How to be part of Indian Army ?

The Indian Army offers two types of positions:

  • Officer (With exam and without exam)

  • Personnel below Officer Rank (With exam)

A. Joining Indian Army as an Officer

Though the Indian Army recruits the officers at the young age of 16-19 years, nevertheless, there are opportunities for graduates, postgraduates, and working people.

The Indian Army provides two types of commission:

  • Permanent Commission

  • Short Service Commission

Permanent Commission: Permanent Commission of the Indian Army is the career in the Indian Army until one retires. The entries under the permanent commission are NDA, TES, CDS (IMA), etc.

Short Service Commission: This particular commission refers to a service of 10 years. Once the 10 years service will be completed, the officers will get three options:

  • Either he can choose the permanent commission, Or,

  • He can extend his service up to 4 years, Or,

  • He can opt-out.

Steps to Join Indian Army with Exam

Written entries are those in which the candidates have to qualify for the written test to get into the Indian Army. Here in the following section, the list of written entries is discussed:

  1. National Defence Academy (NDA): The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) commences the NDA exam biannually, for the age group of 16.5 years to 19.5 years.  The candidates, who are appearing either in class 12 or who have passed, are eligible to apply for the NDA exam. Candidates who obtain 40% to 50% cumulative marks in the senior secondary (10+2) are eligible for this examination. To qualify, it is necessary to pass the written tests of the NDA and pass the interview of the Service Selection Committee (SSB). The NDA exam tests a candidate's general knowledge, English and mathematics. After passing the written test, successful candidates take part in an SSB interview of five days.                                                                     

  2. Combined Defence Service (CDS): Similar to the NDA, the CDS exam will be commenced twice a year by the UPSC. The aspirants should be graduates and they should be belonging from the age group of 19-24 years if they are willing to apply for the IMA (Indian Military Academy). The aspirants from the age group of 18-25 years can also apply for the OTA (Officers Training Academy) for a permanent commission or short service commission. To qualify, candidates have to to pass the written exam, succeed in the SSB interview and clear the medical examination. The SSOC service period is 10 years and is extendable to 14 years.                                              ​

  3. Territorial Army (TA): The Territorial Army (TA) exam is a good option for those aspirants, who are already employed. To apply for the exam, the candidates have to belong from the age group of 18-42 years. Check Territorial Army Eligibility Criteria here. Kindly note down that it is not a regular job and the aspirants will be called for as per the requirement.

Steps to Join Indian Army without Exam

Direct entries are those in which the candidates do not need to go through the SSB Interview round, but also the shortlisting will be done based on the percentage obtained in class 12 or graduation. Here the list of direct entries has been highlighted:

  1. Technical Entry Scheme (TES): If the aspirants obtained 70% marks in class 12th Science stream, then they will be eligible for the TES direct entry. The age criteria of the candidates are 16.5 years to 19.5 years.

  2. Short Service Commission Technical (SSC Tech): If the aspirants have completed engineering, then they are eligible to apply for the SSC Tech exam. The shortlisted employees will serve the army under Short Service Commission. The notification of this exam will be released in July and December/January.

  3. Judge Advocate General Entry (JAG): If the candidates complete LLB and secure a minimum of 50% marks, then they will be eligible for the Bar Council of India. Once the candidates will be shortlisted after their registration, they will be called for the SSB interview. The age criteria of the candidates are 21 to 27 years. The notification of this exam will come in July and January.

  4. National Cadet Corps Special Entry (NCC): The NCC entry test is ideal for young graduates, who have completed 2 years of service experience in the senior division army. To apply for the post, the aspirants should successfully attain a B grade in NCC “C” certificate. The candidates are also required to secure 50% marks in graduation and should belong from the age group of 19-25 years to apply for the exam. 

B. Joining Indian Army as a Personnel below Officer Rank (PBOR)

The Personnel below the officer rank comprises combat, service, technical and administrative troops.

They are further categorized into the following ranks:

  • Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO)

  • Other Ranks (OR)

The below-highlighted chart depicts several entries by which the candidates can join the army as an OR/JCO:

Category , Age and Education

Soldier General Duty  17.5-21 years

  • Passed class 10 with 45% aggregate

  • 33% in each subject.

Soldier Tech (Technical Arms, Army Air Defence, Artillery)   17.5-21 years

  • Passed 12th in Science stream (PCM, English)

  • The applicants should get 50% in aggregate

  • In each subject, the aspirants should get at least 40% marks.

Store Keeper/ Soldier Clerk             17.5-23 years

  • Passed 12th Standard with 60% in aggregate and 50% marks in each subject.

  • The candidates should also get 50% in Maths/Bookkeeping and English in class 12.

Soldier Nursing Assistant/ Tech         17.5-23 years

  • The aspirants should pass 12th in Science with Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and English.

  • The applicants should get 50% in aggregate

  • In each subject, the aspirants should get at least 40% marks.

Sepoy Pharma (Army Medical Corps)        19-25 years

  • The aspirants should pass 12th in Science with Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and English.

  • The aspirants should qualify D.Pharma with 55% marks from the recognized State Pharmacy Council/ Pharmacy Council of India.

  • The candidates should get 50% in B Pharma.

Soldier Nursing Assistant Veterinary (Remount Veterinary Corps)17.5-23 years

  • The aspirants should pass 12th in Science with Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and English.

  • The applicants should get 50% in aggregate

  • In each subject, the aspirants should get at least 40% marks.

Soldier Tradesmen           17.5-23 years

The candidates should pass 10th standard with a minimum of 33% marks in all subjects.

Survey Automated Cartographer     17.5-23 years   BA or BSc with Maths. The candidates should pass the 12th Standard in Science with Mathematics.

Junior Commissioned Officer Catering (Army Service Corps)     21-27 years   Diploma in Hotel Management

Junior Commissioned Officer Religious Teacher (All Arms)  25-34 years Graduate, aspirants should be qualified in their religion and religious practice.

Havildar (Army Education Corps)  20-25 years

There are 2 positions:

Group X: Passed MCA/ MSc/ MA or BSc (IT)/ BCA/ BA with B.Ed

Group Y: Passed BSC/BCA?BA/BSc (IT) without B.Ed