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Combined Defence Services Examination : Eligibility

Eligibility Conditions

The following are the eligibility criteria for the application of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Examination

  1. Nationality
  2. Age Limits, Sex and Marital Status
  3. Educational Qualifications
  4. Physical Standards

  1. Nationality

    1. A candidate must either be :
      1. a Citizen of India, or
      2. a subject of Bhutan, or
      3. a subject of Nepal, or
      4. a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before the 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
      5. 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, 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 by the Govt. before declaration of result by UPSC.

  2. Age Limits, Sex and Marital Status :

    1. For IMA-Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd July, 1981 and not later than 1st July, 1986 only are eligible.
    2. For Naval Academy-Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd July, 1983 (2nd July, 1981 in case of Naval Wing 'C' Certificate holders) and not later than 1st July, 1986 only are eligible.
    3. For Air Force Academy-Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd July, 1982 and not later than 1st July, 1986 only are eligible.
    4. For Officers Training Academy-Male candidates (married or unmarried) born not earlier than 2nd July, 1980 and not later than 1st July, 1986 only are eligible.

    The date of birth accepted by the Commission is that entered in the Matriculation or Secondary School Leaving Certificate or in a certificate recognised 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 Higher Secondary 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/Higher Secondary Examination Certificate in this part of the instruction includes the alternative certificates mentioned above.

    Sometimes the Matriculation/Higher Secondary 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 attested/certified copy of Matriculation/Higher Secondary Examination Certificate an attested/certified copy of a certificate from the Headmaster/Principal of the Institution from where he passed the Matriculation/Higher Secondary Examination showing the date of his birth or exact age as recorded in the Admission Register of the Institution.

  3. Educational Qualifications :

    1. For I.M.A. and Officers’ Training Academy-Degree of a recognised University or equivalent.
    2. For Naval Academy : B.Sc. (with Physics & Mathematics) or Bachelor of Engineering.
    3. For Air Force Academy : Degree of Recognized University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) 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 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 debarred by the Ministry of Defence from holding any type of commission in the Defence Services shall not be eligible for admision to the examination and if admitted, their candidature will be cancelled.
    • In the event of Air Force candidates being suspended from Flying training for failure to learn flying, they would be absorbed in the Navigation/Administration/Logistic Branch of the IAF. This will be subject to availability of vacancies and fulfilling the laid down qualitative requirements (including 60% in graduation)

  4. Physical Standards :

    • Candidates must be Physically fit According to the prescribed Physical standards. The standards of Medical Fitness and the guidelines for the same are given below.

      A Number of qualified candidates are rejected subsequently on Medical grounds. candidates are therefore advised in their own interest to get themselves medically examined before submitting their applications to avoid disappointment at the final stage.

    1. A Candidate recommended by the Services Selection Board will under go 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. However, the candidates declared unfit will be intimated by the President of the Medical Board and procedure for request for an Appeal Medical Board (AMB) will also be intimated to the candidate.

      Candidates who are unfit may apply for Appeal Medical Board (AMB) to be completed within 42 days of SMB and may request for Review Medical Board (RMB) within one day of completion of Appeal Medical Board.

      Candidates declared unfit by AMB will be intimated by the President AMB about procedure of challenging the findings of AMB. The candidates will also be intimated that holding Review Medical Board (RMB) will be granted at the discretion of DGAFMS based on the merit of the case and that RMB is not a matter of right. Candidates shall automatically report to the hospital opted by them on any working day, keeping in view, the time taken by Postal authorities to deliver their Medical document at the Hospital for medical examination. No call shall be given by the opted hospital and no correspondence in this regard shall be entertained. The candidate must be physically fit according to the prescribed physical standards which are summarised below :

      1. The candidate must be in good physical and mental health and free form any disease/disability which is likely to interfere with the efficient performance of duties.
      2. There should be no evidence of weak constitution, bodily defects or over weight.
      3. The minimum acceptable height is 157.5 cms. (157 cms for Navy and 162.5 cms for Air Force). For Gorkhas and individuals belonging to hills of north Eastern region of India, Garhwali and Kumaon, the Minimum acceptable height will be 5 cms less. In case of candidates from Lakshadweep, the minimum acceptable height can be reduced by 2 cms.

        These concessions are not applicable for Navy and Air Force. Height and weight standards are given below :

        Height and Weight Standards
        Height in Centimetres
        (Without shoes)
        Weight in Kgs.
        cms18 years20 years22 years

        *45 for Navy @ 47 for Navy

        A + 10% (for Navy) departure from the average weight given in the Table above is to be considered within normal limit. However, in individuals with heavy bones and broad built as well as individuals with thin but otherwise healthy this may be relaxed to some extent on merit.

        The acceptable weight for Air Force candidates will be + 10% of the average weight given above.

