If you happen to be a person who loves living life on the edge, meeting challenges with willingness, knowledge and
determination, then the armed forces offer the right options for you. They offer you a career where you can display your leadership trait
and blend adventurism with national service. Indian armed forces are divided into three wings - the army, the navy and the air force. One
can join any one of these through the NDA (National Defence Academy).
NDA: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts
The NDA exams twice a year. These exams are generally held in the months of April/May and September/October. The advertisements are
published in leading newspapers and The Employment News in May/June and November/December.
The NDA written
examination, which is on the objective pattern but without negative marking, tests candidates in maths, science, English and
humanities. The maths test includes arithmetic, mensuration, algebra, geometry, trigonometry and statistics. In science the topics are
physics, chemistry, life sciences and space science. The English paper tests on English grammar, common errors, comprehension and
vocabulary. Humanities include history, geography, economics and the Constitution. Being familiar with the standard CBSE syllabus is
The SSB Interview: The most critical part in the selection process is the SSB interview. After
clearing the written test, the candidates are called for the SSB interview. For the Army, the SSB is held in Allahabad, Bhopal and
Bangalore; for the Air Force in Varanasi, Dehradun and Mysore; and for the Navy in Bhopal and Cochin. The SSB interview is a five-day
affair. It is almost the same for all the three wings except that the Air Force candidates have to take the Pilot Aptitude Battery Test
(PABT) also. This test judges the candidates$$$___$$$$$$___$$$ observation and mental coordination needed for flying and the capacity to
balance the flight in a simulated situation. If a candidate fails to qualify for the PABT, then he can be accommodated in the other wings of
the armed forces provided, of course, he clears the SSB. But one gets only one chance for PABT.
The first day in the SSB is for
reporting and personal introduction, accompanied by a welcome address by the SSB president or a senior officer. The second day is devoted to
psychological and intelligence tests. On the third day the Ground Task Officer (GTO) test is conducted. In this, the candidate has to attend
two group discussions and has to clear the group command task and a problem-solving test. On the fourth day, the candidate has to perform
the individual obstacle task in which he has to clear 10 obstacles in three minutes. Then there are lectures in which each candidate has to
deliver an informal talk for three minutes, on the topic of his choice from a given list of topics. The candidate has also to clear the
individual command task and group command task. The interview is conducted on any day during the three main days.
The fifth day is
the conference day. The candidate has to appear before the board conference presided over by the president or the vice-president. All the
accessors (group task officers and psychologist) attend the board. Every candidate appears individually before the board and replies to the
questions. Finally, the board president delivers the farewell address and the names of the successful candidates are declared.
one should face the Board:
- Display leadership qualities
with a cooperative and positive attitude.
After the SSB: Successful candidates have to undergo a detailed medical
examination. Then they join the National Defence Academy at Kahadakvasala as cadets. They enroll for a three-year course during which they
learn different aspects of warfare and military sciences among many other things. After the course, they are given a graduation degree. The
cadets are then sent to the respective Academies, that is, the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, Air Force Academy, Hyderabad and the
Naval Academy, Cochin, for which they have been chosen. After a one year training there, they are commissioned as lieutenants in the
Army, acting lieutenant in the Navy and pilot officer in the Air Force.
Eligibility: The candidate must be between 16 1/2
to 19 years to appear for the NDA entrance test. Those who have passed 10+2 or equivalent or are appearing for it are also eligible.
However, the Air Force and the Navy ask for Physics and Mathematics as subjects in standard 12th.