CDS Eligibility Criteria / Combined Defence Service Examination


Union Public Service Commission

Combined Defence Service


Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts many entrance examinations. One of them is Combined Defence Service or CDS examination. This examination takes place twice a year. CDS is an entrance examination for four different posts – Indian Military Academy, Dehradun; Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala; Air Force academy, Hyderabad and Officers Training Academy, Hyderabad. Married persons are not allowed to take the examination.

Applicants applying for CDS should make it clear that they should fulfill all the necessary criteria mentioned by UPSC.

CDS Eligibility Criteria:

A. Nationality

i. Indian Citizen

ii. A subject of Nepal

iii. A subject of Bhutan

iv. Indian origin persons who have migrated from Burma, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, or East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, and Ethiopia or from Vietnam with a thought of settling in India permanently.

v. A Tibetan refugee who came to India with a thought of settling here permanently before 01 – 01 – 1962.

vi. Applicants who come under categories mentioned in point’s ii, iii, iv and v should provide the relevant certificate issued by the Government of India.

vii. Candidates from Nepal who are Gorkha should possess certificate of eligibility


B. Age Limit, Gender and Marital Status

i. Indian Military Academy – Only male and unmarried applicants are eligible. Applicants should be born between 02 – 07 – 1988 and 01 – 07 – 1993 are liable.

ii. Indian Naval Academy – Unmarried male candidates are eligible. They should have born between 02 – 07 – 1990 (For applicants holding NCC Naval Wing ‘C’ Certificate it is 02 – 07 – 1988) and 01 – 07 – 1993.

iii. Air Force Academy – Unmarried male candidates born between 02 – 07 – 1989 and 01 – 07 – 1993 are only liable.

iv. Officer’s Training Academy (SSC Course for men) – Male candidates (married or unmarried) born between 02 – 07 – 1987 and 01 – 07 – 1993.

v. Officer’s Training Academy (SSC Course for Women) – Unmarried woman are eligible. They should have born between 02 – 07 – 1987 and 01 – 07 – 1993.


C. Academic Background

i. Indian military academy and Officer’s Training Academy – Applicants should possess a degree from any recognized University

ii. Indian Naval Academy – Applicants should hold degree in engineering

iii. Air Force Academy – Holders of B.Engg or degree from a recognized University with mathematics and physics at 10+2 level.

iv. Final year students can also apply but have to submit the proof of clearing the degree.


D. Physical Standard

According to the standards of the examination, the applicant should be physically fit. The details are listed below:

1. The candidate must be free from any disability or disease and should be physically and mentally fit

2. Any evidence of weak constitution or bodily defects or over weight will etch poor grades

3. Applicants applying for Navy should have minimum height of 157 cms

4. Air Force applicants should possess minimum height of 162.5 cms

5. For woman applicants minimum height acceptable is 152 cms

6. Applicant should not possess any disease of joints and bones

7. No past history of mental breakdown or fits should be there

8. Dysfunction of any organ will not be accepted

9. Candidates with skin disease will be rejected.

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