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UPSC NDA Exam 2021 for Female Candidates: Supreme Court Allows Women to Appear in upcoming National Defence Academy Exam

Archana Shandilya

UPSC NDA Exam 2021 for Female Candidates: Supreme Court has passed the interim order on 18th August 2021 (Wednesday) allowing women to appear in the National Defence Academy (NDA) Competitive Exam. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts NDA Exam twice every year for admission to the Army, Navy, and Air Force wings of the National Defence Academy (NDA) and Naval Academy (NA) for male eligible candidates as of now. The court slammed the policy decision of the Army for not permitting women to appear in the NDA exam and said that it is based on ‘Gender Discrimination’. Earlier the only route for women to enter the Army is by recruitment through short service commission.

Supreme Court passes an interim order to allow women to take the admission exam to National Defence Academy (NDA).

— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) August 18, 2021

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The interim order was passed by a division bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy in a writ petition filed by Kush Kalra seeking permission for women candidates to appear for the NDA exam. The plea stated that “the act of the respondents to categorically exclude eligible and willing female candidates from appearing for the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination over the years, solely on the ground of sex, is a violation of the Fundamental Right of Equality before the Law and Equal Protection of the law.”

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The court said that the present public interest petition raises the issue of violation of Articles 14, 15, 16, and 19 of the Indian Constitution by denying the opportunity to eligible and willing female candidates to join the National Defence Academy. Women candidates should be given a chance to enrol, train and develop themselves in the National Defence Academy into future leaders of the Indian Armed Forces.

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Earlier Centre said in an affidavit that NDA is only one of the various modes of entry for recruitment in the Indian Armed Forces. It pointed out that in the Indian Army, on average 1,470 officers are commissioned which includes 670 officers from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) and NDA apart from Officers Training Academy (OTA) where both men and women officers are commissioned through UPSC and Non-UPSC modes. Apart from this, on average, 453 officers (men and women) are commissioned as Short Service Commissioned officers through SSC (Non-Technical) and SSC (Technical) through UPSC.

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The affidavit also stated that “Training at the NDA does not give any automatic advantage to male cadets over their counterparts from other training establishments/institutions. It has no bearing on the future career advancement prospects.” Centre suggested that the choice of training at any equivalent training academy cannot be a violation of Article 14, 15, 16, or 19 of the Constitution and does not result in gender discrimination.

Also Read: Permanent Commission to Women Officers will be granted in Indian Army Now

Last year, the Ministry of Defence issued the formal Government Sanction Letter for grant of Permanent Commission to Short Service Commissioned (SSC) Women Officers in all ten streams of the Indian Army, i.e, Army Air Defence (AAD), Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME), Army Service Corps (ASC), Army Ordnance Corps (AOC), and Intelligence Corps in addition to the existing streams of Judge and Advocate General (JAG) and Army Educational Corps (AEC).

Below are some important dates for NDA 2021 Exam:

Important Dates for UPSC NDA & NA (2) 2021 Exam

UPSC NDA Online Applications Opening & Closing Date

9th June 2021 to 29th June 2021

Withdrawal of Application Form

6th to 12th July 2021 (Till 6:00 PM)

Download of Admit Card of NDA 2021 Exam

Three weeks before the exam

UPSC NDA & NA (2) 2021 Written Exam

14th November  2021

UPSC NDA & NA exam consists of two stages, i.e., written exam and SSB Interview.


UPSC NDA 2 2021 Exam Date

14th November 2021

How many vacancies have been announced under UPSC NDA 2 2021 Recruitment?

400 Vacancies for admission to the Army, Navy and Air Force wings of the NDA for the 148th Course, and for the 110th Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC) commencing from 2nd July, 2022

What is the Selection Process under UPSC NDA Exam?

UPSC NDA & NA 2021 recruitment process will consist of Written Exam and SSB Interview

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