Javatpoint Logo
Javatpoint Logo

NDA - National Defence Academy

NDA - National Defence Academy

The National Defence Academy is one of the best defence training institutes for all the forces (Air Force, Navy and the Army) across India, where all the future soldiers are trained together. In the entire world, it is the first tri-service academy located in Khadakwasla, Pune, Maharastra.

Currently, from NDA, there are 12 Ashoka Chakkara and three param Vira Chakkara recipients. The current chiefs of all staff of the Army, the Navy and the Air force are from the NDA, and till date, around 27 chiefs are given by the National Defense Academy. Almost 140 Batches were graduated from the NDA since its inception.

NDA - National Defence Academy

What is the Motto of the National Defence Academy?

The main Motto of NDA is taken from Bhagwat Geeta.

"Karmadevadhikaraste ma phaleshu Kadachina" which means your duty is action with no eye on the result it will bring.

What is the symbol of NDA?

The symbol of the National Defence Academy consists of a sword, a quill pen, an anchor and an eagle. It is symbolized to represent all four battle fields' education provided by the Institute. The background of the symbol is in maroon, which represents scarifies and courage.

About the History of NDA

In 1950, the first National Defense Academy was organized in Japan as a National Safety Academy. In India, during Second World War, Joint Service Military Academy was suggested in 1946. In 1947, the plan was implemented as "Armed Force Academy" in Dehradun. Still, it wasn't enough as it could only provide training to the Army and the Air force and Navy had to send their candidates to the United Kingdom for training. On 7 December 1954, the National Defence Academy was formed as the first tri-service.

How is the Campus?

NDA - National Defence Academy

The National Defence Academy Campus is a huge campus. The NDA Campus is 17km from Pune city's southwest nearby Shinagad Fort. It is on land, which is 7,015 acres of the 8,022 Acres donated by the Bombay Government.

The National Defence Academy "Sudan Block" headquarters is named after the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the safety of "Sudan Theater" in 1959. The building is a three-storey building beautified with the red stones of Jodhpur and white marble flooring.

It also has extraordinary facilities like well maintained and beautiful classrooms, labs full of all the equipment, swimming pools, football grounds, gym, tennis and squash courts, cricket stadium and polo grounds. The academic session is divided into two sessions (one is in spring, January to May, and the second is in autumn, from June to December). To graduate from NDA, a candidate must have passed six terms.

What is the admission process for NDA?

The person who wishes to join National Defense Academy must clear a written exam offered by the UPSC every year, after which they have to give an interview (considered as one of the toughest interviews in India) organized by the Service Selection Board (SSB) in which the questions from the general aptitude, psychological tests and team skills has been asked and then a medical test is done. A candidate who qualifies for all these rounds is welcomed in the NDA, and from 2021 the females who wish to join the Indian Military force can also apply to the National Defense Academy. However, before 2021, only unmarried male cadets were allowed in the Institute.

What is the eligibility for applying or qualifying for the NDA Exam?

Following are the main criteria required to be fulfilled by the candidates who are applying for the National Defense Academy:

  • Nationality
    The candidate who applied for NDA must be a citizen of India, Bhutan or Nepal. The people of Indian Origin migrated from other countries but now are settled in India or the people who are refugees but settled in India before 1962 can also apply.
  • Age limit
    The candidate must be 16.5 to 19.5 years, but the candidate from the reserved category has no age relaxation for NDA or N.A., as a rule, is set by the Union Public service Commission.
  • Educational qualification
    The candidate must be 12th passed from well known University or any educational Board (ICSE, CBSE or State Board) of India.
  • Marital Status
    The candidate must be unmarried while applying for the NDA. If any candidate marries during the training, he will be discharged from the position.
  • Physical Standard
    Physical health is one of the most important aspects of the NDA. The physical and mental health is checked before selecting a candidate; if someone fails any test, they will be disqualified for the exam. These are the important aspects of the NDA physical tests.
    1. Height or Weight standards (different for Navy, same for the Air force and Army)
    2. Eyes visions (different for Navy and air force)

The Union Public Service Commission determines these eligibility criteria for the National Defence Academy.

What is the Administration in the NDA?

This is the Administration of National Defence Academy-


The commandant is the chief of the Academy, and he is a three-star officer, assisted by the deputy commandant (two-star officers, brigadier administration (one-star officers), Principal Director (training), a civilian principal and an adjutant (a lieutenant colonel). Currently, lieutenant general Asit Mistry is the 28th commandant of the National Defence Academy.

Squadrons and Battalions

There are nearby 18 squadrons, the selected candidates have to go in one of them.

  • No. 1 Battalion: Alpha Squadron, Bravo Squadron, Charlie Squadron and Delta Squadron.
  • No. 2 Battalion: Echo Squadron, Foxtrot Squadron, Golf Squadron and Hunter Squadron.
  • No. 3 Battalion: India Squadron, Juliet Squadron, Kilo Squadron and Lima Squadron.
  • No. 4 Battalion: Mike Squadron, November Squadron, Oscar Squadron and Panther Squadron.
  • No. 5 Battalion: Quebec Squadron and Romeo Squadron

There are 100 to 120 candidates in each squadron from senior to junior courses for their training period in the Academy. There are squadron championships every year in which one squadron wins the trophy. It is a championship with a champion banner for each term where the squadron performs the sport, and the parade carries it.

