Combined Defense Services (CDS) examination is organized for recruiting officers into the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. Candidates who aspire to serve in the defense sector of our country must qualify CDS for that. They must undergo 3 stages of the test- Written exam, mock tests/Interview, and Medical examination.
For all those willing to apply for combined defence services [CDS] conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), here is all that you need to know about which preference to fill and why.
- Applicants have the option of joining the IMA, INA, AFA, and OTA.
- They must exercise these options in the CDS Application Form and give preferences in descending order.
- Female candidates can apply online only for OTA.
- Each department has its own eligibility criteria.
Aspirants are often confused in regards to the preferences they should fill in their CDS application form. This article attempts to clear all the doubts of individuals by citing the differences amongst the 4 institutions. Read them below:
Indian Military Academy (IMA)
Aspirants who wish to be recruited in the IMA must give this as their 1st preference. This academy trains candidates to become officers of the Indian Army. The features of IMA are given below-
- Aspirants undergo training for 1 and half year.
- They become a part of the Permanent Commission at IMA, Dehradun.
- They have to serve for a minimum of 20 years. lifetime service.
- Candidates should hold a graduation degree in any discipline to be eligible.
- Only unmarried, male candidates can serve in this department.
The training regime at IMA moulds the physical and mental attributes of the cadets. The focus of training lies in drills, weapons training, and leadership development.
Indian Naval Academy (INA)
Individuals who aspire to become a part of the Indian Navy must give the INA as their 1st preference. The features of INA are as follows-
- Graduates undergo training for 1 year.
- Candidates can apply for both Short Service and Permanent Commission.
- Selection will be done based on merit and previous academic track record.
- Graduating officers can also take additional training in surface warfare, submarine warfare and naval aviation.
- The academy accepts up to 1200 cadets for office training per annum.
- Only unmarried, male individuals holding a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering are eligible for INA.
Air Force Academy (AFA)
This academy trains individuals to become officers of the Indian Air Force. It also conducts its own entrance exam- AFCAT. Some features of AFA are-
- There are 4 types of training conducted at the academy- Flying, Air Traffic Control Officers, Ground Duty Officers and Joint Services training.
- AFA does not have a Permanent Commission and the maximum tenure to serve is 14 years.
- Individuals should have a graduation degree in engineering with Maths and Physics as compulsory subjects can apply for CDS exam.
Officer’s Training Academy (OTA)
Officer’s Training Academy is meant for both men and women who qualify CDS. Female aspirants can only choose this preference in their application form. It is a highly regarded academy which produces well-respected officers of the Army.
Features of OTA are stated below-
- The duration of training extends for about 9 months.
- OTA offers only Short Service Commission (up to 14 years of service).
- Candidates are trained in various technical and non- technical aspects.
- Graduates and also students who have passed the 10+2 level exam are eligible for this department.
CDS offers entry into these 4 prestigious defense academies. Applicants should be certain about the preferences they fill in their application form. They must consider all the different factors as mentioned above and then choose their most preferred option.
- If you are an engineering student, then the first Navy. If do not wear spectacles then IAF, then IMA and last OTA.
- If you are having PCM in 12th and do not wear specs, then IAF 1st, IMA 2nd, and OTA 3rd.
- If you are not having PCM the IMA 1st and OTA 2nd
We hope this article was helpful in making you choose your desired choice. Good luck to all!