What Are The Advantages Of NDA Over CDS?

The National Defense Academy (NDA) Examination and the Combined Defense Services (CDS) Examination, both are government exams conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

The NDA Exam is conducted twice every year for the selection of the candidates for all three wings of the National Defense Academy & Indian Naval Academy Course, which are, Army, Navy, and Air Force of the National Defense Academy & Indian Naval Academy Course.

The CDS Exam is conducted twice every year for recruiting the candidates into the Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Indian Air Force Academy & Officers Training Academy.

Even though both exams offer the same career prospect, there is a difference in the parameters for the eligibility & selection for both training exams. The parameters of both the exams are summarized below in a table:

Parameter NDA CDS
Age 16.5-19.5 Years


19-25 Years




Men & Women (in a recent notification regarding the NDA Exam the Women Candidates, are also allowed to take this exam)


Men & Women


Educational Qualification




Graduation Degree



Scheme of Examination


Written + SSB


Written + SSB


Frequency of the Exam


Twice every year


Twice every year


Duration of Training


4-4.5 Years

·         3 Yrs at NDA and 1 Yr at IMA (For Army cadets)

·         3 Yrs at NDA and 1 Yr at Naval Academy(For Naval cadets)/

·         3 Yrs at NDA and 1 & 1/2 Yrs at AFA Hyderabad (For AF cadets)


·         18 months for IMA Cadets

·         37-40 months for Navy Officers

·         74 months for Air Force Officers


Training Centers


·         National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune

·         Indian Military Academy, Dehradun

·         Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala

·         Indian Air ForceAcademy, Hyderabad


·         Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun for Army Cadets

·         Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala for Navy Cadets

·         Indian Air ForceAcademy, Hyderabad for Air Force Officers

·         Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai


Degrees awarded


Army Cadets – B.Sc./B.Sc. (Computer)/BA /B.Tech degree

Naval Cadets – B.Tech degree

Air Force Cadets – B.Tech degree


Army Cadets in IMA – PG Diploma in ‘Military and Defense Management

OTA Chennai – Post Graduate Diploma in Defence Management and Strategic Studies



The rank assigned after training


Lieutenant Officer


Lieutenant Officer


Even though there is no such difference in the military training whether you join with the NDA or CDS. In both cases, you receive the same amount of stipend during your training days and start with the same rank as a Lieutenant Officer, but still applying for NDA Exam will get an added advantage to a candidate over them applying through CDS Exams mentioned below:

  1. A candidate gets eligible to enter into Indian Defence Force after senior secondary education by appearing for NDA Exam and starting an earlier career in the Indian Forces. While on another part, to meet the eligibility of the CDS Exam the candidates have to complete their graduation.
  2. Even though the training period after NDA is longer than CDS, it gives you an advantage by allowing you to start your military training at an early age, transforming you into a much stronger and rough warrior when compared to the CDS candidate.
  3. The training received by a Cadet after their NDA Exam is much more rigorous than the training given to the Cadets who joined after appearing in the CDS Exam, transforming themselves into more skillful militants. As most of the bravest officers that the Indian Army has produced belong to this training.
  4. After appearing in the NDA Exam, the candidate will become a Cadet in early life, being awarded a bachelor’s degree during the training for the military services, where the Cadets also acquire the academic training that helps them throughout their career. This surely is not the case for the Cadets who join after appearing for the CDS Exam.
  5. Another advantage of the NDA Exam is that the Cadets through the NDA training receive the Permanent Service Commission for all the posts, whereas the Cadets through the CDS Exam and training are granted a Short Service Commission for some of the posts.
  6. Even the career and promotion path for the Cadets after these exams is quite similar in both cases but still, the Cadets who got selected through the NDA Exam enjoy a high career trajectory by reaching high designations in the military as their journey starts from a young age. You can visit here to know about the abovethenews. On the other hand, you can also get more essential info on dbfile. Here is the best news portal thoughtco where you can get the latest news around the world.

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