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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 respective service academies for further pre-commissioning training. The NDA is located in Khadakwasla, Pune, Maharashtra. It is the first tri-service academy in the world.

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 respective service academies for further pre-commissioning training. The NDA is located in Khadakwasla, Pune, Maharashtra. It is the first tri-service academy in the world. called to action since the academy was established. The alumni include 3 Param Vir Chakra recipients and 12 Ashoka Chakra recipients. National Defence Academy has produced 27 service Chiefs Of Staff till date. Current Chiefs Of Staff of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force are all NDA alumni.

NDA exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Recruitment of candidates to Army, Navy and Air force wings of the National Defence Academy (NDA), is through National Defence Academy Entrance Exam which is held twice a year, generally in the month of April and Septemember. A candidate must be an unmarried male. The candidates Joining Indian Naval Academy would undergo 4 years B.Tech Course and would be given an opportunity to join Executive and Technical Branches of the Navy subject to availability of vacancies .

(i) A candidate is required to specify clearly the Services for which he wishes to be considered in the order of his preference. He is also advised to indicate as many preferences as he wishes to opt so that having regard to his rank in the order of merit due consideration can be given to his preferences when making appointments.

(ii) Candidates should note that they will be considered for appointment to those services only for which they express their preferences and for no other service(s). No request for addition/alteration in the preferences already indicated by a candidate in his application will be entertained by the Commission.

(ii) Candidates should note that they will be considered for appointment to those services only for which they express their preferences and for no other service(s). No request for addition/alteration in the preferences already indicated by a candidate in his application will be entertained by the Commission.

(iii) Before indicating their preferences for different courses, the candidates should first decide their preference for the two Academies viz. National Defence Academy and Naval Academy (Executive Branch). If a candidate opts for National Defence Academy as his first choice, he must first indicate his preferences for different wings of National Defence Academy viz Army, Navy and Air Force followed by his preferences for Naval Academy (Executive Branch). Alternatively, if a candidate opts for Naval Academy (Executive Branch) as his first choice, he must first indicate his preference for Naval Academy (Executive Branch) as his first choice, followed by his preference for different wings of National Defence Academy. Thus candidates opting for Naval Academy (Executive Branch) Course as well as other courses of National Defence Academy must give Naval Academy (Executive Branch) as their first preference or the last preference. Naval Academy (Executive Branch) cannot be given as 2nd or 3rd preference. Even if Naval Academy (Executive Branch) is given as 2nd or 3rd preference by the candidate, it will be deemed to be the last preference.

(iv) Admission to the above courses will be made on the results of the written examination to be conducted by the Commission followed by intelligence and personality test by the Services Selection Board of candidates who qualify in the written examination.
Admission to the above courses will be made on the results of the written examination to be conducted by the Commission followed by intelligence and personality test by the Services Selection Board of candidates who qualify in the written examination.

In 1941, Lord Linlithgow, then Viceroy of India received a gift of £100,000 from a grateful Sudanese Government towards building a war memorial in recognition of the sacrifices of Indian troops in the liberation of Sudan in the East African Campaign during World War II. At the end of the war, Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck, then Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, drawing on experiences of the army during the war, led a committee to study various military academies around the world and submitted a report to the Government of India in Dec. 1946. The committee recommended the establishment of a Joint Services Military Academy, with training modelled on the United States Military Academy at West Point.

After the independence of India in Aug. 1947, the Chiefs of Staff Committee immediately implemented the recommendations of the Auchinleck report. The committee initiated an action plan in late 1947 to commission a permanent defence academy and began the search for a suitable site. It also decided to set up an interim training academy, known as the Joint Services Wing (JSW), which was commissioned on 1 January 1949 at the Armed Forces Academy (now known as the Indian Military Academy) in Dehradun. Initially, after two years of training at the JSW, Army cadets went on to the Military wing of the AFA for two years of further pre-commission training, while the Navy and Air Force cadets were sent to Dartmouth and Cranwell in the United Kingdom for further training.

