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Forces put new process to select officers on hold 

Chandigarh, August 28

The armed forces have reportedly decided to put on hold the implementation of a new procedure developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to select officers.

The De Novo Selection Procedure was envisioned to be implemented by all Services Selection Boards (SSBs) in 2019. Besides introducing some changes, tests and evaluating methodology, it was designed to reduce the period of stay at selection centres from five to three days by making the initial screening and intelligence tests online, thus cutting down the expenditure. 

“Almost half the candidates do not get through the initial screening on the first two days and are sent back. If the screening was done online or from near the candidate’s home, it would save the cost of travel and stay,” an officer associated with an SSB said.

Sources associated with the selection process said some reservations have been expressed about the online testing procedures as well as the changes made in the procedures for a candidate’s psychological evaluation and personality assessment under the new system. “The procedure has been undergoing trials in parallel with the old system and some suggestions and recommendations have been put up for incorporating some modifications,” he said. 

In addition to the intelligence tests, the selection process for officer candidates, which is primarily an assessment of their personality and leadership qualities, comprises three elements: psychological tests, group tasks and personal interview. The results of all three elements, conducted independently, are then compared to arrive at a final decision whether a person is fit to become an officer. 

Some portions of the psychological tests and group tasks were done away with or modified by the De Novo system. 

Given the unique operating environment in the forces, the entire process is designed to assess how an individual performs under pressure in stressful, difficult or unusual situations and how capable he is to motivate his comrades in trying conditions. 

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