Combined Defence Services Exam
Defence Services (CSD) Examination is usually conducted twice in a year
by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in the months of May and
October. The examination is conducted to select direct entry candidates
as officers to the following four training academies.
(i) Indian Military Academy (IMA) Dehradun for permanent Commission in the Indian Army.
(ii) Officers Training Academy (OTA) Madras for Short-Service Commission in the Indian Army.
(iii) Naval Academy Goa, for Commission in the General Services in the Indian Navy.
(iv) Airforce Academy, Begumpet, Hyderabad for Commission in the Indian Airforce.
selection process in which over 500 candidates are usually selected
every time for all four academies, has the following three stages:
(a) Written Examination by the UPSC.
(b) Intelligence and personality test by the Service Selection Board (SSB).
(c) Medical Examination.
such candidates as qualify all above tests may hope to get a call for
pre-Commission training on the basis of their final rank and choice.
Written Examination: All unmarried male graduates are eligible to
appear for IMA and OTA, whereas the qualification required for Naval
Academy is B.Sc. with Physics and Mathematics or Bachelor of
Engineering. For Air Force Academy a degree with Mathematics and
Physics or equivalent is required. The minimum age is 18 years at the
time of taking the examination. The upper age limit, however, varies.
It is 24 years for OTA, 23 years for IMA, 21 years for Naval Academy
and 22 years for the Airforce Academy. Since the selection process
takes almost one year (from the time of filling up the form), the
actual lower and upper age-limits are enhanced by one year in all above
Subjects of Nepal, Bhutan or Tibetan refugees who
immigrated before January 1, 1962, are also eligible subject to a
certificate of eligibility from the Government of India. It is also
pertinent to add that no reservations on the basis of caste and tribe
are there there in Defence Services. However, there are certain seats
reserved for the holders of "C-Certificate" of the National Cadet Corps
(NCC) who are exempted from passing the written examination. Married
candidates, if otherwise eligible, are allowed to take the examination
only for OTA Madras.
The written examination is objective type
in nature. The candidates are tested in the following three subjects
for IMA, Naval Academy and Airforce Academy.
1. English 100 marks (2 hours)
2. General Knowledge 100 marks (2 hours)
3. Elementary Mathematics 100 marks (2 hours)
OTA Madras, only first two papers are required to be qualified.
Question papers are set only in English. The English paper is designed
to test the understanding of English language and the use of
workman-like words. The syllabus is equivalent to the graduate level
examination. The General Knowledge paper includes questions on History
of India, Geography, current affairs and the matters of day-to-day
observation and the experience in their scientific aspects as may be
expected of an educated person without specific study of any subject.
The paper in Elementary Mathematics is of matriculation standard and
includes questions on Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry,
Mensuration and Basic statistics.
There are 30 centres of
examination all over the country. The names of these centres are:
Agartala, Ahmedabad, Aizawl, Allahabad, Bangalore, Bareilly, Bhopal,
Bombay, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Cochin, Cuttack, Delhi, Dharwar, Dispur,
Gangtok, Hyderabad, Imphal, Itanagar, Jaipur, Jammu, Jorhat, Kohima,
Lucknow, Madras, Madurai, Nagpur, Panaji, Patna, Port Blair, Raipur,
Sambalpur, Shillong, Shimla, Srinagar, Tirupati, Trivandrum, Udaipur
(b) Intelligence and Personality Test: All
the candidates declared successful by the UPSC in the written
examination are then put to intelligence and personality test by the
SSB, popularly known as the SSB interview. This interview is a
comprehensive test of one's personality, intelligence and suitability
to be chosen as an officer in the Defence Services. SSB interview lasts
for 3 to 4 days and has several components like intelligence tests,
group discussion, small lectures on general issues, group planning,
outdoor group tasks, physical fitness tests, an interview and several
psychological tests like situation reaction test, picturestory writing
test (TAT), etc. All these tests are intended to judge the physical and
mental faculties of a candidate. In broad terms, S.S.B. interview is in
fact an assessment of not only intellectual qualities of a candidate
but is also an appraisal of his social traits and general interests
which help in assessing his suitability for the service.
Medical Examination: The candidates declared successful after SSB
interviews are then required to undergo a detailed examination by a
medical board in the nearest Military Hospital. This test again lasts
for 3 to 4 days. The minimum required standards of medical fitness are
quite stringent which are different for all three wings of services. To
avoid last minute disappointment the candidates are advised to get
themselves medically examined on their own before they apply for the
merit list is finally prepared, consisting of candidates who qualify
all the three tests listed above. On the basis of their ranking in the
final merit list and choice of service, the candidates are selected for
pre-Commission training in the concerned Academy and are called upon to
join the Academy as a "Gentleman Cadet".
The training is quite
rigorous in nature and lays emphasis on physical fitness, drill,
academics, weapon training, tactics and professional competence at
junior leadership level. After a given duration of training (which
varies from Academy to Academy) the successful candidates are
Commissioned in the concerned Defence Service i.e. Indian Army, Indian
Navy or Indian Airforce. It is also pertinent to add that all the
cadets Commissioned through OTA Madras as short-service Commissioned
Officers are initially Commissioned for a period of five years, after
which they have an option to either continue or leave the service. All
the non-optees are then released from service who are eligible to get
all the benefits, except pension, that are available to ex-servicemen.
Service record of those who opt to continue is scrutinised and all
those found suitable are then granted permanent Commission. All those
who are not found fit for permanent Commission are given an extension
of service for a period of five years during which period they are
allowed to apply for alternate employment and as soon as they get a
job, they are released from service.
Coaching and Preparation
are advised to carry out a planned preparation for the written
examination. A review of previous question papers is particularly
beneficial. Regular reference to a good competition magazine like "The
Competition Master" may be of immense use as it would assist the
candidates in preparing English and General Knowledge papers. Features
on Personality Development and General Intelligence are quite useful
during the SSB interview.
The interview needs special
preparations. As different from usual interviews, it is a comprehensive
personality test to which most fresh candidates have no previous
exposure. It is suggested that the candidates should go through some
standard book on SSB interviews. It is also recommended that fresh
candidates should join some coaching academy providing fruitful
coaching for SSB interviews. Such academies/institutions are being run
by retired service officers in several cities and towns.
advertisement is published about six months before the date of
examination in all leading newspapers which gives details of the
examination. Complete details like rules, syllabus, medical standards,
number of vacancies, etc are given in the corresponding issue of
"Employment News". In addition, candidates Information Manuals
containing details of objective-type-tests including sample questions,
are supplied to all candidates alongwith the admission certificate, by
the UPSC.Visit www.upsc.gov.in to read the complete notification of the exam.