The NDA campus is located about 17 km south-west of Pune city, north-west of Khadakwasla Lake. It spans 7,015 acres (28.39 km2) of the 8,022 acres (32.46 km2) donated by the Government of the former Bombay State. The site was chosen for being on a lake shore, the suitability of the neighbouring hilly terrain, proximity to the Arabian Sea and other military establishments, an operational air base nearby at Lohegaon as well as the salubrious climate. The existence of an old combined-forces training centre and a disused mock landing ship, HMS Angostura, on the north bank of the Khadakwasla lake which had been used to train troops for amphibious landings, lent additional leverage for the selection of the site.[3] Aptly, NDA is also located in the hunting grounds of the legendary Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, with the Sinhagad Fort as a panoramic backdrop.

The administrative headquarters of the NDA was named the Sudan Block, in honour of the sacrifices of Indian soldiers in the Sudan theatre during the East African Campaign. It was inaugurated by then Ambassador of Sudan to India, Rahmatullah Abdulla, on 30 May 1959. The building is a 3-storey basalt and granite structure constructed with Jodhpur red sandstone. Its architecture features an exterior design comprising a blend of arches, pillars and verandahs, topped by a dome. The foyer has white Italian marble flooring and panelling on the interior walls. On the walls of the foyer hang the portraits of NDA graduates who have been honored with the highest gallantry awards, the Param Vir Chakra or the Ashoka Chakra.

A number of war relics adorn the NDA campus, including legendary captured tanks and aircraft.[8] The Vyas Library offers an extensive collection of over 100,000 printed volumes, in addition to numerous electronic subscriptions and a number of periodicals and journals from around the world in at least 10 languages.

Applicants to the NDA are selected via a written exam conducted by the UPSC, followed by extensive interviews by the SSB covering general aptitude, psychological testing, team skills as well as physical and social skills, along with medical tests. Incoming classes are accepted twice a year for semesters starting in July and January. About 4,50,000 applicants sit for each written exam every year. Typically, about 6,300 of these are invited to interview. Only unmarried male candidates are eligible for NDA & NA Examination. The minimum age should be 16 and half years and maximum age should be 19 and half years. Applicants to join the Air Force also go through a Pilot Aptitude Battery Test. About 320 cadets are accepted to the academy each semester. About 70 cadets are accepted for the Air Force, 42 for the Navy and 208 for the Army.

Cadets who are accepted and successfully complete the program are sent to their respective training academies for one year of training before granting of commission: army cadets go to Indian Military Academy (IMA) at Dehradun, air force cadets to Air Force Academy (AFA) at Dundigal, Hyderabad, and naval cadets to Indian Naval Academy (INA) at Ezhimala, Kerala.

NDA Eligibility :

(a) Nationality :

A candidate must either 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 and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v) above shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.

Certificate of eligibility will not, however, be necessary in the case of candidates who are Gorkha subjects of Nepal.

(b) Age Limits, Sex and Marital Status :
A candidate must be an unmarried male and have born not earlier than 2nd January 2001 and not later than 1st January 2004
Candidates must not marry until they complete their full training. A candidate who marries subsequent to the date of his application, though successful will not be selected for training.
A candidate who marries during training shall be discharged and will be liable to refund all expenditure incurred on him by the Government.

(c) UPSC NDA Educational Qualifications :

