NDA & CDS: A gateway to defense services
Both NDA and CDS Examinations are conducted twice a year by Union Public service Commission. NDA examination is taken up by those who are interested for the admission to the Army, Navy and Air Force wings of the National Defence Academy (NDA).
Candidates who succeed in the examination and show an interest to join Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC) are given an option to join Executive and Technical Branches of the Navy after completion of 4 years of B.Tech course depending on the availability of vacancies.
CDS examination is conducted to screen candidates for admission to the various courses in Indian Military, Naval, Air Force and Officers Training Academies.
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If we look at the latest notification by UPSC (no. 08/2013-NDA-II), total number of expected vacancies were 355. Naval Academy (10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme) had a share of 55 vacancies whereas major chunk of 300 vacancies got marked to National Defence Academy (195 for Army, 39 for Navy & 66 for Air Force).
Written Examination: Candidates are evaluated for their knowledge of elementary mathematics and skills related to general ability through a objective nature of the written test.
Each paper consists two and half hours of duration. Maximum marks for answers of mathematical questions are 300 whereas maximum marks assigned to General Ability test are 600 marks.
Intelligence and Personality Test: Candidates who qualify in written examination are invited to appear in Intelligence and Personality test conducted by the Service Selection Board (SSB).
Although written test is carried out at various centers across the country, candidates applying early have more chances to get choicest center than those applying late.
Both 12th Class pass unmarried male candidates and those appearing in the 12th Class with Physics and Mathematics are eligible to apply for Air Force and Naval wings & 10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme at the INA.
Candidates who have passed 12th Class pass without Physics & math may appear only in the examinations for Army or NDA.
Intelligence and Personality Test: Candidates who secure minimum qualifying marks in the written examination and declared successful by the UPSC have to take Intelligence and Personality test at the SSB as per their preferences of the academy. SSB evaluates candidates based on two stage Psychological Aptitude Test and Intelligence Test. On the first day of the test, all the candidates are put to stage one test and those qualifying stage one test are allowed to go through stage two test. Minimum qualifying marks are the discretionary to the UPSC for written examination and SSB test by the SSB. Candidates applying for the Air Force and Naval Aviation have to appear for the Pilot Aptitude Test and they get one chance to qualify.
Admission to fill up the vacancies in the various courses in Indian Military, Naval, Air Force and Officers Training Academies is granted to successful candidates based on the results of CDS examination carried out by UPSC.
Current notification (8/1/2013-E.I(B)) indicates to fill up 250 vacancies in Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, 40 in Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala, 32 in Air Force Academy (AFA), Hyderabad, 175 Male and 12 female (Non-technical) candidates in Officers Training Academy, Chennai.
Age limit for the aspirants will vary depending on the institute as per the notification.Only unmarried candidates may apply for various courses except male candidates for Officers Training Academy which allows both unmarried and married male candidates to appear in the examination.
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Staff Selection Commission came into being as ‘Subordinate Services Commission’ in 1975 to recruit Group “C” staff in the Ministries, gov. depart. and its Subordinate Offices. Group “B” staffs were .
Eligibility for admission to IMA & OTA is a graduate degree from a recognized university, graduation in engineering for INA, and graduation in any engineering branch or graduation in any subject with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level for admission to Air Force Academy.
Professional and technical qualifications accepted by the government as equivalent to professional or technical degrees are allowed to appear in the examination. Male candidates belonging to General & all other categories except SC & ST have to pay a fee of Rs 200. Female candidates are exempted from paying examination fee.
Written Examination: Minimum qualifying marks are fixed separately in (i) written examination and (ii) SSB test and a final list is prepared after ascertaining medical fitness of the qualifying candidates and number of vacancies available.
Written examination comprises of test papers of 100 marks in each subject (English, GK and Elementary Mathematics) of 2 hours duration for admission to IMA, INA and AFA .However, candidates seeking admission to OTA will have to appear only for two test papers involving English & General Knowledge.