How to Join Indian Army?


How do you join the Indian Army?

Two options exist to gain entry into prestigious positions in the Indian Army. One is bypassing specific entrance exams; the other is direct entry via recruitment rallies. The entry-level for the Indian Army is the Lieutenant, which eventually leads to the highest rank General.

Are you dreaming of being a soldier? Do you long to serve the country? To decide to join the Indian Army requires passion, perseverance, and persistence. You must be willing to risk your life to protect your land and motherland by following the brave path of a soldier. The Indian Army ranks among the most difficult 12th-pass jobs. It is a demanding career that requires dedication and perseverance. We have provided all the information you need about joining the Indian Army through this blog.

How do you join the Indian Army after the 10th?

A candidate can join the Army after completing their 10th std with an aggregate score of at least 40 to 45%. They can only apply for two posts.

  • Soldier Tradesman
  • General duties

Selection will be based on a written test, physical fitness test, and medical examination. This will all be done by the Indian Army.

How do you join the Indian Army after 12th grade?

After 12th grade, there are two main ways candidates can join India’s Army. These are the two options:

  • National Defense Academy
  • Technical Entry Scheme (TES)

National Defense Academy

The Joint Defence Service Training Institute for the Indian Armed Forces is the National Defense Academy. All the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force aspirants train together here before moving on to their respective training academies for further training. These prestigious academies require candidates to be selected.

  • Passing the NDA Written Exam, which UPSC administers
  • Clearing the Services Selection Board Interview Round
  • After removing the Interview Round, candidates must pass the Medical Tests.

The final merit list is compiled based on these three rounds. After completing the training, the candidates are sent to their respective training academy for 1-year training. Candidates also have the chance to meet a full-time undergraduate degree, such as a B.A., BSc, or B.C.s. Candidates receive extensive training in outdoor activities, such as drills and P.T., along with one foreign language, up to the B1 level.

It is also important to remember that this academy can only be applied for by unmarried male candidates aged 16 1/2-19 1/2. They must also pass their 12th grade from a recognized university or board.

Technical Entry Scheme (TES)

The Technical Scheme Examination is also an option for candidates who wish to join the Indian Army. This examination is only open to unmarried male candidates who have completed their 12th standard in mathematics, physics, and chemistry. The candidates will be assessed based on their 10 + 2 scores. After that, they will need to appear in an interview conducted by Services Selection Board.

The chosen candidates are then enrolled into a B.E. Course in the stream they choose and are trained for four years to attain the rank of Lieutenant in the Army. The cadet will receive a permanent commission in the Army upon completion of the course and the position of Lieutenant.

This examination is only open to unmarried male candidates aged 16 1/2-19 1/2 who have passed their 12th grade in physics, mathematics, and chemistry with an average of 70 %.

How can women join the Indian Army?

In 1992, women were permitted to serve in the Indian Army as a part of it. Since then, over 1200 Women Cadets have been commissioned into various sections of the Indian Army. Below are the options for women to join the Indian Army.

  • Entry to UPSC/ Short Service Commission (Non-Technical)
  • Non-UPSC Entry
  • Short Service Commission (NCC).
  • Short Service Commission ( Judge Advocate General).
  • UPSC Entry ( Technical)
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Entry to UPSC/ Short Service Commission (Non-Technical).

These women do not have an engineering background and are classified under the Non-Technical category. The written exam is used to select them. After passing the written exam, cadets will be invited to interview the Services Selection Board.

These are the eligibility criteria:

  • The unmarried female candidates must be between the ages of 19 and 25.
  • They must also be graduates of a recognized university or board.
  • They must pass the Combined Defence Service Examination, administered twice a year by UPSC.
  • Twelve women will be selected based on merit every six months, and then they will be inducted into the training program. The CDS will be cleared, and selected candidates will receive 49 weeks of intensive training at the OTA (Officers Training Academy) in Chennai.

Non-UPSC Entry

Women can apply for the NON-UPSC entry to the Indian Army through either the NCC Special Entry (or the Judge Advocate General)

NCC Special Entry

Direct entry is for women, and they don’t have to take any entrance exams.

These are the eligibility criteria:

  • Female candidates who are not married and between the ages of 19-25 may apply
  • They must have at least 50% graduation and a valid NCC certificate ‘C’ with a minimum ‘B’ grade.
  • Four women were recruited to be trained at the OTA Chennai.
  • They will be subject to a rigorous training program for 49 weeks.

Judge Advocate General

The Indian Army’s Joint Advocate General branch is responsible for providing legal assistance to the military, especially in military and court-martial law.

These are the eligibility criteria:

  • An unmarried female LLB may be available between 21 and 27 years of age
  • Females must have a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) with at least 55% marks, and they must be members of the Bar Council of India.
  • The Advocate General Branch selects four women every six months
  • They are then trained for 49 weeks after a brief induction

UPSC Entry (Technical)

Direct entry is available for women with an engineering background. This entry does not require a written exam. Selection is solely based on merit.

These are the eligibility criteria:

  • An unmarried female between 21 and 27 years old may apply
  • The merit cut-off varies from one year to the next.
  • Based on the merit list, twenty women are chosen every six months.
  • After the training, they will join as Short Service Commission Officers, which lasts for 49 weeks at OTA Chennai.

Qualifying Exams

The best and most popular way to join the Indian Army is to pass the written exam held at the national level. These exams are administered by various authorities and have different names. We will show you how to join the Indian Army through some major written exams.

