‘Wings of Glory’ is the apt term for Indian air force. One of the most prestigious and respected divisions of the armed force service, in fact, the one that demands more strain than others. If you have a dream to join Indian air force this article will give you all necessary information about the entry points through which you can make it through.

The recruitment process is almost similar to other divisions of Indian armed force, also the physical test is equally important as academics and SSB interviews. Here are the basic entry points for Indian Air Force (IAF). Join Indian Air Force1. National Defense Academy or NDA: This one is the easiest entry point to IAF, after your 12th The recruitment through NDA is limited to only male candidates.

The successful candidates who make it through NDA tests will have a three-year common training before they are moved to AFA for basic flying training and allotting the air type of air crafts they would handle, whose specialized training will happen later.

  • Exam will be written and successful candidates will move to SSB
  • NDA entry is only for male candidates
  • Minimum educational qualification required is 10+2 with physics and maths.
  • Age limit is 16.5 to 19
  • Notifications are made twice around May and December
  • Exams will be in April and September
  • The recruitment is done by the permanent commission.

2. Combined Defense Service Examination or CDSE: This is yet another entry for the male candidates after their graduation, while the NDA is after the 12th There will be exams twice a year conducted by the UPSC or Union of Public Service Commission.

Training will be carried out at AFA or Air Force Academy before moving the cadet to other facilities for specialized training. CDSE entry is for all three divisions of armed forces, just like the NDA does.

  • Exam will be written and successful candidates will move to SSB
  • CDSE entry is only for male candidates ( air force)
  • Minimum educational qualification required is a graduation (a three-year course or higher) in any discipline from UGC recognized universities with physics and maths in 10+2 Or B.E/B.Tech candidates. Final years can also apply.
  • Age limit is 20 to 24 years
  • Notifications are made twice around June and October
  • Exams will be in February and September
  • The recruitment is done by the permanent commission.

3. National Cadet Corps or NCC special entry: Here also the entry is limited to male candidates. Most of the training will be almost similar with that of CDSE candidates with the only difference in the type of entry.

Those who have an ‘Air Wing Senior Divisions ‘C’ Certificate’ from NCC shall apply to the flying branch of Indian Air Force.

  • It’s a direct entry provided that the candidate holds an Air Wing Senior Divisions ‘C’ Certificate
  • NCC special entry is only for male candidates ( air force)
  • Minimum educational qualification required is a graduation (a three-year course or higher) in any discipline from UGC recognized universities with physics and maths in 10+2 Or B.E/B.Tech candidates. A minimum of 60% mark is important for the graduates. Final year students can also apply provided that they have no backlogs at the time of SSB.
  • Age limit is 20 to 24 years
  • NCC candidates shall make their application through respective air squadron or DG.
  • The recruitment is done by the permanent commission.

4. University Entry Scheme or UES: This is mainly meant for the engineering students who are at their final years or pre pre-final years. The recruitments are made for technical branch and are limited to men.

The training will be carried at Air Force Academy which will be later moved to Air Force College in Bangalore. The notification is usually released along with Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT).

  • Exam will be written and successful candidates will move to SSB
  • UES is only for male candidates
  • Minimum educational qualification required is a B.E/B.Tech from a recognized university. A minimum of 60% mark is important for the graduates. Final year students can also apply provided that they have no backlogs at the time of SSB.
  • Age limit is 20 to 26 years.
  • Notifications are made around December
  • The recruitment is done by the permanent commission.

5. Air Force Common Admission Test or AFCAT: This is the major drive for Indian Air Force in all three branches viz. Flying, Ground duty, and Technical.

The test happens twice every year by IAF and it includes EKT or Engineering Knowledge Test which is a must for technical entries. The training and eligibility criterion is different across branches.

  • Exam will be written  and successful candidates will move to SSB
  • Unlike others, AFCAT is for both men and women.
  • The eligibility is often depended on age limit and educational qualification, however, a minimum of graduation is often required. The eligibility will be provided on the AFCAT advertisement and their website
  • Branches included are: Flying, Ground Officer post, and Technical
  • Notifications are made twice a year around June and December
  • Exam will on February and August
  • The recruitment is done by both Permanent Commotions as well Short Service Commission (SSC) for both men and women.

There are still two more options available for IAF entry which are Meteorological Branch entry only for postgraduates and Fast track entry which depends on the positions available.

The entry criterions depend on various factors and the recruitment is often notified as advertisements in all major newspapers and on their website.

Always make sure that your physique is in well par with the Indian military requirement in order to make it into IAF or any other armed force service.

To join Indian Air force you will need a sheer determination to make it into another side. Academic screening is one level and physical screening might be other, so better be well prepared before making it for IAF service.

Flying branch always do a strict evaluation, rejecting physically unfit candidates. So if you are opting for a flying career at IAF, give more importance to physical aspects of other requirements.