AFCAT Eligibility Criteria – Age, Qualification, Medical Standards

AFCAT eligibility criteria is one of the main aspects that candidates must carefully go through before submitting the AFCAT exam application form for the position of Flying Branch (Pilot), Ground Duty Technical (Electrical, Mechanical) or Ground Duty Non-Technical (Administration, Logistics). IAF has invited online applications from Indian citizens (Men and Women) for the courses starting in January 2022 for grant of Short Service Commission (SSC) in Flying Branch and Permanent Commission (PC) and Short Service Commission (SSC) in Ground Duty (Technical and Non-Technical) branches. The Indian Air Force has also invited applications for the grant of PC/SSC for NCC Special Entry Scheme (For Flying Branch)

AFCAT eligibility criteria differ from one post to another. Candidates can avail the complete information about AFCAT eligibility criteria in this article.

Important Update

  • AFCAT application is open till 11th January 2021.

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AFCAT Exam Notification 2021

The official AFCAT notification 2020 was released on 28th November 2020. Later the detailed notification was released on 1st December 2020. AFCAT 2021 online application process began on 1st December 2020. Indian Air Force has announced the AFCAT 2021 exam will take place on 20th and 21st February 2021. Initially, the last date to submit the AFCAT applications was 30 December 2020. However, the deadline for online application submission was later extended till 11th January 2021. 

The table below contains all the important AFCAT exam dates:

AFCAT Exam Dates (AFCAT 1) 2021

Exam EventsImportant Dates
Release of short notification28th November 2020
Release of Notification (Detailed)1st December 2020
Dates for submission of online applications1st December 2020 to 11th January 2021
AFCAT (1) 2021 Admit Card Release5th February 2021
AFCAT (1) 2021 Exam20th and 21st February 2021
AFCAT Result ReleaseMarch 2021*
Course CommencementJanuary 2022*

*Exact dates yet to be released

AFCAT Exam Dates (AFCAT 2) 2021

Exam Events (2021)Important Dates
Release of notificationJune 2021*
Dates for submission of online applicationsJune to July 2021*
AFCAT (2) 2021 Admit Card ReleaseSeptember or October 2021*
AFCAT (2) 2021 ExamSeptember or October 2021*
AFCAT Result ReleaseNovember 2021*

*Exact dates yet to be released

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AFCAT Eligibility Criteria 2021 – Nationality

As per AFCAT eligibility criteria, a candidate should be an Indian citizen as per the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955. Applications from candidates who have migrated to India before 1955 are not welcomed.

AFCAT Eligibility Criteria 2021 – Age

Before applying for the AFCAT exam, candidates should fulfil the important age limit eligibility norms as the age criteria vary from one post to another. IAF has set a post-wise upper and lower age limit for candidates who wish to appear for the AFCAT exam 2021.

AFCAT Eligibility Criteria 2021 – Flying Branch through AFCAT and NCC Special Entry

  1. The age of the aspiring candidates should be between 20 and 24 years as on 1st January 2022. This means that the candidate should be born between 2nd January 1998 and 1st January 2002 (both dates inclusive).
  2. There is a relaxation of 2 years (upper age limit) for candidates holding a valid and current Pilot License issued by DGCA (India). The candidates should be born between 2nd January 1996 to 1st January 2002 (both dates inclusive).

AFCAT Eligibility Criteria 2021 – Ground Duty (Technical & Non-Technical) Branch

  1. The age limit for the aspiring candidates should be between 20 and 26 years as on 1st January 2022. This means that the candidate should be born between 2nd January 1996 and 1st January 2002 (both dates inclusive).

AFCAT Eligibility Criteria 2021 – Marital Status

The age criteria as per the marital status of the aspiring candidates are highlighted below:

Marital StatusAge Limit
Unmarried CandidatesBetween 20 – 25 Years
Married CandidatesAbove 25 Years
Widows/Widowers/divorceesAbove 25 Years

Besides the above age factor in the AFCAT eligibility criteria, candidates have to follow some other marital- and age-related eligibility criteria too. These are – 

  1. A candidate who marries following the date of his/her application, although successful at SSB (Services Selection Board ) or medical level, will not be counted eligible for training. 
  2. Widows/ Widowers and divorcees (with or without restrains/liability) below 25 years of age will also not be considered eligible.
  3. Married candidates above 25 years of age are eligible to apply. However, during the training period they will neither be provided married accommodation nor can they live out with family.
  4. A candidate who marries during the period of training shall be discharged and will be liable to refund all expenditure incurred on him/her by the Government.
  5. Candidates need to be careful while entering their date of birth. During verification, if the entered date of birth does not match the Matriculation or equivalent examination certificate, the application will be deemed disqualified. 

