Can Girls Apply for NDA? Eligibility, Selection & Challenges(Full Guide)

Can Girls Apply for NDA? Eligibility, Selection & Challenges(Full Guide)

Congratulations! I am glad you have decided to join the NDA. Most girls do not think of joining the NDA (unfortunately). You are a trendsetter for others. There must be several questions in your mind, like can girls apply for NDA and much more, which is why you are here. Trust us, we will handle it all. We will try our best to satisfy your curiosity about NDA.

Overview of the NDA:

The National Defence Academy (NDA) is one of India’s most prestigious military academies, known for producing some of the finest officers for the Indian Armed Forces. Throughout history, the NDA had always limited admission to men alone until recently when things changed, and now admit both genders. Can girls apply for NDA? It is what we will cover here.

Where is the National Defense Academy?

The Khadakwasla, Pune, houses the National Defence Academy. In this inter-service academy, cadets of the Army, Navy, and Air Force undergo training together before their respective service academies for pre-commissioning training. Established in 1954, it is a bedrock of India’s military training infrastructure.

Historical Exclusivity:

As you know, the NDA has historically admitted only male candidates. The academy was structured such that only male cadets were able to access the training facilities available at that time, thereby fostering gender exclusivity. This exclusionary policy mirrored general societal norms and military traditions prevalent at its foundational stage.

Changing Dynamics:

In recent years, there has been a significant push for gender inclusivity across various spheres of society, including the armed forces. There have been talks and debates about accepting female students into this institution to diversify and provide opportunities to women in the defense forces. Hence, now if anyone asks, can girls apply for NDA? One can proudly say yes!

Entry of Women in the NDA And What is NDA Eligibility for Female:

A landmark decision by the government of India last year announced that girls can give NDA exam starting in 2021. This was a groundbreaking moment in the history of the NDA and the Indian Armed Forces, indicating progress towards more gender-equal and inclusive armed forces.

NDA Girl Eligibility Criteria:

NDA eligibility for females is mostly similar to those for male candidates. But a few things are different for female candidates. The minimum height required for a female candidate must be 152 cm, and the minimum weight must be 40 kg. The other NDA exam eligibility for females is:

  • Be Indians.
  • Should not have never been married.
  • Meet the age specifications, usually between 16.5 to 19.5 years.
  • Have passed the 10+2 examination or equivalent with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics from a recognized board.

Selection Process:

It is worth noting that the selection of females into NDA follows a similar process as that of their male counterparts. It consists of a written examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) followed by the Services Selection Board (SSB) interview and medical tests.

Challenges and Opportunities:

However, there are obstacles to surmount if NDA is to be made more inclusive for women, notwithstanding this significant stride forward regarding gender representation. While making infrastructure suitable for female cadets and dealing with specific cultural barriers within, the military system face challenges.

Nonetheless, this new direction also opens up opportunities for women to join the military and contribute their talents towards national defense. This implies that a larger group of personnel can contribute, ensuring variety in expertise and powers in our defense forces. Girls can give NDA exam and physical tests, the same ones as the males.

What Career Options Do Girls Have in NDA?

Including women in the National Defense Academy (NDA) has broadened their career opportunities in Indian Military Forces. There is undoubtedly a place in NDA for women. Several careers are there in the military that female cadets can take after completing their training at NDA; here they are. There are quite a few career options available for women In NDA:


Female cadets can serve in any army branch, including infantry, artillery, armored corps, communications engineers, etc. Depending on their specialization and training, they can become officers in combat branches like combat support and combat service support branches.


Women cadets can choose between various branches, such as the Executive Branch, Engineering Branch, Education Branch, Logistics Branch, or Medical Branch, and work as officers here. They may also be posted on warships, submarines, aircraft, and shore establishments, contributing towards maritime operations and national security.


There are opportunities in the flying and technical nontechnical branches for young female students aspiring to join this force. Among other roles, they may be pilots, navigators, engineers, air traffic controllers, administrators, etc. All these are essential positions needed for air operations and defense.


In addition to that, female cadets can go for joint services or tri-service organizations where personnel from various arms of the services come together to work on specialized projects, missions, or operations. These could be assignments at organizations such as Strategic Forces Command (SFC), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), or Defense Research And Development Organization (DRDO).


