National Defence Academy Course Admissions: Training Centre, Location

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 11th, 2023

National Defence Academy is a Joined Service Academy of the Indian Armed Forces, located in Khadakwasala, Pune, Maharashtra. As per National Defence Academy Course Admissions, cadets of three services including the Indian Army, Indian Airforce & Indian Navy train together before going further for training in their respective academies. Continue reading this article to know about the NDA training centre along with the process, admission, and training.

National Defence Academy Course Admissions

National Defence Academy Course Admissions gave the first tri-service academy in the entire world. NDA training centre is a famous institution and a hallmark of global excellence in the area of military education. In the last few years, it has emerged as a unique military NDA academy, attracting the best of youth from our country and from friendly foreign countries, transforming them into gentlemen officers.

Historical Background of NDA Academy

In World War 2 Indian Armed Forces played an important role and after its end, a committee led by Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck, then Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army,  recommended establishing a Joint Services Military Academy, with training based on the United States Military Academy at West Point.

After the Independence in 1947 Cheif of Staff, the committee started working to implement the recommendations of the Auchinleck report. Initially, Dehradun’s name was given to the Academy, but later Khadakwasla was chosen.

National Defence Academy Course Admissions: Training Centre, Location

NDA Academy Admission Process

The following are the different phases of the admission process for the NDA academy:

Phase 1: Written Examination

The written examination for selection in NDA is conducted by the UPSC twice a year. Young and energetic boys & girls between 16 and a half to 19 and a half are eligible to apply for NDA Exam. The examination for NDA is conducted twice a year; approximately 4,50,000 candidates appear for each written examination every year. 

Phase 2: SSB Interview

Those who clear written exam are called for SSB interview which is held in two phases, phase 1 & 2.SSB interview have various psychological tests, group tasks, and personal interview. Approx 500-600 students finally get recommended in NDA SSB. 

Phase 3: Medical & Merit List

A thorough medical examination is carried out of successful candidates and a final merit list is published on basis of written and SSB marks. Approx 300-350 cadets make it to NDA.

Eligibility Criteria for NDA Academy

Age between

16.5-19.5 Years


12th Class/Equivalent for Army

Physics and Maths for Air Force & Navy

Marital Status


Application to be Received by

As per  UPSC notification

Likely SSB Date

Sep to Oct and Jan to Apr

Date Commencement of Training

Jan and Jul

Training Academy

NDA, Khadakwasla, Pune

Duration of Training

3 Yrs at NDA and 1 Yr at IMA (For cadets of Indian Army)

3 Yrs at NDA and 1 Yr at Naval Academy(For cadets of Indian Navy)

3 Yrs at NDA and 1 & 1/2 Yrs at AFA Hyderabad (For Cadets of Indian Air Force)

National Defence Academy Course Admissions: Training Centre, Location

NDA Training Centre

Those cadets who join the NDA go through a training process of three years. They do graduate with a BA or BSc (Computer Science) or BCs (Computer Science) degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). 

NDA Training Centre: Academics

Cadets go through a full-time, residential undergraduate program. They are awarded a Baccalaureate degree in Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science (3 Year Degree).

The cadets have two choices:

  1. Science Stream: Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Computer Science.
  2. The Humanities (Liberal Arts): History, Economics, Political Science, Geography, and Language.

National Defence Academy Course Admissions: Training Centre, Location

Apart from academics, cadets are also trained in outdoor skills, like PT, Drill, and games. The main focus in NDA is on character building, leadership, mental and physical robustness, and a sense of keen observation.

National Defence Academy Course Admissions: Training Centre, Location

NDA Academy Motto

The NDA academy scroll/motto is fashioned on a ribbon at the base of the insignia upon which the sword hilts and the bottom of the anchor stand. The motto has been inspired and extracted from the Bhagavat Gita:

Karmanevadhikaraste ma phaleshu kadachina
(Your duty is action with no eye on the fruits it will bring)

The ideal (‘nishkam karma’) was put in the scroll in its English translation as ‘Service Before Self’.

In the 1950’s it was decided to do away with an English motto and have a Sanskrit version, keeping in line with the Indian culture, ‘Service Before Self’ translated to ‘Seva Parmo Dharm’.

NDA Academy Insignia

The present NDA academy insignia was selected in 1948. It has a maroon background, which is an apt color for heraldry but also a symbol of chivalry and sacrifice. The crest has the symbols of the three Services superimposed on each other and mounted on top of the Ashoka Capitol. The sword is supported by the anchor, and both support the eagle. In this combined form they are no longer four separate entities but fused into one whole representing joint manship of the Armed Forces of India.

National Defence Academy Course Admissions: Training Centre, Location

Where is NDA Academy Located?

National Defence Academy or NDA Academy campus is located about 17 Km southwest of Pune city and northwest of Khadkwasla Lake. Academy is spread over 28.39 sq. Km of 32.46 sq. Km donated by the Government of former Bombay state. Many states offered land for the establishment of the Academy, but Bombay got the honor. The site was chosen for many reasons including proximity to the Arabian Sea and other military establishments like Airbase nearby at Lohegaon.

The NDA Academy is located near the old combined forces training center and disused mock landing ship, HMS Angostura, used to train troops for amphibious landings. Academy is also located on the hunting grounds of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj with the Sinhagad Fort as a panoramic backdrop. The administrative headquarters of NDA is known as Sudan Block. Named in honor of the sacrifice of Indian troops in the Sudan theatre during the East African Campaign.

NDA Academy has all facilities for the all-around training of cadets. It has well-maintained classrooms, two Olympic size swimming pools, 32 football fields, a gymnasium, two polo grounds, well-equipped labs, a number of squash and Tennis courts, and a cricket stadium.


Origin of NDA Academy

In the year 1941, Viceroy Lord Lillington received £ 10000 as a gift from the Sudanese government to build a war memorial in memory of Indian troops who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of Sudan in the East African Campaign in World War II. After the partition, the amount was shared between India and Pakistan. India has used this fund for the construction of NDA. The foundation stone for the Academy was laid down by P.M. J.L Nehru on 06 October 1949. The NDA academy was formally commissioned on 07 December 1954.

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