AFCAT Eligibility Criteria 2021 – Educational Qualification

IAF has laid down several educational conditions under AFCAT 2021 eligibility criteria. Criteria are dependent on posts for which each of the candidates are applying.

They must have the minimum educational qualifications from a recognized university board as indicated in the table below.

AFCAT Eligibility Criteria – Educational Qualifications for Different Posts

AFCAT PostEducational Qualification
Flying BranchMinimum 60% aggregate each in Physics & Mathematics in 10+2 

OR 

Minimum 60% aggregate in Section A & B examination of Aeronautical Society of India 

OR

Minimum 60% aggregate in B.Tech/B.E degree or equivalent 

OR

Associate Membership of the Institution of Engineers (India) or equivalent.

Ground Duty (Technical) BranchAeronautical Engineer (Mechanical) {AE (M)}Minimum of 50% marks each in Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level besides a minimum of 4 years graduation/integrated post-graduation

degree in Engineering/Technology from recognised University

OR

Minimum 60% aggregate in Section A & B examination of Aeronautical Society of India or Associate Membership of the Institution of Engineers (India) in the following disciplines:-

  • (aaa) Aerospace Engineering
  • (aab) Aeronautical Engineering
  • (aac) Aircraft Maintenance Engineering
  • (aad) Mechanical Engineering
  • (aae) Mechanical Engineering and Automation
  • (aaf) Mechanical Engineering (Production)
  • (aag) Mechanical Engineering (Repair and Maintenance)
  • (aah) Mechatronics
  • (aaj) Industrial Engineering
  • (aak) Manufacturing Engineering
  • (aal) Production and Industrial Engineering
  • (aam) Materials Science and Engineering
  • (aan) Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
  • (aao) Aerospace and Applied Mechanics
  • (aap) Automotive Engineering
  • (aaq) Robotics
  • (aar) Nanotechnology
  • (aas) Rubber Technology and Rubber Engineering
Aeronautical Engineer (Mechanical) {AE (L)}Minimum 50% aggregate each in Physics & Mathematics in 10+2 (minimum of 4 years graduation/integrated post-graduation qualification in Engineering/ Technology from recognized University)

OR 

Minimum 60% aggregate in Section A & B examination of Aeronautical Society of India or Associate Membership of the Institution of Engineers (India) 

OR 

Graduate membership Examination of the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers by actual studies or equivalent in the electronics related disciplines such as:

  • (aaa) Communication Engineering
  • (aab) Computer Engineering/Technology
  • (aac) Computer Engineering & Application
  • (aad) Computer Science and Engineering/Technology
  • (aae) Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • (aaf) Electrical and Electronics Engineering
  • (aag) Electrical Engineering
  • (aah) Electronics Engineering/ Technology
  • (aaj) Electronics Science and Engineering
  • (aak) Electronics
  • (aal) Electronics and Communication Engineering
  • (aam) Electronics and Computer Science
  • (aan) Electronics and/or Telecommunication Engineering
  • (aao) Electronics and/or Telecommunication Engineering (Microwave)
  • (aap) Electronics and Computer Engineering
  • (aaq) Electronics Communication and Instrumentation Engineering
  • (aar) Electronics Instrument & Control
  • (aas) Electronics Instrument & Control Engineering
  • (aat) Instrumentation & Control Engineering
  • (aau) Instrument & Control Engineering
  • (aav) Information Technology
  • (aaw) Spacecraft Technology
  • (aax) Engineering Physics
  • (aay) Electric Power and Machinery Engineering
  • (aaz) Infotech Engineering
  • (aba) Cyber Security
NCC Special Entry (Flying Branch)Minimum 60% aggregate each in Physics & Mathematics in 10+2 Minimum 

OR

60% aggregate in 3 years graduation degree in any equivalent NCC Air Wing Senior Division β€˜C’ certificate acquired on or after 1st January 2017 (mandatory)

OR

Minimum 60% aggregate in Section A & B examination of Aeronautical Society of India or Associate Membership of Institution of Engineers

OR

Minimum 60% aggregate in B.Tech/ B.E or any other equivalent OR Minimum 60% aggregate in Section A & B examination of Aeronautical Society of India

Ground Duty (Non-Technical) BranchesAccountsMinimum 60% aggregate in 3 years B.Com degree or equivalent
Administration and LogisticsMinimum 60% aggregate in Section A & B examination of Aeronautical Society of India

OR 

Minimum 60% aggregate in 3 years graduation degree in any equivalent

AFCAT Eligibility Criteria 2021 – Medical and Physical Standards

There are certain guidelines related to the physical and medical standards that aspiring candidates must qualify to get shortlisted to sit for the exam. 