      4. In your own interest your are advised to undergo a preliminary medical check up for wax in ears, refractory error of eyes, fungal infection of skin Eosinophitia before reporting for the SSB interview.
      5. Chest should be well developed. The minimum range of expansion after full inspiration should be 5 cms. The measurement will be taken with a tape so adjusted that its lower edge should touch the nipple in front and the upper part of the tape should touch the lower angle of the shoulder blades behind. X-Ray of the chest is compulsory and will be taken to rule out any disease of the chest.
      6. There should be no disease of bones and joints of the body.
      7. A candidate should have no past history of mental breakdown or fits.
      8. The hearing should be normal. A candidate should be able to hear a forced whisper with each ear at a distance of 610 cms. in a quiet room. There should be no evidence of present or past disease of the ear, nose and throat.
      9. There should be no sign of functional or organic disease of the heart and blood vessel. Blood pressure should be normal.
      10. The muscles of abdomen should be well developed and there should be no enlargement of liver or spleen. Any evidence of disease of internal organs of the abdomen will be a cause for rejection.
      11. Un-operated hernias will make a candidate unfit. If operated, this should have been done at least 1 year prior to the present examination and healing is completed.
      12. There should be no hydrocele, varicocele or piles.
      13. Urine examination will be done and any abnormality, if detected will be a cause for rejection.
      14. Any disease of the skin which is likely to cause disability or disfigurement will also be a cause for rejection.
      15. A candidate should be able to read 6/6 in a distant vision chart with each eye with or without glasses (For navy and Air Force without glasses only) Myopia should not be more than 3.5D and hypermetropia not more than 3.5D including Astigmatism. Internal examination of the eye will be done by means of ophthalmoscope to rule out any disease of the eye. A candidate must have good binocular vision. The colour vision standard will be CP-3. A candidate should be able to recognise red and green colours.

        Radial keratotomy : Candidates who have undergone or have the evidence of having undergone Radial Keratotomy, to improve the visual acuity, will be permanently rejected for all the three services. Candidates who have undergone Laser Surgery for correction of refractive error are also not acceptable to defence services.

        The candidates for Navy should have the following vision standards :

        Distant vision 6/12 , 6/12, Correctable to 6/6 Near Vision N-5 each eye

        Colour Vision CP-1 by MLT

        Myopia is not to exceed 0.75 dioptres and hypermetropia not more than 1.50 dioptres in the better eye and 2.50 dioptres in the worse eye.

        Ocular Muscle Balance

        Hetrophoria with the Maddox Rod Test must not exceed.

        • At 6 metres Exophoria 8 prism dioptres, Esophoria 8 prism dioptres, Hyperphoria 1 prism diop-tres.
        • at 30 cm Exophoria 16 prism dioptres, Esophoria 6 prism dioptres, Hyperphoria 1 prism dioptres.

      16. The candidates should have sufficient number of natural and sound teeth. A minimum of 14 dental points will be acceptable. When 32 teeth are present, the total dental points are 22. A candidate should not be suffering form severe pyorrhoea.
      17. X-Ray examination of the chest will include the lower part of cervical spine for presence of cervical ribs. X-Ray examination of other parts of spine will be taken if the SMB considers it necessary.
    2. In addition to the above, the following medical standards will be applicable in respect of Air force candidates only :

      1. Anthropometric measurements acceptable for Air Force are as follows :

        Height162.5 cms
        Leg LengthMin. 99 cms. & Max. 120 cms.
        Thigh LengthMax. 64 cms.
        Sitting HeightMin. 81.5 cms. & Max 96 cms.

      2. X-ray of Cervical and Lumbosacral spine will be carried out. The following conditions detected in the X-ray will be disqualifying :

        • Granulomatous disease of Spine.
        • Arthritis spondylosis.
        • More than mild Kyphosis/Lordosis, Scolosis more than 15 by Cobb's method will be cause for rejection.
        • Spondy lolysis thesis spondyloysis
        • Herniated Nucleus Pulposus.
        • Compression fracture of Vertebra.
        • Scheuermanns Disease
        • Cervical Ribs with demonstrable neurological or circulatory deficit.
        • Presence of Schmorl's node at more than one level.
        • Atlanto- occipital and Atlanto-axial anomalies.
        • Incomplete Sacralisation unilateral or Bilateral.
        • Any other abnormality, if so considered by specialist.
        • Spinabifida at SV1 and LV5 level alone.

      3. Carrying angle of elbow should not be more than 100 (ten degree).
      4. X-Ray of Chest is compulsory.
      5. Vision

        Distant Vision 6/6, in one eye and 6/9 Correctable to 6/6 Near Vision N-5 each eye Colour Vision CP-1 (MLT)

        Manifest Hypermetropia Must not exceed+2.00 Dsp 'Myopia-NIL' & +0.75DSph ±0.75 DSph.

      6. Ocular Muscle Balance

        Hetrophoria with the Maddox Rod Test must not exceed :

        • at 6 metres

          Exophoria 6 prism dioptres Esophoria 6 prism dioptres Hypo-phoria/Hyperphoria 1 Prism Dioptres.

        • at 33 cm

          Exophoria 16 prism dioptres Espohoria 6 prism dioptres; Hypophoria/Hyperphoria 1 prism Dioptres.

        Binocular Vision-Must possess good binocular vision (fusion and stereposis with good amplitude and depth)

      7. Hearing Standards

        • Speech test : Whispered hearing 610 cms. each ear.
        • Audiometric Test : Audiometric loss should not exceed + 20 db in frequencies between 250 Hz and 4000 Hz.

      8. Routine ECG and EEG should be within normal limits.
    3. The Medical standards for candidates of Naval Aviation Branch will be the same as for flying duties of Air Force.
    4. Detection of any disability in the course of a special test carried out prescribed for one service, may render the candidate unfit for any other service(s), if so considered as disqualifying by Medical Board.
    5. Physical Conditioning :- Prospective Candidates are advised to keep themselves in good Physical condition by following the under mentioned routine :-

      • Running : 2 to 4 Km. in 15 minutes
      • Skipping
      • Pushups & Sit-ups : Minimum 20 each
      • Chin Ups : Minimum 08
      • Rope Climbing : 3 to 4 meters

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