Each squadron has its own nickname with history and lucky charm for it, but as the main motto of NDA is "service before self", it is taught to every squadron, which makes a candidate learn to keep squadron's service first than themselves and their needs.

Academics or Curriculum of National Defence Academy?

There is only a full-time Graduation Program offered in the Defence Academy except for the naval students. There are only two streams for the students: bachelor's in Science (where they study physics, chemistry, math's and computer science) or bachelor's in Arts (here humanities is offered, which contains political Science, history, economics, geography and other languages), the syllabus is divided into three parts for both streams, which are as follows;

  • There is a compulsory course for students which includes English, Foreign languages like French, Arabic, Chinese or Russian, physics, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, history, political science, economics and geography. Except for the foreign language course, the candidate has to take their basic classes in all these subjects and then advance classes based on their streams.
  • Some foundation courses are compulsory for all the students, which contain military studies and general studies both. In this course, the student studies the military's history, the military's geography, weapon system and armaments, geopolitics, human rights, laws of Armed Conflicts, and environmental studies.
  • For the four semesters, the student studies these two courses as they are compulsory for them but for the fifth and sixth semesters, the student studies an optional course in which they give time to the specific subjects they choose to study.

The naval students (Indian navy candidates) have a great opportunity to graduate in engineering science ( from the National Defence Academy, which isn't provided to the air force or army candidates. The BTech is a four-year course for naval candidates, whereas other graduations are three-year programs.

Training process in the National Defence Academy

NDA takes students exactly after their 12th and then offer them a graduation degree (i.e. BSC, B.A. or BCS) from the Jawaharlal Nehru University. Still, apart from their Academic training, they also get more training like outdoor training, sports P.T. and many more. But the main attraction of training is the Foreign Language courses.

Joint Service Training

The training process for all three forces is different which is given below.

Air Force

The training of Air Force cadets is done into two basics of the military through ground training and flying training. Ground training is given with the help of modern training aids, aircraft models and cross-sections models, which has minimum sorties on the Super Dimona aircraft. They also learn firing through skeet shooting. They get an opportunity to visit the Air force Academy, Airwing at Indian Armament Technologies, Airbase at Pune and college of military engineering to learn the Air force aspects. At the same time, they get to learn flying training with the help of Automatic Weather Station, Air traffic Control Station, a smooth runway and nearby six aircraft.


The naval cadets get the training from the NAVAL Training Team (NTT), which is the oldest training team. The cadets of the 5-6th term get training by the NTT team in both theoretical and practical subjects. The cadets of the Air Force and Army also get the training of the naval survival from 2015.

In the training period, the cadets learn navigation, seamanship and communication. They visit many institutes to learn things like computer-based training, waterman ship training, firefighting training, damage control aspect, classes of ship, submarines, shop floors, training on yachting, kayaking, windsurfing, open sea whaler sailing Expedition, repair facilities etc. Nearby, 328 theory classes are given to 6th term students.


Army cadets get both outdoor and indoor training. All the outdoor training is done nearby the NDA campus in all wooden and hill areas. Indoor training includes theoretical and practical training. The main subjects trainee learns during training are tactical training, weapon training, map reading, military writing, field engineering, radiotelephony, organization and administration and many more.

In their training period, the trainees learn judging distance, terrain study, indications and reorganizations of the target, hide and cover-up, trench digging, observation by day and night, field signals, section formations, infantry sections, NBC warfare and CI ops etc.

The main motive of the training camps is to teach leadership to the cadets. Many competitions are organized to increase the feeling of courage and martial hue (as they know hand to hand compact as the part of their training). They also learn firearms, night firing, marksmanship, tent pitching, web equipment fitting, navigation, endurance training, compass training etc. This training goes on day and night and makes cadets ready for quick attacks, handling emergencies, making fast decisions, patrolling, and managing defensive battles.


Nearby, 140 batches are passed out from the National Defence Academy. The alumni from NDA have won 3 ParamVir chakras, 31 Mahavir chakras, 160 Vir chakras, 11 Ashok chakras, 40 Kirti chakras and 135 shaurya chakras till now. Many chiefs and heads (11 Army chiefs, ten navy chiefs and four air force chiefs) of all the forces are given by the NDA, and it's still working and shaping the careers of our future army heads and members in their campus. Even from the media and entertainment world, there are many movies or documentaries about young army members and the National Defence Academy.

The motive of NDA Academy is to train and prepare the best cadets for our country, and they have been very successful till now. Their motto of "Seva Pramo Dharma" is very well taught to their cadets, and after the NDA training, the cadets get remaining training from the Indian Forces and get posted. If you are looking for a job in Army, preparing for NDA Exam will be a good choice for you, but also you have to be well prepared for the exam as it is one of the best and hardest exams in India.

Youtube For Videos Join Our Youtube Channel: Join Now


Help Others, Please Share

facebook twitter pinterest

Learn Latest Tutorials


Trending Technologies

B.Tech / MCA