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cds recuitment

CDS Recruitment 2021

CDS Recruitment 2021: Union Public service Commission (UPSC) has conducted the UPSC CDS (1) exam on February 07, 2021. The result for the written exam released on March 23, 2021. Around 6552 candidates have qualified for the interview by SSB of the Ministry of Defence. After the SSB and Medical exam is conducted, the final result will be announced by UPSC.

The Combined Defence Services exam is conducted twice a year to recruit candidates as commissioned officers in the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. The registration process for CDS (2) will start from August 05 and the exam for the same will be conducted on November 08, 2021. Candidates selected through the CDS exam need to undergo the training in Warriors NDA Academy / Officers Training Academy / Indian Naval Academy / Indian Air Force Academy. In this article, we have provided all the relevant information on CDS Recruitment 2021. Check dates, eligibility, how to fill the application form, exam pattern, syllabus, selection process, salary, admit card, and more.

cds recuitment 2021
cds recuitment


Candidates can check this page for sarkari naukri latest updates which will help them to know which are the ongoing and upcoming sarkari exam. Based on the sarkari exams information they can check their eligibility related to age and academic qualification before they apply for the various government jobs posts. Moreover, candidates can also check the sarkari result to know their status of qualifying the exam which they have appeared in.

UPSC CDS Recruitment 2021

Before getting into the details of the CDS exam, let’s have an overview of CDS exam:

Conducting BodyUnion Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Exam NameCombined Defence Services (CDS) Exam – 1 & 2
Exam LevelNational Level
Frequency of ExamTwice a year, February and November
Total Vacancies345
Mode of ApplicationOnline
Mode of ExamOffline
Selection ProcessWritten Exam and SSB Interview
After SelectionTraining at IMA/OTA/INA/AFA
Written Exam DurationOne day
Official Websiteupsc.gov.in
CDS Recruitment 2021
  • – CDS Exam is a national-level entrance exam for aspirants who want to join the defence forces as an officer.
  • – After the exam and completion of the SSB Interview, the shortlisted candidates need to undergo training at: 
    • Indian Military Academy (IMA),
    • Officers Training Academy (OTA) (male & female),
    • Indian Naval Academy (INA),
    • Air Force Academy (AFA).
  • – If you want to become an officer serving under the Indian Army/ Navy/Air Force, then this is one of the exams that will pave the way towards your dream.
  • – Female candidates can also apply for the CDS exam to join the Officer Training Academy (OTA).
  • – The selection of candidates will be based on the Written Exam and SSB Interview.
  • – Throughout the interview, recruiters will shortlist the candidates as per their capability and preference.
  • – During the training period, cadets will be paid a stipend of around Rs. 21000/-. After the completion of the training period, candidates can expect a pay in the range of Rs. 56,100 – 1,77,500.


CDS 2021 Exam Dates – CDS Recruitment 2021

Check UPSC CDS (1) 2021 and CDS (2) 2020 exam dates from the table below:

UPSC CDS (1) 2021 Exam Dates

EventsImportant Dates
Release of CDS (1) 2021 NotificationOctober 28, 2020
Start of CDS 2021 Online ApplicationOctober 28, 2020
Last Date to Apply OnlineNovember 17, 2020
CDS (1) 2021 Admit CardJanuary 07, 2021
CDS (1) 2021 Exam DateFebruary 07, 2021
CDS (1) 2021 ResultTo be Announced
CDS Recruitment 2021

UPSC CDS (2) 2021 Exam Dates

EventsImportant Dates
Release of CDS 2 NotificationAugust 4, 2021
Beginning of Online ApplicationAugust 4, 2021
Last Date to ApplyAugust 24, 2021
Application Withdrawal DatesTo be Notified
Release of CDS Admit CardTo be Notified
CDS 2 Written ExamNovember 14, 2020
Declaration of CDS 2 ResultTo be Notified
Final ResultTo be Notified
CDS Recruitment 2021


CDS (I) 2021 Vacancy

As per CDS (1) 2021 Notification, a total of 345 vacancies are available. Check vacancies from the table below:

