How to Join Indian Army?

How to Join Indian Army?

Are you aspiring to don the uniform of a soldier and serve your country? Joining the Indian Army requires passion, perseverance, and persistence. It is a rigorous process that involves exams, training, and more. In this comprehensive blog, we provide you with all the details you need to know about how to join the Indian Army.

The Indian Army, the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces, is responsible for defending the country’s territorial integrity and maintaining internal security. With a rich history dating back to ancient times, the Indian Army has evolved into a modern and highly professional force. It comprises various regiments and units that excel in diverse terrains and climates. The army plays a vital role in disaster management and peacekeeping missions, both within India and abroad. Known for its bravery, discipline, and resilience, the Indian Army stands as a symbol of national pride and safeguards the nation’s interests.

How to Join the Indian Army?

There are two prominent ways to enter the esteemed positions of the Indian Army: by giving specific entrance exams or through direct entry via recruitment rallies. The entry-level position is that of the Lieutenant, and it goes up to the highest rank of General.

How to Join the Indian Army After the 10th?

Candidates can join the army right after completing their 10th standard by applying for two posts: Soldier Tradesman and General Duties. The selection process includes a physical fitness test, a written exam, and a medical test conducted by the Indian Army.

How to Join the Indian Army After the 12th?

After the 12th standard, candidates can join the Indian Army in two main ways:

  1. National Defense Academy (NDA): The NDA is a joint defense service training institute of the Indian Armed Forces. Candidates undergo training together before moving on to their respective training academies. The selection procedure involves clearing the NDA written exam conducted by the UPSC, clearing the Services Selection Board Interview Round, and passing the medical test. On completion of training, candidates are granted a commission. Only male unmarried candidates between the ages of 16½ and 19½ can apply for NDA.
  2. Technical Entry Scheme (TES): Candidates can join the Indian Army by giving the Technical Scheme Examination. Only unmarried male candidates who have passed their 12th standard with physics, chemistry, and mathematics can apply. Candidates are assessed based on their 10+2 scores and are required to appear for an interview conducted by the Services Selection Board. On completion of the course, candidates are granted a permanent commission in the Army with the rank of lieutenant.

Join the Indian Army

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How can Women Join the Indian Army?

Women have been allowed to serve in the Indian Army since 1992. Various entry schemes are available for women to join the Indian Army:

  1. UPSC Entry/Short Service Commission (Non-Technical): Women without an engineering background can apply under the Short Service Commission (Non-Technical) category. The selection process involves a written examination conducted by the UPSC and an interview round with the Services Selection Board. On clearing the selection process and medical tests, candidates undergo rigorous training at the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai.
  2. Non-UPSC Entry: Women can enter the Indian Army through the NCC Special Entry or Judge Advocate General.
    • NCC Special Entry: This method of direct entry doesn’t require an entrance exam. Eligibility criteria include being an unmarried female candidate between the ages of 19 to 25, having a minimum of 50% in graduation, and possessing a valid NCC ‘C’ certificate. Candidates undergo rigorous training at the OTA in Chennai.
    • Judge Advocate General: This branch provides legal assistance to the military. Eligibility criteria include being an unmarried female LLB between the ages of 21-27, having graduated LLB with 55% marks, and being a member of the Bar Council of India or having passed a recognized law course. Selected candidates undergo training for 49 weeks.
  1. UPSC Entry (Technical): Women with an engineering background can directly join the Indian Army based on merit. There is no written exam for this entry.


It’s important to check the specific eligibility criteria and requirements for each entry scheme.

Qualifying Exams:

The most common way to join the Indian Army is by qualifying for written exams held at the national level. One of the popular exams is the National Defence Academy (NDA) exam, which can be taken after completing the 12th standard. The NDA exam is conducted twice a year, and unmarried males between the ages of 16½ and 19½ can appear for it. The exam consists of two parts and successful candidates proceed to the interview round conducted by the Services Selection Board.

These are some of the routes and exams through which you can join the Indian Army. Each entry scheme has specific requirements and selection processes. It is important to stay updated with the official notifications and guidelines provided by the Indian Army for accurate and detailed information.

Remember, joining the Indian Army is a noble and challenging endeavor that requires dedication, commitment, and a strong sense of service to the nation.

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


The UPSC conducts the Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam, which serves as the entry point for undergraduate students who aspire to join the Indian Army. Similar to the NDA exam, the CDS exam is conducted twice a year, and it is open only to male unmarried candidates. To be eligible for the Indian Army through the CDS exam, candidates must hold a graduate degree. Additionally, they must meet the age requirements, which state that they should not be born earlier than January 2, 1997, and not after January 1, 2004.

a military tank sitting on top of a lush green field

The following table provides a brief overview of the CDS Exam Pattern:

Exam Name: Combined Defence Services (CDS)

Conducting Authority: Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

Frequency: Conducted twice a year

Eligibility: Male unmarried candidates with a graduate degree

Age Limit: Born between January 2, 1997, and January 1, 2004 (varies based on specific exam notification)

Exam Pattern:

– Written Exam: Consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) divided into different subjects such as English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics.

– Interview Round: Candidates who qualify for the written exam are called for an interview conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB).

– Medical Examination: Candidates selected after the interview round undergo a thorough medical examination to assess their fitness for service.

