⁉ Are SSB Preparation Academies defeating the very aim of SSBs⁉ © @ ✒GBG⚔

1.  Before we delve in to the complications of this topic, let us update ourselves on composition, aim and Purpose of SSBs, aka Service Selection Boards, which are responsible for selection of officers for our Defence forces, including, Army, Navy and Air force.

2.  Unless we forget, or else undermine the purpose of these boards, let me remind one and all, that the purpose of these boards is to look for certain bodily and mental strengths and qualities in a candidate, but beyond and above that, and more important than that is to look for some essential psychological traits.

3.  These traits to name a few are, , honesty straightforward approach to people, issues and situations, and an uncrooked mind. The selection occurs over a five day process. Day 1 involves a screening test, Day 2, psychological tests, Days 3 and 4, group tasks, and Day 5, compilation of results In Conference. A personal interview is also included during the selection period. The qualities looked for in the selection period include intellect, responsibility, initiative, judgement under stress, ability to reason and organize, communication skills, determination, courage, self-confidence, speed in decision making, willingness to set an example, compassion and a feeling of loyalty to the nation.

4.  Forces wish to, and I must repeat, 'WISH TO', select officers to lead their men, who are psychologically healthy individual's, who have unquestionable integrity, honesty, courage, and a spirit of standing for a just cause, and a spirit of going beyond the call of normal duty to serve, society, and uphold justice and truth.

5. Services Selection Boards (SSBs) tasked to vet those candidates, who have already been selected on basis of their meritorious performance in written examinations, and shortlisted to face these selection bodies, for admission into the officer's training academies, like the NDA, IMA, OTA, Air force and Navel Academies of  the Armed Forces of India, which train the selected candidates in basic tactics, Warcraft, weapons, and other technical operations of armed forces battle equipment and machines.

6.   The board conducts personality and intelligence tests and interviews to determine suitability. Some tests are paper based while others involve group tasks or presenting to a panel of assessors. The SSB is held in specified central locations over a number of days.

7.   SSB Centers for Indian Army are classified as, Selection Center East (SCE) Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. Selection Center Central (SCC) Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, and Selection Center South (SCS) Bangalore in Karnataka. Banglore is home to 17 SSB & 24 SSB.  Allahabad has 11 SSB,14 SSB, 18 SSB, 19 SSB, and 34 SSB, where as Bhopal is home to boards named  20 SSB,  21 SSB and 22 SSB. For Air force we have  1 AFSB Dehradun in Uttarakhand, 2 AFSB in Mysore, Karnataka,  3 AFSB in Gandhi Nagar Gujrat, and 4 AFSB in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.  For Indian Navy the selection boards are,  NSB Coimbatore in Tamilnadu, 12 SSB at SCS Bangalore in Karnataka and  33 SSB at SCC Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.

8.  Out of lakhs of candidates who aspire to join the forces, only a few thousand make the merit in written, and out of them a few hundred alone, get through the SSBs, and make it to the officers training centers of forces.

9.  Thus there is a huge demand, and a tough selection process, carried out by generic army officers from many streams, given a short training in how to conduct the SSB tests, and here in lies the Achilles heel of this system.

10.  After one or two postings to SSBs, these officers get posted to their parent arms, and ultimately retire. Post retirement some of them start academies to train candidates to pass SSB 5 day vetting system, charging them a hefty fee and promising them success. This is where lies the root of cheating and corruption in this process.

11.  If one is to think of it intelligently, judicially and critically, this is almost like a huge and organised cheating racket. There are two angles to it.
   (i) Firstly that it is like a sophisticated paper leak scandal. The complete SSB is a 5 day process, which should actually come up as a surprise for the candidate. When trained people tell a candidate as to on what grounds one is going to be judged, and trains you to react to situations in a particular way, the very purpose of personality test is beaten. When a person is trained for 60 days to six months, on how exactly to react to stimuluses of words, pictures, on ground challanges, and other situations, you have a potato ready to pass as an apple, because of artificial layers of personas superimposed on it, where as it continues to remain a potato in side. This is very dangerous in long term in war situations, because in war, where the stresses and challanges are so real, and not just a GTO task to be completed, only the people with real personalities, sans any artificial conditioning, will make it through. Thus the whole aim of SSB is beaten, by training people to fake through the system.
  (ii)  The officers, who have set up these academies, can potentially more easily network with their colleagues in SSB, on brotherhood bases and dangle for them the  allurements, or poisons of this world to corrupt them in to a vicious circle of official corruption.
   (iii) This way, the system becomes , SSB, outside an SSB. The trained ex officers of army running these academies,  easily pick up the suitable or marginally suitable candidates in their academies, throw in the bait of sure selection, throw in the hints for money being the key to open the SSB lock. Naturally, there are many takers for this method, those who pay up,  their details are forwarded  in the given network, selection ensured and the loot shared.

12.  There is only one remedy to this malice.
Ban and scrap all such academies which claim to have trained and got officers selected to army. It is one of the biggest frauds going on in the name of fruitful self employment by some ex forces officers.

13.   The biggest reason for these academies to be banned is the fact that  these 'SSB Preparation Academies' defeat the very purpose  of SSBs, as these academies are the factories, that propagate, promote and sell falsehood and nothing else. 

14.  I am absolutely sure that a deserving candidate needs no such academy to help him or her crack SSB, and one must fearlessly and honestly go and face these boards, sans any artificial makeup, and if you are meant for forces, and forces meant for you, you shall fit  like a golf glove, other wise you might as well find the ground, you are meant for. These academies are in the business of nothing but fitting, square pegs in round holes, thus damaging the system, most subtly but most certainly.
🚩तत्त सत्त अकाल🚩
© @ ✒ Motivational Guru Balwant Gurunay.⚔

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