NDA Full Form with Complete Details

NDA Full Form: Know about the UPSC NDA 2023 Exam including its selection process, eligibility, age limit, and educational qualification here. Also, check the Indian Army/ Navy/ Air Force salary structure and admission process here.
Archana Shandilya
NDA Full Form

NDA Full Form: In Indian Armed Forces, NDA stands for National Defence Academy, which is considered to be one of the best Military Academies in India. NDA Exam, i.e., National Defence & Naval Academy exams are conducted by the Union Public Service Commission twice in a year. Around 2.5 lakhs write the exam annually for getting admission to any of the participating organizations, i.e., Indian Military Academy (IMA), Air Force Academy (AFA), and Indian Naval Academy (INA). 

The NDA selection process has two rounds, a written exam and the SSB interview round. Candidates who qualify for the selection process are considered for final admission. The preferred courses offered by the academies are BA, B.Tech, and Bachelor of Science. Post-completion of the courses, the candidates are enrolled in training for a period of one year. After this, they are inducted as officers in either of the three forces. 

Earlier, only unmarried males were allowed to write the UPSC NDA exam. However, with the intervention of the Supreme Court now, female applicants were also allowed to participate in the NDA exam. Read along to know the complete detail related to the NDA full form. 

Important Note: NDA Exam should not be confused with NDA (National Democratic Alliance). This is an alliance of political parties administered by the BJP and its 13 constituent parties. This alliance won elections in 1998 and 2004 and formed a coalition party led by Atal Bihar Bajpayee as Prime Minister. 

Table of Content

NDA 2023 Exam Overview

NDA Exam Calendar 2023

NDA Eligibility Criteria 2023

NDA Selection Process 2023

NDA Admission Process and Courses

NDA Salary Structure

NDA 2023 Exam Overview

Check out the table below to get a complete idea regarding the NDA full form overview. 

Exam Name


Conducting Body

Union Public Service Commission

Full Form

National Defence Academy & Naval Academy

Exam Level



Twice in 1 year

Participating Organization

Indian Military Academy (IMA)

Air Force Academy (AFA) 

Indian Naval Academy (INA)

Age Limit

16.5 to 19.5 years

Educational Qualification

Class 10+2

Selection Process

Written exam

SSB Interview

Written Exam Papers

Paper 1 - Maths

Paper 2 - GAT

NDA Exam Calendar 2023

Refer to the following table to know about the important dates as per the NDA calendar 2023. 

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Important Dates

NDA (1) Notification


NDA (1) Application Form

21-Dec-2022 to 10-Jan-2023

NDA (1) Exam Dates


NDA (1) Result

May 2023

NDA (2) Notification


NDA (2) Application Form

17-May-2023 to 06-Jun-2023

NDA (2) Exam Dates


NDA (2) SSB Interview

January 2024 to April 2024

NDA Eligibility Criteria 2023

Earlier this year, the SC notified that women applicants are also allowed to apply and write the NDA examination. Go through the section below to know about the detailed eligibility criteria for the examination. 

Age Limit

As per the official notification, for NDA 1 exam, the unmarried candidates should have been born not earlier than July 2, 2003, and not later than July 1, 2006. Whereas, to apply for NDA 2 exam, the candidates must have been born not earlier than January 2, 2004, and not later than January 1, 2007. 

Educational Qualification

The candidate should have qualified class 10+2 from a recognized board with minimum passing marks for IMA. Whereas, for INA or AFA the candidate must have opted for PCM subject in class 12th examination. 

Physical Standard Test

Check out the admissible PST for both unmarried male and female candidates for the three Defence forces below.

Defence Force

Unmarried Male

Unmarried Female





Indian Army

140 - 210 cm

35.3-49 kg

140-163 cm

35.3-49 kg

Indian Navy

152-183 cm

44 - 67 kg

152-183 cm

44 - 67 kg

Indian Air Force

152-183 cm

44 - 67 kg

147-183 cm

42-61 kg

NDA Selection Process 2023

The NDA selection process is going to be having two rounds, a written examination, and SSB interview. The candidates have to qualify for both rounds separately to get a call for admission to any of the three academies. 

NDA 2022 Exam Updates

Check Exam Pattern & Syllabus of UPSC NDA & NA 2022 Exam

Check Eligibility Criteria for UPSC NDA 2022 Exam

Check UPSC NDA 2022 Physical Standards in Detail

Check UPSC NDA Pay Scale, Allowance, Promotion in Indian Army, Navy & Air Force

Check UPSC NDA 2022 FAQs

Written Exam (900 Marks)


Maximum Questions

Maximum Marks



120 questions

300 marks

2 Hours and 30 mins

General Ability Test (GAT)

150 questions

600 marks

2 Hours and 30 mins


200 questions

900 marks

5 hours

SSB Interview (900 Marks)

The SSB interview round will be conducted for five days and will be conducted for 900 marks. It shall include the following activities. 

  1. Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests 
  2. Picture Perception Description Test (PP&DT)
  3. Interviews
  4. Group Testing Officer Tasks
    • GD
    • PGT
    • HGT
    • IoT
    • Command Task
    • Snake race/Group Obstacle Race
    • GPE
    • Individual lecture
    • FGT
  5. Psychology Tests
    • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
    • Self Description Test (SD)
    • Word Association Test (WAT)
    • Situation Reaction Test (SRT)
  6. Conference

NDA Admission Process and Courses

The authorities prepare a merit list with the names of the candidates qualifying for both rounds. These candidates can get admission in either of the three academies, Indian Military Academy (IMA), Air Force Academy (AFA) and Indian Naval Academy (INA) based on their ranks and marks scored. The final admission will be subject to the availability of seats available. 

Post admission, the candidates will be enrolled in the residential undergraduate program. The admissible courses are Bachelor of Arts/ Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Technology. The three-year course has to be studied in the NDA. Whereas, the fourth year of B. Tech has to be completed at the Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy for Naval and Air Force candidates. 

NDA Salary Structure

After completion of the course, the candidates will be enrolled in the training period. During this training period, the candidates will be paid in the salary range of INR 56,100. After completion of the course, they will be commissioned as a Lieutenant and will be paid as per level 10th of the 7th pay commission. Go through the table below to know about the complete salary structure admissible to the NDA course. 



Salary (In INR)


Level 10

56,100 -1,77,500


Level 10 B

61,300- 1,93,900


Level 11


Lieutenant Colonel

Level 12A



Level 13

1,30,600-2, 15,900


Level 13A


Major General

Level 14


Lieutenant General HAG Scale

Level 15

1, 82, 200-2,24,100


Level 16

2,05,400 – 2,24,400

VCOAS/Army Cdr/ Lieutenant General (NFSG)

Level 17

2,25,000 (fixed)


Level 18

2,50,000 (fixed)

After going through the above-detailed information related to the UPSC NDA & NA 2023 Exam, the next step is to create a study plan and start working on it.

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Q1: What is the NDA full form?

NDA stands for National Defence Academy. NDA Exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission twice a year.

Q2: What is the NDA selection process?

The NDA selection process has two rounds, a written examination and an SSB interview.

Q3: Which organizations participate in the NDA exam?

Indian Military Academy (IMA), Air Force Academy (AFA), and Indian Naval Academy (INA) participate in the UPSC NDA exam.

Q4: What is the Educational Qualification for UPSC NDA Exam?

12th Class pass of the 10 plus 2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination conducted by a State Education Board or a University

Q5. What is the Age Limit for UPSC NDA Exam?

16.5 Years To 19.5 During The Commencement Of Course

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