National Defence Academy



The National Defence Academy (NDA) is the Joint Services academy of the Indian Armed Forces, where cadets of the three services, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force train together before they go on to pre-commissioning training in their respective service academies. The NDA is located in Khadakwasla near Pune, Maharashtra. It is the first tri-service academy in the world.

NDA alumni have led and fought in every major conflict in which the Indian Armed Forces has been called to action since the academy was established. The alumni include 3 Param Vir Chakra recipients and 9 Ashoka Chakra recipients.
NDA or National Defence Academy is a national institute for training selected young men for officer level entry into the Armed forces of India. NDA is located at Khadakwasla near Pune, Maharashtra.  It is a training facility for the leaders of tomorrow who will be respected and followed. It is not just an institution but a way of life. NDA transforms a hesitant young cadet into an honorable, physically and mentally competent and polished man who is prepared for any kind of adversity that might face him; an officer and a gentleman.

The training at NDA is rigorous. In addition to service training for the army, navy and air force, the cadets are also taught academics to cover the graduation level degree in Arts, Sciences or Computers. The training at NDA is broken into six terms and the total duration of training is three years. Once their training is concluded, the cadets are awarded their bachelor’s degree at the passing out parade of NDA.  Thereafter the cadets go to their respective service institutes i.e. the Indian Military Academy or IMA for army cadets, Air Force Academy Hyderabad for Air force cadets and Naval Academy Cochin for Naval Cadets.

To know more about NDA, please view this link,

It still remains one of the most sought-after careers as after selection one can enjoy the next 40 years of life in adventure, national service and corporate living. Training imparted in Khadakvasla and Dehra Dun remains unsurpassed, one's personality gets totally metamorphosed and a new shine, alacrity and aura, comes on the face, which cannot be acquired in any other profession. However, in this profession one cannot rise very steeply as the climb is step by step. People in a hurry to grab power and fame, may never get accustomed to a comfortable living in the defence services. However, one's personal life in the defence services is spent gloriously and in great style.

S.N. Das Gupta College commenced coaching for the NDA in 1949, when the first competition was conducted by the Union Public Service Commission, our student. Shri S.N. Gupta stood first in India in 1949. The undersigned, Principal (K. Mohan) was also selected in the first competitive exam in 1949, and spent a couple of months in the academy, before volunteering for an early exit. The students should realize the basic fact that jobs in the government are shrinking, especially in the Civil Services, Class III and class IV. A few departments have been totally wound up, there is a great deal of out-sourcing by the government and not infrequently, privatization appears to be the norm.

The only sector where jobs are not privatized happens to be Defence Services. How often do we read in the newspapers that there is an acute shortage of officers in the Armed Forces to the tune of 10,000. It only shows that the Defence Services no longer occupy a place of pride in the priorities of the students. This is a phenomenon not only confined to India, but is prevalent all over the world. In the United States of America, one can see hoardings put up all over the country exhorting young men to join the Defence Services. The United States has such an acute shortage of defence officers that it is even toying with the idea of diluting strict immigration norms, if foreigners are willing to volunteer for overseas deployment. It is not to suggest that entry into the Defence Services is any the less tough. Even now a few lakh candidates appear annually for the National Defence Academy and Combined Defence Services competitive Examinations for about a thousand vacancies.

The College has been coaching for defence services since 1935, when the late Field Marshal Mr K. M. Cariappa visited our college in Lahore and appreciated the standards maintained.

The Union Public Service Commission holds two competitions in a year for recruitment to the National Defence Academy and the Combined Defence Services / OTA. The Ministry of Defence selects about 250 officers in each course of NDA who later branch off to the 3 services of the Armed Forces.

Earlier, the NDA competition used to be held in June and December which facilitated a large number of students joining our classes soon after their 10th or 10+2 exams in March-April every year. The shifting of the NDA exams to first week of April deprives a large number of students of an opportunity to offer for NDA and in some cases even opting out of a career in the Defence Services. Besides, the syllabus for the National Defence Academy has now been totally revised. The Maths paper has become very difficult, syllabus being now virtually the same as for the Engineering colleges.

The Union Public Service Commission allows all 10+2 candidates irrespective of the fact whether they had opted for maths in their 12" exam or not. Thus the candidates who have not offered maths in the 11th and 12th, now find it difficult to get into the NDA. Earlier, the syllabus of maths for both NDA and CDS was more or less the same and questions of matric standard were asked.

