Defence Exams in India: Complete Details!

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

The career in Indian Armed Forces is undoubtedly highly revered in India. Every year, lakhs of students appear for different defence exams of the country to get an opportunity to be a part of these elite forces. In this post, we will discuss the different Defence recruitment exams in India and their scope.

The aspirants get a number of opportunities to join the Indian Army/ Navy/ Air Force/ Coast Guard with the help of the different defence exams of India like CDS exam, NDA & NA exam, AFCAT, Indian Coast Guard exam etc.
We will now discuss these Indian defence exams in depth!

All about the Defence Exams in India

Let us now have a look at the different defence recruitment exams of India and how one can apply for them.

1. NDA & NA Exam

  • The National Defence Academy and Naval Academy (NDA & NA) exam is conducted by UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) twice every year.
  • Students who are studying in the 12th standard or completed the same are eligible to apply for this exam, provided they fulfil the complete eligibility criteria.
  • The NDA Exam comprises of 2 stages: an offline test and SSB Interview.
  • After successfully passing these phases, candidates join the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla, near Pune, where they undergo a 3-year course. On completion of this course, they are awarded a bachelor’s degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University.
  • After completion of this course, cadets of the army proceed to Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, cadets of the Air Force proceed to Indian Air Force Academy, Hyderabad and cadets of the navy proceed to the Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala., where they undergo a one-year training, before being inducted into the concerned services as officers.

Note: The official notification of the NDA exam is already out, and the candidates can apply for this exam till 2nd July 2018.

2. CDS Exam

  • Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam is also conducted by UPSC twice every year.
  • Graduates or the candidates in the final year of graduation can apply for the CDS exam, provided they fulfil the requisite eligibility details, as specified in the official notification.
    Women candidates can apply for OTA only.
  • Through the CDS exam, aspirants can join the Indian Armed Forces either on Permanent Commission (IMA, INA and IAFA) or Short Service Commission (OTA).
  • The CDS exam is also conducted in 2 phases: Written exam and SSB Interview.
  • After clearing all the rounds of the CDS exam, the candidates join one of the following academies, as allotted to them:
    (a) Indian Military Academy, Dehradun
    (b) Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala
    (c) Indian Air Force Academy, Hyderabad
    (d) Officer’s Training Academy, Chennai
  • The candidates undergo training at their respective academies for a 1-year duration before being commissioned into the service.
  • We have already shared a number of articles for the Combined Defence Services Exam, ranging from pattern, syllabus, eligibility to preparation tips of individual sections and overall exam. Go through these articles for more details.

Note: The official notification of CDS-II 2018 will be released on 8th August 2018. 

3. AFCAT Exam

  • AFCAT or the Air Force Common Admission Test is conducted by the Indian Air Force twice every year.
  • AFCAT exam is conducted for recruitment in:
    (a) Flying Branch
    (b) Ground Duty (Technical) Branch
    (c) Ground Duty (Non-Technical) Branch
  • Candidates who possess a graduation degree can apply for the AFCAT exam, provided they meet the complete eligibility requirements.
  • Candidates applying for Ground Duty (Technical) Branch need to clear both written test and Engineering Knowledge Test (EKT).

4. Indian Coast Guard

  • Indian Coast Guard, an armed force of the union is responsible for the defence of the territorial waters of India.
  • The exam of Indian Coast Guard Assistant Commandant (which is a Group ‘A’ Gazetted Officer post) is conducted for officer-level entry to the organisation and the graduates who meet the requisite eligibility requirements can apply for this exam.
  • The exam comprises of 2 stages: a written test followed by an Interview.

5. Central Armed Police Forces

  • CAPF or the Central Armed Police Force Exam is conducted by Union Public Service Commission.
  • The UPSC CAPF Assistant Commandant exam is conducted for recruitment to the following paramilitary forces:
    (a) Border Security Force (BSF)
    (b) Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
    (c) Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
    (d) Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
    (d) Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)
  • Candidates who possess a graduation degree and fulfil the eligibility criteria, as mentioned in the official notification, can apply for this exam.
  • Candidates need to qualify the following stages in order to get shortlisted for one of the services of the CAPF exam:
    (a) Written Test (Paper I & II)
    (b) Physical Efficiency/ Medical Fitness Test
    (c) Personal Interview

6. Indian Air Force (Group X & Y)

  • Indian Air Force conducts the exam for the recruitment of Airmen in Group X & Y.
  • These exams are conducted for the 10+2 level and candidates who fulfil the eligibility criteria specified in the notification can apply for it.
  • The Group X and Y Airmen of the Air Force can also rise to the post of commissioned officers, provided they qualify the prescribed examination.

These were the major Defence Exam conducted in India, which provide a gateway to numerous aspirants of the country to join the Armed Forces and serve the nation!

Good luck for your exams folks!

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