National Defence Academy (NDA-1) & 2.

The NDA exam is one way to join the Indian Army. You must have passed class 12th. The exam is held twice annually, NDA 1 & NDA 2. The exam is only open to unmarried males between 16 1/2 and 19 1/2 years old. The written exam will take place in two parts. This is a quick overview of the NDA exam format:

Paper  Sections  No. of Questions  Duration  Marks (Total=900) 
1 Mathematics 120 2.5 hours 300
2 English and
100+ 50 2.5 hours 600

Combined Defence Services 1 & 2.

The UPSC conducts the CDS exam, the entrance exam for students who want to join the Indian Army. CDS exam is held twice per year, and it is open to males who are not married. A graduate degree is required to join the Indian Army via CDS. Candidates must also meet the age requirements. This means they cannot be born after January 1, 2004, or January 2, 1997. Below is a table to provide a brief overview of the CDS Exam Pattern.

Sections  Maximum Marks  Duration ( in hours)
English 100 2
General Knowledge 100 2
Elementary Mathematics 100 2

Indian Territorial Army Examination

The Indian Territorial Army is the second line of defense after the general Indian Army. This is the best option for army aspirants who cannot pass the NDA or CDS exams to enter IMA (Indian Military Academy). This is a national-level exam that the Territorial Army conducts for gainfully employed males and women between 18 and 42. The aspiring candidates must hold an undergraduate degree from a recognized college to join the Indian Army. Below are the main details for this exam.

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Paper  Subject  Duration  Number
of Questions 
1 Reasoning and
Elementary Mathematics
2 hours 50 each 100
2 General Knowledge
and English
2 hours 50 each 100

Direct Entry

Indian Army organizes several recruitment rallies in many areas to directly select candidates without passing the written exams. Shortlisted candidates are chosen for technical positions such as Soldier Technical and Store Keeper Technical, Soldier Tradesman, Soldier Nursing Assistant, Soldier Nursing Assttt, Soldier Technical, Soldier Technical, Soldier Tradesman, Soldier Tradesman, Soldier Nurse Assttt, etc. Candidates interested in joining the Indian Army through this selection process need to know that a physical capability test follows specific eligibility criteria. Here are the steps to direct entry if you wish to participate in this selection process:

  • Technical Entry Scheme 1 and 2
  • Program for University Admission
  • Technical Graduate Course – 129 and 130
  • Short Service Commission (SSC) Tech (men)- 53 & 54
  • Short Service Commission (SSC) Tech (women)- 22 & 23
  • National Cadet Corps (NCC)- 46 & 47
  • Judge Advocate General (JAG), 24

Notice: For a time, the direct entry procedures of Army Entry Corps (AEC 129 & 130) have been discontinued.

Essential Documents

These documents are essential (with photocopies) for those who wish to join the Indian Army.

Class 10th certificate as a birth date proof Certificate for excellent background in sports
Class 10th & 12th mark sheet NCC Certificate
Caste Certificate Relationship Certificate if the candidate is a son of a serving soldier,
Ex-serviceman or war widow issued
by SRO or CRO
Character Certificate

Indian Recruitment 2020-21

Many young women and men are ambitious and want to serve their country in the Indian Army. The Indian Army has therefore come up with the Indian Army Bharti and a recruitment rally in different parts of the country for 2021.

The following eligibility criteria apply to the Indian Army Bharti Recruitment rally in 2021:

  • The minimum qualification for Soldier G.D. is 10+2 or equivalent.
  • The Soldier Technical post requires that the candidate has passed 10+2 Science background (PCM) with at least 50% or an equivalent.
  • The candidate for the position of Soldier Technical (Ammunition Inspector) must have passed 10+2 with Science Stream or (PCME), or a three-year diploma (Mechanical/Electrical/Automobile/ Computer science and electronic) with a minimum 50% mark.
  • The Soldier Clerks/SKT post requires that the candidate has passed 10+2 with at least 60% marks. They should also have studied English, Mathematics, Accounting, or Bookkeeping.
  • The Soldier Nursing Assistant/N.A. Veterinary post requires that the candidate has passed 10+2 with a Science background (PCM or PCME) and at least 50% marks. Candidates who studied a B.Sc. in Botany/ Zoology/ Bioscience with English are eligible.
  • The candidate must have at least 10th grade or ITI in the relevant trade to be eligible for the Soldier Tradesmen (All Arms) position.
  • The candidate must have 8th grade or higher to be eligible for the Soldier Tradesman post.

Indian Army Training Academies

Below is a list listing India’s top Military and Defense Training Academies. Many young cadets are trained and recruited to the Indian Army.

  • National Defense Academy, Pune
  • Indian Military Academy, Dehradun
  • Army Cadet College, Dehradun
  • Officers Training Academy, Chennai
  • Rashtriya Military School in Karnataka
  • Officers Training Academy, Bihar
  • Army School of Physical Training (ASPT), Pune
  • Mizoram, Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School
  • Army War College, Madhya Pradesh
  • Haryana: Indian Defence University (INDU), Haryana

Conclusion :

We hope this blog has helped you understand the various exams that are an integral part of joining the Indian Army. Register for a free 30-minute counseling session with Leverage Edu experts to help you decide which career path you want. We will help you identify your strengths and interests and find the right university and course to lead you to a fulfilling career.

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