Are you endeavoring to join the Indian Defence Force? Willing to know about NDA eligibility? National Defence Academy (NDA) exam is the most desirable exam for candidates aspiring to join the defense forces after completing the 12th exam. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the NDA exam twice a year, for which both male and female candidates can apply.
NDA exam is the Defence entrance exam to get admitted into NDA’s Army, Navy, and Airforce wings and for the Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC). This article discusses the NDA eligibility criteria and the qualifications.
The National Defence Academy exams’ highlights are discussed here.
|Exam Name||National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination, 2022|
|Conducting Body||Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)|
|Exam Level||National Level Examination|
|Frequency||Conducted twice a year (April and September)|
|Selection Stages||Two stages:Written examSSB Interview|
|Exam Languages||English Hindi|
|Number of Applicants||5.3 Lakh candidates (As per 2020 data)|
|Exam Purpose||Admission intoNational Defence Academy – Army, Navy, and Airforce wings Indian Naval Academy Courses (INAC)|
|Exam Fees||INR 100 for male candidates belonging to the General and OBC categories.Free for candidates from the SC and ST categories, women candidates, and sons of JCOs, NCOs, and ORs.|
|Subjects and Exam duration||GAT – 2 hrs 30 minsMath – 2 hrs 30 mins(Conducted on the same day)|
Read on to know in detail about the NDA eligibility criteria for the exam applicants.
The NDA eligibility criteria, exam dates, syllabus, rules, regulations, etc., are specified by the UPSC. The UPSC issues notifications every year regarding the specifications of the exam, held in April and September. Candidates who have completed or have appeared for 12th exams can apply. But the candidates should meet specific NDA eligibility criteria. The NDA eligibility criteria are based mainly on
These NDA eligibility guidelines are specified in the official UPSC notification for the NDA exam, 2022. The notification has the below-mentioned details about the exam.
Male and Female candidates who meet the specified NDA eligibility criteria can apply for the exam. Candidates should fill in the application form online. The application form has two parts. Part I of the application form contains all the personal information, and the registration ID is generated. Using the Registration ID, Part II has to be filled. Part II includes all the payment information. Once the payment is made online or offline, a printout of the application form must be maintained.
To be eligible for the Entrance exam, candidates must meet the following NDA eligibility criteria specified by the UPSC. Let us discuss each criterion in detail.
The candidates must fall under either of the following three categories to qualify for the NDA exam.
Candidates falling under the (ii) and (iii) should produce an eligibility certificate issued by the Government of India. However, this certification is not necessary for candidates belonging to the Gorkha community of Nepal.
Only candidates who fall between 16.5 and 19.5 years during the NDA exam are eligible to attend the NDA exam. It is a must for the male and female candidates to be unmarried until they complete the training period. If candidates fail to comply with these NDA eligibility criteria, they will be disqualified.
As per the NDA Eligibility norms issued by the UPSC, the NDA age eligibility for lower and the upper limit are mentioned below for clarity. Those wishing to apply for NDA exam II, 2022 should meet the NDA age limit.
|Minimum Age Limit||Born before 7th January 2007* (16 years during the examination)|
|Maximum Age Limit||Born after 2nd January 2004* (19 years during the examination)|
*Both dates inclusive
Only unmarried candidates within this NDA age limit are eligible for the 2022 exam. There should be no discrepancy between the Date of Birth mentioned in the application and the Matriculation or Secondary Board Exam certificates. There are no relaxations provided for candidates under any category.
The selected candidates should sign an undertaking stating they will not get married until they complete the training. Failing to do so, they will be debarred from NDA. Moreover, they have to refund any expenses incurred by the Government during training.
Candidates wishing to join the NDA and INAC must meet specific educational qualifications as specified by the NDA eligibility norms. The NDA eligibility criteria for each wing are tabulated for better understanding.
|For the Army Wing of the NDA||Passed Class 12/HSC in the 10+2 pattern of schooling or equivalent exams conducted by the State Education Board or university|
|Airforce and Naval Wings of NDA||Passes Class 12/HSC with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics in the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent exams conducted by the State Education Board or University|
|10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme at the Indian Naval Academy||Passes Class 12/HSC with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics in the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent exams conducted by the State Education Board or University|
Candidates appearing for the Class 12/equivalent exam can also apply for the exam provided they meet the NDA Eligibility Criteria. They should produce their original Class 12 certificates once they clear the written exam and qualify for the SSB interview. If they cannot produce them during the SSB Interview, they should forward duly attested photocopies to the respective HQ before the specified date. The originals of the attested photocopies should be sent to
|Army Head Quarters||Director General of Recruiting, Army HQ, West Block III, RK Puram, New Delhi – 110066.|
|Naval Headquarters||Naval HQ, DMPR, OI & R Section, Room No. 204, ‘C’ Wing, Sena Bhavan, New Delhi – 110011.|
Candidates appearing for Class 11 exams are not eligible for NDA exams.
The candidates should meet the NDA physical Eligibility to join the armed forces. Those candidates who have cleared the written exam and the SSB Interview will be examined for physical Fitness. They will undergo various tests at the Military Hospital to check if they meet the NDA physical eligibility specified by the UPSC.
Candidates who have cleared the written exam and the interview might still be rejected based on medical grounds. So, to avoid last-minute disqualifications, they are advised to get themselves medically examined. They have to ensure that they comply with the NDA eligibility criteria before they apply for the exam.
The following is the list of minor undesirable health issues leading to ineligibility.
These are generally applicable for male and female candidates.
In addition to these NDA physical eligibilities, female candidates will be further examined by a female Medical Officer or a Lady Gynaecologist. The following inspections are done based on NDA women’s eligibility.
