NDA Eligibility Criteria 2021: Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) has decided certain criteria on the basis of which the candidate will be able to apply for the examination of National Defence Academy. If the candidate fails to satisfy NDA Eligibility Criteria, then he/ she will not be able to apply for the NDA. There will be different criteria for age, nationality and qualification. The eligibility criteria for NDA will also be including the physical standards, i.e, height, etc. of the candidate. In order to satisfy the NDA Exam Eligibility Criteria, the candidate will have to go through a proper examination which will be conducted by the concerned authority. The following article has all the elucidated details about UPSC NDA Eligibility Criteria.

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NDA Nationality Eligibility Criteria 2021

The candidates, who aspire to take the examination of NDA will have to make sure that they satisfy all the eligibility criteria. One of the most important criteria of eligibility of NDA is the Nationality one. The candidate, who wishes to apply for NDA 2021 must have a nationality of the following countries:

  • India
  • Nepal
  • Bhutan
  • A Tibetan refugee who moved to India, before January 1, 1961, with the intention of settling in India permanently.
  • A PIO (Person of Indian origin), i.e., someone who has migrated from the following countries, with the intention of permanently settling in India:
  1. Pakistan
  2. Burma
  3. Sri Lanka
  4. East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania (Formerly Tanganyika and Zanzibar), Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia
  5. Vietnam

All the Foreign Nationals will have to produce an eligibility certificate that has been issued by the Indian Government. However, the candidates, who are the Gorkha subjects of Nepal do not need to produce such a document.

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NDA Exam 2021 Age Limit

One, who aspires to sit in the exam of National Defence Academy must possess an age limit between 16-19 years. He/ she must have born between 2nd of July 2002-1st of July 2005. If the aspirant turns out to be older or younger than the specified age criteria, then he/ she will not be considered eligible to appear for the examination. While applying, the candidates must attach their Matriculation Certificate or Senior School Leaving Certificate for the process of Document Verification. UPSC will not accept any kind of affidavit or certificate.

Marital Status for NDA 2021

Every male aspirant must make sure that they are not involved in any kind of marital relation before the completion of their training. One, who gets shortlisted in the merit list has to make sure not to get married until he completes his full training. During the training, if the candidate gets married or the authority finds him married, then he will not be able to proceed to the further procedure of the training. Furthermore, if the candidate gets married, then all the charges incurred on him by the Government shall be liable to refund.

NDA Eligibility Qualification 2021

The aspirant of NDA must possess the eligibility as per the prescribed criteria. The educational qualification of NDA has been mentioned below:

Army Wing of National Defence Academy:

The candidate must have passed the class 12th from a recognized board or University.

Air Force and Naval Wings of National Defence Academy and for the 10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme at the Indian Naval Academy:

One must have a qualified 12th standard or equivalent with the subject of Physics and Mathematics from a recognized State Education Board or University.

  • The candidate, who is studying in 11th standard are not eligible for applying in NDA. Further, one, who has failed INSB / PABT earlier will not be able to apply for the recruitment in the Air Force.
  • One, who is studying in 12th standard at the time of applying must produce proof of passing the examination before the deadline. The authority will not pocket any kind of request for extending the due date.
  • The candidate, who has been stopped by the Ministry of Defence from holding any type of Commission in the services of Defence shall not be considered eligible to apply for the examination.

NDA Physical Eligibility 2021

Another important aspect of the eligibility criteria of NDA will be the Physical criteria. One, who wishes to apply for the examination of NDA must possess enough Physical standard as per the prescribed criteria. All the physical criterion have been mentioned below:

Undesirable health issues

At the time of the medical examination, the authority must not find any kind of the following minor issues in the candidate:

  • Wax (Ears)
  • Deviated Nasal Septum
  • Hydrocele / Phimosis
  • Condition of Overweight / Underweight
  • Under Sized Chest
  • Piles
  • Tonsillitis
  • Gynaecomastia
  • Varicocele

Tattoos in the Body

  • One must make sure that he does not has any kind of permanent body tattoos on the inside of the elbow to the wrist and on the reverse side of palm/ back (dorsal) side of the hand or any other part of the body. Permanent tattoos present only on one’s inner side of the forearm will be accepted.
  • If the candidate belongs to a tribe wherein it is mandatory to wear a tattoo mark on the face or any other part of the body, then the authority will grant him on a case to case basis, considering the involved traditions. In such conditions, the decision of the authority will be the final one and the candidate will have to accept the same.

Height and Weight Requirements

Army and Air Force

One must note the fact that the minimum required height will be 157 cms (162.5 cms for Air Force). Some candidates shall be granted certain relaxation keeping in mind their religion. All the further details related to height have been tabulated below:

16-17 years17-18 years18-19 years

 The candidates, who belong to the hills of the North-Eastern areas of India, Garhwal and Kumaon and for the Gorkhas, the minimum height will be 5 cms less than the usual figure. On the other side, for the one belonging to Lakshadeep islands, the minimum height standard may be reduced by 2 cms. 


