Top 10 Defence Exams for Women 2024: Army, Navy, and Air Force Exams For Girls

The overall societal norms in India are changing. Women are now breaking the stigma and walking shoulder-to-shoulder with men in every field. Indian Armed Forces are also accepting a lot more female soldiers and officers than ever before.

If you are a girl with a dream to defend the country then there are a lot of opportunities waiting for you.

There are a large number of exams in India that provide women with gateways to join the Indian Army, Air Force, and Navy. A career in Indian forces not only provides financial security but also gives you a great reputation in society.

Defence Examinations for Women Aspirants in 2024

  1. Combined Defence Services (CDS) Examination
Name of the ExamCombined Defence Services Examination (abbreviated as CDS Exam) 2024
Examination AuthorityUnion Public Service Commission
Age Limit
Indian Military Academy19 to 24 years
Air Force Academy19 to 24 years
Naval Academy19 to 24 years
Officers Training Academy19 to 25 years
Educational Qualification
For I.M.A. and Officers’ Training AcademyDegree from a recognized University or equivalent
For the Indian Naval AcademyAn Engineering degree from a recognized University or equivalent
For the Air Force AcademyAn Engineering degree or a degree from a recognized University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level)
Selection ProcessWritten Exam followed by SSB Interview
Examination ModeOffline (Pen and Paper Based Test)

Conducted by UPSC, CDS is a top examination organised to select commissioned officers in the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Indian Air Force Academy.

The examination is conducted twice a year. To get selected, candidates need to clear the written test followed by an SSB Interview. Remember, only unmarried graduates are eligible to sit for the exam.

  1. NDA Exam
Name of ExaminationNational Defence Academy (NDA) 2024
Examination AuthorityUnion Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Age Limit16.5 years to 19.5 years
Educational Qualification10+2 from a recognized board of education
Selection ProcessWritten Examination followed by SSB interview
Duration of the exam5 hours (Mathematics: 2½ hours, General Ability Test (GAT): 2½ hours)

Just like CDS, the NDA exam is also conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The difference is that you can take this exam after completing your 10+2. After clearing this test, candidates may seek a career in the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Both unmarried male and female candidates are allowed to apply. According to the government ministry, a total of 57 female cadets joined NDA in 2023. Out of which 19 were from Haryana. You can note that common training is given to both male and female cadets.

  1. Military Nursing Service (MNS)
Name of the examinationMilitary Nursing Service (MNS) 2024
Age Limit17 Years to 24 Years
Selection ProcessWritten Test followed by Interview and Medical Examination
Marital StatusSingle/ Married/ Divorced or otherwise legally separated /Widow.

If you are a woman with a degree in nursing then you can consider joining the Indian Army as a Military Nurse. The army recruits nurses on both permanent and short-service commissions.

The first stage of the selection process involves a written test based on Nursing, English language, and Gen intelligence. Those who will clear the written test will be called for an interview and medical test. Please note that only physically fit women candidates are considered for this role.

  1. AFCAT
Name of examAir Force Common Admissions Test (AFCAT) 2024
Age LimitFor Flying Branch – 20 to 24 years. For candidates with a valid and current commercial pilot licence – 20 to 26 years. For Ground Duty Officer – 20 to 26 years
Educational QualificationFlying Branch and Ground Duty (Non-Technical) – 50% marks in physics and mathematics in class 12 exams and a bachelor’s degree. Or B.E/B.Tech with a minimum of 60% marks.
Selection ProcessWritten Test, Interview, and Medical Exam
Minimum Height for Girls152 cm (Relaxed by 5 cm for girls from north-east)

If you are a woman who wants to give wings to her dreams then you may consider joining the Indian Air Force through the AFCAT examination. This exam lets you join the IAF as a Flying Officer or as a Ground Duty staff.

Candidates with both technical and non-technical degrees can apply for the exam.