Female candidates will be eliminated if they are declared unfit under the following circumstances.
The NDA physical eligibility criteria are further tabulated for understanding.
NDA eligibility norms permit permanent tattoos only in some instances.
In a particular case, tribes with tattoos as a part of their current customs and tradition are permitted after evaluation on an individual case basis. The Comdt Selection center will authorize such unique case selections.
Before listing the weight and height requirements, let us understand the basic NDA physical eligibility.
The weight and height of candidates in different age groups based on the NDA eligibility criteria are tabulated below for your quick reference.
|Height in cm||Weight in kg for the appropriate age and weight|
|Minimum weight||17 to 20 years||20 (+1 day) to 30 years||30 (+1 day) to 40 years||Above 40 years|
Specific essential points to be remembered to comply with NDA Physical Eligibility Criteria:
Before applying for the exam, make sure you go through the NDA eligibility criteria and the allowances properly.
Candidates applying for the Indian Airforce need to fulfill the NDA physical eligibility specified below. A 10% variation on the upper side is tolerated. The candidates should follow know about these criteria to avoid rejections in later stages.
|Height in cm||Weight in kg|
|16 – 17 years||17 – 18 years||18 – 19 years|
Candidates with weights heavier than the maximum limit should provide proof of participation in heavy lifting, boxing, and bodybuilding at a national level. But the basic requirements should be fulfilled.
If the candidate is applying for a flying position, the minimum height requirement is 162.5 cm for male and female candidates. The leg length, thigh length, and sitting height for the flying crew as mentioned in the NDA eligibility criteria are as follows:
|Parameters||Male Candidates||Female Candidates|
|Minimum (cm)||Maximum (cm)||Minimum (cm)||Maximum (cm)|
Candidates who have cleared the written exam and the SSB Interview must meet the NDA Physical eligibility to be admitted into the Indian Navy. This is done to assure that the candidate is in the best physical and mental form, aiding them to perform their duties at their best. The weight-height chart is given below.
|Height (m)||Up to 17 years||17 years + 1 day to 18 years||18 years + 1 day to 20 years||20 years + 1 day to 30 years||Above 30 years|
|Min wt (kg)||Max wt (kg)||Min wt (kg)||Max wt (kg)||Min wt (kg)||Max wt (kg)||Min wt (kg)||Max wt (kg)||Min wt (kg)||Max wt (kg)|
Male candidates should follow the guideline provided by the NDA eligibility criteria as mentioned below.
Female Candidates should make sure to meet this NDA eligibility for Females regarding the weight and height requirements.
However, these relaxations are not applicable for candidates applying for Pilot or Observer specializations of the executive branch.
The candidates applying for the NDA exam should meet the specified NDA physical requirements. In addition, NDA will reject candidates with certain medical conditions even if they fit into other NDA physical criteria. They are mentioned below:
Candidates possessing any of the above-said diseases or disabilities will be rejected, irrespective of their category and gender.
During NDA medical examinations, candidates should be physically and mentally fit, as per NDA Eligibility standards.
Candidates applying for the Flying and Ground duty branches in the Indian Airforce should fulfill the NDA eligibility requirements as notified. This medical and physical fitness will be checked before the commencement of the training. This will ultimately enable them to work in any kind of environment. The candidates will be proclaimed physically fit only after sustaining under extreme conditions for an extended period.
The candidates will be rejected and considered unfit if they fall under the following categories.
As discussed in this article, the flying branch candidates should meet the minimum and maximum NDA physical requirements.
Those candidates opting for positions in the officer cadre must fulfill certain NDA prescribed medical fitness criteria. Failure to qualify will result in debarring the candidate.
|Cardiovascular Parameters||No history of chest pain, palpitation, breathlessness, fainting attacks, etc.BP should not be consistently higher than or equal to 140/90 mm of HGPast cardiac surgery|
|Respiratory System Requirement||History of TB, asthma, hemoptysis, injuries to the chest, etc.Significant pleural thickening|
|Endocrine and Dermatological System Requirements||Diabetes MellitusFungal infection on any part of the skinA dermatologist certifies the candidate in case of any minor skin issues|
|Conditions affecting Upper and Lower limb||Deformities of the limb amputation of a limbMalunited fractures or fractures with implants|
These medical conditions will cause the candidate to be rejected.
After all these discussions, specific candidates will still be doubtful if they are eligible to apply for the NDA exams. This section discusses ineligibility factors.
This article gives an exhaustive list of NDA Eligibility Criteria that should be fulfilled by candidates applying for the exam. Hope this article clarifies all your doubts. Please refer to the UPSC website for authentic communications and other formalities.
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Students pursuing class 12 who meet the NDA Eligibility Criteria can apply for the NDA exam. But after clearing the exams, the candidate should present the required +2 certificates to the board before the NDA eligibility deadline. In such circumstances, the candidate should send self-attested copies to the headquarters. The NDA eligibility norms must be followed.
Yes, a 16-year-old can apply for the NDA exam, provided they are unmarried and will attain the NDA eligible age during the commencement of the training. In addition to clearing the exam and interview, they should meet the NDA eligibility criteria as mentioned in the notification.
Specific NDA Physical requirements should be met by candidates to be selected for the NDA training like: Weight and Height Requirements Vision requirements Medical Qualifications Doctors at the Military Hospital will perform these NDA eligibility tests.
The minimum height requirement as per the NDA Eligibility criteria for the various wings of the NDA is given below. Army – 157 cm for male candidates and 152 cm for females Navy – 157 cm for male candidates and 152 cm for females Airforce – 152 cm for males and 148 cm for female candidates There are exceptions for candidates coming from specific regions and communities.