Physical Standards

  1. All applicants must be mentally and physically fit.
  2. An exam will be conducted to examine the mental and physical health of the aspiring candidates.  

AFCAT Eligibility Criteria – Height and Weight Standards

Candidates need to check the weight and height standards set by the Indian Air Force.

Female 

Height (cm)Weight as per Age Range in Years
20 to 2526 to 30
1484346
1494447
1504548
1514548
1524649
1534750
1544750
1554851
1564952
1574953
1585053
1595154
1605155
1615255
1625256
1635357
1645457
1655458
1665559
1675660
1685660
1695761
1705862
1715862
1725963
1735964
1746064
1756165
1766166
1776267
1786367
SD55

Male

Height (cm)Weight as per Age Range in Years
15 to 1718 to 2223 to 2728 to 3233 to 37
1524647505454
1534747515555
1544748515656
1554849525656
1564849535757
1574950545858
1584950545858
1595051555959
1605152565960
1615152566060
1625253576161
1635254586162
1645354596263
1655355596363
1665456606364
1675456616465
1685557616565
1695557626566
1705658636667
1715659646668
1725759646768
1735860656869
1745861666870
1755961666971
1765962677071
1776062687072
1786063697173
1796164697273
1806164707274
1816265717375
1826266727476
1836366727476
1846467737577
1856468747578
1866568747678
1876569757779
1886669767780
1896670777881
1906771777981
1916771787982
1926872798082
1936873798183
SD6.06.37.16.66.9

AFCAT Eligibility Criteria – Height and Weight Parameters

The candidates have to carefully check the minimum and maximum height (acceptable) from the table below.

AFCAT Physical Requirement for Technical and Ground Duty Branch

PostMinimum Height
Ground Duty (Technical/ Non-technical) BranchWomenMen
157.5 cms.152 cms.

Note – Men and women from Lakshadweep will get a concession of 2 cms. in the minimum acceptable height. Gorkhas belonging to hills of North-Eastern region of India, Kumaon and Garhwal will get a concession of 5 cms.

AFCAT Physical Requirement for Flying Branch

PostLeg LengthMinimum HeightSitting HeightThigh Length
Flying BranchMaximum – 120 cms.162.5 cms.Maximum – 96 cms.Maximum – 64 cms.
Minimum – 99 cms.Minimum – 81.6 cms.

Note – No concession is provided for age and region.

AFCAT Eligibility Criteria – Visual Standards

AFCAT Eligibility Criteria – Visual Standards For Ground Duty (Non-Technical) Branch

Sub BranchMaximum Limits of Refractive ErrorColour VisionVisual Acuity Errors
LogisticsHypermetropia: +3.5 D SphericalCP-IIICorrected visual acuity should be 6/6 in the better eye and 6/18 in the worse eye.

Wearing of Glasses will be compulsory.

Myopia: -3.50 D Spherical
Astigmatism: Β± 2.50 D Cylindrical
AdministrationHypermetropia: +3.5 D SphericalCP-IICorrected visual acuity should be 6/6 in each eye
Myopia: -3.5 Spherical
Astigmatism: Β± 2.50 D Cylindrical in any meridian
MeteorologyAstigmatism: Β± 2.50 D Cylindrical in any meridianCP-IICorrected visual acuity should be 6/6 in the better eye and 6/18 in the worse eye.

Wearing of Glasses will be compulsory.

Myopia: -3.5 D Spherical
Hypermetropia: +3.5 D Spherical
Accounts and EducationHypermetropia: +3.5 D SphericalCP-IIICorrected visual acuity should be 6/6 in the better eye and 6/18 in the worse eye.

Wearing of Glasses will be compulsory.