Indian Military Academy, Dehradun100
Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala26
Air Force Academy, Hyderabad32
Officers Training Academy, Chennai170
Officers Training Academy, Chennai (SSC Women)17
CDS Recruitment 2021

CDS Salary

Here is the salary for different posts after becoming an officer through the CDS exam:

Lieutenant Level 10Rs 56,100 – 1,77,500
Captain Level 10 BRs 6,13,00 – 1,93,900
Major Level 11Rs 6,94,00 – 2,07,200
Lieutenant Colonel Level 12ARs 1,21,200 – 2,12,400
Colonel Level 13Rs 1,30,600 – 2,15,900
Brigadier Level 13ARs 1,39,600 – 2,17,600
Major General Level 14Rs 1,44,200 – 2,18,200
Lieutenant General HAG Scale Level 15Rs 1,82,200 – 2,24,100
HAG + Scale Level 16Rs 2,05,400 – 2,24,400
VCOAS/ Army Cdr/ Lieutenant General (NFSG) Level 17Rs 2,25,000 (fixed)
COAS Level 18Rs 2,50,000 (fixed)
CDS Recruitment 2021

Note that Miltary Service Pay (MSP) of Rs. 15,500/- is also paid to the officers from the rank of Lieutenant to Brigadier.

CDS Recruitment 2021 Eligibility Criteria

Here are the eligibility criteria for Combined Defence Services Examination:

Nationality: A candidate must be an unmarried Indian citizen or one among the following categories

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

provided the candidates in the above-mentioned categories (except Indians) have a certificate of eligibility which has been issued by the Government of India.

Age Limit:

AcademyAge Limit
Indian Military Academy (IMA)Born not earlier than 2nd January 1998 and not later than 1st January 2003
Indian Naval Academy (INA)Born not earlier than 2nd January 1998 and not later than 1st January 2003
Indian Air Force AcademyBorn not earlier than 2nd January 1998 and not later than 1st January 2002
Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Course for Men)Born not earlier than 2nd January 1997 and not later than 1st January 2003
Officers’ Training Academy—(SSC Women Non-Technical Course)Born not earlier than 2nd January 1997 and not later than 1st January 2003
CDS Recruitment 2021

Gender and Marital Status Requirements:

Indian Military AcademyMaleUnmarried
Indian Naval AcademyMaleUnmarried
Indian Air Force AcademyMaleUnmarried
Officer Training AcademyMaleUnmarried
Officer Training AcademyFemaleUnmarried/Issueless widows who have not remarried and issueless divorcees (in possession of divorce documents)
CDS Recruitment 2021

Educational Qualification:

AcademyEducational Qualification Required
IMAGraduate Degree from a Recognized University
INAEngineering Degree from a Recognized University
AFAGraduate Degree with Physics & Maths at 10+2 or
BE from a Recognized University
OTAGraduate Degree from a Recognized University
CDS Recruitment 2021

Note: If a candidate is not found to be eligible, he/she can be rejected at any moment irrespective of whether or not he has cleared the CDS examination.

Also, 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.CHECK OUT DETAILED CDS ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FROM HERE

CDS Recruitment Application Form 2021

CDS 2020-21 Application Form has to be filled online at the official website. All aspirants are required to fill the CDS Application Form before the last date. Candidates can follow the steps as under to successfully register for CDS Exam:

  • – 1st Step: Visit the official website of the UPSC –upsconline.nic.in.
  • – 2nd Step: Click on the notification “ONLINE APPLICATION FOR VARIOUS EXAMINATIONS OF UPSC”.
  • – 3rd Sep: Against the CDS exam, click on ‘Part-I Registration
  • – 4th Step: Fill in the basic details such as the candidate’s name, date of birth, parents’ name, address, category, mobile number, email address, etc.
  • – 5th Step: After finishing Part-I, a registration ID will be generated.
  • – 6th Step: Now go to Part-II and enter your registration ID to pay the application fee.
  • – 7th Step: Once the fee is paid, continue to fill the application form. Enter the personal, educational details, and select the exam center preference,
  • – 8th Step: Upload the scanned copy of Photo, Signature, Photo ID, and mark sheet.
  • – 9th Step: After finishing Part-II, Click on “I Agree to the Declaration” and submit the application form.

