NDA 2023 – Supreme Court Declines SC/ST/OBC Reservation Plea

New Delhi, 10 March 2022: The Supreme Court of India has declined the plea regarding the reservation issue for Scheduled Class (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), and Other Backward Class (OBC) in the National Defence Academy (NDA) on 8 March 2022. The top court has stated that any kind of social revolution does not happen overnight and that it wants to only focus on the issue of admissions of women in the NDA for now.

The court has listed the matter for further hearing on 19 July 2022 and sought details for the study to be conducted.


  • The Supreme Court gave the center time till July 2022 to study the impact of induction and deployment of ex-National Defence Academy (NDA) women cadets in the armed forces.
  • This decision was made when a bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh were dealing with the issue of women induction in NDA.Β 

NDA – Induction Of Women Cadets

  • Regarding the induction of women cadets, the center has sought more time for its implementation.Β 
  • For the center, the induction of women cadets in the NDA is a major policy decision and the respondents need sufficient time for deliberating long-term implications for the induction and deployment of ex-NDA women cadets in the Indian Armed Forces (IAF). Therefore, it has beenΒ  submitted that the respondents require at least three months additional time in this regard.
  • An affidavit was filed by advocate Kush Kalra on the number of women who appeared for the NDA 2021 examination and the number of women who got admitted.

Note: A total of 5,75,854 candidates applied for the exam and 3,57,197 candidates took the examination. A total of 8,009 candidates, including 1002 women candidates, passed the NDA written examination held in November 2021.

Affidavit Details

  • The Center stated that the average intake in the last four years of women officers in the armed services has been up to 15% of the total cadre strength.
  • With the present allotment of 10 women candidates per course in NDA – that is – 20 per year, the women cadre will witness a growth of 5% from the existing 15% to 20%.
  • It has emphasized that a considered decision has been made to allot 10 vacancies for women cadets in NDA.
  • This major policy decision needs an adaptation period to evaluate the effect.
  • A substantial amount of time is required to review, analyze, and assess the net impact of induction of women officers.

Induction of Women Cadets – Developments Till Date

  • On 18 January 2021, the top court had asked the center to explain why the intake of women candidates in the National Defence Academy (NDA) for the year 2022 has been restricted to 19, the same figure as last year.
  • SC had asked the Center to place the figures on record about the total number of candidates including women who have appeared in the NDA examination 2021, for entrance tests for the Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC) and the Rashtriya Military School (RMS).
  • On 22 September 2021, the SC had permitted women to appear for the NDA entrance exam.
  • The Center had submitted that a study group had been formed to facilitate the entry of women so that the necessary mechanism could be implemented by May 2022.
  • On 7 October 2021, the SC had permitted women to appear in the examination for the Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC) in Dehradun, scheduled to be held on 18 December 2022.

About NDA Exam

  • NDA is a national-level defence entrance exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) twice a year.Β 
  • The exam is conducted to recruit candidates for the Army, Navy, and Air Force wings of the Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC) and the National Defence Academy (NDA).

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