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Career in Indian Army

The Indian Army is the second largest army in the world in terms of personnel, and it is the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. Cadets selected to serve the Indian Army are trained at the National Defence Academy, Indian Military Academy or the Officers' Training Academy. The latter trains cadets on a Short Service Commission. Cadets can join the Indian Army either after high school or after getting an undergraduate degree.

All of you have aspirations and dreams, of what your education will finally yield. If you are looking for a fat pay packet, a corporate job is the answer. But above and beyond this should be the question of what the job offer in totality. Let us see what attributes go into making an excellent career. The attributes that one expects from a satisfying profession are:-

(a)       Professional Advancement

(b)       Job Satisfaction

(c)       Job Security

(d)       Economic Stability

(e)       Social Status

(f)        Quality of Life

(g)       Variety and Adventure

If these are what you too are looking forward to, then Army is the profession for you, as these in the Army, compare far more than favourably with any other service.

The Army offers both permanent and short service commissions. Permanent commission (PC) is granted through the Indian Military Academy (IMA) Dehradun and Short Service Commission (SSC) is granted through Officers Training Academy (OTA) Chennai. When you opt for ‘PC’, you are basically looking at a permanent career in the Army, a career till you retire. SSC is a wonderful option for all those of you who aspire to serve it for a few years. It gives you the option of joining the Army, and serving it as a commissioned officer for five years. Once your tenure is over, you are allowed to opt for PC. Alternatively, you can also ask for a five years extension and can choose to resign from your post any time during this period.


  • NDA
  • 10+2 TES ENTRY

Short Service


Details of complete eligibility criteria duration and venue of training and other information is freely available through news papers or may be obtained from



 After XII Entry

  • At the Standard XI and XII level, those of you who have opted for Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics and achieve an aggregate of 70 percent and above, can immediately apply further 10+2 Technical Entry Scheme. The Army will then, over the course of next five years arm you with as engineering degree and also commission you as an officer on completion of four years of training, all free of cost.
  • However on successful completion of Standard XII, everyone is eligible to apply for entry to the National Defence Academy through an entrance examination held twice every year. For the Air Force and Navy stream the applicant must have studied Mathematics and Chemistry as subjects during the 10+2 stage.
  • If you are planning to pursue an engineering degree, and have not yet made up your mind, you can still be commissioned in the Army directly as regular on Short Service Commissioned officers, while enjoying ante date seniority of two years and earning full salary in the last one year of your training.
  • For those who qualify the written test and others, as applicable to them, will have to undergo the Services Selection Board. This is one of the most scientifically designed selection tool available, and has stood the test of time. The list of eminent personalities who could not clear the SSB, but then went on to rise to the very top of their profession is legion and reads like a veritable ‘who’s who’ of our country. This just goes to show that the SSB is an adventure worth undertaking.

Graduate Entry 

  • Prepare for the Combined Defense Services Exam. This exam tests your knowledge of English, math and general knowledge. It is a multiple-choice exam.
  • Apply for the Combined Defense Services Exam (CDSE). The notification for the exams appear in August and March and the exam is conducted in February and March in all national newspapers. You should be unmarried and between 19 and 24 years to join the Indian Military Academy or between 19 and 25 years to join the Officers' Training Academy.
  • Appear for the Service Selection Board (SSB) interview and the medical examination once you have passed the CDSE exam. The SSB interview tests your physical and psychological mettle.
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