that prevails is "What relevance does the armed forces have -- for today's youth as a career"

As per a recent statistical survey done" India ranked 3rd in the largest number of engineers" This is indeed a good sign for a nation as vast as ours. But are the statistics too good to be believed or is it another case of a well written constitution which is good on paper but not in practice.

One example i would like to quote with reference to the constitution is that while Article 21 provides the "right to live" and the Article 19 gives us the right to preserve religious practices which are essential to a particular religious community. If this is the case why is the constitution silent on Santhara or Sallekhana as practiced by the Jain community, which is nothing but euthanasia. I know i am making a controversial issue over here but something has to be done in this regard.

Coming back to the main topic, yes of course we are seeing a boom in engineers, MBA's etc. Companies today want to hire people with management acumen according to Infosys( India's premier IT company). It is now planning to hire 1000 MBA's the year of 2011.

All of us have read about Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Now from a perspective of a youth it would appear something like this

In a recent interview i conducted on an informal basis, i found out that today's youth was very much interested in a interesting and challenging career option. No longer one wanted to be tied down to a desk job.
The interesting point to be observed was that they shared the passion for adventure, thrill.
The rise in youth channels like MTV, Channel [v], UTv Bindass etc provide evidence to the above mentioned fact.

Contrary to popular belief the Armed forces does not face a shortage of applicants for it's officer cadre. Infact there are over a lakh candidates applying for a few hundred posts. The APR ratio ie. Applicants per post ratio in fact is quite high. According to a army official " the quality of youth over the years has deteriorated.

Now this brings us to the question so as to what is the real quality.
1) Is it the quality of education being delivered at the so called accredited institutions
2) Morality and relativity index of today's youth.
3) Religious commitment etc.........

Well some of the above mentioned questions are worth writing a research report on :)
But who is to blame.

Can we blame it on our current education system, which right from early school days stresses on securing high percentages in the dreaded AISSE and AISSCE exams.

Blame it on low remuneration, tough working conditions and, above all, high risk to life, the armed forces today is not an enviable career choice. The forces are not only short of thousands of officers but also troubled by a high attrition rate. Officers’ shortage is acute now and seriously affecting the Army, in quantity as well as quality. The reasons, well known, have been discussed on several occasions in public.

Or even blame it on the Media.... they are equally prompt to cover the Army ( at times like R day , I day, Army day) but where is media when the Army rescues people in times of crisis(Read:Indian Army rescues 273 stranded civilians in Leh-Srinagar Highway in J&K ).

At time when the Indian media is still coming up with a code of ethics, i believe the media cannot be entirely blamed.

When TRP ratings of programs like Big Boss, Splitsvilla, UTV Emotional Atyachaar are higher that any other programs, we should quite understand so as to what is the deeper reality.

Well the Govt of India has been trying hard to motivate the youth of today by way of seminars, presentations, campus interactions, recruitment drives and sustained publicity efforts. Also the recent addition of icons like Sachin Tendulkar, who was made a honorary Group Captain of the Indian Air Force is sure to inspire the youth to think of a career in the Armed Forces.

At times when our Army is dealing with corruption and other problems, be it
1) Sukhna land scam
2) Adarsh housing society scams
3)Fake killings
4) Recruitment scams

Well although it is true that a few black sheep doesn't make the entire Army corrupt, but still i think major branding exercise is necessary to establish a strong image in the youth's mind.The Ministry of Defence and the Govt of Indian can sure take a cue or two from the US Marines and the methods they followed to attract the youth.

The Govt can definitely use the VI pay commission to it's advantage. At times when starting salaries of mass recruitment companies in engineering colleges are hovering at around 4-5 lacs CTC. Army salaries are attractive. I duly understand that a career in the armed forces is not always about the money but more of passion, a sense of patriotism. But of course in today's era when petrol rates have reached as high as Rs 65.8 in the city of Bangalore, a good pay package will atleast ensure a decent standard of living for all the officers.

A strong, professionally led military controlled by capable leaders having impeccable credentials, strength of character and integrity is vital to the national interest. A strong military serves as an instrument of deterrence and supports the other arms of the government. Indian Armed Forces are the pride of the nation. This is the time to give them what they deserve. The government should address the problem seriously otherwise the situation will get out of control in coming years.

Hoping for a prosperous career for all of you..
Jay Hind


Ashish Dangua
For reviews/comments, I can be reached on

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


hmmm sitting down after my vision is partially restored... well had goosebumps before the operation on 23rd.. @ Nethradhama hospital bangalore//// The surgery went on well atleast i hope so ......... the after effects under which i am stil reeling..................