Some units within the armed forces offer unique opportunities for women serving in uniformed formations. Examples include special forces, military police, judges, advocates, and general branch roles requiring specific skills and competencies.


The Indian Armed Forces provide foreign assignments to female officers who represent them globally during joint exercises with foreign militaries or attachments with international agencies, especially when responsibility gets delegated.


Like men, women officers also have a place in staff appointments/training levels of service where they take part in planning, managing, and executing military operations, besides leading training programs to develop different cadres.

In total, NDA has opened many career avenues for girls to serve their country, acquire leadership qualities, and be part of national security and defense. However, becoming a female officer in any armed forces branch is more complex than it may seem. Hence, female cadets are advised to find what interests them most and evaluate their strengths and future opportunities within the service.

What is The Position of NDA for Women?

The NDA can be an excellent opportunity for young ladies who wish to work in the Indian Armed Forces. There is a beautiful career in NDA for female. The following are some reasons why women should embrace NDA:

Equal opportunity: The opening of the NDA for females symbolizes a step toward gender parity and inclusiveness within the Indian armed forces. This way, women have an equal chance with men since they train together at NDA, thus providing a level playing field. In short, now girls can apply for NDA.

Training quality: At NDA, there are stringent training programs meant to improve their leadership skills, physical fitness, and professional competence. In other words, female cadets receive similar training to their male counterparts that prepares them adequately for military participation.

Varied Occupational Options: After completing the training at the academy, women have many vocational choices in uniformed services like the Army, Navy, and Air Force. They can choose from various specializations and branches according to their desires and traits.

Professional Advancement: Military service allows women to experience professional progress and career development. Being an officer enables them to take up leadership positions, undergo specialized training for specific assignments as well as partake in demanding duties that maintain national security and defense.

Sense of Meaning: Most ladies feel fulfillment while serving in the military as it supports the defense of their nations. It allows them to make a significant difference and serve a higher purpose.

Personal Development: The NDA offers an enabling environment for personal development and self-improvement. Some of the essential life skills cadets learn at this institution include discipline, team spirit, resilience, and decision-making, which are helpful both in military service and life outside.

Pride and Honor: For many women, joining the NDA and serving in the armed forces is something they take great pride in. It helps them follow the footsteps of former generations who have served before them, becoming part of a long-established tradition of service and sacrifice.

Networking Opportunities: By linking up with fellow cadets, lecturers, and senior officers at NDA, networking opportunities are plentiful for female cadets. These networks may be precious throughout one’s career within the military or after.

Besides its many positives targeting women, it is essential to note that military service also comes with its own challenges and sacrifices. A woman contemplating a career in the army should weigh all the pros and cons regarding this choice being consistent with her career goals. In general, those willing to serve their country passionately and meet all demands set by the military institution will find the NDA an excellent starting point for fulfilling careers in the Indian Armed Forces.

Number of Seats You Are Competing For

As per recent trends revealed by UPSC, there are 363 vacancies for males, while females get only 37 slots. It means that getting through is even more challenging. Hence, you must prepare well for written and medical exams.

The best approach is to start your preparation as early as possible by joining one of the best NDA coaching centre in Delhi. They have the right experienced trainers to prepare you for the NDA exam.

Further Scope of Joining Defense Services

To keep your morale high, girls can appear for CDSE after graduation to join the Indian Army. The scope is limited to OTA short services commission. A career in NDA after graduation is practically nill, but then there are still other options available. You can even consult a training defence academy for further guidance.


With barricades getting removed, we now have an affirmative answer to the question can girls apply for NDA. Including female candidates for NDA application represents a progressive change towards gender equality in the Indian Armed Forces. As India opens doors for women to participate in military service, it strengthens its defense capabilities while proving its commitment to diversity and inclusivity. There is undoubtedly an excellent career in NDA for females. More and more women are joining institutions such as the NDA, making them instrumental in shaping the future of the armed forces and enhancing the nation’s security interests.


Can Girl Join NDA After 12th?

Yes, girls can join NDA after the 12th as per the recent Supreme Court ruling of 18th Aug 2021. However, there would be some limitations for allocating core or branch in the services.

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