How to join Indian Army as an officer

Jan 11, 2023, 16:45 IST

The Indian Army makes up the majority of the Indian Armed Forces.  An officer in the army might be a permanent or short-service commission. It differs from other careers. Being an Officer in the Indian Army is not only a job but also a service to our nation. However, you will have the question, "How to join Indian Army as an officer?"

There are different ways to join the Army. Nearly 10 million students apply for Army Officer positions yearly. There is a lot of competition for officer positions in the army. Most people have a childhood dream of joining the Indian Armed Forces, inspired by different stories. If you have an aptitude for discipline, adventure, and leadership, then joining the Indian Army may be exactly what you've been waiting for. The Indian Army provides various career options and opportunities to explore during one's journey.

In this context, through this article, we have discussed how to join the Indian Army as an officer. Be sure to check this out. Also, check for Are previous years questions are enough to crack NDA examination.

How to join Indian Army as an officer

What are the different ways to join the Indian army as an Officer

To become an officer in the army, you must pass the 12th class with a passing mark in English, Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry. The Indian Armed Forces are responsible for training and combat against enemy forces. The officer's duty in the military is to lead and encourage the soldiers.

There are various ways to become an army officer. Check out the different officer positions in the army and do your defence preparation accordingly. Army officer jobs include army engineer, helicopter pilot, artillery, infantry, etc.

Thus, before applying for the position of Indian Army Officer, you must first check your eligibility.

The Indian Army offers two different commissions:

  1. Permanent Commission
  2. Short Service Commission

Permanent Commission in the Indian Army means a career in the military until retirement. Permanent commission entries include NDA, TES, CDS (IMA), etc.

The Indian Army's Short Service Commission involves service for ten years. After ten years of service, an officer has three options: permanent commission, service extension of up to 4 years, or opt-out. The entries for short-term commission include SSC Tech, CDS (OTA), NCC entry, JAG entry, etc.

Following is a chart showing the many ways in which one can enter the army as an Officer

The following entries can be as follows:

  1. Written Entry
  2. Direct Entry

In Written entries, there is a qualifying exam. Here you will get the list of written entries:

National Defence Academy (NDA)

  • The National Defence Academy (NDA) is a biannual defence exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for young aspirants between the ages of 16 and 19 years old.
  • Generally, it occurs in March and August. The candidate must be studying in or have completed 10+2. The candidate must pass a written exam with three topics (English, General Knowledge, and Mathematics), an SSB interview, and medical exams. You can also check for 
  • The examination in April and September. The Notification comes between December and January and between May and June. You can also check how to join national defence academy.

Territorial Army (TA)

  • The Territorial Army (TA) allows already employed persons to serve their country. Candidate's ages should be between 18 to 42. This is not a regular position. You must take a written examination, followed by a Preliminary Interview Board (PIB) interview, an SSB interview, and a medical.

Combined Defence Service Exam (CDS)

  • The Combined Defence Service Exam is a biennial examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for graduates interested in joining the Indian Army.
  • Aspirants of the defence CDS must be between 19 and 24 years old, whereas applicants to the Officers' Training Academy (OTA) must be between 19 and 25 years old. The Notification is released in both October and June.
  • Direct Entries have no qualifying exam; here, candidates will go directly for the SSB Interview based on their class 12 or graduation percentage. The following are the direct entries:-

Technical Entry Scheme (TES) or 10+ 2 Tech

  • You can join the Indian Army right after completing the 12th class through the technical entry process. To be eligible for 10+ 2 Entries, you must have completed the 12th in the science stream. After finishing the Technical Entry Scheme training, you are eligible for direct appointment to the rank of Lieutenant.
  • Through this programme, only male applicants will be there. This course is five years long. Indian Army Technical Entry Scheme Notification usually appears twice yearly (January and July). Generally, notifications will be in May/June and October/November.
  • To be eligible for the Indian Army Technical Entry Scheme, a candidate must have passed the 10+2 examination or its equivalent with a minimum of 70% in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics from a recognised board of education.
  • Age Restrictions: 16.5 to 19.5 years.
  • The selection of candidates is dependent on their performance in the SSB interview. Those who pass Phase I will advance to Phase II. Those who do not pass Stage I will return on the same day. The SSB interview lasts five days. You can also check for defence courses after the 12th in India.