Vision// is perhaps one of the most important components in our life....... and the least taken care of.. TV's computer etc.. other stuff (wTVR may that be) have partiall ytaken out the colour out f our chakhyu..................
Just finished reading an article on Importance of 15th august in my life and an article on gandhiiiiiii not giri bhai gandhiji himself written by his nephew .. saala frustu ho gaya hai////

So i was talking about ilasik .. well well copy paste to nahi kar sakta ,, but bhai .. its a breakthrough procedure/// to correct uor vision by laser beams... its the most advanced ,, (Cost wise also - loot liya saalon ne.. Rs 55k)approved by our Obama's country for NASA astronaut(as if i were next in line after Kalpana chawla) and pilots................ approved for defence purposes...

And also a gud oppurtunity for me to get rid of SODA;s or battery as people affectionately term them.... and what better age than 22... full of youth.......... and vigour... (what purpose may that be)

Well the world looks new altogether....and i m quite pissed writing this blog.. coz my nearsight is not that perfect DOC says it takes time to stabilise..... Hope so saale ne sach kaha hai... Nahi to #@%#%%$^#^$^#^$#^^$^#$ SOrry again)

Distant vision is significant... Hmm now i can have a gud time in MG Brigade etc..........
Ray-Ban's all polished........... to be on in a few weeks.. and my hair has turned ... like hay ... coz havent bathed since 7 days...(Its coz f the operation) LOLZZZ

Some pics of the new world around me

Thanks to i-LASIK
ending with a quote that says
Vision looks inward and becomes duty.Vision looks outward and becomes aspiration.Vision looks upward and becomes faith.

And dedicating a song kitni baatein from Lakshya .. to all (im not stlye maring--- pardon my oxford jargon its the protectitive glasses to protect me from stares of KUDIS :)

Peace till then.........

C ya after vision is 100 %
Jay Ram

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

SSB at NSB-Naval Selection Board Coimbatore

Hmm finally settled down to write down my experiences about the ssb interview i had....

Somewhere in August..... Join The Indian Navy -Give Direction to Your Life......

I guess overviewing Lakshya... and other war movies like LOC-Kargil,Border etc... Sparked an interest in applying to the NAVY.. But Why Navy,,, It was for the logistics cadre,that too permanent...(20 years aaaram):) Besides i was not in that great physical shape... So thought this could be my best choice..

Somewhere in September....
Arrival of Subharanjan Panda son of Late.Col.M.Panda..
Col saab was a living inspiration to many youngsters.. When one of our batch mates ##Satwik could make it to the NDA with his guidance,, I decided i too 1 day would make him proud...
Subharanjan is trying high and low to use all his jacks to get into the Army....

Meeting with Major.S.Ranganathan @ CMP Centre,Bangalore
Major saab says that the armed forces adopt a free and fair... methodology of selecting candidates.. and that i being a complete civilian neednot worry and go and appear the ssb.

Well Well.. Bittu has reported @ ssb bangalore.. and i can only wait with baited breath ... for his results.. Day 2 - i am happy he has made it through the screening,,,, Frequent phone calls to him .... all evenings I get to knoe that he is having a gala time.. @ MG road nearby..

Day -5 Bittu calls me.. and i am all anxious... he says conference out,, and i am happy.. i think perhaps he is in.... I didn't know f all these terms the,,, He says perhaps he was a conference out candidate.....Anyways considering his level of knowledge i am assured that he will make it someday..

After few more days he reports to Bhopal for the TES SSB.... But again he's screened out :( That really made me wonder of the qualities lacking in him which i otherwise perceived to be apt for the FORCES.

He is kind enough to lend me his ssb preparation book called Arihant.. which is gonna be crucial for me in the later stages,,

Bittu leaves for Bhubaneswar... and i am all alone.. again in Bangalore....
Thoughts of preparation often comes....... and goes..
Arihant Begins:
Now i get a first hand experience from the book of what all the ssb is all about.. By 2-3 days i am all clear about the procedure,, and i really perceive it as gamble of luck + preparation.....
I started searching materials on the internet with some real good songs. in the background..(I am a guitarist u see) and to my dismay i find none..... my desperation.. even makes me find about it on youtube.. and to my horror i find.. funny videos about the ssb.. :) ( good fun though And then this orkut community happens.. I find a bunch of intellectuals... sharing their joyous experinces,, on the various threads,, I must say this really helped...