Note: Photo ID Card means Aadhaar Card/Voter Card/PAN Card/Passport/Driving Licence/Any other Photo ID Card issued by the State/Central Government.CHECK OUT COMPLETE DETAILS ON CDS APPLICATION FORM

CDS Recruitment 2021 Application Fee

Candidates, except for Female/SC/ST candidates, are required to pay a fee of Rs 200/-. The CDS Application Fee can be paid through online or offline mode.

CategoryCDS Application Fee
Female/ SC/ ST CandidatesNot Required to Pay
All OthersRs 200
CDS Recruitment 2021

CDS Exam Centres 2021

Combined Defence Services Exam is conducted in various exam centers across the nation. CDS Exam centers are present in the following cities:

Agartala, Ahmedabad, Aizawl, Bengaluru, Bareilly, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cuttack, Dehradun, Delhi, Dharwad, Dispur, Gangtok, Hyderabad, Imphal, Itanagar, Jaipur, Jammu, Jorhat, Kochi, Kohima, Kolkata, Lucknow, Madurai, Mumbai, Nagpur, Panaji, Patna, Port Blair, Prayagraj (Allahabad), Raipur, Ranchi, Sambalpur, Shillong, Shimla, Srinagar, Thiruvananthapuram, Tirupati, Udaipur, and, Visakhapatnam

Note that the allocation of exam centers is done on the basis of a first come first basis. Change of exam center is not possible once allocated and provided on the admit card.


CDS Selection Process 2021

Here is the selection procedure for CDS Exam 2020:

  • – A candidate first needs to appear for the Written Exam i.e. CDS exam.
  • – Candidates who pass the CDS Exam will then be called for SSB (Service Selection Board) Interview.
  • – The selected candidates’ names will be present in the CDS Merit List.
  • – Then they need to report to the venue (reporting date and time will be mentioned in the SSB Call Letter).
  • – At the SSB center, the candidates’ Psychological and Intelligence Test will be conducted.
  • – Once the candidate has cleared all the tests of the SSB Interview, they will be called for a medical check-up.
  • – Selected candidates will then have to undergo various medical tests where they have to meet the physical requirements as set by the board.
  • – After the medical test and submission of documents, the selected candidates will be given 18 months of training at the: 
    • — Indian Military Academy (IMA),
    • — Officers Training Academy (OTA),
    • — Indian Naval Academy (INA), or
    • — Air Force Academy (AFA).
  • – The selection of the academy will be done on the basis of the priorities chosen by the candidates in the application form.


CDS Exam Pattern 2021

The exam pattern is different for Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and for Officers Training Academy. The important details of CDS Exam Pattern are as follows:

Mode of ExamOffline
Duration of Exam6 hours (for IMA, INA & AFA)
4 hours ( for OTA)
Type of QuestionsMCQs/Objective type
SectionsElementary Math, English Language, and General Knowledge
CDS Recruitment 2021

CDS Exam Pattern For IMA, INA & AFA

Here is the CDS Exam Pattern for admission to Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy:

SubjectsNumber of Questions/Maximum MarksTime Duration
English120/1002 hours
Elementary Mathematics100/1002 hours
General Knowledge (GK)120/1002 hours
Total340/3006 hours
CDS Recruitment 2021

CDS Exam Pattern For OTA

Here is the CDS Exam Pattern for admission to Officers’ Training Academy:

SubjectsNumber of Questions/Maximum MarksTime Duration
English120/1002 hours
General Knowledge (GK)120/1002 hours
Total240/2004 hours
CDS Recruitment 2021

Note that there will be negative marking for every wrong attempt. A total of one-third marks, i.e., 0.33 marks will be deducted for every incorrect answer.CHECK OUT DETAILED CDS EXAM PATTERN FROM HERE

CDS Exam SSB Interview 2021

Candidates who pass the CDS Written Test are called for SSB Interview. So, what is SSB Interview? SSB Interview is a psychological and intelligence test conducted by Service Selection Board (SSB) in order to determine whether a candidate is fit for the service or not. It consists of two stages and is usually conducted for 5 days.