National Cadet Corps Special Entry (NCC)

  • All graduates with an NCC "C" Certificate are eligible to apply for the NCC Special Entry Scheme. They must have a minimum grade of 'B' on their NCC 'C' certificate and a minimum graduation mark of 50 per cent.
  • Students in their third year of study are also eligible for NCC Entry if they obtained a minimum of 50 percent in the first two years. SSB called students based on the Indian Army's published criteria.
  • The final candidates selected will receive training at OTA. All third-year students must submit their degrees within 12 training weeks. You can also check for defence exercises.

Short Service Commission Technical (SSC Tech)

  • All technical graduates are eligible to apply for SSC Tech admission. Depending on the need, the Indian Army publishes job openings for various Technical Streams. No written examination for this admission.
  • During the shortlisting procedure, the Indian Army notifies the minimal percentage in the notified technical streams. The selected students need to attend the SSB defence interview for five days.
  • All the merit-in candidates will get one year of antedate seniority at the commissioning time. Officer Training Academy will provide 49 weeks of training to its cadets. You can also check for the UPSC defence exam.

Judge Advocate General Entry (JAG)

  • JAG is an acronym for Judge Advocate General. The Indian Army recruits legally qualified individuals on a short-term commission basis. A candidate for the Indian Army JAG must hold a law degree from a recognised Board to apply.
  • The Indian Army selects applicants based on their application forms. All candidates who pass the interview stage will be asked to come to the selection centre for a Psychological Test, Group Test, and Interview Round.
  • After final selection, candidates will train at Chennai's Officers Training Academy (OTA). With a maximum duration of 49 weeks.
  • All applicants who have passed LLB after obtaining a Bachelor's degree from a recognised university with a minimum of 55% or who have a law degree after completing their 12th-grade education from a recognised university are eligible to join as a JAG.
  • They should have a Valid Certificate from the Bar Council of India/State. And Age Limit is between 21 to 27 years

University Entry Scheme (UES)

  • This program allows engineering final-year students to apply for a permanent position in the Technical Arm. The Indian Army selects candidates for this commission through campus placements. To get a selection, candidates must pass an SSB interview and a medical of defence exam.
  • Then, successful candidates undergo a year of training at the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun. Also, check how to join the defence for females.

Technical Graduate Course (TGC)

  • Candidates in their Final Year of Engineering (BE/BTech) can join the Indian Army through the Technical Graduate Course (TGC). If you are in your final year, you must submit your degree within 12 weeks of the course's starting date.
  • The Indian Army released a cut-off based on the candidates' marks from the sixth semester of their Bachelor's degree, the second semester of their Master's degree, and the eighth semester of their Architecture degree.
  • Those candidates whose names appeared on the merit list are asked to come for an SSB interview, which formerly consisted of two phases. i.e. Medical Exam and Interview. The final candidates selected receive an appointment letter. Also, check for exams after graduation for defence.


All the information on how to join the Indian Army as an Officer is detailed below. The Indian Army offers many opportunities for those interested in joining as an officer. Each mentioned route has its requirements, so be sure to research what suits you.

Whichever route you choose, make sure you research the eligibility thoroughly so that you have the best chance to get selection into the Army and have the chance to serve your country in a truly rewarding way.

Remember to stay positive and confident throughout the application process, and don't hesitate to reach out to a Physicswallah website if you have any queries. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Am I eligible to join the Indian Army during my final year of college?

Ans. Final-year engineering students who meet the requirements for eligibility may apply for the Indian army through the UES, NCC Special Entry Scheme, or Short Service Commission Entry Scheme.

Q2. How can women enter the Indian Army?

Ans. Graduates women with technical or non-technical backgrounds can apply for jobs in the Indian Army through different entrance schemes: the SSCW entry, the NCC Special Entry Scheme, or the JAG entry scheme.

Q3. Can students of the arts join the Indian Army?

Ans. Yes, applicants with a background in the arts may also apply for the examination.

Q4. Can tattooed individuals join the Indian Army?

Ans. No, tattoos are not allowed on the soldiers' sleeves, arms, or legs. The tattoo should not be visible on the soldiers' exposed body parts. In addition, tattoos on the head, neck, and face are banned.

Talk to Our counsellor