Myopia: -3.50 D Spherical
Astigmatism: Β± 2.50 D Cylindrical

AFCAT Eligibility Criteria – Visual Standards For Ground Duty (Technical) Branch

Maximum Limits of Refractive ErrorColour VisionVisual Acuity Errors
Hypermetropia: +3.5 D SphericalCP-IICorrected visual acuity should be 6/9 in each eye. 

Candidates will have to wear glasses when advised.

Myopia: -3.50 D Spherical
Astigmatism: Β± 2.50 D Cylindrical

AFCAT Eligibility Criteria – Visual Standards For Flying Branch

Minimum distant vision 6/6 in one eye and 6/9 in other correctable to 6/6 only for HypermetropiaColour vision CP-1
Hypermetropia : +2.0 D Spherical
Manifest Myopia: Nil
Retinoscopic Myopia: – 0.5 in any meridian permitted
Astigmatism : +0.75 D Cylindrical (with + 2.0 D Maximum)
Handheld StereoscopeAll of BSV Grades
Cover test for distant and nearLatent divergence/convergence recovery – rapid and complete.
Maddox Rod TestAt 33 cmsEso – 6 prism D
Hyper -1 prism D
1 Hypo -1 prism D
Exo -16 prism D
At 6 metersExo -6 prism D
Eso- 6 prism D
Hyper -1 prism D
Hypo -1 prism D
Convergenceup to 10 cm
Binocular VisionApplicants must have a good binocular vision (fusion and stereopsis with good amplitude and depth).

Note – Candidates wearing spectacles regularly are not eligible for flying branch.

AFCAT Eligibility Criteria – Medical Standards for the Flying Branch

Aspiring candidates should not have gone through any operation or injury in the past few years and he/she must not have any disease. The medical scenarios that can lead to rejection are:

  1. Non-articular rheum Unilateral /bilateralism ( e.g., lesions of the rotator cuff, tennis elbow, recurrent lumbago etc).
  2. Loss of cervical lordosis when associated with clinically restricted movements of the cervical spine.
  3. Rheumatoid arthritis and allied disorders
  4. Osteoarthrosis, Spondylosis and Degenerative joint disease
  5. Granulomatous Disease of the spine
  6. Compression fracture of vertebra
  7. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) disorders including SLE, Polymyositis and Vasculitis.
  8. Arthritis / Spondylosis
  9. Ankylosing Spondylitis
  10. Scheuermann’s Disease (Adolescent Kyphosis)
  11. Unilateral/bilateral cervical ribs with demonstrable neurological or circulatory deficit.
  12. Spondylolisthesis / Spondylolysis
  13. Any other abnormality as so considered by the specialist

Inguinal Hernia

Candidates who have gone through the Hernia operation will be considered eligible for the exam if they satisfy the below conditions:

  1. If there is a gap of 12 months after the operation and application submission
  2. If the scars have healed well

AFCAT Eligibility Criteria – LASIK Surgery for all Branches

Candidates who go through the PRK (Photo Refractive Keratotomy) or LASIK (Laser in Situ Keratomileusis) are considered eligible for all the branches in the Air Force. However, they have to meet the below-mentioned criteria:

  1. The post LASIK corneal thickness as measured by a corneal pachymeter should be at least 450 microns
  2. At least 12 months should have lapsed post uncomplicate stable LASIK. No history or evidence of any complication should continue till the present

To know the other Physical criteria, read the AFCAT Notification (Page 22)


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AFCAT Eligibility Criteria – FAQs

Who sets the AFCAT eligibility criteria?

The Indian Air Force (IAF) being the exam conducting body determines the eligibility conditions for AFCAT examination.

What is the age limit for the AFCAT exam?

The minimum and maximum age limit for the flying branch is 20 and 24 years, whereas the candidates applying for Ground Duty (Technical & Non-Technical) Branch must be between 20 and 26 years of age.

What is the minimum qualifying marks to apply for the AFCAT exam?

As per the AFCAT eligibility criteria, candidates should obtain a minimum of 60% in Graduation. However, for the Ground Duty (Technical) branch, the minimum qualifying marks is 50%. 

What is the AFCAT application fee?

The AFCAT application fee is Rs 250 across all categories.

How many phases are there in AFCAT 2021?

There are 2 phases of AFCAT 2021 exam -

  1. Online written exam
  2. Interview Round

Are women candidates eligible to apply for the AFCAT examination?

Yes. Both female and male candidates are eligible to apply for AFCAT.

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