NDA Eligibility 2023 – Age, Physical & Medical Standards, Qualification

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the NDA exam to recruit young candidates into the Indian Army, Navy and Airforce. UPSC prescribes the NDA eligibility criteria for the candidates to get selected for the desired post(s). Unmarried male candidates who have qualified for the 10+2 level exam (or an equivalent exam) meet the basic qualification criteria for the NDA exam. However, the overall NDA eligibility criteria include age, nationality, and physical standards, apart from marital status, gender or educational qualification. 

Candidates, who fill out the NDA application form without satisfying the NDA eligibility criteria 2022, will face a rejection of their candidature in further stages of the recruitment process. Thus, knowing the complete details of NDA eligibility criteria is essential. 

Key Variables of NDA Eligibility Criteria 2022

As already discussed, the NDA eligibility criteria consist of multiple variables to be fulfilled by the aspirants. The key variables of NDA eligibility 2022 are:

1. Nationality

2. Age Limit

3. Sex

4. Marital Status

5. Educational Qualification

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6. Physical Standards

  • Height/ Weight standards
  • Vision standards

7. Medical Fitness

Candidates can know the criteria for all the variables covered under the NDA eligibility 2022 here. 

NDA Eligibility Criteria – Nationality 

The nationality criteria for the NDA examination are mentioned below. An aspirant applying for NDA must be:  

  • An Indian citizen OR
  • A subject of Nepal holding an eligibility certificate issued by the Government of India OR 
  • A subject of Bhutan holding an eligibility certificate issued by the Government of India OR
  • A person of Indian origin who has migrated from any of the following nations with an aim of permanent settlement in India are eligible: 
    • Pakistan
    • Burma
    • Sri Lanka
    • East African Countries of Kenya
    • Uganda
    • The United Republic of Tanzania
    • Zambia
    • Malawi
    • Zaire
    • Ethiopia
    • Vietnam

Candidates who are foreign nationals have to produce a certificate issued by the Government of India stating their eligibility for participation in the NDA exam 2022

Note – Nepali candidates who belong to the Gorkha community do not need to present the certificate of eligibility issued by the Government of India.

NDA Eligibility Criteria – Age Limit

UPSC has defined the upper age and lower age limit for NDA recruitment. The table below describes the date of birth (DOB) based explanation of the age restrictions in NDA I and NDA II

Prescribed Age Limit for NDA 2022

Session Date of birth not earlier than Date of birth not later than
NDA I July 2, 2004 July 1, 2007
NDA II January 2, 2004 January 1, 2007

Points to note – 

  • The matriculation certificate will act as the DOB certificate for candidates applying for NDA exam 2022
  • After analysing the maximum and minimum date of birth, one gets to know that the candidates who are between the age of 16.5 years and 19.5 years are eligible to apply for NDA 2020 examination

NDA Eligibility Criteria – Gender & Marital Status 

Candidates can check their marital status and gender eligibility for taking the UPSC NDA here.

  • Marital Status – Unmarried

All the candidates selected through the NDA exam will not be allowed to get married during the training period. However, marriage after the training period will be permissible. A candidate who marries during training shall be discharged and will be liable to refund all expenditures incurred on him by the Government.

NDA Eligibility Criteria – Educational Qualification

The educational qualifications have been specified for different posts by the UPSC. Candidates can check out the educational qualification as per the NDA eligibility 2022 below:

  • Army Wing of National Defence Academy – 

Candidates who have passed the 10+2 level exam (or an equivalent exam) from a recognised institution in any stream are eligible to apply for NDA to get recruitment in the Army wing of NDA

  • Air Force and Naval Wings of NDA and INA – 
    • Candidates who have passed the 10+2 level examination from a recognised university/institute with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as core subjects are eligible to apply
    • Candidates who are appearing in the 12th Class under the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination can also apply for this examination. 

Candidates who are not Educationally Fit to Apply for NDA

  • Candidates who are currently studying in class 11th are not eligible to appear for NDA examination.
  • In case a candidate has failed the Pilot Aptitude Battery Test (PABT) or Instrument Battery Test (INSB) earlier, he will be marked ineligible for recruitment in the Air Force through NDA exam.
  • Candidates who in any case had been debarred by the Ministry of Defence from admission into any type of Commission in the Defence Services will be marked ineligible for taking the NDA examination 

Read the official note mentioned below regarding the candidates appearing in the 12th class or waiting for their results:

NDA Eligibility Criteria – Physical Standards

NDA candidates are required to fulfil the physical standards mandatorily. UPSC has set certain strict weight/height and visual requirements. The physical standards may differ from post to post. The required physical criteria to apply for the NDA exam are listed below.

