Combined Defence Services (CDS) Exam

What is CDS?

The Combined Defence Services (CDS) Examination is conducted twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for the recruitment of candidates into the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy. The UPSC will conduct the CDS exam twice a year in the month of February (CDS I) and September (CDS II).

On Selection:

The shortlisted candidates will be placed at the respective academies based on the preference and merit. Explore more details regarding the CDS (I) & (II) examination below.

S No Name of the Academy City
1 Indian Military Academy Dehradun
2 Indian Naval Academy Ezhimala
3 Air Force Academy Hyderabad
4 Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Men) Chennai
5 Officers Training Academy (SSC Women) Chennai

CDS Exam Details

Exam Combined Defence Services (CDS) Examination
Organising body Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Application mode Offline
Number of vacancies 400 (approximately)
Application fee INR 200
Frequency Twice a year
Exam mode Offline
Selection process Written test and SSB interview
Admit card mode Online
Official website
Phone number (facilitation counter) 011-23098543/ 23385271/ 23381125/ 23098591
CDS (II) notification 2020 05-Aug-20
CDS (II) 2020 last date to apply August 25, 2019
CDS (II) 2020 exam date 08-Nov-20
CDS (II) 2020 result date Dec-20


CDS (II) 2020 Vacancies (Tentative)
Academy Course Reserved for NCC – Vacancies Vacancies
Indian Military Academy, Dehradun 151st (DE) course commencing in July 2021 13 100
Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala Course commencing in July 2021 Executive (General Service)/Hydro 6 45
Air Force Academy, Hyderabad (Pre-Flying) Training Course commencing in July 2021 3 32
Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai 114th SSC (Men) Course (NT) commencing in October 2021 50 225
Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai 28th SSC Women (Non-Technical) Course commencing in October 2021 Nil 15
Total 72 417

Indian Forest Service (IFS) is one of the Civil Services of India, which aims at preserving the environment by maintaining strict vigil to sustain ecological balance that are critical for survival of all forms of life.

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Indian Forest Service (IFS) exam syllabus is classified into three categories namely Preliminary, Mains and Interview.

IFS Preliminary Syllabus: The IFS Preliminary syllabus are mainly designed to assess candidate’s comprehension on current affairs and aptitude within the stipulated time.

The preliminary paper is a compulsory paper and qualifying in nature.

IFS Main Syllabus: The IFS Main examination is designed to test the academic talent of the aspirant, also his/her ability to present his/ her knowledge in a clear and coherent manner.

A.) The written examination will consist of the following papers:

Paper-I General English – (300 Marks) Aspirants will be required to write an essay in English. Other questions will be designed to test their understanding of English and workmanlike use of words. Passages will usually be set for summary or precis.

  • Comprehension of given passages
  • Precis Writing Usage and
  • Vocabulary
  • Short Essay

Paper-II General Knowledge – (300 Marks) The General Knowledge paper includes the knowledge of current events, matters of everyday observation, and experience in their scientific aspects as may be expected of an educated person who has not made a special study of any scientific subject.

This paper will also include questions on Indian Politics including the political system and the Constitution of India, History of India and Geography of nature.

Paper-III, Paper-IV, Paper-V, and Paper-VI – (200 Marks for each paper) Any two subjects to be selected from the list of the optional subjects mentioned in the exam pattern. Each subject will have two papers.

B.) Interview for Personality Test – (300 Marks)

  • Candidates must be physically and mentally fit according to prescribed physical standards for admission to CDS (I) & CDS (II) 2020
  • A candidate who has resigned or withdrawn on disciplinary grounds from any of the training academies of Armed Forces is not eligible to apply
  • Permanent body tattoos are only permitted on inner face of the forearm, i.e. from inside of elbow to the wrist and on the reverse side of palm/back (dorsal) side of the hand
  • Permanent body tattoos on any other part of the body are not acceptable and candidates will be barred from further selection. Tribes with tattoo marks on the face or body as per their existing custom and traditions will be permitted on a case to case basis
  • The concessions are not applicable for Air Force Height and Weight standards are mentioned i the official notification for Army and Navy only. Interpolation for weights against height not mentioned may be done

A candidate must be either:

(i) a Citizen of India, or

(ii) a subject of Nepal, or

(iii) a subject of Bhutan, or

iv) a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before January 1, 1962, with the intention of permanently settling in India, or

(v) a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka or East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, and Ethiopia or from Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.


  • Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v) above shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India
  • Certificate of eligibility will not, however, be necessary in the case of candidates who are Gorkha subjects of Nepal
  • For I.M.A. and Officers’ Training Academy-Degree of a recognised University or equivalent.
  • For Indian Naval Academy-Degree in Engineering from a recognised University/Institution.
  • For Air Force Academy-Degree of a recognised University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or Bachelor of Engineering.


  • Graduates with the first choice as Army/Navy/Air Force are to submit proof of graduation provisional certificates on the date of commencement of the SSB Interview at the SSB.
  • Candidates who are studying in the final year/semester Degree course and have yet to pass the final year degree examination can also apply provided candidate
  • should not have any present backlog up to the last semester/year for which results have been declared up to the time of submission of application and they will be
  • required to submit proof of passing the degree examination at the time of commencement of course.
  • Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Combined Defence Services Examination (I) & (II), 2020 as per guidelines are given in the official notification

Age Limits, Sex and Marital Status for CDS I & II 2020:

For IMA – Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than January 02, 1996, and not later than January 01, 2002, only are eligible.

For Indian Naval Academy – Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than January 02, 1996, and not later than January 01, 2001, only are eligible.

For Air Force Academy – 20 to 24 years as on January 01, 2020, i.e. born not earlier than January 02, 1996, and not later than January 01, 2000, (Upper age limit for candidates holding valid and current Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA (India) is relaxable up to 26 yrs, i.e. born not earlier than January 02, 1994, and not later than January 01, 2000) only are eligible.

For Officers’ Training Academy — (SSC Course for men) unmarried male candidates born not earlier than January 02, 1995, and not later than January 01, 2021, only are eligible.

For Officers’ Training Academy – (SSC Women Non-Technical Course) Unmarried women, issueless widows who have not remarried and issueless divorcees (in possession of divorce documents) who have not remarried are eligible. They should have been born not earlier than January 02, 1995, and not later than January 01, 2001.


Candidate below 25 years of age must be unmarried. Marriage is not permitted during training. Married candidates above 25 years of age are eligible to apply but during training period they will neither be provided married accommodation nor can they live with family out of the premises.

  • If you are selected in one of the branches of armed forces then you are set for your rest of the life
  • Apart from getting pay, perks and pension you also get many benefits that are missing from a private job
  • Your job can be challenging depending upon which type of armed force you join
  • Your job can be very tough and disciplined so you have to prepare yourself for it
  • After successful completion of Combined Defence Services training, the candidates pass out in the rank of a designated officer will be entitled to the pay and allowance of the rank