1. For Army wing of National Defence Academy :- 12th Class pass of the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination conducted by a State Education Board or a University.
2. For Air Force and Naval Wings of National Defence Academy and for the 10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme at the Indian Naval Academy :- 12th Class pass of the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equilvalent with Physics and Mathematics conducted by a State Education Board or a University.
Candidates who are appearing in the 12th Class under the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination can also apply.
Candidates appearing in the 11th class exam are not eligible for this examination.
Those candidates who have yet to qualify in the 12th class or equivalent 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 12th class or equivalent examination by the prescribed date (i.e.24th December, 2019) and no request for extending this date will be entertained on the grounds of late conduct of Board/University Examination, delay in declaration of results or any other ground whatsoever
(d) UPSC NDA Physical Standards : Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination as per guidelines given :
Candidates are advised to rectify minor defects/ailments in order to speed up finalisation of medical examination conducted at the Military Hospital after being recommended at the SSB. The undermentioned ailments are considered, common minor ailments :
Wax (Ears), Deviated Nasal Septum, Hydrocele/Phimosis, Overweight/Underweight, Under sized Chest, Piles, Gynaecomastia, Tonsillitis, Varicocele
A candidate recommended by the Services Selection Board will undergo a medical examination by a Board of Service Medical Officers. Only those candidates will be admitted to the academy who are declared fit by the Medical Board. The proceedings of the Medical Board are confidential and will not be divulged to anyone. However the candidates declared unfit will be intimated by the President of the Medical Board and the procedure for request for an Appeal Medical Board will also be intimated to the candidate.
Candidates declared unfit during Appeal Medical Board will be intimated about the provision of Review Medical Board.
(1) The candidate must be in good physical and mental health and free from any disease/disability which is likely in interfere with the efficient performance of military duties.
(2) There should be no evidence of weak constitution, bodily defects or under weight. The candidate should not be overweight or obese.
(3) The minimum acceptable height is 157.5 cms. (162.5 cms for Air Force)
Please refer to brochure for further details on height and weight standards (e) How To Apply UPSC NDA Application Form :
Candidates are required to apply Online by using the website www.upsconline.nic.in
(f) FEE : Candidates (excepting SC/ST candidates/Sons of JCOs/NCOs/ORs who are exempted from payment of fee) are required to pay a fee of Rs. 100/- (Rupees one hundred only) either by depositing the money in any Branch of SBI by cash, or by using net banking facility of State Bank of India or by using Visa/MasterCard/Rupay Credit/Debit Card.
UPSC NDA Exam Dates and Schedule
Tentative Schedule (Examination held twice a year) (i) Notification of Examination Sept. - Oct. & May - June (ii) Conduct of Examination March - April & Aug. - Sept. UPSC NDA Examination Centres
The list is not exhaustive. Please refer to brochure
Agartala Delhi Kohima Sambalpur Ahmedabad Dharwar Kolkata Shillong Aizwal Dispur Lucknow Shimla Allahabad Gangtok Madurai Srinagar Bangalore Hyderabad Mumbai Thiruvanathapuram Bareilly Imphal Nagpur Tirupati Bhopal Itanagar Panaji (Goa) Udaipur Chandigarh Jaipur Patna Vishakhapatnam Chennai Jammu Port Blair Cuttack Jorhat Raipur Dehradun Kochi Ranchi

The NDA offers only a full-time, residential undergraduate programme. Cadets are awarded a Baccalaureate degree (a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science) after 3 years of study. Cadets have a choice of two streams of study. The Science stream offers studies in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science. The Humanities (Liberal Arts) stream offers studies in History, Economics, Political Science, Geography and Languages.

In both streams, academic studies are split into three categories.
In the Compulsory Course, cadets study English, Foreign Languages (Arabic, Chinese, French or Russian), Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science, History, Political Science, Economics and Geography. Note that all cadets must take basic classes in all these subjects except Foreign Languages. Cadets then take advanced classes depending on their chosen stream.
The Foundation Course is mandatory and comprises Military Studies and General Studies. Subjects such as Military History, Military Geography, Weapons systems and Armaments, etc. are covered in Military Studies. Subjects such as Geopolitics, Human Rights, Laws of Armed Conflict and Environmental Sciences are covered in General Studies.
The Optional Course focuses on subjects specific to the cadet's chosen Service. Cadets spend the first four semesters on the Compulsory Course and the Foundation Course. They take the Optional Course during the fifth and sixth semesters. They may transfer to other Service academies for the optional courses.[11]

Training Pattern

All the cadets joining the NDA after their 10+2 Examination are trained in the Academy for three years culminating in graduation with BA/BSc or BCs (Computer Science) degree of Savitribai Phule Pune University. Apart from academic training they are also trained in outdoor skills, like Drill, PT and games; apart from one of the foreign languages up to the lower B1 level (according to the international standards). The emphasis in NDA is on character building, esprit-de-corps, mental and physical robustness, leadership and a sense of keen observation. Life in NDA is all about learning discipline and adhering self improvement.

NDA has an excellent infrastructure for all-round training of cadets and a vast array of facilities like spacious and well-maintained classrooms, well-equipped labs, two Olympic size swimming pools, a gymnasium, 32 football fields, 2 polo grounds, a cricket stadium and a number of squash and tennis courts. The academic year is divided into two terms, viz. Spring (Jan. to May) and Autumn (July to Dec.). A cadet must undergo training for a total of six terms before graduating from the NDA.