Still more into preparation:
I decide to atleast put in some effort .. for the inteview.. and start reading the book everyday for 2 hrs.. and in the meanwhile collect some information on the NAVY from ..
I prepared almost the probable questions that could be asked..... and have taken out printouts ,, for reading on the go,,. LOL...

Arrival of the telegram:
I am really charged up on seeing the telegram.This i thought was the first step... I studied the list of items to be carried along .,,, Tickets are made...... Chatting continues on gchat ... etc on ssb preparation.....

Coimbatore is 7hrs away from Bangalore.. I decided to board the INTERCITY expresss @ 6:15 am... I was supposed to report @ 2:30 pm.... i anxiously look onto my watch... fearing the dreaded reputation out Railways have... Luckily the train is sharp on time... Laloo has really changed the face of railways.. After a few minutes.. an attractive..... lady asks me to help her with luggage.. and surprisingly in the 2s class f the railways... she speaks good english. we have a hearty chat..... i get to know that she's a call center employee.. gng home f diwali....Lucky me..

After a while i get to my regular dose of newspapers and outlook.. Which i continue for the entire journey.. regardless f the lady..... :)

Arrived sharp on time I must have never thanked any other politician in my life,, except 4 the rail mantri.. i had a chat with some of my future chest number friends......The bus is on time and we are taken to NSB Centre.. on time..

DAY 1:
We are made to stand in a straight line and to our surprise all our mobiles are confiscated ,, the guy in charge . keeps on shouting... in a high pitch,, note .I was getting a feel of life in the forces already.. I can hear the growls.. in my stomach, I had skipped my lunch ,, and these guys aren't going to serve dinner... before 7pm Mummy................

Meeting time:
Now we get to meet some navy personnel.. i expected to see someone in uniform.. but all were in civilian dresses..... After the welcome note from Commander Chakraborty we are made to fill in all sort f forms including the railway entitlement form,,,, In the hall we get to know that there are about 78 candidates in all.... 11 from some from btech/BE B.A etc.... I also get to know the no attempts others have made..3 4 5 11 what the %^&* .. For me it ws now or never..... After all i had just come to see if i had it in me Rite ....
Allotment of chest numbers follows that.. I am no:48

After having dinner we all move to barracks.... i have a chat with my fellow mates.. and try to get a fair overview,, of the process.... hmm it's a tiring day and i go to sleep only to be awaken... by constant noise of candidates moving here and there...
DAY 2.
Anyway it's a early morning start.. we all pack our bags.. and get in front of the ANTE room... for breakfast.. The screening starts... It;s was a easy test though.. only problem was that of time hahahhah........ Both portions are over then it;s time 4 picture perception... it was a damn hazy picture.. anyways under proper guidance from my friends,, i was able to make out something postive from it.... hehe..
Then we move towars group discussion... It's a fish market scene,, everyone is busy putting forth their points,,,, I managed to stay calm.. i spoke about 2wice,, very politely intevening other candidates,, after all i am not a loksabha neta.. In the intial few secinds i start speaking looking towarsd the lady psychologist... LOL....then i turn otherside....

The situation was tense..... in the ANTE room.. i was worried too as i had not made my reservation for Bangalore.... We are asked to assemble in a straight line. and our chest nos are taken away.....

The an officer announces the results.... 1 -15- 49 oh shit i missed i was (48) -52-48...... I was on cloud 9.. I shout and say Ashish Dangua sir.. Roll_500100 Chest no:48...
I am alloted Chest No:15

First day is done.. all our mates were immediately sent off.. to the station.... 23 of us remain....
All of us congratulated each other ,, After that we were accomodated in 2 barracks..... the rest f day was of.. Most of them including me went off on sight seeing..
Sadly Coimbatore.. has nothing much to offer,, Neither pretty girls,No malls Nothing as such.. It was distasteful visit .. and i decided not to waste my time and money on it in the forthcoming days........

