Various Entrance Exams and details to join various non-officer cadres of the Air Force of India

December 08, 2021

Various Entrance Exams and details to join various non-officer cadres of the Air Force of India


Job for the Indian Air Force is not an easy one. There are a lot of things that need to be taken care of like strategizing, lead and managing.  The candidates are selected after clearing a national-level Civil Services IAF Officer’s Examination.  Students who have passed out 12th or a graduate or a post-graduate can make a career in the Indian Air Force.

•         National Defence Academy (NDA) for 12th passed Higher Seniors Secondary ( HSC)  

    Candidates who are shortlisted for Indian Air Force after the selection process. Hence, they go through the rigorous three-year training program at the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla. After this, they need to go through specialized training. Therefore, they are appointed as Permanent Commission Officers and are posted as officers in Air Force Stations.

•         Students who are interested in Defence can join NDA. This can be done by taking the exam conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Every year, this exam is conducted twice.

Eligibility Criteria under NDA

Age    16 ½ to 19 ½ years ( at the time of commencement of course)

Nationality      Indian

Gender  Men Only

Educational Qualification    10+2 with Physics and Maths.

 Students who have just started their final year are also eligible.     


Candidates can enter in  NDA for Flying Branch, Ground Duty (Technical), and Ground Duty ( Non- Technical). Flying Branch and Ground Duty ( tech) would be offered B. Tech in NDA and cadets of Ground Duty ( Non-Tech) would provide B.Sc Degree.


AFCAT- Air Force Common Admission Test

This is a short Service Commission Entry for Male and Female Graduates in Flying Branch.

Candidates can enter the Flying Branch through the Air Force Academy. The shortlisted candidates are trained as fighter pilots or helicopter pilots or transport pilots. These candidates then become a part of various peace and wartime missions.


Age    20 t0 24 years. Upper Age limit for Candidates holding valid and current Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA.

Nationality      Indian

Marital Status   Single

Gender Men and Women

Educational Qualifications       Minimum 50 % marks each in Maths and Physics at 10+ 2 level

Students can be graduated in any discipline from a recognized board.

Students need to clear both the Sections A & B examination of Associate Membership of Institute Engineers or Aeronautical Society of India from a recognized university with a minimum of 60% marks.

Final-year students are also eligible to apply. Students who have any backlogs will not be considered in AFSB.


National Cadet Corps ( NCC)

This exam has a special entry for male and female graduates in the Flying branch

This mode of entry is open for both men and women to join Air Force. Men are offered permanent commission and women are offered Short Service Commission.


Age    20 to 24 years

Nationality      Indian

Marital Status   Single

Eligibility         Minimum  50% marks in each in Maths and Physics at 10+ 2

Graduate in any discipline  with 60 % marks


BE/BTech from a recognized university with 60 % marks


NCC Air Wing Senior Division ‘C’ certificate and validity of the certificate would be 2 years.

Combined Defence Services (CDS) is only for Male Graduates in Flying Branch

UPSC conducts the CDS exam for recruitment of officer cadre in the Indian Air Force.


For Ground Duty (Non-Technical) Branches

This branch steers the Indian Air Force. The age requirement is 20 to 26 years for graduates. The candidates below the age of 25 years must be unmarried and Indian. The eligibility based on the education depends on course to course. There are various branches in which candidates can apply for. Hence, some of them are the Accounts Branch, Administration Branch, Logistics Branch, etc. For graduates and Post Graduates there is Education Branch, Meteorology Branch.


Students can enter into the ground duty ( Technical ) branch through two schemes, both through AFCAT is by studying Aeronautical Engineering Course. They need to depend upon the engineering stream. Hence, they must obtain a score of a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent in any one of the disciplines. Both men and women can apply for this course. Even final year students are eligible to apply only if they do not have any present backlog.

 By Swaranshi Chhabra 

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