CDS Exam eligibility criteria | Age limit


Page Updated on December 24, 2020

CDS Exam Eligibility Criteria for Male and Female: Combined defence services exam is conducted by Union Public Services Commission two times a year. A lot of candidates apply for CDS Exam to get a job in Indian Defence forces like the Indian Navy, Indian Army, Indian Air Force.

UPSC CDS Selection process is not very easy and a lot of preparation at all levels is required to crack the exam. CDS Exam Eligibility Criteria play an important role in the final selection .

If you are preparing for the UPSC CDS Exam 2021 then please check the complete UPSC CDS Exam eligibility criteria for Male or Females before applying.

In this post, you can find all details about CDS Exam Eligibility Criteria like Age Limit, Nationality, Gender, Physical Standards, Minimum Qualifications, and CDS Eligibility Criteria for Females.

Please have a look at the complete CDS exam eligibility criteria below.

Also, check the CDS full form and CDS Exam 2020 notification at the linked article

CDS exam eligibility criteria-Nationality

A
candidate must be unmarried male and must be :

  • (i) a citizen of India, or
  • (ii) a subject of Bhutan, or
  • (iii) a subject of Nepal, or
  • (iv) a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before the 1st January 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
  • (v) a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, and East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, and Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

CDS Exam Age Limit (For CDS I 2021)

(i) CDS Exam Age Limit For IMA

Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd January 1998 and not later than 1st January 2003 only are eligible.

(ii) CDS Exam Age Limit For INA (Indian Naval Academy)

Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd January 1998 and not later than 1st January 2003 only are eligible.

(iii) CDS Exam Age Limit For Air Force Academy

20 to 24 years as on 1st January 2022 i.e. born not earlier than 2nd  January 1998 and not later than 1s January 2002 (Upper age limit for candidates holding valid and current Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA (India) is relaxable up to 26 yrs. i.e. born not earlier than 2nd January 1995 and not later than 1st January 2001) only are eligible.

Note: Candidate below 25 years of age must be unmarried. Marriage is not permitted during training. Married candidates above 25 years of age are eligible to apply but during the training period they will neither be provided married accommodation nor can they live with family out of the premises.

(iv) CDS Exam Age Limit For Officers’ Training Academy—(SSC Course for men)

Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd  January 1997 and not later than 1st January 2003 only are eligible.

(v) CDS Exam Age Limit For Officers’ Training Academy—(SSC Women Non-Technical Course)

Unmarried women, issueless widows who have not remarried, and issueless divorcees (in possession of divorce documents) who have not remarried are eligible. Unmarried women are eligible. They should have been born not earlier than 2nd January 1997 and not later than 1st January 2003 (as given in ).

The age limit criteria for CDS 1 2021 is mentioned in the below table:

CDS 1 Age limit 2021

Academy Age limit Date of Birth Criteria Gender Marital Status
IMA (Indian Military Academy) 21 years – 24 years as on 1st January 2021 January 02, 1997, to January 01, 2002 Male Unmarried
INA (Indian Naval Academy) 21 years – 24 years as on 1st January 2021 January 02, 1997, to January 01, 2002 Male Unmarried
AFA (Air Force Academy) 20 years – 24 years as on 1st January 2021 January 02, 1997, to January 01, 2001 Male Unmarried if less than 25 years of Age
OTA (Officers Training Academy) for Men 21 years – 25 years as on 1st January 2021 January 02, 1996, to January 01, 2002 Male Unmarried
OTA (Officers Training Academy) for Women 21 years – 25 years as on 1st January 2021 January 02, 1996, to January 01, 2002 Female Unmarried Women

NOTE: Male divorcee/widower candidates cannot be treated as unmarried males for the purpose of their admission in IMA/INA/AFA/OTA, Chennai courses, and accordingly they are not eligible for these courses.
The date of birth accepted by the Commission is that entered in the Matriculation/Secondary School Examination Certificate or in a certificate recognized by an Indian University as equivalent to Matriculation or in an extract from a Register of Matriculates maintained by a University,

Educational Qualification for CDS Exam:

Please have a look at the qualification for CDS exam below according to the academy.

(i) For I.M.A. and Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai

Degree of a recognized University or equivalent.

(ii) For Indian Naval Academy

Degree in Engineering from a recognized University/Institution.

(iii) For Air Force Academy

Degree of a recognized University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or Bachelor of Engineering.

Graduates with the first choice as Army/Navy/Air Force are to submit proof of Graduation/provisional certificates on the date of commencement of the SSB Interview at the SSB.

Candidates who are currently pursuing final year/semester Degree course can also apply provided candidates will have to submit proof of passing the degree examination at the time of commencement of the course to reach the IHQ of MoD (Army), Rtg ‘A’, CDSE Entry, West Block III, R. K. Puram, New Delhi-110066 in case of IMA/SSC first choice candidates and Naval HQ “DMPR” (OI & R Section), Room No. 204, ‘C’ Wing, Sena Bhawan, New Delhi-110011 in case of Navy first choice candidates and PO3(A)/Air Headquarters, ‘J’ Block, Room No. 17, Opp. Vayu Bhawan, Motilal Nehru Marg, New Delhi-110 106

in case of Air Force first choice candidates by the following dates failing which their candidature will stand canceled :

  • (i) For admission to IMA on or before 1st January 2021, Indian Naval Academy on or before 1st January 2021, and Air Force Academy on or before 13th November 2020.
  • (ii) For admission to Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai on or before 1st April 2021.

