Combined Defence Services (CDS)

The Combined Defense Services (CDS) provides excellent career opportunities for young and courageous individuals who nurture a strong feeling of patriotism. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts CDS examination, twice every year for the selection in Indian Armed Forces, Army, Navy and Air Force.
The selection process consists of a written examination and personality test by the Service Selection Board. After the final selection, the candidates are sent to, depending upon their choice indicated in the application forms and merit list ranking, one of the following institutes for orientation training:

Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun

Naval Academy, Goa

Air Force Academy, Begumpet, Hyderabad

Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai

Those joining the first three institutes get permanent commission, however cadets passing out of OTA get short service commission.

Only unmarried men and women can apply for the combined defense services.

For more details about the terms and conditions of the Combined Defense Services Terms, check the information under each training academies as given below;

Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun

Before joining the Academy, a candidate has to agree in writing that:

The candidate is not entitled to any compensation for injuries suffered in the training process or for any complications (such as deformity) or even death caused during the treatment for any injuries.

If the candidate is dismissed, discharged or withdrawn from the commission because of his actions he will be liable to refund the whole or such portion of the cost of tuition, food, clothing and pay & allowances, received.

Cost of Training

The Government pays for the cost of training including accommodations, books, uniforms, boarding and medical treatment.

Candidates are expected to meet their pocket expenses themselves.

Financial assistance may be granted by the Government for students from lower income families.

To receive the financial assistance, income of candidate’s parent/guardian should not exceed Rs. 1500/- per month (Rs. 2000/- per month if more than one son/ward simultaneously undergoing training at NDA, IMA, OTA and corresponding training establishment in the Navy and Air Force)

Application for financial assistance should be submitted (after the final selection) through the District Magistrate of his District who will forward the Application with his recommendation to the Commandant, Officer’s Training Academy, Chennai.

Monetary Deposit: Candidates finally selected for training at the Academy will be required to deposit the following amount on arrival:

Pocket allowance for five months at Rs. 200.00 p.m Rs. 1000.00
For items of clothing and equipment Rs. 2750.00
Total Rs. 3750.00

Refundable Amount:

For candidates receiving financial aid, the deposit for pocket allowance is refunded.

The unexpended portion of the outfit allowance will be handed over to the cadet on his being granted a commission or refunded to the State, if he is not granted a commission.

Once a commission is granted, articles of clothing and necessaries purchased from this allowance become the personal property of the cadet. Cadets who resign while under training or who are removed or withdrawn prior to commissioning will have to return the items.


Parshuram Bhau Patwardan Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to cadets from Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Value of scholarship: Rs: 500.00 per annum.

Duration of scholarship: Cadet’s entire stay at the Indian Military Academy.

It is subject to the cadet’s making satisfactory progress.

The cadets who are granted this scholarship will not be entitled to any other financial assistance from the Government.

Colonel Kendal Frank Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to Maratha cadets who should be the son of an ex-servicemen.

Value of scholarship: Rs: 360.00 per annum.

The Scholarship is in addition to any financial assistance from the Government.


Candidates finally selected undergo a course of training for about 18 months.

Gentlemen cadets are dealt with the ordinary disciplinary purposes under the rules and regulations of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.

No candidate are normally permitted to resign while they are under training. However, Gentlemen Cadet resigning after the commencement of training may be allowed to proceed home if their resignation is accepted by Army HQ.

A Gentlemen/lady Cadet who is not considered suitable to complete the full course of training may be discharged with permission of the Government.

Commission will be granted only on successful completion of training. The date of commission will be that following the date of successful completion of training. Commission will be permanent.

On successful completion of training Gentlemen Cadets are granted Permanent Commission in the rank of Lt. subject to being medically fit, in shape.

Posting and Promotion

Posting: Army officers are liable to serve anywhere in India and abroad.

Monetary Deposit: Candidates finally selected for training at the Academy will be required to deposit the following amount on arrival:

Pocket allowance for six months at Rs. 140.00 p.m Rs. 840.00
For items of clothing and equipment Rs. 1500.00
Total Rs. 2340.00

Refundable Amount:
Out of the amount mentioned above, Pocket Allowances is refundable to the candidate if financial aid is being sanctioned.


Air Force Group Insurance Society pays Rs. 1,00,000/- for a monthly contribution of Rs. 800/- pm. as ex-gratia award to the next-of-kin of a flight cadet drawn from Civil life and undergoing flying training in an unfortunate eventuality.

In case, flight cadet undergoing flying training is medically invalidated and boarded out, he is paid Rs. 20,000/- as ex gratia award for 100% disability and this reduces proportionately upto 20%.

Once flight cadets are granted pay and allowances by government, the death cover is Rs. 50,000/- and the disability cover is Rs. 25,000/- for 100% disability.

This cover is provided by AFGIS on payment of monthly non-refundable contribution of Rs. 76/- by each flight cadet undergoing flying training for which membership is compulsory.

Career Prospects

After successful completion of training, the candidates pass out in the rank of Flying Officer and become entitled to the pay and allowance of the rank.

There are two types of promotions in the IAF: Grant of higher Acting rank and Substantive rank. Each high rank carries with it extra emolument.

Time scale promotion to the rank of Squadron Leader and Wing Commander is granted after successful completion of ten years of Flying (Pilot) branch and 20 years service respectively.

Grant of higher rank from Wing Commander and above is by selection, carried out by duly constituted promotion boards.

Leave and Leave Travel Concession

Annual Leave: 60 days a year

Casual Leave: 20 days a year not more than 10 days at a time.

Officers are authorised encashment of Annual Leave upto 10 days alongwith LTC to the extent of a total 60 days in a career span to cover incidental expenses on travel.

Other Privileges
The officers and their families are entitled to free medical aid, accommodation on concessional rent, group insurance scheme, group housing scheme, family assistance scheme, canteen facilities etc.

Go to: Career Eligibility/Exam Pattern Notification Previous Year Papers Practice Tests Study Material Courses/Offers