Who can apply for NDA? Can a student without Maths apply for NDA?

UPSC NDA-II Exam 2021: Notification out, registration begins. How to apply

Candidates aspiring for NDA must fulfil the prescribed eligibility criteria before they apply for the exam. Candidates who fail to fulfil the said criteria cannot participate in the NDA recruitment process NDA. The NDA eligibility criteria are decided by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC).

The eligibility criteria for the NDA examination comprises four main parameters that are to be fulfilled mandatorily by the aspirants of the Indian defence services. The four main aspects are listed below.

  • NDA Nationality
  • NDA education qualification
  • NDA age limit, gender, and marital status
  • NDA Physical qualification

BYJU’S Exam Prep is one good source that will help you in preparing for the NDA exam. We shall now discuss each of the eligibility criteria in detail.

NDA Nationality Criteria 

The applicant must be:

  1. A citizen of India
  2. A subject of Nepal, or
  3. A subject of Bhutan, or
  4. A Tibetan refugee who permanently settled in India before January 1, 1962.
  5. A person of Indian origin migrated from Burma, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, east African countries of Uganda, Kenya, the united republic of Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Vietnam, intending to settle permanently in India.

However, a candidate belonging to categories 2, 3, and 4 needs to present a certificate of eligibility issued by the Government of India. This condition, however, does not apply to the Gorkha applicants who are subjects of Nepal.

NDA Education Qualification Criteria 

The UPSC has set a minimum level of educational qualification for NDA. For a clearer reference, look at the table below.

Wing  Eligibility 
The Army Wing of the NDA Candidates must be appearing/passed the 12th class or equivalent examination from any state education board. 
The Air Force and Naval Wings of NDA & 10+2 cadet entry scheme at Indian Naval Academy Candidate must be appearing/passed his class 12 or equivalent examination with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics by any State Education Board.


  • Those aspirants who are appearing in class 11 are not eligible for NDA exams.
  • A student without maths cannot apply for the Air Force and Naval Wings of NDA and the 10+2 cadet entry scheme at INA as mentioned above. But, such students can apply for the Army Wing of NDA.
  • Candidates appearing in class 12 or equivalent examinations can apply for the NDA examination.

NDA Age Limit, Gender, and Marital Status Criteria

Gender Criteria: According to the eligibility criteria, only unmarried male and female candidates can apply for the NDA examination. The application process for females has started from the NDA 2021 exam.

Age Limit: Candidates willing to apply for the NDA exam must fulfil the range mentioned below. Those who exceed the limit cannot appear for the NDA examinations.

  • The age of the candidate must fall between 16.5 to 19.5 years.
  • He must have been born not earlier than January 2, 2003, and not later than January 1, 2006.

NDA Physical / Medical Qualification Criteria

To fulfil the eligibility criteria for NDA, candidates must go for a medical examination for admission to the National Defence Academy as per the guidelines.

  • The candidate must possess good physical and mental health and should be free from all disabilities. They must rectify the minor ailments.
  • Bones or joints must not be impaired from any function and should be developed properly.
  • The chest should not be less than 81 cm after full expansion. X-ray of the chest will be done to examine any kind of disease.

NDA Height and Weight Standards for Army and Air Force, as follows:

Height (in cms) Weight (in kgs) 
16-17 years 17-18 years 18-19 years
152 42.5 44 45
155 43.5 45.3 47
157 45 47 48
160 46 48 49
162 48 50 51
165 50 52 53
167 51 53 54
170 52.5 55 56
173 54.5 57 58
175 56 59 60
178 58 61 62
180 60 63 64.5
183 62.5 65 66.5

The minimum height requirement for Gorkhas and candidates belonging to the northeastern part of India, Garhwal and Kumaon, the minimum height acceptable is 5 cm less than the figure mentioned above.

Vision Standards for NDA Exam 

  • Myopia exceeding 2.5 D is not allowed.
  • Hypermetropia exceeding 3.5 D is also not allowed.
  • Aspirants must not wear spectacles.
Specification  Navy  Air Force 
Corrected With Glass 6/6 6/6(only for hypermetropia)
Uncorrected Without Glass 6/6 6/6, 6/9
Limits of Myopia -0.75 Nil
Limits of Hypermetropia +1.5 +2 D sph
Binocular Vision III Nil

Visit BYJU’S Exam Prep for comprehensive learning to crack the NDA exam.

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