NOTE: Those candidates who have yet to qualify in the final year Degree Examination and are allowed to appear in the UPSC Examination should note that this is only a special concession given to them. They are required to submit proof of passing the Degree Examination by the prescribed date. At the time of SSB interview, They also are required to submit a bonafide certificate issued by the University/College stating that they will be able to submit their proof of passing the graduation degree examination by the specified date, failing which their candidature will be canceled.

CDS Educational qualification summary is given in the below table (as given in )

Academy Qualification
For I.M.A. and Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai Degree of a recognized University or equivalent.
For Indian Naval Academy Degree in Engineering from a recognized University/Institution.
For Air Force Academy Degree of a recognized University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or Bachelor of Engineering

Physical Standards:

Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Combined Defence Services Examination (I), 2021 as per guidelines given

The candidate must be physically fit according to the prescribed physical standards which are summarized below:

  • The candidate must be in good physical and mental health and free from any disease/disability which is likely to interfere with the efficient performance of duties.
  • There should be no evidence of a weak constitution, bodily defects, or underweight. The candidate should not be overweight or obese.
  • The minimum acceptable height for male candidates is 157.5 cms. (157 cms for Navy and 162.5 cms for Air Force). Women candidate’s minimum acceptable height is 152 cms. For Gorkhas and individuals belonging to hills of the North-Eastern region of India, Garhwali and Kumaon, the Minimum acceptable height will be 5 cms less. In the case of candidates from Lakshadweep, the minimum acceptable height can be reduced by 2 cm.
  • The chest should be well developed. The minimum range of expansion after full inspiration should be 5 cms. The measurement will be taken with tape so adjusted that its lower edge should touch the nipple in front and the upper part of the tape should touch the lower angle of the shoulder blades behind. X-ray of the chest is compulsory and will be taken to rule out any disease of the chest. Routine X-ray Spine is not carried out for Navy Candidates.
  • There should be no mal-development or impairment of the function of the bones or joints.
  • A candidate should have no past history of mental breakdown or fits.
  • The hearing should be normal. A candidate should be able to hear a forced whisper with each ear at a distance of 610 cms in a quiet room. There should be no evidence of present or past disease of the ear, nose, and throat. There is no impediment to speech.
  • There should be no signs of functional or organic disease of the heart and blood vessels, Blood pressure should be normal.
  • There should be no enlargement of the liver or spleen. Any evidence of disease of internal organs of the abdomen will be a cause for rejection.
  • Un-operated hernias will make a candidate unfit. In the case of Hernia which has been operated on, a minimum of six months must have passed prior to the final medical examination.
  • There should be no hydrocele, varicocele, or piles.
  • A urine examination will be done and any abnormality if detected will be a cause for rejection.
  • Any disease of the skin which is likely to cause disability or disfigurement will also be a cause for rejection.
  • USG abdomen examination will be carried out and any congenital structural anomaly or disease of the abdominal organs will be a cause for rejection.
  • The candidates should have a sufficient number of natural and sound teeth. A minimum of 14 dental points will be acceptable. When 32 teeth are present, the total dental points are 22. A candidate should not be suffering from severe pyorrhoea.
  • Vision Standards for Naval Candidates:-
Particulars Summary
Uncorrected without glasses 6/12, 6/12
Corrected with glasses 6/6, 6/6
Limits of Myopia -1.5D
Limits of Hypermetropia +1.5D
Binocular Vision III
Limits of Colour Perception I

CDS Eligibility for Female

If we talk about CDS Eligibility for Female then Female candidates are eligible for Officers’ Training Academy (OTA) only for Non Technical posts. As already mentioned above a graduate degree is required and any unmarried or divorced Women (having valid divorce documents) can apply for CDS Exam. They should have been born not earlier than 2nd January 1996 and not later than 1st January 2002.

Also, check UPSC CDS Syllabus 2020 at the linked page
Also, check the upcoming Sarkari Exams 2020 in India

Source: UPSC CDS Notification

Please check below links also:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the CDS Exam eligibility criteria?

Can a Girl give CDS Exam?

Yes, Any graduate unmarried or divorced Females (Having valid divorce documents) can also apply for the CDS Exam but Female candidates are only eligible for Officers Training Academy (OTA). Please check the complete eligibility criteria before applying.

Is physical fitness required for the CDS exam?

Yes, Physical fitness is an essential criterion for appearing for the CDS exam. Candidates are advised to check complete criteria before applying that includes education qualification, Age, Physical Fitness.

Can 12th pass apply for CDS?

NO, Minimum eligibility criteria for CDS (Combined Defence Services) exam is graduation. If you have completed graduation or appearing in the final year of graduation than only you are eligible to apply for the CDS exam.



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