6 Must Know Facts of Getting Into the Indian Armed Forces after Class 12


There remains plethora of professions to choose for the students after class 12.   For the ones who are passionate about nation building and defending the nation, joining the Armed Forces is the most suitable career path. The Indian Armed Forces comprises of the country’s Army, Navy and Air Force. The tri services are the backbone of the nation. They safeguard the homeland, sea and air.

There are certain facts that must be kept in mind by the candidates before joining the Indian Armed Forces as officers. Candidates can take up Permanent Commission (Cadet Entry) via Entrance Exam conducted by UPSC twice in a year.

1. Eligibility for Permanent Commission (Cadet Entry):

  • This option is for Male candidates only
  • The students from any subject combination are allowed in the Army wing if they have qualified class 12. The candidates should have passed class 12 with physics and mathematics as compulsory subjects to join the Air Force and Naval wings as officers.
  • The minimum age limit for NDA (National Defence Academy) is 16.5 years to 19.5 years.
  • Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the NDA & Naval Academy Exam in April and November each year for admission to
     (1) the Army, Navy and Air Force wings of the National Defence Academy (NDA) in Khadakvasla, Pune and 
    (2) Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC).
    The candidates joining NDA (Army, Air Force and Naval wings) on passing out will be awarded B.Sc./B. Sc. (Computer)/B.A. degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.
    The candidates joining Indian Naval Academy would undergo 4 years B. Tech Course and would be given an opportunity to join Executive and Technical Branches of the Navy.
  • Newspaper Notifications happen in December/January for NDA Exam 1 and June/July for NDA Exam 2.  Written test is conducted in April and November. SSB is conducted in Aug/Sept and January/February for each of the two entry opportunities respectively.
  • These cadets join the Army, Navy and Air Force as officers.
  • The selected candidates are given preliminary training in both academic and physical aspects during the duration of the course. At the NDA, the training during the first two and half years is common to the cadets of three wings. The cadets on passing out is awarded B.Sc./ B.Sc. (computer)/B.A. Degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Importantly, in Naval Academy, candidates get a B. Tech Degree after successfully completing 4-year training.
  • On passing out from NDA, Army cadets go to the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, Naval cadets go to Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala, and Air Force cadets go to Air Force Academy, Hyderabad for a period of one year.  Subsequently they pass out as officers.

2. Physical and mental fitness:

The aspiring candidates must be physically and mentally fit to join the Armed Forces. One must have sound mind and body to be a part of the forces as  there is a strict medical examination of the candidates both before the selection process and after being selected.

The cadets and recruits are expected to be fit and strong. During the training period they undergo rigorous exercises such as running, push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, obstacle courses and many more.

3. Life away from the family: 

From the time of training itself the cadets must live alone in the academy. After being inducted as an officer, they are posted at remote places where the living conditions are tough. So, again they must live away from the family. The fact of the matter is that the candidates must be willing to live with their comrades in the field postings, where as they can live with their families if they are posted in peaceful places.

4.  Belief in service before self:

The candidates must believe in ‘service before self’. If someone loves serving the nation before the self, then one is fit to join the Armed Forces. The conviction in keeping the country before oneself is the necessity to join the tri services.

The aspiring candidates must know that joining the Armed Forces requires the supreme sacrifice of giving up one’s life in the line of duty. It is of utmost importance to know that one should not be afraid of being a martyr. Importantly, martyrdom cannot be attained by everyone, so it should be considered as accomplishing honour.

5. On duty for 24x7:

The call for duty is above everything else in the life of the cadets and recruits. They should be ever ready to work for twenty-four hours in all the seven days in a week. They must enjoy their duty to efficiently deal with the time crunch.

6. Possess humane qualities:

At the time of distress, he should help the sick person, children and women before helping himself. He must be humane. 

Author: Neelesh Budhiraja