Pune youth sailor becomes an officer in Indian NavyNews — By The Desk on June 19, 2008 at 10:57 AM
Times Of India: Three years back, Pune youth Rajanikant dreamed of becoming an officer in the defence services. He couldn’t fulfil his dream then and had to settle instead for the post of a sailor in the Indian Navy. Now, he has finally seen his dream come true, and will soon head to Goa to train to become an officer in the navy.
“I am the first sailor on my ship to become an officer since its commissioning ten years back,” Rajanikant told TOI on Tuesday. He will join the INS Mandovi in Goa on July 7 for four years of training, after which he will take charge as a sub-lieutenant in the navy.
Rajanikant, who is currently posted on INS Kora in Visakhapatnam, was selected as an officer through the Commission Worthy Entry (CWE) route. The CWE provides an opportunity to non-commissioned officers in the defence services to become officers.
Specialising in electrical work, Rajanikant is currently responsible for handling the communication of his ship. Based in Dapodi, Rajanikant completed his education from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Khadki. His father, Ranjan Prasad, is a retired havaldar in the army.
Around 3000 sailors from across the country had appeared for the exam. Only 11 have been chosen to become officers following a tough selection process which included an interview by the Preliminary Selection Board (PSB), a written test, an interview by the Services Selection Board (SSB) and a medical test.
“I have experienced the life of a sailor. I know the hard life they have to lead,” Rajanikant said. “When I become an officer, I will command a team of sailors. I will be better placed to understand their problems and find solutions to them.”
Commander of the Indian Navy PK Banjaree (retd) opined that rising from the post of sailor to an officer is a “tough task,” and can be achieved through consistent good performance. “Other sailors can take inspiration from Rajanikant’s achievement,” he remarked.
Terming Rajanikant’s feat a “remarkable achievement”, Lt Col Pradeep Brahamankar (retd) , founder of a training academy for defence service aspirants where Rajanikant had also enrolled, pointed out that more efforts should be taken to create awareness among the public and defence staff about the CWE. “Many are aware about options like the National Defence Academy and the combined defence services exam. Other routes like the CWE and the special entries are not very well known.”