Pursue a dream career in the military;join NDA, Plus-Two eligibility

Those who wish to pursue a dream career in the defence forces as commissioned officers can apply to the NDA/Shutterstock images

National Defence Academy is the joint defence service training academy of the Indian armed forces where cadets of Army, Navy and Air Force undergo their pre– commissioning training. Those who wish to pursue a dream career in the defence forces as commissioned officers can apply to the NDA.

The NDA campus functioning under the aegis of the Ministry of Defence is located at Khadakwasla, near Pune. The NDA and the Indian Naval Academy campuses offer high-quality training facilities for the cadets.

Applicants must have passed Plus-Two (Class-12) for applying. Women candidates too can apply.

Entrance test
The national-level entrance test conducted by the Union Public Service Commission to select the cadets for training at NDA and the Indian Naval Academy in Ezhimala, Kannur, would be held on 4 September.

There are exam centres in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi. The exam centres would be allotted later.

Number of seats
There are a total of 400 seats up for grabs. In the NDA, Army has 208 seats (10 for women), Navy has 42 seats (3 seats for women) and there are 120 seats for the Air Force (6 women). There are 30 seats (only men) in the Indian Naval Academy in Ezhimala. Two seats are reserved for women candidates in the Air Force.

In order to pursue a career in the Navy or the Air Force, the candidates should have studied Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry as core subjects in Plus-Two. The Army would consider candidates who have passed Plus-Two in any stream. Those who are awaiting the final results of Plus-Two too can apply. They need to submit the original certificate within 24 June 2023. However, the date of birth of the applicants shouldn’t be before 2 January 2004 and after 1 January 2007.

The applicants should be unmarried and should be healthy and well–built. There will be a detailed medical examination at the final stage of the selection process. They should fulfil the stipulated physical standards and measurements.

SSB interview
The candidates would be short listed for the Services Selection Board (SSB) interview based on their performance in the written test. The interview carries 900 marks.

It is not a regular interview that would be over in a few hours. The SSB interview is one of the toughest and longest personality testing procedure that lasts for 5 days. Experts would evaluate the physical and mental strength and aptitude of the candidates to see whether they are fit to serve in the defence forces. Merit is the only criteria for selection. There is no caste-based reservation.

Going for this interview, unprepared or unversed, would lower the chances of getting selected. So, it is important to understand about the procedures and get practical training before attending the SSB interview.

Travel expenses would be provided for those who attend the interview for the first time.

What is CPSS
Those who wish to join the flying branch of the Air Force should pass the Computerised Pilot Selection System (CPSS).

Fee, expenses
The government would bear the educational and other expenses of the candidates who are selected to the NDA. Accommodation, food, uniform, treatment and books would be provided free of cost.

However, the candidates have to deposit Rs 29,338 in the beginning for clothes and pocket allowance. The amount that needs to be paid for the clothes and other amenities would be informed later. Earlier, it was Rs 30,000.

The candidates who are selected from Kerala would get a scholarship of Rs 2 lakh instituted by the state government.

Enrollment, training
Selected candidates would be enrolled for a three-year primary training programme at the NDA starting from 3 July 2023. After the completion of this or during the pre–commission training, the candidates would be awarded BTech/ BSc/ BA degrees recognised by the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

After passing out, the Army, Navy and Air Force cadets would be transferred to their training centres in Dehradun, Ezhimala and Hyderabad respectively. After a year of training in Dehradun, the army cadets would be commissioned as Lieutenant officers. Meanwhile, the naval cadets become Sub Lieutenant officers after a year of intense training. The Air Force cadets need to under go one-and-a-half years of training, including in flying, before getting commissioned as Flying Officers.

Those who are selected to the Indian Naval Academy in Ezhimala, Kannur, would get a BTech degree after training for four years. Stipend would be provided during the training period. Those who complete the training and get inducted into the defence forces as commissioned officers would get attractive salary and other incentives.

Structure of entrance test
The syllabus of the written exam has been published on the UPSC website.

The UPSC exam would have two papers with objective type questions. The duration of each paper would be two-and-a-half hours. The Mathematics paper carries 300 marks and the General Ability paper carries a total of 600 marks. The applicants must note that there would be negative marks for the wrong answers.

The Mathematics paper will have questions from algebra, matrix, determinants, trigonometry, two- and three-dimensional analytical geometry, differential/integral calculus, differential equations, vector algebra, statistics and probability. Meanwhile, there will be questions from English language and general knowledge in the General Ability paper.

The General Knowledge section would cover a number of topics from Physics, Chemistry and General Science to History, Indian Independence, Geography and Current Affairs.

Practising using the detailed syllabus and questions from previous years would be helpful. Mathematical tables or calculators wouldn’t be allowed inside the exam halls.

How to apply
Online applications could be submitted up to 6 pm on 7 June via www.upsconline.nic.in. An application fee of Rs 100 could be paid at any branch of State Bank of India. It could be paid online too.

Candidates from Scheduled categories, women candidates and wards of defence personnel need not pay the application fee. The candidate should note their interested field in the order of preference in the application. The instructions given on the website should be strictly followed while applying.

The detailed notification could be viewed by clicking on the ‘Examination – Active Examinations’ link on the website www.upsc.gov.in. You could also give a call to 011–23385271 for clarifications.  

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