Squadrons and Battalions
On reporting to the Academy, a cadet is allotted to one of the 18 Squadrons, which becomes his home-away-from-home for the next three years. The Squadrons are named as Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hunter, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Panther, Quebec and Romeo. No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 Battalions have four squadrons each while No. 5 has 2 squadrons. Each squadron has approximately 100 to 120 cadets drawn from senior as well as junior courses under training in the Academy. In the recently concluded Autumn term – 14, November Squadron, who call themselves as "Ninjas" emerged as champion Squadron and won the coveted "Chiefs of Staff Banner" for the consecutive second time.

As the number of cadets joining the NDA is increasing annually, the Defence Ministry Of India had recently sanctioned the raising of 16th, 17th and 18th squadrons, with the initial letter of their names being "P", "Q" and "R" respectively. It is remarkable that the newly raised "Panther" squadron won the Academy cross-country run championship in its first participation in Spring 2012.

A Squadron comprising a healthy and wide-ranging mixture of cadets from diverse backgrounds and varying abilities is a veritable melting pot, where the bonds of camaraderie are forged. The Squadron spirit is inculcated and nurtured throughout the cadet's stay. The prestigious Inter Squadron Championship Trophy awarded to the best Squadron epitomises the pinnacle of teamwork and team spirit. The champion squadron has the proud tradition of possession of the Champion banner for one term, which is carried during the parade and other sports meets. Each Squadron has its own nickname, an individual identity with a richly textured history and mascot. The rudimentary import of the NDA's motto "Service before Self" is first taught in the environs of the Squadron, where a cadet learns the importance of putting the Squadron's requirements well above his own.

Cadet are imparted a blend of outdoor and indoor training. Outdoor training is carried out in the hilly and wooded terrain in and around the NDA campus. Indoor training includes theoretical and practical simulated training. Cadets are taught subjects such as Tactical Training, Weapon Training, Map Reading, Military Writing, Field Engineering, Organisation and Administration and Radio Telephony. A five-day camp is an additional feature of the training. Training visits to operational military establishments and bases are also incorporated to enhance the practical content of the training.

During his stay at the NDA, an Army cadet is taught judging distances, terrain study, indication and recognition of targets, camouflage and concealment, trench digging, observation by day and night, stalking, organisation of an Infantry section, section formations, field signals, fire control orders, section in attack, defence and patrolling. They are also taught handling of firearms, marksmanship and night firing. In addition, aspects of NBC Warfare and CI ops are also taught to the cadets.

An Inter Squadron Bayonet fighting competition is held to inculcate a spirit of aggression and martial hue as also to teach the nuances of hand-to-hand combat. An Inter Squadron Firing Competition is also conducted to enhance levels of marksmanship and night firing skills.


The Naval Training Team is the oldest of the Training Teams at the NDA. The main task of the Naval Training Team is to train V and VI term naval cadets on Specialist Service Subjects both theoretical and practical. Naval cadets on completion of their 3 years of training go to Indian Naval Academy (INA) as their finishing academy for 1 year, where they commence their M.Sc degree along with cadets of INA who will be doing B.Tech.

Syllabus : The major emphasis is laid on Navigation, Seamanship and Communication. A total of 328 theoretical classes which are currently under revision are conducted for VI term naval cadets. The % wise distribution of periods of service subjects as follows: -

Training Theoretical Instructions : Theoretical instructions are imparted in the class room at NTT and Peacock Bay by using modern teaching methodology where-in 3D models, CAI and CBT packages, scaled down models are used.

Practical instructions :Practical instructions are imparted in the Watermanship training Centre at Peacock bay during regular periods and during club days.

In addition to class room instructions at NTT, practical classes on Seamanship are conducted at Peacock Bay while Communication practicals are conducted at NTT both in the morning as well as in the evenings on all service days.

