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UPSC CDS Eligibility 2021: Check age limit, educational qualifications and other details here

Safalta Expert Published by: Himani Mehra Updated Thu, 16 Sep 2021 07:56 PM IST


Check UPSC CDS Eligibility here at Safalta. Get to know age limit, educational qualifications, and number of attempts along with other details.
Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts Combined Defence Service Examination twice every year to recruit eligible and interested candidates to serve as officers in the Indian Defence Forces. Candidates aspiring to appear for UPSC CDS Exam should ensure that they know all the details about the exam such as eligibility criteria, exam pattern, syllabus and so on. UPSC CDS eligibility criteria specifies the minimum standards/qualifications that must be satisfied by the candidates to be eligible to appear for the exam. Candidates who do not fulfill the eligibility criteria will not be eligible for the exam and their candidature can be cancelled. Read this article to know about UPSC CDS eligibility criteria and other details. If you are preparing for competitive exams and are looking for expert guidance, you can check out our monthly FREE Current Affairs Ebook- Download Now.

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UPSC CDS Eligibility 2021

UPSC CDS eligibility is defined along the following parameters:
  • Nationality
  • Age Limit
  • Educational Qualifications
The details of each are as follows:

UPSC CDS Eligibility: Nationality

A candidate must be 
  1. A Citizen of India,
  2. A subject of Bhutan or Nepal
  3. A Tibetan refugee who came over to India before January 1962 intending to permanently settle in India,
  4. A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, and East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, and Ethiopia or Vietnam intending to permanently settle in India. 

UPSC CDS Eligibility: Age Limit

The age limit for the different academies is as follows:
Academy Age Limit 
Indian Military Academy (IMA) 19 – 24 Years
Indian Naval Academy (INA) 19 - 22 Years
Air Force Academy 19 - 23 Years
Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Women Non-Technical Course) 19 - 25 Years
Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Course for Men) 19 - 25 Years

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  • Candidates should be unmarried.
  • Female candidates are eligible to receive training in Officers' Training Academy.
  • Unmarried Women, issueless widows who have not remarried, and issueless divorcees (in possession of divorce documents) who have not remarried are eligible to apply for CDS to receive training in Officers' Training Academy

UPSC CDS Eligibility: Educational Qualification

Academy Educational Qualification
Indian Military Academy (IMA) and Officers’ Training Academy (OTA) Graduation from a recognized university
Indian Naval Academy (INA) An engineering degree from a recognized university/institute
Air Force Academy (AFA) Bachelor of Engineering or Graduation (with Physics and Mathematics at Class 12)

UPSC CDS Eligibility: Medical Standards

Candidates should ensure that they are physically and mentally fit as a lot of candidates are rejected on the basis of medical disqualifications.

UPSC CDS Eligibility: Marital Status

The details of the marital status are as follows:



Marital Status

Indian Military Academy



Indian Naval Academy



Air Force Academy



Officers' Training Academy



Officers'Training Academy


Unmarried/Widows (not remarried)/Divorcees ((in possession of divorce documents)


UPSC CDS Eligibility FAQs

Q. What is the minimum age limit to be eligible for CDS Exam?

A. Candidates should be atleast 19 years of age to be eligible to appear for CDS Exam.

Q. Are widows allowed to appear for UPSC CDS Exam?

A. Yes, widows are eligible to appear for UPSC CDS Exam for recruitment to Officers' Training Academy. 

Q. Can female candidates apply for Indian Military Academy through UPSC CDS Exam?

A. No, only male candidates can apply for Indian Military Academy through UPSC CDS Exam.

Q. What is the required educational qualification to be eligible to appear for UPSC CDS Exam?

A. Candidates should have completed graduation to be eligible to appear for UPSC CDS Exam.


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