The National Defence Academy also expects the prospective candidates to have a fairly good knowledge of physics, chemistry and biology. These three segments of the General Knowledge paper account for 50% of the total questions. The non-science students, as a result, have a disadvantage and suffer from a severe handicap when appearing in this exam. One can justifiably say that the General Knowledge paper of the National Defence Academy is in no way lower in standard than the one set for the Civil Services. The level of questions in the Combined Defence Services exam is, however, of a slightly lower standard. The English paper is of elementary nature and the standard is more or less the same for NDA and CDS.

The Union Public Service Commission has now decided to allow candidates to appear in Hindi medium also and the impact of this change will have to be evaluated. The maths paper will offer no problem as it is invariably taught in Arabic numerals. The impact of the proposed change may not be felt much in the General Knowledge paper also where the Hindi medium students can now pursue their studies in this language. Since the questions are of multiple choice nature and candidates do not have to write any lengthy answers, they can certainly imbibe the basic knowledge through Hindi or English and tick the answer book.

Preparation for the written exam has been a specialty of the S.N. Das Gupta College for the past about 75 years and we continue to maintain a high standard of coaching. We have engaged specialists for all the subjects.

We can assure the students that all aspects of General Knowledge will be covered appropriately. The College has also prepared study material relevant to the competition and all students on rolls, will be given this material which runs into about 500 pages and will help the students in reaching their goal. We keep up with the changing times and update our coaching techniques and material frequently. We remain committed to our students and provide them with the best coaching.


How To Apply For NDA

NDA and NA written entrance examination is conducted by UPSC twice a year. Notification for the exam appears in all major national dailies in the month of Dec/Jan for the April exam and in the months of May/June for the September exam. The exam is held in the months of April and September. Candidates must apply to sit for the examination, online on the UPSC website after notification is released by UPSC.

  • Age - Between 16½ to 19½ yrs. as of first day of the month in which course is due to commence.
  • Qualification - 12th Class of 10+2 System of Education. Maths and Physics are compulsory for Air force and Navy. Commerce and Arts students can apply for army.
  • Sex - Male candidates only. Women cannot apply for NDA.
  • Marital Status - Un Married.
  • Likely SSB Date - Sep to Oct and Jan to Apr.
  • Date Commencement of Training - Jan and Jul.
  • Training Academy - NDA , Khadakwasla, Pune.
  • Duration of Training
    • 3 Yrs. at NDA and 1 Yrs. at IMA For Army cadets.
    • 3 Yrs. at NDA and 1 Yrs. at Naval Academy for Naval cadets.
    • 3 Yrs. at NDA and 1 & ½ Yrs. at AFA Hyderabad For AF cadets.

NDA Exam Pattern

NDA written exam is comprised of two tests. Duration of each test is  atwo and a half hours and both are conducted on the same day, consecutively. Examination is set by the UPSC.

Test/ Paper Subject Duration Maximum Marks
I Mathematics 2.5 hours 300
II General Ability Test 2.5 hours 600
      Total= 900

For viewing the detailed syllabus for general ability paper, please see the following link. Kindly Click Here.


Results Of NDA Examination

UPSC declares the result of NDA written exam in 3-4 months after the written exam. The same can be viewed on the UPSC website. Being a competitive exam and there is no fixed cut off percentage for passing. Candidates who perform better are sent the call letters for SSB interviews. The final merit list is prepared after the SSB interviews final result and displayed on the UPSC website. Joining instructions are sent to students based on vacancies available as per the merit list.


Fee Structure

NDA Rs.18,500 16.5-19 yrs. 10+2 pass Maths compulsory for Navy & Airforce

“Special concession in tuition fee for wards of Defense Personnel, NCC Cadets, Military/Sainik School students and wards of farmers.”

What you Get

  • Study Material - Structured and constantly updated study material and assignments on each subject based on analysis of previous test papers.
  • Competent & dedicated staff with over 25 year’s expertise.
  • Better Assimilation - Use of latest training aids (computers and LCD Projectors) .
  • Mock and Simulated Test We have developed rigorous testing program that encourages students to benchmark their performance and work out exam strategies.



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