All these wings of Defence Forces offer very good career opportunities blended with adventure. Besides offering one of the best pay structure in the government service, the forces also offer facilities like free rations, free medical facilities, free/concessional travel by rail during leave, provident fund, group insurance and concessional residential accommodation. Besides, defence forces also offer a good social and regimented life. Time-bound promotions, upto a particular level, for all officers and selective top promotions to the meritorious and bright officers is the hallmark of a career in the defence forces.
The Selection Process
The UPSC conducts the NDA and Naval Academy (Executive Branch) Examination twice every year usually in the months of April and September. Each examination is conducted to select 350 candidates, with 214 seats for the Army, 43 for the Navy 73 for the Air Force and 20 seats for the Executive Branch of Naval Academy. At the time of submitting the applications, the candidates are required to give their preferences for particular wings of the forces. The advertisement for September Examination usually apperars in April, every year, in all major national and regional newspapers. Similarly, the advertisement for April examination usually appears in September/October. Simultaneously the detailed advertisement also appears in the "Employment News" of the concerned week.
(a) Eligibility: Only unmarried male candidates of the age group of 161/2 years to 19 years are eligible to take the examination for NDA/Naval Academy (Executive Branch). Educational qualification for Army and Air Force wing at NDA is 12th pass of 10+2 pattern or equivalent. For Naval wing of NDA and Naval Academy (Executive Branch), the educational qualification is 12th pass of 10+2 pattern with Physics and Mathematics or equivalent. The candidates appearing for the final examination of 10+2 standard are also eligible to appear.
For being eligible to appear in the examination, a candidate must be a citizen of India or a subject of Bhutan or Nepal. Tibetan refugees or persons of Indian Origin migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam, with the intention of permanently settling in India, are also eligible. However, candidates belonging to these categories shall need to obtain a certificate of eligibility from the Government of India.
A candidate seeking admission to the examination must send his application form to the UPSC on the proforma given in the advertisement for this examination. The admission to the examination is purely provisional as no certificates are required to be attached with the application.
(b) Written Examination: The candidates are tested in two papers of 21/2 hours duration each. First paper is of "Mathematics" and carries a maximum of 600 marks. The question papers consist of objective type questions and are set in English only. There is no fixed pass percentage of marks and depending on the number of candidates appearing in the examination and their overall performance, the qualifying marks are determined.
The paper-I on Mathematics is of Matriculation Examination standard and consists questions on Arithmetic, Mensuration, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and Statistics. Paper-II on General Ability consists of two parts. Part-A comprises of the test of English Language to judge the general understanding of English Language by the candidates and carries 200 marks. Part-B of Paper-II consists of General Knowledge carrying 400 marks and has six sections. The weightage given to these six sections of General Knowledge is: Physics 25% Chemistry 15%, General Science 10%, History, Freedom Movement etc 20%, Geography 20% and current Affairs 10%.
There are 40 centres of examination. The names of these centres are: Agartala, Ahmedabad, Aizawl, Allahabad, Bangalore, Bareilly, Bhopal, Bombay, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Cochin, Cuttack, Delhi, Dharwar, Dispur, Gangtok, Hyderabad, Imphal, Itanagar, Jaipur, Jammu, Jorhat, Kavaratti, Kohima, Lucknow, Madras, Madurai, Nagpur, Panaji, Patna, Port Blair, Raipur, Sambalpur, Shillong, Shimla, Srinagar, Tirupati, Trivandrum, Udaipur and Vishakhapatnam.
(c) Intelligence and Personality Test: Just like the CDS Examination, all the candidates declared successful in the written examination are required to qualify an intelligence and personality test conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB). The intelligence tests at SSB are both oral as well as written and are designed to judge the basic intelligence of the candidates. During the four-day-personality test, the candidates are also put to Group Tests such as group discussion, group planning, outdoor group tasks etc. All these tests are aimed at judging the behaviour of the candidate in a group. In addition the personality test also requires a candidate to deliver an impromptu lecturette on the subjects of general interest as well as to clear ten obstacles in 30 seconds. This way mental calibre as well as physical robustness of the candidates is judged. The SSB interview is also blended with a series of psychological tests like Situation REaction Test (SRT) and pictures story writing. These psychological tests are aimed at judging the trait of positive outlook of the candidate. In broad terms, the intelligence and personality test is not only the test of intellectual faculties of the candidates but is also directed at judging their social traits, interest in current affairs and physical and psychological toughness which finally helps to judge their suitability for the services.
The candidates declared successful after the SSB interview are then required to undergo a comprehensive medical examination by a medical board in a local Military Hospital. To avoid the last minute disappointment the candidates are advised to get themselves medically examined as per the prescribed standards. Prescribed standards of medical fitness are given in the detailed advertisement given in the Employment News.
The Training Academies
On the basis of performance of the candidates in the written examination and the personality test, final merit list is prepared and published in all leading newspapers. The candidates, on the basis of their rank in the final merit list and preference, are asked to join at the NDA or Naval Academy (Executive Branch).
The three-year training at NDA includes the qualifying of certain physical standards, basic knowledge of three wings of the armed forces and study of academics leading to a graduation degree. In addition, basic etiquettes of the forces, discipline in the armed forces and basics of drill etc are also taught. After successful training spreading over six terms of six months each at NDA, the candidates, as per their choice, go to the Indian Military Academy for Army or to the Naval Academy for Navy or to the Air-Force Academy for Air Force for two terms of six months each. On successful completion of training at these academies, the cadets are Commissioned into the defence forces as Second Lieutenant (Army) or Acting sub-Lieutenant (Navy) or Pilot Officer (Air-Force). During the last six months of training the cadets are also entitled to the salary which is given to them in lump-sum, on commissioning.
Coaching and Preparations
Preparations for the written examination needs special attention, Mathematics paper, being theoretical in nature is comparatively easy to prepare. Paper-II (General Ability) needs special attention and preparation which consists of English and General Knowledge. Regular reading of "The Competition Master" is particularly useful for Paper-II as it effectively helps the candidates to prepare for English Language and General Knowledge. Similarly, SSB interview being different from routine interviews needs special preparations. There are certain academies, particularly those run by former officers of the defence forces, which provide useful coaching to the candidates preparing for the interview. The candidates may choose genuine academies and undergo coaching for the interview.
Further details about the examination are available in the detailed advertisment which appears in the Employment News. Information about the examination is also given in the "Candidates Information Manual" which gives details about objective-type tests. This booklet is supplied by the UPSC to all the candidates alongwith the admission certificate.
To read the complete notification visit www.upsc.gov.in