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What is NDA and NA & Eligibility Criteria for joining NDA

The National Defense Academy (NDA) and Naval Academy (NA) exams are highly competitive exams in India, conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for candidates who wish to join the Indian Armed Forces. These academies train young men to become officers in the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. In this blog, we will discuss in detail the eligibility criteria for joining NDA and NA.

Age limits

To apply for the NDA and NA exams, candidates must first meet the eligibility criteria set by the UPSC. The first criterion is the age limit, which requires candidates to be between 16.5 and 19.5 years of age at the time of application. Candidates who are older or younger than this age range will not be eligible to apply for the exams.

Educational qualification

The second criterion is educational qualification. Candidates must have passed 10+2 or equivalent examination from a recognized board.


The third criterion is nationality, which requires candidates to be Indian citizens or subjects of Nepal, Bhutan, or Tibetan refugees who came to India before January 1, 1962. Only unmarried male or female candidates are eligible to apply for the NDA and NA exams.

Physical fitness is the key

Apart from the above-mentioned criteria, candidates must also be physically fit and meet the medical standards set by the Armed Forces. The selection process consists of a written exam, followed by an interview, and successful candidates are then admitted to the National Defense Academy or the Naval Academy for training.

Written examination syllabus

The written exam for the NDA and NA consists of two papers, namely Mathematics and General Ability Test. The Mathematics paper is of 300 marks, and the General Ability Test is of 600 marks. The General Ability Test paper consists of questions from English, General Knowledge, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History, Geography, and Current Affairs. The duration of each paper is 2.5 hours

SSB is the key in selection process

Candidates who qualify in the written exam are then called for an interview conducted by the Service Selection Board (SSB). The SSB interview is a five-day process that includes psychological tests, group tasks, and personal interviews. The SSB interview is designed to test the candidate's personality, leadership, and communication skills.

Once the candidate clears the written exam and the SSB interview, he is then admitted to the NDA or NA for training. The training period is three years, during which the candidates are trained in various aspects of military, naval, and air force operations. The training includes physical fitness, drills, weapon handling, tactics, and leadership.

In conclusion, the NDA and NA exams are a great opportunity for young men and women who wish to serve their country and join the Indian Armed Forces. Candidates who fulfill the eligibility criteria can apply for the exams and go through the selection process to become officers in the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The training at the NDA and NA is rigorous, but it prepares the candidates for the challenges they will face in their future careers as officers in the Indian Armed Forces.

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