NDA Vs CDS: Dream Towards Honour to Serve the Nation

  • 05Sep,2019

    The National Defence Academy (NDA) is the Joint Services academy of the Indian Armed Forces, where cadets of the three services, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force train together before they go on to respective service academies for further pre-commissioning training.

    The Combined Defence Services (CDS) is the examination for recruitment into Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy.

    Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts both the exams twice a year within a given interval of time. UPSC fixed some eligible criteria both for NDA and CDS. These are the major two exams that can help you to join in Indian Armed Forces. 

                                  Know details about NDA and CDS

    Important criteria for NDA and CDS:

    The candidates preparing for NDA or CDS, have to know the basic details before registration.

    Age limit
    16.5-19.5 years
    19-25 years
    Only for men
    Both for men and women
    Minimum 12th qualified
    Minimum graduation qualified
    Exam Frequency
    Conducted twice a year (April and September)
    Conducted twice a year (February and November)
    Exam Scheme
    Written exam and SSB interview
    Written exam and SSB interview

    Training Program for NDA-

    Candidates who qualify the NDA are required to go through the following training programmes:

    Army Cadets- The training is given for a period of 4 years. 3 years at NDA, Pune and 1 year at IMA (Indian Military Academy), Dehradun. 

    Naval Cadets- The training is given for a period of 4 years. 3 years at NDA, Pune and 1 year at the Naval Academy, Kerala 

    Air Force Cadets- The training is given for the period of 4 and ½ years.3 years at NDA, Pune and 1 and ½ years at air force Academy, Hyderabad.

    Training Program for CDS-

    Candidates who qualify the CDS are required to go through the following training programs:

    Army Candidates-18 months at IMA (Indian Military Academy), Dehradun.

    Naval Candidates- 37-40 months at Naval Academy, Kerala.

    Air Force Candidates- 74 months at Air Force Academy, Hyderabad

    During the training, program cadets are offered a stipend of Rs-21,000/- per month.

    Eventual growth of rank: 

    Army- Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel, Brigadier, Major General, Lieutenant General, General and Field Marshal

    Navy- Sub-lieutenant, lieutenant, lieutenant Commander, Commander, Captain, Commodore, Rear Admiral, Vice Admiral, Admiral and Admiral of the Fleet.

    Air Force- Flying Officer, Flight Lieutenant, squadron leader, Wing Commander, Group Captain, Air Commodore, Air Vice Marshal, Air Marshal, Air Chief Marshal and Marshal of the Air Force.

    Salary Overview:

    There is a huge salary difference between the officers selected through the NDA and CDS. The salary description is given below:
    Rs-15,600 to 39,100/-  (+a grade pay of 5,400)
    Rs-56,100 to 1,77,500/-
    Rs-15,600-39,100 (+a grade pay of 6,1000)
    Rs-61,300 to 1,93,900/-
    Rs-15,600 to 39,100 (+ a grade pay of 6,600)
    Rs-69,400 to 2,07,200/-
    lieutenant Colonel
    Rs-37,400 to 67,000 (+a grade pay of 8,000)
    Rs-1,21,200 to 212400/-
    Rs-37,400 to 67,000 (+a grade pay of 8,700)
    Rs-1,30,600 to 2,15,900/-
    Rs-37,400 to 67,000 (+ a grade pay of 89,000)
    Rs-139600 to 217600/-
    Major General
    Rs-37,400 to 67, 000 (+a grade pay of 10,000)
    Rs-144,200 to 218200/-
    Lieutenant General Higher Administrative Grade scale (HAG scale)
    Rs-67,000 to 79,000/-
    Rs-1,82,200 to 2,24,100/-
    Lieutenant General Higher administrative Grade + scale (HAG + scale_)
    Rs-75,000 to 80,000/-
    Rs-2,05,400 to 2,24,400/-
    Lieutenant General
    Chief Army/Navy/ Air Force staff

    There is something another offer for Flying Allowance:

    PositionNDA ( per month)
    CDS( per month)
    Major to Colonel
    Brigadier and above

    NDA officer Allowance VS CDS officer Allowance:

    NDA Cadets
    CDS Cadets
    High Altitude Allowance
    Rs- 1,060
    Rs-3,400 to 25,000
    Kit Maintenance Allowance
    Subsumed in to DA
    Dearness Allowance
    Same as civilian Gazetted Officers
    Same as civilian Gazetted Officers
    Siachen Allowance
    Not Applicable
    Uniform Allowance
    Rs-14,000 (initial) and  Rs-3,000  (every 3 years)
    Subsumed into proposed DA
    Transport Allowance
    Rs-1,600 to 3,200 + DA
    Rs- 3,600 to 7,200 + DA
    Children Education Allowance
    Not Applicable
    Rs-2,250 per month/ per child for two children from Nursery to 12th.
    Here we gave you some information related to NDA and CDS. They both are excellent in their own way. All things matter about your passion and the dream that you want to live.  We can say, for a building the most important part is the foundation which carries all the pressure as like for a nation the most important part is the armed academy. If you get a chance to join in these academies then it’s a talk of respect and honor that the whole pressure of the nation on your shoulder. The pay scale somehow differs for NDA and CDS, but the dignity is the same both for an NDA Officer and a CDS Officer. 

    Read here: 11 Preparation Tips: How to Crack CDS Exam

    Read also : How to Prepare for NDA? Here are Some Tips to Crack

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