Day 3
It's written day...all those dreaded WAT SRT TAT went on quite smoothly for me with my preparation and i was quite confident of my answers.. i answered 53/60 WAT 43/60 SRT....
Day is off at about 1 pm... again.. Some people have their interviews that day.Luckily we are informed that ours was scheduled the next day..
I get back to barracks and get on to preparing and brushing my current affairs knowledge... That night we had a good chat on the probable questions to be asked..... i was quite confident about my knowledge,, and skills except 4 i didnt know much of the recent Sub Prime Crisis.. and I was B.Com. :(
Day 4:
It's a nervous moment for 6 candidates.. in the waiting hall.. turn by turn.... i am in .. The president greeted me and offered me a hanshake,,, after that it began.... He was a true gentleman and made me feel comfortable...
He asked quoestions ranging,, from my academic to my parents, friends boss company details etc( i used to work for Hewlett Packard) what i was doing currently.. etc.. Boy Boy many f them...... Then he moved on the forces.. Aircraft carriers no of them.... Gorshkov deal etc..... i answered many of his questions .He was surprised @ my knowledge level me being a total civilian..... and aske me my sources of information.Throughout my inteview,i only anwered the questions i knew,, and didn't bluff...... Then he moved on to current affairs,,, ranging from US Crisis, repo rate ,reverse repo rate,CRR,SLR etc,,, Happening in neighbouring countries etc,, Throughout the process i could see him observing me carefully.. i had a bout of sweat in the AC room tooo........ At the end he asked my Why the forces... Other Options.. and qualities f a naval officer,,,,,, Luckily i was prepared 4 all these...:) thanks Arihant....

Day 5:
Early moring 05:30 hrs.. we are made to assemble.... we move on at about 6:30 hrs for the gd Luckily the topics are easy and we were given beijing olympics and india's performance and Current education system in India... etc.. It went on well.. then was the lecturette.. my toopic was Population Control . I spoke well with a good body language.. and ended in time...

Then was the snake race:never before i had experienced anything of that sort before.Our slogan was Bharat Mata Ki Jay.. It was very inspirational.. for a civilian like me.. i already was a soldier....:P.It was drizzling But as teh GTO said Rain can't stop us from winning a war... I slipped but was able to regain my balance.. also helped my fellow mates.... It went on well with minor injuries.....

Command task : was tough many of us couldn;t figure out,, LUckily the GTO helped us @ times.....We could do it afterwards,, :)
Then comes the biggest obstacle of all.. The INDIVIDUAL TASKS>>> Considering my not so robust phyisque I am doubtful of my performance.. Luckily i was able to complete 7 of the 10 2 i failed.. cause the ropes were slippery after rain.... i was quite satisfied of my performance...
Later that night we all have a good time... greet each other .Exchange email id's orkut id's knowing it could be well the last day for some of us tomorrow...... We slept late that nite... We had done our part..... Now was the phal ki chinta part.......

Our group ( 23 people) recommended candidates 15 & 20 

Day 6:
27th October 2008
Morning about 8:30 The conference thing begins.. Everyone is in air of anticipation.. I promptly put my ticket to Bangalore in my pocket. Not quite hopeful..... the train was scheduled 3 hrs later that day...
My turn comes... I am greeted by 5 officers... seated in an array.... i greet them warmly... have a seat and answer,,, the questions. ranging from best performance,areas of my improvement,rating yself ( i said 70/100) .

Results Room:
A attractive Lieutenant(lady) enters.... and starts the same age old .. kalam, shahrukh khan , akshay kumar stuff...... I hardly find anyone listening...... Then is the moment of triumph..... First name she tells.. Chest No: 15 WHAT THE FUCK THAT'S ME YAAR AND 1 OTHER GUY NO:20 Only 2 of a batch of 78 .. I couldn't be more elated that day... than any other in my life. YES I HAD IT IN ME that's what i thought to myself.. Greeting poured in from all over.....
i called my friends who were jubliated on my success.. We were allocated Red + Chest nos i was 1.Never before had a no sounded so beautiful... I had stripes in my thoughts... All our other 21 friends departed after congratulating me.. I really missed them.. Then it was part to medicals @ Wellington ooty for 2 days..
I was happy that i had done my part and my best..

What i felt about the SSB is that it tests u as a person.I am ASHISH DANGUA and that's the way it is .No one can be me And no one can be u... Individuality matters.. A good grooming.. good thoughts , effective intelligence etc are some of the qualities looked ...... I was glad enough to make it in my first attempt,a complete civilian,No coaching and NO JACKS :) An officer ( hmmm wow) Thoughts of a lovely date with a sweetheart emerged.. The day was pleasant,,, as never before

I would like to dedicate this blog to all my friends who were always with me @ all times of crisis.....Guys i owe u big time..... Thanks Subharanjan....Thank u all my fellow chest nos...

Dedicated in the loving memory of Uncle(Col.M.Panda)

Any comments or feedback are welcome

Will revert back as soon as possible
Ashish Dangua