Officer’s Entry Routes

History of National Defence Academy / Indian Army dates back to ancient India. From the ancient era to the modern age Indian army has evolved through the ages, with the bravery of Indians. History of Indian Army is pregnant with real and true accounts of extraordinary heroism and valour and can be traced back to the ancient periods in India. The earliest mention of Indian Army is found in the ancient texts and scriptures, including the Vedas and the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana. Modern India has witnessed several valorous soldiers who have laid down their lives for their motherland. The names of such warriors have been immortalized in the history of Indian army.

There are two main routes of entry into the Army. Both are via prescribed competitive examinations, conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Entry after 10+2 is through the National Defence Academy (NDA) Exam; or you can enter after graduation or post-graduation by taking the Combined Defence Services Examination (CDSE), conducted twice a year, generally in the months of February and October.

NATIONAL DEFENCE ACADEMY EXAMINATION

The National Defence Academy (NDA) Examination is conducted twice a year, in the months of April and September, for admission to the Army, Navy and Air Force wings of the NDA.

Conditions of eligibility:

The basic eligibility criteria are listed below:

(a) Nationality:

Since you have to fight for the country, you must be:

  1. A citizen of India; or
  2. A subject of Bhutan; or
  3. A subject of Nepal; or
  4. A Tibetan refugee who crossed over to India before January 1, 1962 with the intention of settling permanently in India; or
  5. A person of Indian origin who migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawai, Zaire and Ethiopia, with the intention of settling permanently in India.

However, if you belong to category ii., iii., iv. or v., you must possess a certificate of eligibility in your favour, issued by the Government of India. The certificate of eligibility is, however, not necessary in the case of candidates who are Gorkha subjects of Nepal.

(b) Age Limits, Sex and Marital Status:

Only unmarried male citizens who have attained the minimum age of 16� years and up to a maximum age limit of 19 years as on 1st January for the course commencing in January and as on 1st July for the course commencing in July are eligible.

(c) Educational Qualifications:

For NDA: 10+2 with any subject (PCM must for Airforce and Navy).

Scheme of examination:

The competitive examination comprises:

  1. Written examination
  2. SSB Interview for intelligence and personality test of such candidates as may be called for the interview.

1. Details of the written examination are given below:

Subject Duration MM
1. Mathematics 2½hours 300
2. General Ability 2½hours 600

The maximum marks allotted to the interview round is the same as the maximum marks allotted to the written examination (900 marks).

  • The question papers/ test booklets are set in English and Hindi Both.
  • The papers in all subjects will consist only of objective type questions.
  • In the question papers, wherever necessary, questions involving the metric system of weights and measures only will be set.
  • All candidates have to write out the answers in their own hand. In no circumstance will they be allowed to even use the help of a scribe.
  • The UPSC is empowered with the discretion to fix the qualifying marks of any or all the subjects of examination.
  • The use of calculators is not permitted during the course of the exam. You cannot, therefore, carry them to the examination hall.

2.Intelligence and Personality Test:

Once you qualify the written examination, you will also be put through intelligence tests, both verbal and non-verbal, designed to assess your basic intelligence. You will also have to undergo group tests, including group discussions, group planning of outdoor group tasks, and so on. You will be also asked to give brief lectures on specified subjects. All these tests, conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB) are basically intended to judge your mental calibre, and not just intellectual qualities, but also social traits and interests in current affairs.

3. Physical Standard:

For entering the defence forces, you have to be physically fit as per the prescribed physical standards. Once selected by the Services Selection Board (SSB), you will have to undergo a medical examination by a Board of Service Medical Officers. Only those candidates will be admitted to the forces for training who are declared fit by the Medical Board.

How to Apply
The notification is published in the Employment News/ RozgaarSamachar and leading dailies and official website of Indian army. Candidates have to apply online on the link of joinindianarmy.nic.in

COMBINED DEFENCE SERVICES EXAMINATION

The Combined Defence Services Examination (CDSE) is conducted for admission to the following courses and institutions:

  • Indian Military Academy, Dehradun for courses commencing in the following January and July, respectively.
  • Naval Academy, Goa for courses commencing in the following January and July, respectively.
  • Air Force Station, Begumpet, Hyderabad (Pre-flying) for courses commencing in the following January and July, respectively.
  • Officer’s Training Academy, Chennai for courses commencing in the following May and October, respectively.

