I am a second year BE (Electronics and Communication) student. Please tell me what is the selection procedure to join the Indian army, and also when and where to apply.

Students who have not applied for the NDA route to army straight after class XII, can apply for the Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam, the eligibility for which is graduation. CDS examination is conducted by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) and followedby a Staff Selection Board (SSB) interview. This mode is for graduates or equivalently qualified candidates between 19 to 24 years of age.

January and July are the entry months. In fact, for admission to the Indian Military Academy, Naval Academy and Air Force Academy (the batch commencing in January 2005) and the Officers Training Academy (the batch commencing in April 2005), the admission announcement has been made in leading newspapers dated September 13. This mean that you should start looking for the related advertisements in leading dailies and the Employment News about 15 months in advance. A written examination is conducted, and based on your performance and on the order of preferences you have listed, you will be allotted a seat in any one of the following institutes:

  •  Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. An 18-month course. There are 150 vacancies out of which 32 are reserved for NCC ‘C’ certificate (army wing) holders.
  •  Naval Academy, Goa: There are 20 seats out of which six are reserved for NCC ‘C’ certificate (naval wing) holders.
  •  Air Force Station, Begumpet, Hyderabad.
  •  Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai. There are 235 seats. This is for short services commission officers.

You should specify, in order of preference, the services for which you wish to be considered. Indicate as many preferences as you wish, so that you can be assigned a service depending upon your rank in the merit list. For the Air Force and Navy, a science background- B.Sc. (Physics), B.Sc. (Maths) or BE is a must. The first stage of selection is based on objective-type written exam.

The questions test your mathematical ability, general awareness and English. Once you clear the written test, you will go through an SSB interview that will test your aptitude for the army.

Since you are an engineering branch of the Army, Navy or the Air Force. In fact the Air Force looks for people with electronics background for recruitment to aeronautical engineering. Recruitment is done through the University Entry Scheme and announcements are carried in leading newspapers and the Employment News.


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