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How to become a Ham

With all the basic information about Ham radio, we are now ready actually to step into the world of Ham. 

become a Ham, appear for exam, ASOC, WPC, Exam, Fill the form, India, ARRLTo be active in the beautiful world of Ham, we must first become a Ham Radio Operator. In all the countries globally, government authorities conduct the exams for those who want to become a Ham. In India, the Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) Wing, a department of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of the Government of India, has the responsibility of conducting the Ham Radio Examination which is also called as Amateur Station Operators Certificate Examination or ASOC exam. 

According to WPC basic rules, any Indian national above 12 years of age can appear for the ASOC exam conducted by WPC at various places. We must be well familiar with the requirements, syllabus and pattern for this exam.   

ASOC application guidelines:    

Any Indian citizen above 12 years of age can appear for the ASOC Restricted Grade examination. One can fill the form online at the website of the Department of Telecommunications:   

Online form filling guidelines: 

  1. Fill the form at the given link properly.
  2. Have all the data ready before attempting to fill the form. 
  3. The data filled here and that in the application form should match 100%.  

Documents required:  

  1. Application form completely filled and declaration.
  2. Age proof:

An attested copy of the Birth Certificate or School Leaving Certificate [NO OTHER PROOF IS ACCEPTED. (Driving Licence, PAN Card, Voter ID card, etc. are not considered)

  1. Certificate in support of Nationality / Character Certificate in the prescribed proforma from a Gazetted officer. [Find the proforma in “Indian rules and regulation” section at the given site. Following documents are accepted: 
  • An attested copy of valid Passport OR Nationality Certificate in the prescribed proforma.  
  • If you don’t have a passport, printed Nationality Certificate Form signed by one of the officers listed below is needed: 
  • Gazetted Officers of Central or State Governments.    
  • Members of Parliament or State Legislatures.
  • Sub-Divisional Magistrate/Officer.  
  • Tehsildars or Naib/Deputy Tehsildars authorised to exercise magisterial powers.  
  • Principal / Headmaster / Headmistress of the recognised institutions (School/College) where the applicant was a bonafide student. Use this option only if you are currently studying. Attested copy of Student ID card / Bonafide certificate.  
  1. Two passport size photographs (3×4 cm size) which are  
  • Signed on the front bottom half of the photo  
  • Name written at the back of the photo   
  • Enclosed in a small transparent plastic cover.  
  • Use proper photos only. Do not use colour xerox of photos.  
  1. Attach four copies of Personal Details of the Applicant along with the above. 

      Each application form should be form signed individually by the applicant (Do not submit photocopies of the signed form)    

  1. Demand Draft of the requisite amount drawn on the State Bank of India in favour of “PAO(HQ), DOT” payable at service branch no. 7687, New Delhi [Write your name at the back]  

Exam fees:  

Restricted Grade: Rs. 100/-  

General Grade: Rs. 100/-  

For both Grades: Rs. 200/-  

  1. One self-addressed, plain envelope (not stamped) of 27×12 cm size for correspondence. 
  2. If the applicant is between 12-18 years of age, a No-Objection Certificate from his Parent/Guardian/Head of the Institution is to be included. Print, fill and attach the Use Undertaking.doc attachment to your application form  
  3. Applicants holding a degree in Engineering, Science or Diploma in Engineering and having studied Electronics or Telecommunications shall be exempted from appearing in Section A of Part 1 of the exam.  
  • In effect, only those with BE/ME – Electronics & Communication Engineering (ECE), are eligible for this exemption.  
  • If you hold this degree, please attach attested copy of degree certificate.  
  • No other qualification is accepted for this exemption.
  • For other relevant degrees/diplomas [B.Sc. (Physics), B. Tech], one has to provide proof of the syllabus studied which covers the Section A – Part 1 – Radio Theory and Practice completely, which is a very tedious process and hence will not be taken up by the organisers 
  1. Print and use the 2 checklist pages for self-verification.

Examination Details:

The Examination is a Multiple Choice Objective Type. There are two grades of Amateur Radio Licence Examination.  

  1. Restricted Grade    
  2. General Grade

Duration of the Examination:

  1. Restricted Grade: 1 hour [Written]  
  2. General Grade: 2 hour [Written + Morse]  

The examination consists of two parts:  

PART 1: Written Test  

It contains two sections   

  1. Section A: Radio Theory and Practice  
  2. Section B: National and International Telecommunication Union [ITU] Radio Regulations applicable to operate Amature Radio Station and those relating to the working of station generally.  

For Restricted Grade Exam:  

There will be 100 questions, 1-mark each; 50 questions for Section A and 50 questions for Section B. 

Candidate must secure at least 40% in each section and 50% in aggregate to pass the examination.

For General Grade Exam:  

There will be 100 questions, 1-mark each; 50 questions for Section A and 50 questions for Section B. 

Candidate must secure at least 50% in each section and 60% in aggregate to pass the examination.

PART 2:- Morse [Only for General Grade]  

Morse receiving: (Speed: 8 words per minute)  

Morse Sending : (Speed: 8 words per minute)  

Note: A candidate shall have to pass both receiving and sending simultaneously.   

After the examinations, the results will be sent to the successful candidates by the Wireless Monitoring Station.  

Later, a letter will be sent by the Ministry of Communications & IT, New Delhi to the candidates asking them to send the photos, choice of call-sign and payment of fees. Once it is done, the licence will be issued. The whole process takes several months. 

Study Material:  

The following books have been referred for Radio Theory and Practice.  

  1. NIAR Study Manual (previous editions) 
  2. Amateur Radio Encyclopedia by Stan Gibilisco, W1GV 
  3. Basic Radio (Vol. I to VI) by Marvin Tepper 
  4. Amateur Single Side Band by Stuart Bonney, W5PAQ 
  5. Principles of Electronics byV.K.Mehta 
  6. ARRL Hand Book 

Amateur Rules:  

  1. WPC official Website ( 

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