NDA Exam 2022: What are the next steps? Eligibility, Benefits and Future Prospects

Suparna Ghosh
Suparna Ghosh
Posted on 09 Sep 2022
15:37 PM

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Around 4 lakh aspirants sit for the UPSC NDA Exam every year in order to serve their nation
After completing their stint at the NDA and the additional training required, cadets are then drafted into the three wings of the IAF – the Army, the Navy and the Air Force

National Defence Academy (NDA) has been an iconic academy over the years, drawing the finest talents from across the country. The NDA exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) twice every year. The main purpose of this exam is to offer candidates admission to Army, Navy, and Air Force.

The UPSC NDA Exam 2022 recently concluded on 4th September 2022. The results are yet to be declared.

However, approximately 400 vacancies for 2022 have already been declared and they are as follows:

  • Army (male) – 198
  • Army (female) – 10
  • Navy (male) – 39
  • Navy (female) – 3
  • Air force – Flying (male) – 90
  • Air force – Flying (female) – 2
  • Air force – Ground Duties – Tech (male) – 16
  • Air force – Ground Duties – Tech (female) – 2
  • Air force – Ground Duties – NonTech (male) – 10
  • Air force – Ground Duties – NonTech (female) – 2
  • Naval Academy (10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme) (males only) – 30

Candidates who are willing to take up jobs in defence can appear for this examination. NDA is the academy of Indian Armed Forces (IAF). The exam is mostly popular among youngsters due to the respectable career that one gets to pursue. Around 4 lakh aspirants sit for this exam every year in order to serve their nation. With female candidates also being allowed to apply for the NDA exam, it has now become more inclusive.

Different Wings of NDA

NDA is responsible for preparing cadets for the three main wings of Indian Armed Forces: Army, Navy, and Air Force. NDA offers them the basic training they need before they join their respective service academies.


It is essential that the aspirants meet the eligibility criteria before filling out the application form. If the eligibility criteria aren’t met, then the form might get cancelled. So, let’s discuss in detail about the eligibility criteria:

  1. A candidate must either be (i) a citizen of India, or (ii) a subject of Bhutan, or (iii) a subject of Nepal, or (iv) a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 01st January 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India.
  2. Female and male candidates who have completed their class 12th or equivalent can apply for the exam.
  3. Both female and male aspirants must be unmarried and aged between 16.5 and 19.5 years.
  4. Candidates must meet the physical and medical standards for NDA eligibility.

Educational Qualifications:

1. For Army Wing: A candidate who wants to join the Army Wing should have passed the 10+2 examination in any stream.

2. For Navy: A candidate should have passed 10+2 examination in science stream with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as their base subjects.

3. For Air Force: A candidate should have passed 10+2 examination in science stream with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as their base subjects.

Exam Pattern:

The UPSC NDA Exam is conducted offline. The total duration of the exam is 5 hours. The test consists of 270 MCQs, available both in Hindi and English. For each wrong answer, there will be a negative marking of 1/3rd of the allotted mark.

After clearing the written exam, SSB interview of 900 marks is conducted, which takes place in two stages

  • Stage 1 of SSB Interview comprises Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests and Picture Perception and Description Test (PP&DT)
  • Stage 2 comprises Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference. The candidates are only called for Stage 2 interview after they’ve cleared Stage 1 interview.

NDA Training: A brief overview

Upon completion of examinations and the NDA training, a cadet is awarded a degree of B.A or B.Sc. The degree is awarded by the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, and the cadet’s chosen IAF wing is mentioned as specialisation.

Total training period is of three years. The Cadets are divided into different Battalions. In these three years of intensive training, cadets are prepared to be physically and mentally strong through various activities like drill, horse riding, swimming etc. To cover the basics of training, all cadets, irrespective of whether they are joining the Army, the Navy or the Air Force, must complete the first 3 years of training at NDA, Pune. Thereafter, the additional training is as follows:

  • Army Cadets Training - 1 year at Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun.
  • Naval Cadets Training- The Naval Training Team (NTT) spends the final year at the Naval Academy, Kerala. It is considered to be the oldest training team at the NDA.
  • Air Force Cadets Training- The Air Force Training Team (AFTT) trains for 1 and ½ years at the Air Force Academy, Hyderabad after completing their NDA stint.

After completing their training, the cadets are then drafted into the three wings of the IAF.

Job Designations:

Based on performance and qualification, cadets are assigned different designations. Here are some of the major designations that you can aspire towards.

For Army Cadre:

  1. Lieutenant
  2. Captain
  3. Major
  4. Lieutenant Colonel
  5. Colonel
  6. Brigadier
  7. Major General
  8. Lt. General HAG Scale
  9. HAG+ Scale
  10. VCOAS/Army Cdr/Lt Gen (NFSG)
  11. COAS

For Navy Cadre:

  1. Sub Lieutenant
  2. Lieutenant
  3. Lt. Commander
  4. Commander
  5. Captain
  6. Commodore
  7. Rear Admiral
  8. Vice Admiral
  9. Admiral

For Air Force Cadre:

  1. Flying Officer
  2. Flight Lieutenant
  3. Squadron Leader
  4. Wing commander
  5. Group Captain
  6. Air Commodore
  7. Air Vice-Marshal
  8. Air Marshal
  9. Air Chief Marshal

Benefits offered at NDA

There are numerous facilities available to Cadets such as free medical facilities, free school facilities for their children, loan facilities including home loan, car loan etc, free air ticket etc. Defence personnel also get additional allowances and benefits as per their job designation. Sports are also encouraged among defence personnel and they have free access to swimming pools, tennis courts, golf clubs, squash courts etc.

Let’s have a look at some of the allowances that one gets to enjoy-

  • Uniform Allowance
  • Dearness and Transport Allowance
  • Para Allowance
  • Para Jump Instructor Allowance
  • Technical Allowance
  • Special forces Allowance
  • Children Education Allowances and many more

A job in the Defence forces gives cadets an opportunity to serve their nation. But that is not all, in the process, you also gain much more than benefits, such as prestige, discipline and national pride. In fact, many people complete their postings and go on to rewarding and fulfilling civilian careers. Is NDA the right choice for you?

Last updated on 09 Sep 2022
15:37 PM
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