Career Prospects through UPSC CDS- Why Choose Defense Services

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Union Public Service Commission conducted Combined Defense Service is held twice a year for the recruitment of eligible candidates in the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy.

UPSC released the hall ticket for CDS on January 10th on the official site. Candidates can download the same by logging in with their registration number and DOB until February 4th. Date of examination has also been announced and is scheduled to be held on Feb 4th for approximately 414 posts.

After an aspirant cracks the written exam, he/she goes to the next level in the recruitment process, which is the interview. Candidates will be analyzed on the basis of their thinking ability, analytical skills, and confidence. The interview is conducted by Services Selection Board (SSB) and successful candidates are admitted in the respective academies.

The official notification of the exam is usually announced in the month of October and June and this exam is conducted in February and November. Graduates who are unmarried are eligible to sit for the exam who are then selected into the academies after clearing the interview conducted by the board members of SSB.

Why Choose a Career in Defense?

There are a plenty of benefits one receives while serving their country, let alone the “Discipline” and “Adventure” factor.


  • Highly respectable and secured Job.
  • Earn a substantial pay scale and a handful of perks.
  • Have an attitude that gives you the courage to come out of the most difficult situation with a smile.
  • Serve and represent your country in the proudest way possible.

After successfully completing the Combined Defense Services training, the eligible candidates that pass out in the rank of a designated officer will be authorized to the pay and allowances of the position.

Lieutenant is the entry-level post and with experience, one may reach up to the post of COAS (Chief of the Army Staff).

Training Stipend

All the candidates who qualify CDS exam get a fixed stipend during their training days. Trainee officer will get INR. 21000 as fixed Stipend which includes 15,600/- as pay in Pay Band plus Grade Pay of INR 5,400 for the entire duration of training.

CDS Salary: Grade Pay

As per the service rule and service code, every different rank in the army is entitled to a different grade pay. It is quite common that as high as you reach, the more salary and grade pay you will get. Let’s understand the statics of grade pay from Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lieutenant colonel, Colonel, Brigadier, and Major-General to Lieutenant General.

Pay band-

  • Lieutenant, Captain, and Major come under the pay band 3, with grade pay of 5,400, 6,100, and 6,600 respectively.
  • Lieutenant colonel, Colonel, Brigadier, and Major-General comes under pay band 4, with grade pay of 8,000, 8,700, 8,900, and 10,000 respectively.
  • VCOAS/Army Cdr. /Lt. Gen (NFSG) come under the pay scale of 80,000, with an annual increment of 3% yearly.
  • MSP is military service pay, which is fixed sum of 6,000, entitled to all the rank except the post of Major General.
  • For Pay Band 3: INR 15,600-39,100 (Pay Scale)
  • For Pay Band 4: INR 37,400-67,000 (Pay Scale)

The officers of the defense services are also entitled to some other perks which include

  • Dearness Allowance (DA)
  • Maintenance Allowance
  • Uniform Allowance– Initial allowance for a one time kit @ of 14,000 and 3,000 every year
  • Transport Allowance (TA) – Transport allowance @ 3,200 + DA thereon p.m. in A-1/A class cities and 1,600 + DA thereon p.m. at other places shall be admissible to the officers.
  • Children Education Allowance

Other allowances during the service are-

  • Kit Maintenance Allowances – 400 Per Month
  • Compensatory Highly Active Field Area Allowance – All the officers posted infield area will be entitled to field area allowance. This is varying component as per the post. The higher post will get the higher amount.
    • Highly active Field Area Allowance rate – 6,780- 8,400 p.m.
    • Compensatory Field Area Allowance rate of 4,200- 5,200 p.m.
    • Compensatory Modified Field Area Allowance rate of 1,600- 2,000 p.m.

If height is higher than 9000 ft. you will get the High Altitude Allowance in the range of 1,060 p.m. to 11,200 pm. In Addition to the above, if one gets posted in Siachen, he will get Siachen Allowance at the rate of 14,000 per month.

Qualification Pay

This is a kind of allowances to all the degree holder candidates. As per your qualification, you will get the lump sum Qualification Grant of 6,000, 9,000, 15,000 or 20,000.

Retirement Pension Plan

To reap the benefits, one must have to serve for at least of 20 years. Pension shall be calculated at 50% of the salary withdrawn by an officer during the last pay drawn.


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