Visits : In order to orient the cadets to the navy, an orientation visit to Mumbai is conducted prior to the commencement of service training; during which the cadets visit various class of ships, submarines, shop floors, repair facilities etc. As part of the visit the naval cadets are sent to NBCD School to acquaint with fire fighting, damage control aspects. Further, to inculcate competitive sprit and adventurism amongst the cadets, VI term naval cadets are sent to Naval Academy, Ezhimala to take part in Open Sea Whaler Sailing Expedition and interact with their counterparts at the INA.

Camps : Camp Varuna I during the middle of the term to get a first hand experience onboard during sailing and Camp Varuna II at the end of the term to put the theoretical knowledge acquired at NTT into practical use during the three days sailing.

Watermanship Training : NTT has been holding a huge repository of Watermanship equipment at Watermanship Training Centre, Peacock Bay located on the waterfront of Khadakwasla lake. Watermanship clubs functional varieties at Watermanship Training Centre, Peacock Bay are as follows: Yachting Kayaking Windsurfing Rowing Water-skiing Ship Modeling

Air Force
The Air Force Training Team (AFTT) aims at training Air Force cadets in the basics of military aviation through ground training and flying training. Ground training is conducted with the help of modern training aids, aircraft models, and cross-sectional models of aero-engines and instruments, Radio Telephony simulators and Flight simulators. Flying training consists of a minimum of eight sorties on the Super Dimona aircraft. Cadets also get an exposure to deflection firing through Skeet shooting. Visits to key Air Force training establishments, Air Force Stations and civil aviation centers are also undertaken to give cadets first - hand experience of aviation activities. Flying training at the AFTT is fully backed by an Automatic Weather Station, Air Traffic Control Station, a paved runway and a dispersal for six aircraft.

The AFTT was formed towards the end of 1956. The aim of the AFTT is to introduce the VI Term cadets to gliding and allied professional subjects, which in turn prepares them for their professional training in the Air Force flying establishments. Over the last 60 years, the gliding training has evolved into flying training. Five different classes of gliders were acquired by the Academy since 1957. They are Sedberg T-21B, Baby Eon, Eon Olympics, Rohini and Ardhra gliders. All these gliders with the exception of the Baby Eon and Eon Olympics were utilised in the flying training of the cadets. The Sedberg T-21B was the mainstay of the AFTT in glider flying. Cadets were split into batches of 8 and allotted to an instructor. Each cadet was permitted a total of 60 training launches, after which 2-3 mandatory Solo Check launches were flown with the Chief Flying Instructor (CFI). Cadets cleared for solo flying flew one solo trip on the glider and were then formally awarded their 'Wings', exactly half the size of the official Indian Air Force wings, which were worn above the left shirt pocket of their formal uniforms. Sandbags were used as ballast in place of the absent instructor. The light T-21Bs were usually winched up to 1,000', and were very easy to handle. The Rohini was much heavier and could only be winched up to 800', shortening average flight time to 4 min from 6 minutes earlier.

Instructors who felt that their pupil cadets had reached solo check status ahead of time could have such pupils fly with the CFI without prejudice to further flying training. Second and third solo sorties were also permitted. The cadet who went solo with the lowest number of launches was usually awarded the Best In Gliding Trophy on the Guest Dining-in Night, one night prior to the Passing Out Parade. The Air Force cadet who stood first in Ground Subjects was awarded the Sqn Ldr Vasudev Memorial Book Prize that same night.

The Baby Eons and Eon Olympics were flown about once a fortnight by Instructor Pilots on Sundays, to keep them flyworthy. These were acquired German-design gliders from the pre-independence (1947) era and were showing their age, particularly the 1931-design Schneider Grunau Baby, rebuilt in the UK as the Baby Eon and the Hans Jacobs 1940-designed Olympia, produced in England from 1947 by Elliotts of Newbury. Both had plywood skins.

The induction of Super Dimona, a lightweight fixed wing powered aircraft in 2001, is a watershed in the history of AFTT and introduced a quantum jump in the quality of training. In addition to flying eight sorties on Super Dimona, a cadet is taught subjects like aerodynamics, navigation, aero engines, instrumentation, aviation medicine, airmanship, airframes, avionics & radio aids, meteorology, GSK and air power.Visits to Air Force Academy, Air Wing at Indian Armament Technology, Air Base at Pune and College of Military Engineering are organised to enable the Air Force cadets to appreciate the Air Force aspects.

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