SSB is responsible for conducting various tests in order to test the psychology of candidates and find out about the potential candidates fit for becoming an officer are. After clearing the SSB Interview, candidates need to go for a medical check-up and document submission. Then the candidate’s journey of becoming an officer will begin in the academy.

CDS Recruitment 2021 Syllabus

The officials have prescribed the CDS syllabus that every aspirant needs to follow for the exam. The subjects that every candidate has to cover are:

  1. English,
  2. General Knowledge,
  3. Mathematics like Arithmetic, Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Mensuration, and Statistics.

Note that only the Class 11 and 12 syllabi are being followed. For subjects other than General Knowledge, candidates need to follow the Class 11 and 12 NCERT Textbooks.


CDS Admit Card 2021

Candidates can download the CDS 2020-21 Admit Card from the official website of UPSC i.e. upsc.gov.in. The CDS Admit Card is usually released 3 weeks before the exam date. Candidates can download it from the official website by logging in with their Registration ID and Date of Birth.

CDS Admit Card will have details like Name, Registration ID, Date of Birth, Exam Venue, etc. Please check the details and take the print out. The allocated CDS exam centers will be mentioned on the CDS Admit card.

CDS Recruitment 2021 Exam Day Guidelines

There are some items that are banned inside the exam premises. Electronic items like Calculator, Mobile phones, Digital Watch, etc. are not allowed. If carried, the candidate must leave them outside the exam hall. Such items have to be kept outside and no one would be responsible for their safety.

Candidates must also bring a photo ID card like Aadhaar Card/Voter Card/PAN Card/Passport/Driving Licence. It has to be issued by the State/Central Government.

CDS 2021 Preparation Tips

The CDS preparation plan may vary from one candidate to another. Go through the CDS Preparation Tips which will help you build the CDS exam preparation strategy:

  1. Start your CDS preparation early and make sure that you are well aware of the CDS Syllabus and CDS Exam Pattern.
  2. Prepare a time table for your preparation. Distribute and prioritize the topics which are to be covered as per the syllabus.
  3. Follow standard books to learn the concepts and practice well to increase your accuracy.
  4. Go through the daily current affairs and newspapers. You have to be very consistent as memorizing the current affairs before the day of the exam will not be very effective.
  5. Practice and apply the concepts which you have learned. Solve the previous papers and sample papers without fail.
  6. Take mock tests and learn from your mistakes. Improve your speed and accuracy by analyzing your mistakes.

Best Books For CDS Preparation

It is extremely important to refer to the right books that can save you time and help you prepare well. Here are some recommended CDS Books that candidates need to follow for CDS exam preparation:

CDS Books – English Language

  • – Wren & Martin’s High School English Grammar & Composition (S. Chand)
  • – Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis(goyal Publishers)
  • – Objective General English by S.P. Bakshi(Arihant Publishers

CDS Books – General Language

  • – General Knowledge (Latest Edition) by Manohar Pandey( Arihant Publication)
  • – Manorama Yearbook (Malayala Manorama Publishers)

CDS Books – Mathematics

  • – Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examination by Dr R. S. Aggarwal
  • – Mathematics for CDS Examination by Dr R. S. Aggarwal

CDS Recruitment 2021 Cutoff Marks

The CDS cutoff is the minimum marks required to clear the CDS Written Exam. UPSC is responsible for releasing the CDS cutoff 2020. Aspirants can also refer to the previous year cutoff of the CDS exam:

CDS Cutoff I 2019

OTA (Men)78160
OTA (Women)78162
CDS Recruitment 2021

CDS Cutoff II 2018

OTA (Men)80162
CDS Recruitment 2021


CDS Previous Year Question Papers

Here are the previous year question papers for CDS Exam for different subjects:

