Saturday, July 6, 2013



What is OLQ?

What are the “Officer Like Qualities” required in a Naval Officer?

Do you want to know the answer to this question?

It’s simple.

Click the url link below and go to the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page of the Indian Navy Recruitment Website:

Have a look at Question No. 3

What kind of “Officer like Qualities” are required for commission in the Navy?

Now click on the Question and read the answer provided:

The candidates who successfully pass the competitive examination conducted by the UPSC, are interviewed by the Services Selection Boards. Officer Like Qualities of a candidate are assessed during these interviews, which last for about 3 to 4 days. In broad terms, the ability of an individual to withstand physical and mental stress, leadership qualities, determination, fighting spirit, clarity of thought, expression, resolve and overall suitability is assessed during the course of the interview.

I am paraphrasing below the relevant extract of the above answer which defines OLQ or Officer Like Qualities:

Officer Like Qualities or OLQ is the ability of an individual to withstand physical and mental stress, leadership qualities, determination, fighting spirit, clarity of thought, expression, resolve

What about Ethics, Moral Values, Honesty and Integrity?

Are these not being assessed by Services Selection Boards?

It is no wonder that so many scams and scandals are taking place.

From the definition of OLQ given above, it appears that the focus is on “personality” rather than “character”.

It is surprising that core value-based inner qualities like truthfulness, trustworthiness, honesty, forthrightness and integrity are not considered “Officer Like Qualities”

I feel that sound immaculate character attributes and unblemished ethical qualities are an essential part of OLQ and these are much more important than the personality traits mentioned in the definition of OLQ given in the Navy Recruitment Website.

What is your view?

Please tell us.

Do you feel that Ethics, Moral Values, Honesty and Integrity are not essential “Officer Like Qualities”?

Do you think that an officer need not be truthful, trustworthy, honest and forthright under all circumstances?

Do you feel that concepts like “code of conduct” and “honour code” are outdated ideas of the past and have no relevance in the current environment?

Are you of the view that, in today’s modern world, to succeed in the navy, an officer needs to be “street smart” rather than straightforward?

If one goes by the answer given in the Navy Recruitment Website which lists the “Officer Like Qualities” which are assessed during the Services Selection Board (SSB) Interview, it seems that candidates are not being assessed for “ethical fitness”.

You assess intellectual fitness (UPSC Exam), you assess physical fitness (SSB), you assess “OLQ” fitness (SSB), you assess medical fitness (Military Hospital) – but do you assess Ethical Fitness?

Why does OLQ not include “Character Attributes” like Ethics, Moral Values, Honesty and Integrity?

Why is “Ethical Fitness” not being assessed by SSBs?

Do we want naval officers who are “ethically unfit”?

It all depends on the moot question:

What is OLQ?

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this book review. 
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