One can join the Air Force as an Officer in either one of the three branches, the Flying, Technical or the Ground branch. The officer cadre provides opportunities for men with 10+2 /Intermediate (only in the flying branch), graduates ( all three branches), engineers (all three branches) and postgraduates (all branches except the Flying branch). Women who are graduates, engineers and post graduates can join as an Officer in the Air force. Candidates short-listed after the initial selection procedure, go through a rigorous training regimen at one of the Air Force training establishments. Thereafter, they are commissioned as officers and posted either as a Pilot or a Navigator, or a Technical or a Ground Duty officer at any of the Air Force Stations.
Only the Officer cadre of the Air force provide opportunities for women. But they will be appointed only on 'Short Service Commission' i.e for a term of 10 years which you can extend up to 10 more years depending on your conduct or retire at the age of 40 whichever comes first. Only men will be granted 'Permanent Commission' from the Indian Air Force i.e will be accepted in service, for life. They can also opt for 'Short Service Commission'.
The Flying branch includes Fighter pilots who fly combat or fighter planes carrying ammunition and missiles; Transport pilots who fly planes which carry men and materials, and Helicopter pilots who provide air support to a moving army, or are used for para-dropping men and supplies. This branch also includes navigators who fly along with the pilot and guide the aircraft by using the latest avionic equipment.
The Technical branch consists of all the engineering sections which are responsible for the engineering equipment and weapons systems of the air force. Aeronautical engineers in the mechanical department ensure the proper maintenance of all aircraft; while those in the electronics department handle the electronic and communication equipment in aircraft.
The Ground Duties Branch includes all the departments that provide logistical, meteorological, educational and administrative support to the flying and technical branches. This includes the Air Traffic Control Officer who provides control and advisory services to enable the pilot to conduct flights in total safety. The Fighter Controller monitors the skies for any potential threat and selects the appropriate air defence system using modern electronic equipment to intercept these threats. The logistics Officer is responsible for provisioning the aircraft with spares, fuel, armaments and so on, while the meteorological branch officers are engaged in conducting scientific research on the prevailing weather and atmospheric conditions. There are also other branches such as administration, education and accounts.