The Indian Air Force (IAF) has launched "Operation Khoj", one of its most crucial counter-espionage missions to look for intruders in an important air force base. The IAF welcomes young air force aspirants to find the intruder before he can cause damage.
Introduced on the Internet earlier this week on the IAF recruitment website (careerairforce.nic.in), Operation Khoj is a game to attract youngsters and give them a glimpse of an air force base. The game is about an intruder who has infiltrated a high security IAF base and was last seen near the main hangar, where advanced aircraft like Mirage 2000 and MiG 29 are parked. The mission is to track him down.
Gamers have to pass through six levels, including the hangar, the officers' mess, the briefing room, the radar research center and the container room. The levels can be completed as one deciphers clues, avoid traps, diffuses bombs, finds hidden keys, answers historical and current affairs questions about the IAF.
They would collect points at every level, and win by finding and apprehending the dangerous prowler within a specified period of time.
The launch of the game has brought to forefront the fact that the IAF has been finding it difficult to get qualified personnel. Said a senior retired IAF officer, "Today's youth need more than just the spirit of adventure to be attracted. The glamour IAF held for us is not as much for this generation because if they are pilots and join the private sector, they would be paid almost 300 time more."
R.K. Das, the Defence Ministry spokesman in Kolkata, however said the online game is a one-off measure. "The IAF continues to attract youngsters as much as it did 50 years back. The game was launched just to make our recruitment drive more attractive and in pace with the times. Even if they do not join the IAF, they can play the game," he said. However, typically, there is no count on the number of hits on the portal.