Condition of eligibilty:-

The basic eligibility criteria are listed below:

(a) Nationality: same as NDA
(b) Age Limits, Sex and Marital Status:

The minimum acceptable age limit as on the date of commencement of the course is: 19 years (for all categories). Other details are:

  1. For Indian Military Academy- Maximum age: 24 years, unmarried male.
  2. For Naval Academy- Maximum age: 22 years, 24 years for Naval Wing ‘C’, unmarried male.
  3. For Air Force Academy- Maximum age: 23 years, unmarried male.
  4. For Officers’ Training Academy- Maximum age: 25 years, unmarried or unmarried male.

(c) Educational Qualifications:

  1. For Indian Military Academy- Graduate degree from a recognized university or equivalent.
  2. For Naval Academy- BE or B.Sc. with Maths and Physics.
  3. For Air Force Academy- BE or B.Sc. with Physics and/or Maths.
  4. For Officers’ Training Academy- Graduate degree from a recognized university or equivalent.
  • Graduates with Army/ Navy/ Air Force as their first choice are required to submit provisional certificates as proof of graduation on the date of commencement of the SSB interview at the Services Selection Board (SSB).
  • Even if you are yet to pass the graduate degree exam, you can apply, but you will be required to submit proof of passing the exam well before the specified date, failing which your candidature will stand cancelled.
  • If you possess professional and technical qualifications which are recognized by the Government as equivalent to professional and technical degrees would also be eligible for taking the exam.
  • In exceptional cases, the UPSC may treat a candidate, who does not possess any of the above qualifications, but is otherwise qualified, as eligible for taking the examination.

Scheme of examination:

The competitive examination comprises:

(a) Written examination

(b) SSB Interview for intelligence and personality test of such candidates as may be called for the interview at one of the Services Selection Centres

Details of the written examination

For admission to the Indian Military Academy, Naval Academy and AirForce Academy:

Subject Duration MM
1. English 2 hours 100
2. General Knowledge 2 hours 100
3. Mathematics 2 hours 100

For admission to the Officers’ Training Academy:

Subject Duration MM
1. English 2 hours 100
2. General Knowledge 2 hours 100
  • The standard of examination in Elementary Mathematics will be that of matriculation level. Whereas, in all other subjects, the standard will approximately be such as may be expected of a graduate from an Indian University.
  • The Mathematics paper broadly covers Arithmetic; Mensuration; Elementary Algebra; Geometry; Trigonometry and Statistics. Whereas, the English paper basically covers comprehension and usage; and General Knowledge encompasses Current Affairs; General Science; Indian History and Geography.

(d) Intelligence and Personality Test:

Once you qualify the written examination, you will also be put through intelligence tests, both verbal and non-verbal, designed to assess your basic intelligence. You will also have to undergo group tests, including group discussions, group planning of outdoor group tasks, and so on. You will be also asked to give brief lectures on specified subjects. All these tests, conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB) are basically intended to judge your mental calibre, and not just intellectual qualities, but also social traits and interests in current affairs.

How to Apply
The notification is published in the Employment News/ RozgaarSamachar and leading dailies usually in the months of october/November (for the February examination) and in the month of june/july (for theoctober examination). Candidates have to apply online.
Type of Entry Month of commencement of course Age at the time of joining Educational qualification Mode of Selection How to apply
TGC(Engg) Jan. and July 20-27yrs Engineering Degree in notified discipline SSB Interview Apply in response to advertisement in March/Apr & Sep/Oct.
TGC(AEC) Jan. and July 23-27yrs Post Graduate in notified Subject with 1st/2nd div. SSB Interview Same as above
University Entry Scheme(UES) July 18 – 24yrs Final and Pre-final years students of Engineering degree course. Campus interview and SSB interview Apply in response to advertisement in June.
10+2 TES Jan. & July 16½- 19yrs 10+2 pass with 70% aggregate in PCM. Apply directly to the Recruiting Directorate. Apply in response to advertisement in May and Nov.
SSC(Non-tech) (Men & women) Apr. and Oct 19-25yrs Degree or equivalent at the time of joining the course. CDSE conducted by UPSE and SSB interview Apply in response to advertisement in March/April &sep./oct
SSC (Tech) (Men & Women) Apr. and Oct 20 – 27 yrs Engineering Degree in notified discipline. SSB interview Apply in response to advertisement in March/April &sep./oct.
SSC(NCC Entry ) (men & women) Apr. and Oct 19-25yrs Graduates with 50% aggregate marks, two years service in NCC Sr. Sr. Division, Army with minimum ‘B’ Grade in ‘C’ certificate Exam SSB Interview Apply in response to advertisement in Dec./Jan & June/July