CDS Exam I 2020Question Papers
Elementary MathematicsDownload PDF
General KnowledgeDownload PDF
EnglishDownload PDF
CDS Recruitment 2021
CDS Exam II 2019Question Papers
Elementary MathematicsDownload PDF
General KnowledgeDownload PDF
EnglishDownload PDF
CDS Recruitment 2021
CDS Exam I 2019Question Papers
Elementary MathematicsDownload PDF
General KnowledgeDownload PDF
EnglishDownload PDF
CDS Recruitment 2021


CDS Exam Sample Papers

CDS sample papers and previous year papers are made available by the official authorities (UPSC). Those who are preparing for the CDS exam must also practice these CDS question papers. Referring to CDS question papers and practicing regularly will help a lot in the CDS exam preparation. Besides solving the sample papers and previous year papers also improve your General Awareness (Current Affairs).

CDS 2021 Answer Keys

UPSC releases the CDS answer key for CDS 1 and 2 exams on the official website. The CDS answer key is released after the successful conduction of the exam. The answer key will be released for all four sets of question papers. Candidates will have to check the respective answer key from Series A, B, C, and D. Using the answer key, candidates can find their correct and wrong attempts and calculate the score.

CDS Exam Result 2021

CDS Answer Key 2020-21 will be released before the results. It will be made available as PDF on the official website of UPSC i.e. upsc.gov.in. The website has answer keys for all the previous year CDS question papers.

CDS Result for the Written Test will be made available 3 months after the conclusion of the Written Exam. It will be released as a merit list where the name of the candidates who have qualified in the Written Exam will be mentioned.

CDS Merit List 2020 will consist of the roll number and name of the candidates. It will be declared on the official website of UPSC – upsc.gov.in. Test takers can search for their names by typing “Ctrl+F” and entering their names in order to check whether they have qualified or not. If the candidate has qualified then he/she is eligible to appear for the next round i.e. SSB Interview.


CDS 2021: Career Growth & Opportunities

There is a vast growth opportunity for candidates who are commissioned as officers in IMA, AFA, INA, or OTA. Check the career growth details from below:

RanksPromotion ( years of service)
LieutenantOn completion of training
Captain2 years
Major6 years 
Lieutenant Colonel13 years
Colonel(TS)16 years
Colonel15 years
Brigadier23 years
Major General25 years 
Lieutenant General28 years 
GeneralNo restrictions
CDS Recruitment 2021

CDS Exam 2021 FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions and their respective answers:

Q. What is the qualification required for the CDS exam?
A. A candidate must have Engineering Degree for INA, Graduate degree with Physics and Maths at 10+2 for AFA, and a graduate degree in any discipline for IMA and OTA from a recognized university.

Q. What is the age limit required for the CDS exam?
A. For AFA, the upper age limit is 24 years while for IMA, OTA, and INA, the age limit is 23 years.

Q. Are women candidates eligible for CDS exam?
A. Yes, unmarried female candidates are eligible to appear for the CDS exam. They will be joining OTA (SSC Women Non-Technical Course).

Q. What is the salary that will be offered after the CDS exam?
A. After the CDS exam, candidates will be given training at the respective academies during which they will be given a certain stipend. Once they have completed their course, their position will be Lieutenant for which the starting salary is Rs 56,100.

Q. When the CDS 2 2021 Exam will be conducted?
A. The CDS (II) 2020 exam is scheduled to be conducted on November 14, 2021.

Q. When can I apply for CDS Exam?
A. UPSC will release CDS Application form for CDS II 2021 in August. Application will be available from August 04 to 25, 2021.

Now you have all the necessary information on CDS 2021. It is recommended that start your CDS Preparation at the earliest as the Combined Defence Services exam is not far away. Begin your preparation right away to avoid last-minute confusion.

You can also take CDS Mock Tests on Embibe’s Online Tyari platform. These tests are available for free. Taking these tests will help you improve your overall performance.


We hope this detailed article on CDS Exam 2020 helps you. If you have any queries then you can ask in the comment section below. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

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