Entrance Exams

UPSC NDA 2024 Eligibility Criteria, Check Age Limit & Physical Criteria for selection

Candidates preparing for the UPSC NDA & NA 2024 exam should carefully check the detailed eligibility criteria provided below.

UPSC NDA 2024 Eligibility Criteria: Every year, thousands of young aspirants dream of joining India’s defence forces through the Union Public Service Commission’s National Defence Academy (NDA) examination. NDA is conducted by UPSC twice a year in the month of April and in September.

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The application process for UPSC NDA I 2024 has started on 20 December 2023. Candidates can fill out the application form till 9 January 2024. The exam for NDA I 2024 is scheduled to be conducted on 21 April 2024.

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Every year more than 2 lakh candidates appear for the UPSC NDA exams, out of which many aspirants are not familiar with the NDA 2024 eligibility criteria.

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The detailed UPSC NDA notification mentioning the eligibility criteria and other important information will be released in December 2023, but there are questions buzzing around: What are the requirements? Has anything changed? What is the NDA age limit? This article simplifies the UPSC NDA 2024 eligibility criteria.

Firstly, for those unfamiliar with NDA, it’s the joint services academy of the Indian Armed Forces, where cadets from the three services—Army, Navy, and Air Force are trained together. Qualifying for the NDA examination can secure you a spot at this prestigious academy.

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NDA 2024 Age Limit

One of the common questions asked by the students is Are Girls eligible for NDA? What is the age limit for the NDA exam?

Traditionally, the age bracket for NDA aspirants has been between 16.5 to 19.5 years. This hasn’t changed for 2024.  To simplify it further we have mentioned the age limit for candidates appearing for the NDA exam.

Age Limit for NDA & NA Exam I

For the NDA 1 2024 exam, only unmarried boys and girls born between July 2, 2005, and July 1, 2008, can apply.

Age Limit for NDA & NA Exam II

For the NDA II 2024 exam, only unmarried boys and girls born between January 2, 2006, and January 1, 2009, can apply.

NDA Educational Qualification

For the Army Wing of NDA: You should have passed the 10+2 pattern of school education or its equivalent. 

For Air Force, Navy, and Naval Academy: Passing 10+2 in Physics and Mathematics is necessary. Candidates with humanities streams in 10+2 are not eligible for the Air Force or Navy.

Gender and Marital Status

Gender: Both male and female candidates can apply for UPSC NDA & NA exam 2024.

Marital Status: Candidates must be unmarried. Moreover, candidates are required to remain unmarried until their training is complete.

Physical Criteria for NDA

Joining the defence forces isn’t just about mental acumen; it’s about physical fitness too. There’s a detailed physical standard criterion, which includes height, weight, eye vision, and more. 

The National Defence Academy (NDA) sets strict physical standards for candidates to ensure they are fit for military training and services. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the NDA’s physical criteria:

Height and Weight:

  • The height and weight standards vary based on the age and gender of the candidates.
  •  For Army and Navy the minimum height requirement is 157 cm and for Air Force the minimum height should be 162.5 cm.
  • Weight: Corresponding to the candidate’s age and height (a chart is usually provided in the official guidelines).
  • For Gorkhas and candidates belonging to hills of North Eastern regions: The minimum height is relaxed by 5 cm. For candidates of Lakshadweep: The minimum height may be reduced by 2 cm.


The minimum range of expansion should be 5 cm.


For Army:

  • Distant Vision: 6/6 in one eye and 6/9 in the other eye.
  • Myopia should not be more than 2.5D, including astigmatism.

For Air Force:

  • Distant Vision: 6/6 in one eye and 6/9 in the other eye, correctable to 6/6 only for hypermetropia.
  • Color vision CPI, Hypermetropia not to exceed +2.0D spherical, no Myopia, and no Astigmatism.

For Navy:

  • Distant Vision: 6/6, 6/9 correctable to 6/6, 6/6.
  • Myopia should not be more than 1.5D and hypermetropia not more than +1.5D including astigmatism.


The candidate should have no past history of mental breakdown or fits. The hearing standard should be normal without any evidence of present or past disease of the ear, nose, and throat.

Body Tattoos:

Only small tattoos that are not offensive are allowed on the inner face of the forearm (from inside of the elbow to the wrist) and on the reverse side of the palm or back side of the hand. Permanent body tattoos on any other part of the body aren’t acceptable.


  • The candidate must be a citizen of India.
  • Subjects of Nepal, Bhutan, or Tibetan refugees who came to India before January 1, 1962, with the intention of permanently settling are also eligible. However, they should produce a certificate of eligibility issued by the Government of India.

Number of Attempts

There’s no fixed number of attempts for the NDA exam. As long as you meet the age and other eligibility criteria, you can appear for the examination.

What’s New in NDA 2024?

From the information available, the eligibility criteria for NDA 2024 largely remain the same as previous years. However, as soon as the official notification is released we will update if there will be any new changes in the exam criteria. 

Preparing for UPSC NDA 2024

With the eligibility criteria in mind, aspirants should focus on the syllabus and exam pattern. It’s a two tier selection process: a written examination followed by a Services Selection Board (SSB) interview. Preparing thoroughly and understanding the requirements of the exam can be a big step towards achieving your dream.

NDA 2024 Eligibility Criteria FAQ’s

Q: What is the age limit for NDA 1 and NDA 2 2024 exams?

A: For NDA 1 2024, candidates should be born between July 2, 2005, and July 1, 2008. For NDA 2 2024, the birth date should fall between January 2, 2006, and January 1, 2009.

Q: Can female candidates apply for NDA 2024?

A: Yes, both male and female candidates, who are unmarried, can apply for NDA 2024, provided they meet other eligibility criteria.

Q: I’ve just completed my 10th standard. Am I eligible for NDA 2024?

A: No. To be eligible for the Army Wing, you should have passed 10+2 or its equivalent. For the Navy and Air Force, 10+2 with Physics and Mathematics is mandatory.

Q: Are there specific physical standards I should be aware of for NDA 2024?

A: Yes, NDA sets detailed physical criteria, including height, weight, vision, and chest expansion standards. You should also be free from certain medical conditions to be considered fit for defence services.

Q: How many times can I attempt the NDA exam?

A: There’s no fixed limit on the number of attempts for the NDA exam, as long as you meet the age and other eligibility criteria.

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