Height and Weight Requirements

The height and weight prescribed by the UPSC are common for recruitment in the Army and Air Force. However, the standards will slightly differ for recruitment into the Navy. 


Age 16-17 years 17-18 years 18-19 years
Height Weight (10% variation is acceptable)
152 cm 42.5 kgs 44 kgs 45 kgs
155 cm 43.5 kgs 45.3 kgs 47 kgs
157 cm 45 kgs 47 kgs 48 kgs
160 cm 46 kgs 48 kgs 49 kgs
162 cm 48 kgs 50 kgs 51 kgs
165 cm 50 kgs 52 kgs 53 kgs
167 cm 51 kgs 53 kgs 54 kgs
170 cm 52.5 kgs 55 kgs 56 kgs
173 cm 54.5 kgs 57 kgs 58 kgs
175 cm 56 kgs 59 kgs 60 kgs
178 cm 58 kgs 61 kgs 62 kgs
180 cm 60 kgs 63 kgs 64.5 kgs
183 cm 62.5 kgs 65 kgs 66 kgs
  • Minimum height requirements for candidates are as follows:
    • Army – 157 cms 
    • Air Force – 162.5 cms
  • Candidates belonging to the Gorkha community are given a relaxation of 5 cm in minimum height measurement, i.e. 152 cms will be considered as the minimum height for candidates hailing from Gorkha community
  • Also, candidates belonging to hilly areas of North-East India, i.e. Garhwal and Kumaon, are also eligible for a minimum height relaxation of 5 cms (152 cm for Army and 157.5 cm for Air Force)
  • A relaxation of 2 cm in minimum height measurement will be provided to the applicants who belong to Lakshadweep 
  • A relaxation of height up to 2.5 cm is allowed if the Medical Board certifies that a candidate is expected to grow and will be able to mark the required standard at the time of NDA training completion 

Additional Physical Standards for candidates who wish to become Pilots in the Air Force

  • Leg Length – between 99 cms to 120 cms
  • Thigh Length – up to 64 cms
  • Sitting Height – between 81.50 cms to 96 cms

The chest must be well developed. The expanded chest size should not be less than 81 cms. Any kind of maldevelopment or impairment of the function of the bones or joint can lead a candidate towards disqualification.


Age 16-17 years 17-18 years 18-19 years
Height Weight (10% variation is acceptable)
152 cm 44 kgs 45 kgs 46 kgs
155 cm 45 kgs 46 kgs 47 kgs
157 cm 46 kgs 47 kgs 49 kgs
160 cm 47 kgs 48 kgs 50 kgs
162 cm 48 kgs 50 kgs 52 kgs
165 cm 50 kgs 52 kgs 53 kgs
167 cm 52 kgs 53 kgs 55 kgs
170 cm 53 kgs 55 kgs 57 kgs
173 cm 55 kgs 57 kgs 59 kgs
175 cm 57 kgs 59 kgs 61 kgs
178 cm 59 kgs 61 kgs 62 kgs
180 cm 61 kgs 63 kgs 64 kgs
183 cm 63 kgs 65 kgs 67 kgs

Note: Relaxation to an extent may be provided to the candidates with heavy bones and broad built as per the discretion of physical examination team 

Visual Standards

  • Corrected distance vision must be 6/6 in the better eye and 6/9 in the worst eye
  • In the case of myopia and hypermetropia, the effect must not exceed: 
    • Myopia – (-) 2.5D including astigmatism and manifest
    • Hypermetropia – (+) 3.5D including astigmatism
  • All the candidates must have a good binocular vision 
  • Candidates must be able to recognize different colour signals including white, signal red and signal green at a distance of 1.5 metres
  • Candidates who have experienced a laser surgery for the correction of refractive error will be marked ineligible for the defence services
  • Candidature will be rejected in case a candidate has encountered Radial Keratotomy to improve his visual acuity 
  • The candidates who have undergone PRK/Lasik would be declared fit for all the branches of the Air Force.


Condition Naval Air Force
Uncorrected without glass 6/6, 6/9 6/6, 6/9
Corrected with glass 6/6, 6/6 6/6 (only for Hypermetropia)
Limits of Myopia – 0.75 Nil
Limits of Hypermetropia + 1.5 +2.00 D Sph
Binocular Vision III Nil
Limits of Colour Perception I Nil
Retinoscopic Myopia N.A. 0.5
Colour Vision N.A. CP-I 
Astigmatism N.A. +0.75 Cyl (within + 2.0 D.Max)


Distance Desirable Test Result
At 6 metres Exo – 6 prism D
Eso – 6 prism D
Hyper – 1 prism D
Hypro – 1 prism D
At 33 metres Exo – 16 prism D
Eso – 6 prism D
Hyper – 1 prism D
Hypro – 1 prism D

