Young aspirants who dream of becoming commissioned officers in the Army, Navy or Air Force can now apply for the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy exams conducted by the UPSC. Those who have passed plus two, including women, can apply for the entrance exam.
The national-level entrance exam to select the candidates for training at the National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla, Pune and the Naval Academy in Ezhimala, Kannur will be held on 21 April. There are exam centres in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode, Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi. The preferred centres would be allotted as and when the applications are received.
Total 400 seats
- NDA: There is a total of 208 seats (10 seats for women) for the army branch while the Navy has 42 seats. Candidates can apply to 120 seats in the Air Force; among them, 92 seats are allotted for flying, 18 for ground duties tech and 10 seats for ground duties non–tech (two seats each have been reserved for women candidates in all the three subcategories).
- Naval Academy, Ezhimala: There are up to 30 seats for grabs here (9 seats for women).
The applicants should have studied Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry in plus two to join the Navy and the Air Force. However, there is no such restriction for applying to the Army. Those who are awaiting the plus two results too can apply. However, they need to produce the original certificates before 24 December 2024.
The date of birth of the applicants shouldn’t be before 2 July 2005 or after 1 July 2008. The candidates should be unmarried. Moreover, they should be healthy and should meet all the prescribed physical and medical standards. There will be a detailed medical check-up before finalising the admissions.
A rank list would be prepared based on the performance of the candidates in the written test. They would then be invited for the interview round by the Services Selection Board. This will be a five-day-long intensive personality test. The candidates need to be focused and prepare well for this round.
No caste-based reservations are available for the appointments. The candidates appearing for the interview for the first time are eligible for travel allowance.
Those who are interested in joining the flying branch of the Air Force are required to clear the Computerised Pilot Selection System (CPSS). It must be noted that the candidate will get only one chance in their life to clear this test. Those who are looking to join the General Duties (Pilot) branch in the Navy too should clear this once-in-a-lifetime test.
The government will bear the cost of the training at the NDA. The candidates only need to pay Rs 35,376 as pocket allowance and other meagre amounts. Meanwhile, the candidates from Kerala are eligible for a scholarship of Rs 2 lakh instituted by the Kerala government.
After completing the training, the candidates would be awarded BTech/ BSc/ BA degrees by the Jawaharlal Nehru University. The candidates, after their ‘passing out’ parade, would be sent for further training at the respective training centres of the army, navy and air force. The permanent commission would be granted only after completing this one-year-long training. Meanwhile, those who are selected for the naval branch would be awarded a BTech degree only after completing the four-year-long training at the Naval Academy in Ezhimala.
The UPSC exam has a duration of five hours and is divided into two objective-type papers of two and a half hours each. The Mathematics paper carries a total mark of 300 while the General Ability is 600 marks. The candidates must note that there will be negative marks for the wrong answers. The syllabus can be downloaded from the UPSC notification. The applicants could prepare for the exam based on this syllabus and by analysing the previous question papers. Mathematical tables or calculators wouldn’t be allowed inside the exam hall. Even though those who apply for the army branch need not study Science subjects in plus two, they should expect questions from Maths, Physics and Chemistry for the NDA entrance exam.
The candidates must do a One-Time Registration (OTR) on the website www.upsconline.nic.in before submitting the online applications. Meanwhile, the applications could be submitted until 6 pm on 9 January. An application fee of Rs 100 should be paid online or via any branch of the State Bank of India. Applicants who belong to scheduled categories, women candidates and wards of serving soldiers need not pay the application fee. Interested candidates must note the branches of service in the order of preference in the application form.
The detailed notification can be accessed by clicking on the Examination – Active Examinations link in www.upsconline.gov.in. Call 011 – 23385271 in case of any doubts.