How to Join NDA Eligibility Criteria Application Process and Know More

  •   Odisha Nijukti Khabar
  •   06-09-2023

How to Join National Defence Academy (NDA)

The National Defence Academy (NDA) is one of India’s premier institutions that train young candidates to become officers in the Indian Armed Forces. Joining the NDA is a dream for many aspiring individuals who wish to serve the nation with honor and pride. In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to join the NDA, including eligibility criteria, the application process, and other essential details.

1.What is NDA?

The National Defence Academy (NDA) is a joint services academy of the Indian Armed Forces, where selected candidates are trained together for three services – the Indian Army, the Indian Navy, and the Indian Air Force. NDA is located at Khadakwasla, near Pune, Maharashtra.

2. Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for NDA, candidates must fulfill the following criteria:


  • Indian Citizen
  • The subject of Nepal or Bhutan
  • Tibetan Refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, with the intention of permanently settling in India.
  • Indian Origin person migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia, and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Age Limit:

The candidate’s age must fall within the prescribed age limits. For NDA (I), the candidate must be born not earlier than July 2, 2003, and not later than July 1, 2006. For NDA (II), the candidate must be born not earlier than January 2, 2004, and not later than January 1, 2007.

Educational Qualification for NDA:

  • For Army Wing of NDA: 12th Class pass of the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination conducted by a State Education Board or a University.
  • For Air Force and Naval Wings of NDA and Naval Academy: 12th Class pass with Physics and Mathematics of the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination conducted by a State Education Board or a University.

3. Date of Publication of NDA Notification:

The NDA notification is generally published twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The notification for NDA (I) is usually released in the month of January, and the notification for NDA (II) is released in the month of June.

4. Application Process:

To apply for NDA, follow these steps:

a. Online Registration:

  • Visit the official UPSC website ( during the application period.
  • Click on the NDA notification link and read the instructions carefully.
  • Complete the one-time registration process and obtain the registration ID.

b. Filling out the Application Form:

  • Log in with the registration ID and fill out the detailed NDA application form.
  • Provide personal details, educational qualifications, and other required information.

c. Fee Payment:

  • Pay the prescribed application fee online through the provided payment options.
  • SC/ST candidates and wards of NCOs/JCOs/ORs are exempted from the payment of the application fee.

d. Upload Documents:

Upload scanned copies of the required documents, including photographs and signatures, as per the specifications provided in the notification.

5. Selection Process:

The selection process for NDA consists of a two-stage selection procedure:

a. Written Examination:

  • The written examination is conducted by UPSC and consists of two papers – Mathematics (300 marks) and General Ability Test (600 marks).
  • The General Ability Test includes sections on English, General Knowledge, Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History, Geography, and Current Affairs.

b. SSB Interview:

  • Candidates who qualify in the written examination are called for the Services Selection Board (SSB) Interview.
  • The SSB Interview consists of Psychological Tests, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Interviews, and Conferences.

6. Training and Commission:

Candidates who clear the SSB Interview and the medical examination are offered admission to the NDA. After successful completion of the three-year course, candidates are awarded a Bachelor’s degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Subsequently, cadets are sent to their respective service academies for one year of specialized training before commissioning as officers in the Indian Armed Forces.

  • The training is rigorous and comprehensive, encompassing academics, physical fitness, and military skills.
  • Cadets are exposed to a wide range of subjects, including Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, History, Economics, Geography, and Foreign Languages, among others.
  • Leadership and character development are emphasized throughout the training.

7. Combined Defence Services (CDS) Exam:

  • Apart from the NDA entrance exam, candidates can also join the Indian Armed Forces through the Combined Defence Services (CDS) Examination.
  • The CDS exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) twice a year for entry into the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Air Force Academy (AFA), and Officers’ Training Academy (OTA).

8. Joint Training at NDA:

  • NDA provides a unique opportunity for joint training of future officers from the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force.
  • Joint training fosters camaraderie and understanding among cadets of different services, preparing them for future inter-service cooperation during their careers.

9. NDA Alumni:

  • NDA boasts a rich legacy of producing exceptional officers who have made significant contributions to the nation.
  • Many alumni of NDA have risen to prominent positions in the Armed Forces, government, and various other fields.

10. NDA Passing Out Parade:

  • The Passing Out Parade (POP) is a grand event held at NDA to mark the completion of training for the graduating cadets.
  • The parade is witnessed by dignitaries, including the President of India, who also serves as the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces.

11. Motto and Crest:

  • The motto of NDA is “Service Before Self,” which reflects the dedication and commitment of its cadets.
  • The crest of NDA features a wreath of laurel leaves symbolizing victory, an eagle representing air power, a naval anchor representing sea power, and a crossed sword and baton representing the land forces.