  1. JAG Entry (Judge Advocate General Entry)
Name of the examJudge Advocate General Exam 2024
Age Limit21 to 27 Years
Educational QualificationAt least 55% aggregate marks in the LLB degree (3 years professional after graduation or 5 years after 10+2)
Selection ProcessSSB Interview and Medical Exam

Female law graduates can apply for Judge Advocate General Entry to join the Indian Armed Forces. This entry doesn’t require you to appear for any written test. Based on your educational qualification, the army will call you to appear for an SSB Interview and Medical Exam. 

  1.  SSC Tech (Short Service Commission Technical)
Name of the examSSC Tech (Short Service Commission Technical)
Age Limit20 years to 27 years   For Widows of Defence Personnel who died in Harness – 35 Years
Educational QualificationBE/ B.Tech in any branch of Engineering
Selection ProcessSSB Interview + Medical Test

SSC Tech is another way by which you can join the Indian army without having to appear for a written test. Candidates are selected solely on the basis of their performance in the SSB Interview and Medical test. You need to have a degree in engineering to apply for this test.

  1. NCC Special Entry
Name of the entryNational Cadet Corps (NCC) Special Entry 2024
Age Limit19 to 25
Educational QualificationA bachelor’s degree from a recognized university
Number of Vacancies55 (approx)
Selection ProcessSSB Interview + Medical Test

The Indian Army has a provision that allows women with NCC “C” certificates to join the army as short-service commissioned officers. The age of a candidate looking for this entry should be less than 25 years. Please note that the NCC “C” certificate is not mandatory for Wards of Battle Casualties. There is no written test. Candidates are directly called for SSB Interviews.

  1. Agnipath Entry
Name of the entryAgneepath Yojana Entry Scheme, India
Age Limit18 years to 23 years
Service Duration4 years
Selection ProcessPhysical Fitness and Physical Measurement Test + Medical Test + Written Test through Common Entrance Examination
Educational QualificationGeneral Duty Soldier – 10th pass with 45% aggregate marks. No percentage requirement for higher qualification.   Soldier Technical – 10+2 in Science with Physics, Chemistry, Maths and English.   Soldier Clerk/ Store Keeper Technical – 10+2/Intermediate exam passed in any stream (Arts, Commerce, Science) with 50% marks in aggregate and a minimum of 40% marks in each subject.

Those girls who are interested in joining the army, navy, or air force as a soldier can apply for the Agnipath Scheme. Please note that you will get to serve in the forces for 4 years only. The recruitment process is different for various forces. However, you should be physically and mentally fit.

  1. Women Military Police
Name of the examAgniveer General Duty (Women Military Police)
Age Limit17 and half years to 21 years 
Service Duration4 years
Selection ProcessPhysical Fitness and Physical Measurement Test + Medical Test + Written Test through Common Entrance Examination
Educational Qualification10th with 45% marks

The Indian army has recently started to induct the Women Military Police. You can also join this force to live your dream of wearing the army uniform. The selection process is quite similar to the Agnipath entry scheme.

Please note that as per the last notification, the selected candidates will be posted in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura & Meghalaya.

  1. Army Dental Corps
Name of the examArmy Dental Corps 2024
Age LimitNot more than 45 as of 31st December 2024
Selection ProcessNEET Score + Interview + Medical Test
Education QualificationBDS with at least 55% marks or MDS

Those women who are dentists by profession can also join the Indian Army through the Dental Corps Entry Scheme. Aspirants should have a BDS/ MDS degree from a recognized dental college.

Candidates will be shortlisted for the interview on the basis of their NEET (MDS) scores. The final selection will be based on an interview

Frequently Asked Questions

Are women recruited for core combat roles in the Indian Army?

No, Women are not recruited to serve as combat troops. They can choose only from streams like the Army Education Corps, Corps of Signals, Intelligence Corps, and Corps of Engineers.

Can a woman be a fighter pilot in India?

Yes, the Indian Air Force inducts women in combat roles as fighter pilots.

Who was the first Indian woman fighter pilot?

Squadron Leader Avani Chaturvedi

Can women candidates apply under the Agniveer Yojana?

Yes, women candidates are allowed to apply under the Agnipath scheme or Agniveer Yojana.

Is an army job good for women?

Of course, the Indian Army is a professional force that treats women with equal respect and dignity.

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