Please note that the CDS exam pattern may vary slightly based on the specific exam notification. It is important to refer to the official notification and guidelines provided by the UPSC for the most accurate and detailed information regarding the CDS exam.

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


The Indian Territorial Army exam provides an opportunity for individuals who are unable to join the Indian Military Academy (IMA) through the NDA or CDS exam. It serves as the second line of defense after the general Indian Army. This national-level exam is conducted by the Territorial Army and is open to gainfully employed male and female candidates between the ages of 18 and 42. To be eligible for the Indian Army through this exam, candidates must hold an undergraduate degree from a recognized college. The following table highlights key details of the Indian Territorial Army exam:


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

The Indian Army offers direct entry opportunities through recruitment rallies in various locations, allowing candidates to join without having to qualify for written exams. These rallies are specifically for technical positions such as Soldier Technical, Store Keeper Technical, Soldier Tradesman, Soldier Nursing Asstt, and more. Candidates interested in joining the Indian Army through this selection process must meet the specified eligibility criteria for different posts and undergo a physical ability test. Here are some of the direct entry selection procedures:

  1. Technical Entry Schemes 1 & 2
  2. University Entry Scheme
  3. Technical Graduate Course- 129 & 130
  4. Short Service Commission (SSC) Tech (men)- 53 & 54
  5. Short Service Commission (SSC) Tech (women)- 22 & 23
  6. National Cadet Corps (NCC)- 46 & 47
  7. Judge Advocate General (JAG)- 24

(Note: The direct entry procedures of Army Entry Corps (AEC) 129 & 130 are discontinued temporarily.)

soldier holding rifle

Essential Documents:

Candidates opting for this method to join the Indian Army must carry essential documents (along with photocopies) to the venue for direct entry. These documents include:

– Class 10th certificate as a birth date proof

– Class 10th & 12th mark sheets

– Caste Certificate

– Character Certificate

– Certificate for excellent background in sports

– NCC Certificate

– Relationship Certificate (if the candidate is a son of a serving soldier, ex-serviceman, or war widow)


Indian Army Recruitment 2023:

The Indian Army conducts recruitment rallies and Bharti for ambitious young men and women who wish to serve their country. For the Indian Army Bharti recruitment rally in 2023, candidates need to meet the following eligibility criteria:

1. Soldier GD: Candidates should have passed 10+2 with a minimum of 33% marks or equivalent.

2. Soldier Technical: Candidates should have passed 10+2 with a Science background (PCM), with a minimum of 50% marks or equivalent.

3. Soldier Technical (Ammunition Examiner): Candidates should have passed 10+2 with a Science stream (PCM) or (PCME) or completed a three-year diploma in Engineering (Mechanical/Electrical/Automobile/Computer Science and Electronic) with a minimum of 50% marks.

4. Soldier Clerks/SKT: Candidates should have passed 10+2 with a minimum of 60% marks and studied subjects like English and Mathematics or Accounting or Bookkeeping.

5. Soldier Nursing Assistant/NA Veterinary: Candidates should have passed 10+2 with a Science background (PCM) or (PCME) and a minimum of 50% marks. Those who have pursued B.Sc in Botany/Zoology/Bioscience along with English are also eligible.

6. Soldier Tradesmen (All Arms): Candidates must have passed 10th or possess an ITI in the relevant trade.

7. Soldier Tradesmen: candidates must have completed 8th grade.


Indian Army Training Academies in India:

Here is a list of top Military and Defense Training Academies in India where young cadets are recruited and trained for a career in the Indian Army:

– National Defense Academy, Pune

– Indian Military Academy, Dehradun

– Army Cadet College, Dehradun

– Officers Training Academy, Chennai

– Rashtriya Military School, Karnataka

– Officers Training Academy, Bihar

– Army School of Physical Training (ASPT), Pune

– Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, Mizoram

– Army War College, Madhya Pradesh

– Indian National Defence University (INDU), Haryana

group of men in red and black uniform walking on snow covered road during daytime

 Indian Army FAQs

What are the educational qualifications required to join the Indian Army?

Ans – To join the Indian Army as an officer, the minimum educational qualification is a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university. However, specific entry requirements may vary based on the type of commission and branch of the Army one wishes to join. Candidates must also meet age criteria and undergo physical fitness tests.

How can one apply to join the Indian Army?

Ans – Candidates can apply to join the Indian Army through various entry schemes such as the National Defence Academy (NDA) Exam, Combined Defence Services (CDS) Exam, or the Army Cadet College (ACC) Entry. The application process usually involves filling out an online application form, submitting relevant documents, and participating in a selection procedure that includes written tests, interviews, medical examinations, and physical fitness assessments.

Is there a gender restriction to join the Indian Army?

Ans – No, there is no gender restriction to join the Indian Army. Both men and women can join as officers through various entry schemes. However, certain branches and positions may have specific eligibility criteria and restrictions based on gender.

We hope that this information has provided you with a comprehensive understanding of the diverse exams and procedures involved in joining the Indian Army. If you are still uncertain about which career path to pursue, you can sign up for a free 30-minute counseling session with our Leverage Edu experts who can guide you in exploring your interests, skills, and suitable courses and universities for a rewarding career.

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