All the mandatory specifications of Physical Standards required for the recruitment of Navy are mentioned below:

16 years18 years20 years

One, who wishes to be a pilot in the Air Force must possess the following requirements due to the constraints of the flying vehicle:

  • Leg Length: Minimum of 99 cms and Maximum of 120 cms
  • Thigh Length: Minimum is not applicable while Maximum of 64 cms
  • Sitting Height: Minimum of 81.50 cms and Maximum of 96 cms
Spinal Conditions

If the candidate possesses any of the following diseases, then he/ she shall be disqualified immediately:

  • The granulomatous disease of the spine
  • Arthritis/spondylosis (Rheumatoid arthritis and allied disorders / Ankylosing spondylitis / Osteoarthrosis, spondylosis and degenerative joint disease /Non-articular rheumatism (e.g. lesions of the rotator cuff, tennis elbow, recurrent lumbago etc.) & Miscellaneous disorders including SLE, polymyositis, vasculitis.
  • Spondylolisthesis / spondylolysis.
  • Compression fracture of vertebrae.
  • SC Heuerman’s disease (Adolescent kyphosis)
  • Loss of cervical lordosis when associated with clinically restricted movements of the cervical spine.
  • Unilateral / Bilateral cervical ribs with demon stable neurological or circulatory deficit.
  • Scoliosis more than 15 degrees as measured by Cobb’s method.
  • Degenerative Disc. Disease.
  • Presence of Schmorl’s nodes at more than one level.
  • Atlanto-occipital and atlantoaxial anomalies.
  • Hemivertebrae and/or incomplete block (fused) vertebrae at any level in cervical, dorsal or lumbar spine and complete block (fused) vertebrae at more than one level in cervical or dorsal spine.
  • Unilateral Sacralisation or lumbarisation (Complete or incomplete) at all levels and bilateral incomplete sacralisation or lumbarisation.
  • Any other abnormality if so considered by the specialist.
X-Ray Exam

The candidate possessing any of the following conditions will get disqualified immediately for the post of Armed Forces:

  • The granulomatous disease of the spine.
  • Arthritis / spondylosis
  • Scoliosis more than 15 degrees as measured by Cobb’s Method (10 degrees for Army and Navy).
  • More than mild Kyphosis/Lordosis
  • Spondylolisthesis / Spondylosis / Spondylolysis
  • Herniated nucleus purposes.
  • Compression fracture of Vertebra.
  • Sacralisation 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
  • Spina Bifida other than SV 1 and LV 5 if completely Sacralised
  • Any other abnormality, if so considered by a specialist.
Visual Standards
  • The distance vision of the applicant must be 6/6 in the better eye and in the worse eye, it should be 6/9. Myopia must not be more than 2.5 D and hypermetropia, not more than 3.5 D including Astigmatism.
  • The candidate must note the fact that the authority will be conducting an internal examination of the eye by the means of an ophthalmoscope in order to rule out any possibility of eye disease. A good binocular vision must be possessed by the candidate. The colour vision standard for Army is CP-III.
  • The candidate must have a vital ability in order to recognize red and green colours. The candidate will have to produce a certificate which must be pronouncing that any member of his family has not suffered from congenital night blindness.
  • Further, one, who has undergone Radial Keratotomy in order to improve his/ her visual acuity or Laser Surgery will be permanently rejected for all services. The further details of the levels of eyesight for different posts have been tabulated below:
Uncorrected without glass6/66/6, 6/9
Corrected with glass6/66/6 (only for Hypermetropia)
Limits of Myopia-0.75Nil
Limits of Hypermetropia+1.5+2.00 D Sph
Limits of Colour PerceptionINil
Binocular VisionIIINil
Manifest MyopiaN.A.Nil Re
Tinoscopic MyopiaN.A.0.5
Colour VisionN.A.CP-I (MLT)
AstigmatismN.A.+0.75 Cyl (within + 2.0 D.Max)
Near VisionN.A.N-5 each eye

Other various conditions:

There are some other physical conditions except for the criterion mentioned above. All the below-mentioned criteria must be possessed by the candidate. The following criteria are specific to specific wings of defense forces:

  • No symptoms of a weak constitution or bodily defects.
  • A well-developed chest; fully expanded chest should not be less than 81cms. The minimum range of expansion after full inspiration should be 5 cms.
  • No mal-development or impairment of the function of the bones or joints.
  • No past history of mental breakdown or fits.
  • Normal hearing capabilities – Candidate should be able to hear a forced whisper with each ear at a distance of 610 cms. in a quiet room.
  • No impediment of speech.
  • Normal Blood Pressure with no signs of functional or organic disease of the heart and blood vessels.
  • Enlargement of the liver or spleen should not be there.
  • No abnormality in urine examination
  • Presence of any kind of skin disease, likely to cause disability or disfigurement should not be there.
  • No abnormalities in USG abdomen examination
  • A sufficient number of natural and sound teeth. A minimum of 14 dental points will be accepted.
  • Routine ECG for Air Force candidates must fall within normal limits.

So, these are the complete details of UPSC NDA Eligibility Criteria 2021. If you have any queries, then please comment on the section below.


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