NDA Eligibility Criteria – Medical Fitness

  1. USG abdomen examination will be conducted on the candidates. In case there is any sign of congenital structural disease of the abdominal organs, the candidature will be rejected
  2. Candidates must have a sufficient number of natural and sound teeth
  3. If a candidate is suffering from any kind of skin disease, which can cause disability or disfigurement in future, his candidature will be rejected
  4. Any kind of abnormality during the urine examination may lead to a rejection of the candidature
  5. In case a candidate is having an unoperated hernia, he will be declared unfit (1 year must have passed after operating the same to be marked eligible)
  6. A candidate should be able to hear a forced whisper with both the ears at a minimum distance of 610 cms. in a quiet room
  7. Candidates having any past history of mental breakdown or fits will be declared fail by the medical team 

Spinal Conditions

In case the examining body detects any spinal conditions radiologically during the medical exam, the candidature may get rejected for the Indian Air Force service – 

  • Granulomatous disease
  • Arthritis/spondylosis
    • Rheumatoid arthritis and allied disorders
    • Ankylosing spondylitis
    • Osteoarthrosis, spondylosis and degenerative joint disease
    • Non-articular rheumatism
    • Miscellaneous disorders including SLE, polymyositis, vasculitis
  • Spondylolisthesis / spondylolysis
  • Compression fracture of vertebrae
  • Scheuerman’s disease
  • Loss of cervical lordosis when associated with clinically restricted movements of the cervical spine
  • Unilateral/Bilateral cervical ribs with a demonstrable, 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

X-Ray Examination

In case the examining body detects any of the following conditions during the X-ray examination, the candidature may get rejected for the Indian Armed Forces service – 

  • Granulomatous disease of the spine
  • Arthritis / spondylosis
  • More than mild Kyphosis/Lordosis
  • Spondylolisthesis/ Spondylosis/ Spondylolysis
  • Herniated nucleus pulposus
  • 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 atlantoaxial 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 specialist

Undesirable Health Issues

Candidates may have some fairly common health issues. But before the NDA medical examination, they should get rid of such ailments and restore good health. 

The officials do not prefer the candidates having the following minor conditions:

  • Ear Wax (Wax in ears is a huge reason for rejection of recruits. Therefore, ensure that your ears are clean)
  • Deviated Nasal Septum
  • Hydrocele/Phimosis 
  • Overweight/Underweight
  • Under Sized Chest
  • Piles
  • Gynaecomastia
  • Tonsillitis
  • Varicocele 

NDA Eligibility – Guidelines for Permanent Body Tattoos

  • As per the NDA eligibility criteria 2022, permanent tattoos will only be permitted in the inner face of the forearm (from inside of the elbow to the wrist and on the reverse side of the palm/back (dorsal) side of hand)
  • Permanent tattoo available on any part of the body other than the inner face of the forearm will mark the candidate ineligible.
  • A candidate, who belongs to a tribe where the tattoo marks on the face or body are practised customarily, will be accepted on the basis of the traditions involved.

NDA Eligibility – FAQs

✔️ What is the mandatory education qualification set by UPSC as the NDA eligibility?

Candidates must have passed the class 12th examination (or an equivalent exam) in any discipline from a recognized central/state board or university to apply for NDA 2022. Additionally, the candidates must have studied Physics and Mathematics as core subjects at 10+2 level for recruitment in Air Force and Naval wings.

✔️ I was barred in the defence services training session. Am I eligible for NDA exam 2022?

No. Candidates who have earlier been barred on disciplinary grounds from any of the defence service training sessions will be marked ineligible to take the NDA examination.

✔️ Is there any maximum number of attempts as per the NDA eligibility criteria?

No. You can give the NDA exam as many times as you want if you fulfill the NDA eligibility criteria of that respective year.

✔️ Is there any minimum score requirement in the qualifying education as per the NDA eligibility criteria?

No. There are no minimum marks required in the class 12th examination in order to take the NDA examination. However, passing the class 12th exam is mandatory for the selection.

✔️ Will marrying during the training period affect my final posting?

Yes. Only the unmarried male candidates are eligible for NDA. Defence trainees recruited through NDA need to maintain their marital status as unmarried even during the three years of the training period. If a candidate is found married, his candidature will be rejected with immediate effect.

✔️ I have undergone a hernia surgery recently. Do I fulfill the NDA eligibility criteria 2022?

A surgery to treat unoperated hernia makes a candidate unfit for the selection. Also, candidates who have gone through any kind of surgery in the past 12 months are also ineligible as per the medical standards set for NDA.

Stay tuned to Buddy4Study to get the latest news and updates on NDA Eligibility 2022

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