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Opportunity to become officers in Armed Forces

Boys who have passed the higher secondary examination have a fine opportunity to become officers in the armed forces, a dream career of many patriotic young men, by securing selection in the NDA – the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla, near Pune.

After the experiences of World War II, it was felt that an Inter Services Academy where future officers of the three services could be trained together should be established in India. The Joint Services Wing (JSW) was started at Dehra Dun on 15 December 1948.

The Academy was later renamed National Defence Academy (NDA). In December 1954, the NDA moved to Khadakwasla.

The campus sprawling over a 7015-acre estate has excellent facilities for training.

Selection of candidates:

Every six months the Union Public service Commission issues a notification for the national level competitive examination for selection of cadets to NDA and the Naval Academy (Goa). The examination is held at nearly forty centres in the country.

Notifications usually appear in the months of April and October in the Employment News weekly.

Extracts of the notification would be released in some of the dailies. The UPSC web site www.upsc.gov.in displays the notifications.

Unmarried male candidates who have passed the 12th Standard, whose age is between 16 1/2 and 19 years, would be asked to apply for selection. They should have sound physical and mental health. Girls are not considered. Physically handicapped candidates are not eligible for selection.

For Air Force and Naval Wings of NDA, and for Naval Academy (Executive Branch), applicants should have studied Physics and Mathematics at the plus two level. For the Army wing, any combination of optional subjects is acceptable.

Candidates who are appearing in the 12th class examination would also be allowed to submit applications.

There are three phases in the selection process:

  • A written examination held by the UPSC
  • SSB Interview, which lasts for four or five days. This is not a conventional face-to-face verbal interview, but an exercise that assesses your mental calibre and total personality.
  • In addition to a short face-to-face interview, there would be intelligence / psychological tests, group tests such as group discussions, group planning, and outdoor group tasks. You may be asked to give a brief speech on a specified subject:
  • Candidates for the Air Force have to pass the Pilot Aptitude Test, which a person can take only once in his life.
  • Medical examination by the Services Medical Board. The candidate must be in good physical and mental health and free from any disease / disability which is likely in interfere with the efficient performance of military duties.
  • The minimum acceptable height is 157.5 cms for Army and Navy, and 162.5 cms for Air Force. Chest: 81 – 86 cms.

The written examination:

There are two papers of two hours each: Mathematics (300 marks), and General Ability Test (600 marks). The outline of the syllabus for the examination is as follows :

Mathematics: Algebra, Matrices and Determinants, Trigonometry, Analytical Geometry of two and three dimensions.

Differential calculus, Integral calculus and Differential equations, Vector algebra, Statistics and probability.

General Ability Test: English (200 marks), and General Knowledge (400 marks) comprising Physics (approximate weightage 25 per cent), Chemistry (15 per cent), General Science (10per cent), History & Freedom Movement (20per cent), Geography (20 per cent), and Current Events(10 per cent).

There are only objective questions in the test. Detailed syllabus would be published along with the official notification. There will be four options for the answers to every question. For each wrong answer, one third of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty.

Since the candidates are not permitted to use a calculator or mathematical table in the examination hall, you should prepare for the examination accordingly, with the help of previous question papers.

Even if you feel that you are good at the subjects, it is essential that you prepare for the examination this way, so as to appreciate the type and standard of questions, and to develop your speed in answering objective questions.


Applications have to be prepared in the common application form devised by UPSC for its competitive examinations, and distributed through the main post offices at a price of Rs.20 each. The forms duly filled up should be submitted to the Secretary, Union Public Service Commission, Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi -110069.

Before indicating preferences for different courses, the candidates should first decide their preference for the two Academies viz. National Defence Academy and Naval Academy (Executive Branch). If a candidate opts for the National Defence Academy as his first choice, he must first indicate his preferences for the different wings of the National Defence Academy – viz Army, Navy and Air Force, followed by his preference for the Naval Academy (Executive Branch). Alternatively, if a candidate opts for the Naval Academy (Executive Branch) as his first choice, he must indicate that and then show his preferences for the different wings of National Defence Academy.


All cadets in the Academy are imparted physical training, as well as academic training for three years. The cadets passing out are awarded B.Sc. / B.A degree of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

A career as an officer in the armed forces demands a very high standard of physical fitness. A new entrant to the Academy is without any exposure to the rigours of soldiering.

He is slowly but surely transformed into an ever-vigilant man of tremendous physical strength and stamina. This is achieved through scientifically designed physical training exercises, which help in all-round physical development of the cadet.

Sports and games are given prime importance in the NDA. Facilities exist for Hockey, Football, Boxing, Cricket, Handball, Basket Ball, Volley Ball, Squash, Tennis, Rowing, Yachting, Sailing, Swimming, and Horse riding.

The cost of training including accommodation, books, uniforms, boarding, and medical treatment will be borne by the Government. Parents need meet only pocket and other private expenses of their wards.

The training during the first two years is common to the cadets of the three wings. In their sixth term cadets are exposed to specialised service training and skills which they are required to learn in order to become commissioned officers in their respective service.

On passing out from NDA, Army cadets go to the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun for a special training for one year, after which they are granted permanent commission in the rank of Lieutenant. Naval cadets go to the Cadets’ Training Ship for six months’ sea training.

After a further training of six months, they are commissioned as sub-acting Lieutenants. Air Force Cadets receive flying training for a period of one years. However, at the end of one year of training they are given provisional commission in the rank of Flying Officer.

After successful completion of further training of six months they are absorbed as permanent commissioned officers.

The defence services have their unique charms. The NDA / Naval Academy Examination opens the door for young boys to the world of matchless service to the country.

JEE Main

Application Form Submission 16 Dec 2020 to 16 Jan 2021.