The Combined Defence Services (CDS) entrance exam is arranged by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) biannually. CDS exam is like NDA but the main difference is that CDS is for graduates while 10+2 pass outs can give the NDA exam. Candidates selected for the CDS are admitted to various branches of armed forces like the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Indian Air Force Academy.
Lakhs of candidates give the CDS exam each year to join the Indian defence sector but only a few of them get shortlisted for the post. The entire process of becoming a CDS officer involves two rounds, including a written exam followed by an interview round. If one aspires to become a CDS officer, then before applying one needs to check the CDS eligibility criteria. This article talks about the detailed CDS 2021 eligibility criteria, CDS 2021 exam date, etc. that is an important piece of information needed while applying for the same.
UPSC sets the CDS eligibility criteria. CDS (I) was held on February 7, 2021 while CDS (II) 2021 will be conducted on November 14, 2021. The online application forms for the same were released on August 4, 2021. The eligibility criteria of CDS include nationality, educational qualification, physical standards, age limit, etc. Candidates’ eligibility will be confirmed at the time of document verification, candidates found ineligible will be rejected from the recruitment process.
To be considered eligible for writing the CDS exam, the candidates must be:
- An Indian citizen, or
- A subject of Bhutan, or
- A subject of Nepal, or
- A Tibetan refugee who came over to India before January 1, 1962, intending to permanently settle in India, or
- A person of Indian origin who has shifted from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka and East African Countries (Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire and Ethiopia or Vietnam) to permanently settle in India.
- Candidates belonging to categories (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v) must be a person in whose favour, the Indian government, has issued a certificate of eligibility.
- The certificate of eligibility is also mandatory for Gorkha candidates of Nepal.
The educational qualification mentioned by the UPSC is mentioned below:
|Indian Military Academy (IMA)/Officers’ Training Academy (OTA)||Completed graduation from a recognized university|
|Indian Naval Academy (INA)||An engineering degree from a recognized university/institute|
|Air Force Academy (AFA)||Graduation (with Physics and Mathematics at Class 10+2) or Bachelor of Engineering|
Graduates having the first choice as Army/Navy/Air Force are supposed to submit provisional certificates of graduation on the date of commencement of SSB Interview at SSB centers.
Only unmarried candidates can give the CDS exam. The minimum and maximum age limit to give the CDS exam is mentioned below:
|Academy||Age Limit (In years)||Marital Status|
|Indian Military Academy (IMA)||19-24||Unmarried|
|Indian Naval Academy (INA)||19-22||Unmarried|
|Air Force Academy||19-23||Candidate less than 25 years of age must be unmarried Married candidates above 25 years are entitled to apply but during training period they will not get married accommodation nor can live with a family out of the premises|
|Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Women Non-Technical Course)||19-25||Unmarried Women, issueless widows who have not remarried and issueless divorcees (in possession of divorce documents) who have not remarried can apply.|
|Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Course for Men)||19-25||Unmarried|
Candidates applying for the CDS post must be physically and mentally fit as per the guidelines laid by the UPSC. Many candidates get disqualified on medical grounds, thus it is important to focus on physical fitness as well while applying for the CDS exam. Candidates can apply online by filling an application form post-checking CDS eligibility criteria here.
Undoubtedly, a career in the armed forces is very thrilling and exciting. The majority of candidates give the exam aiming to serve their country while many join to get a respected job and have a flourishing career. Whatever the reasons are, the ultimate fact is that a lot of candidates apply for CDS each year and if one gets selected, in addition to getting decent pay, the CDS officers are entitled to get many perks and pension too. So kick start your career by becoming a CDS officer and serve your country. For more information related to the CDS exam, visit Prepp.in.