CDS Exam 2021 – All Eligibility Requirements

Candidates applying for Common Defence Services Examination must ensure they meet all the CDS eligibility requirements prescribed by the UPSC. The CDS Exam is conducted and overseen by the Union Public Service Commission of India (UPSC) For recruiting officers in the Defence sector. In this post, you will see all the CDS Eligibility requirement for 2021.

CDS Eligibility: Nationality Requirement

A candidate must be unmarried and must either be:
(i) a Citizen of India, or
(ii) a subject of Nepal, or
(iii) 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.
Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (ii) and (iii) above shall be a the person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.
Certificate of eligibility will, however, not be necessary in the case of candidates who are Gorkha subjects of Nepal.
A candidate in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary, may be admitted to the examination provisionally subject to the necessary certificate being given to him/her by the Govt. before the declaration of result by UPSC.

CDS Eligiblity: Age Limits, Sex and Marital Status

(i) For IMA— the candidate must be Unmarried male born not earlier than 2nd January, 1998 and not later than 1st January, 2003 only are eligible.


(ii) For Indian Naval Academy— the candidate must be Unmarried male born not earlier than 2nd January, 1998 and not later than 1st January, 2003 only are eligible.

iii) 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 1st January, 2002 (Upper age limit for candidates holding valid and current Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA (India) is relaxable upto 26 yrs. i.e. born not earlier than 2nd January, 1996 and not later than 1st January, 2002 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 training period they will neither be provided married
accommodation nor can they live with family out of the premises.


(iv) 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) 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.
They should have been born not earlier than 2nd January, 1997 and not later than 1st January, 2003.


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, which extract must be certified by the proper authority of the University or in the Matriculation/Secondary School Examination or an equivalent examination certificate.

These certificates are required to be submitted only after the declaration of the result of the written part of the examination. No other document relating to age like horoscopes, affidavits, birth extracts from Municipal Corporation, service records, and the like will be accepted. The expression Matriculation/Secondary School Examination Certificate in this part of the instruction includes the alternative certificates mentioned above.


Sometimes the Matriculation/Secondary School Examination Certificate does not show the date of birth, or only shows the age by completed years or completed years and months. In such cases, a candidate must send in addition to the self
attested/certified copy of Matriculation/Secondary School Examination Certificate a self-attested/certified copy of a certificate from the Headmaster/Principal of the Institution from where he/she passed the Matriculation/Secondary School
Examination showing the date of his/her birth or exact age as recorded in the Admission Register of the Institution.


NOTE 1: Candidates should note that only the Date of Birth as recorded in the Matriculation/Secondary School Examination Certificate or an equivalent certificate on the date of submission of applications will be accepted by the Commission and
no subsequent request for its change will be considered or granted.

NOTE 2: Candidates should also note that once a Date of Birth has been claimed by them and entered in the records of the Commission for the purpose of admission to an Examination, no change will be allowed subsequently or at a subsequent
examination on any ground whatsoever.


NOTE 3: The candidates should exercise due care while entering their date of birth. If on verification at any subsequent stage any variation is found in their date of birth from the one entered in their Matriculation or equivalent examination
certificate, disciplinary action will be taken against them by the Commission under the Rules.

CDS Eligibility: Educational Qualifications Requirements


(i) For I.M.A. and Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai — the candidate must hold a Degree from a recognized University or equivalent.
(ii) For Indian Naval Academy— the candidate must hold a Degree in Engineering from a recognized University/Institution.
(iii) For Air Force Academy— the candidate must hold a Degree of a recognized University and must have passed 10+2 (with Physics and Mathematics) or Bachelor of Engineering.


Graduates with 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 studying in the final year/semester Degree course and have yet to pass the final year degree examination can also apply provided candidate should not have any present backlog up to the last semester/year for which results have been declared up to the time of submission of application and they will be required to submit proof of passing the degree examination at the time of commencement of the course to reach the

In case of IMA/SSC first choice candidates, Send the proof to the below Address

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, Send the proof to the below address

Naval HQ “DMPR” (OI & R Section),
Room No. 204, ‘C’ Wing, Sena Bhawan,
New Delhi-110011

In case of Navy first choice candidates and in case of Air Force first choice candidates, Send the proof to the below address.

PO3(A)/Air Headquarters, ‘J’ Block,
Room No. 17, Opp. Vayu Bhawan, Motilal Nehru Marg,
New Delhi-110 106

The candidates have to submit degree passing certificate by the following date failing which the candidature will be cancelled.

(i) For admission to IMA on or before 1st January, 2022, Indian Naval Academy on or before 1st January, 2022 and Air Force Academy on or before 13th November 2021.
(ii) For admission to Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai on or before 1st April 2022. Candidates possessing professional and technical qualifications which are recognised by government as equivalent to professional and technical degrees would also be eligible for admission to the examination.
In exceptional cases the Commission may treat a candidate, who does not possess any of the qualifications prescribed in this rule as educationally qualified provided that he/she possesses qualifications, the standard of which in the opinion of the
Commission, justifies his/her admission to the examination.


NOTE I: Candidates, who have yet to pass their degree examination will be eligible only if they are studying in the final year of degree examination. 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 and no request for extending this date will be
entertained on the grounds of late conduct of basic qualifying University
Examination, delay in declaration of results or any other ground whatsoever.
Candidates who are studying in the final year/semester degree course are required to submit at the time of SSB interview a bonafide certificate issued by 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 cancelled.


NOTE II: Candidates who are debarred by the Ministry of Defence from holding any type of commission in the Defence Services shall not be eligible for admission to the examination and if admitted, their candidature will be cancelled.


NOTE III: In the event of Air Force candidates being suspended from Flying training for failure to learn flying, they would be absorbed in the Navigation/Ground Duty (Non Tech) Branches of the IAF. This will be subject to availability of vacancies and fulfilling the laid down qualitative requirements.

CDS Eligibility – Height, Weight & Medical Standards

The candidates must make sure that they meet the medical and physical standards to fulfil CDS Eligibility requirements to get selected to Combined Defence Services in Indian Navy, Army and Airforce.

CDS Eligibility – Medical Standards

Candidates applying for combined defence services examination must be physically and mentally fit

The Following are the common mandatory Health Standards required by the candidates.

  1. No Physical Deformities
  2. No swelling, tumors including cysts anywhere in the body.
  3. No Sinuses, Fistula
  4. No Vision impairment.
  5. No Hearing impairment
  6. No Speech impediment
  7. No dental deformities or Gum diseases
  8. No diseases and deformities

CDS Eligibility – Height to Weight Ratio

The Following are the mandatory height to weight ratio requirements by the candidates applying for Combined Defence Services

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