Top Government Exams in India: Part II

18 Mar 2024  Read 1643 Views

Continuing the series of Top "Sarkari Nukari" in India, we highlighted the UPSC, Banking and Railway examinations in a previous blog (Top Government Exams in India: Part I). Now, in Part II, we shift our focus to exams for Defence & Armed Forces, SSC, and other crucial government sectors. So, let's crack open these exams one by one!

1. Defence & Armed Force Exams 

  • Defence exams, conducted twice a year, recruit eligible candidates for various Indian Armed Forces, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Medical & Engineering Services, and JAG. 
  • Candidates gain entry into different Defense training academies through various Defense examinations. These academies include:

- Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun

- Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala

- Air Force Academy (AFA), Hyderabad

- Officers' Training Academy (OTA), Chennai

What are the types of Defense Exams in India?

What are the types of Defense Exams in India?


  • The Indian Air Force conducts the Air Force Common Admission Test twice yearly. This exam recruits candidates for the Flying Branch, Ground Duty (Technical) Branch, and Ground Duty (Non-Technical) Branch.
  • Candidates with a graduation degree are eligible to apply for the AFCAT exam. Just a reminder, EKT stands for Engineering Knowledge Test and was initially required for individuals aspiring to be Technical Officers in the Indian Air Force. However, starting from AFCAT 1 2023, the EKT test is no longer part of the requirements.

B. Indian Coast Guard

  • The Indian Coast Guard is a branch of the Indian armed forces tasked with defending India's territorial waters. They conduct the Indian Coast Guard Assistant Commandant exam for officer-level positions (Group 'A' Gazetted Officer post). 
  • Graduates who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for this exam, which consists of two stages: a written test and an interview.

Can a female candidate apply for the defence examination?

Female candidates definitely have various opportunities as they enjoy equal rights in India. List of the exams for female candidates:-

  • Combined Defence Service Examination (CDS)
  • National Defence Academy Examination (NDA)
  • Short Service Commission Examination (Technical)
  • Joint Advocate General (JAG) SCWW
  • NCC (SPL) Entry Level Examination

Can I appear for the defence exam after 12th?

Yes, after completing 12th grade, students can pursue various entrance exams to enter defence academies. A list of all the defence exams after the 12th is given below:-

  • Defence Entrance Exams After 12th
  • NDA Exam (National Defence Academy and Naval Academy)
  • Indian Navy B.Tech Entry Scheme
  • Indian Navy Sailors
  • Entrance Exam for Indian Navy Sailor AA & SSR
  • Indian Army Technical Entry Scheme (TES)
  • Indian Air Force Airman in Group 'Y'

Eligibility for the Defence Examination

a. Nationality: The candidate

i. must be a citizen of India,

ii. can also be a subject of Nepal/ Bhutan

iii. could be a Tibetian refugee who migrated to India before 1 January 1969 with the intention of permanent residence

iv. can be of Indian Origin migrated from Sri Lanka, Burma, Pakistan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia, Zaire & Vietnam for permanent settlement purposes in India.

b. Age Limit & Educational Qualification


Age Limit


Marital Status

Air Force Academy (AFA)

20 to 24

Degree from a recognised University (with Physics+Mathematics in 12th) or Bachelor of Engineering


Indian Naval Academy (INA)


19 to 24 

Degree in Engineering from a recognised University/Institution

Indian Military Academy (IMA)

Degree of a Recognised University or Equivalent

Officers' Training Academy (OTA-Men)


19 to 25

Unmarried/ Married

Officers Training Academy (OTA- Women, Non-Technical)

Unmarried/ Widow/ Divorcee

Important Dates for NDA, CDS, CAPF 2024

Defence Exams


Exam Dates


NDA 1 – 20 Dec 2023

NDA 1 – 21 Apr 2024


NDA 2 – 15 May 2024

NDA 2 – 01 Sep 2024


CDS 1 – 20 Dec 2023

CDS 1 – 21 April 2024


CDS 2 – 15 May 2024

CDS 2 – 01 Sep 2024


24 April 2024

04 August 2024

Also read- Should you be doing an LLM in 2024-25?

2. SSC

The Staff Selection Commission (SSC) examination happens annually to hire graduates or undergraduates for different roles in government organisations, departments, and ministries. It's a popular and competitive exam for those aiming for a government job. This national exam fills Group B and Group C-level positions in government departments.

SSC Exam Eligibility


Indian Citizen

Age Limit

18-32 (varies based on the specific job)

Educational Qualification

12th or possess a bachelor's degree

Types of SSC Exam:


  • Staff Selection Commission Combined Graduate Leve (SSC CGL) exam is a highly popular exam among graduates.
  • To get hired for Group 'B' and 'C' positions, candidates must clear two tiers of this exam. Both tiers 1 and 2 are Computer-Based Tests that evaluate candidates' Knowledge of Maths, English, GS, Reasoning, and Current Affairs. Tier 2 is divided into three phases: Paper 1, Paper 2, and Paper 3.
  • Paper 1 is a must for all positions. However, Paper 2 and 3 are required only for applicants to the Junior Statistical Officer and Assistant Audit Officer/Assistant Accounts Officer roles, respectively. 
  • Successful candidates will proceed to a skill test, which could be either a Data Entry Speed Test or a Computer Proficiency Test, depending on the specific position applied for.


  • Clearing the Staff Selection Commission Central Police Organization (SSC CPO) exam opens doors to departments such as Delhi Police, BSF, CISF, CAPFs, and more. 
  • This Exam consists of two online tests to assess candidates' basic knowledge, followed by a Physical Efficiency Test.

C. SSC JE Exam

  • The  Staff Selection Commission Junior Engineer (SSC JE) exam is held to hire junior engineers for projects run by the Central Government and Public Sector Enterprises.
  • The candidate must have finished their degree or diploma in Civil, Electrical, or Mechanical engineering.
  • Age Limit- 32 years


  • The Staff Selection Commission Combined Higher Secondary Level (SSC CHSL) exam is conducted to hire individuals who have completed their higher secondary education (12th grade) for various roles in government departments, offices, and ministries. 
  • These roles include Data Entry Operator, Sorting Assistant, Junior Secretariat Assistant, LDC (Lower Division Clerk), and more.
  • The exam notification will be released on 02 April 2024, taking place from June to July 2024, and the commission will commence the recruitment cycle for 2024 from April.

E. Other Exams in SSC

SSC MTS - Multitasking Staff SSC Delhi Police Head Constable Exam,
SSC GD - Constable, General Duty SSC JHT - Junior Hindi Translator
SSC Stenographer ‘C’ & ‘D’ IB ACIO Exam,
DFCCIL Exam, NRA CET for SSC Exams

For the Official Notification, check out the SSC Website!

3. Other Exams

A. State PSC

  • Every state in India conducts competitive exams through its State Public Service Commission (PSC) to recruit candidates for various state-level civil service roles. 
  • These exams are for individuals interested in serving in state civil services such as police, administrative, judicial, and other related fields.


  • The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is a nationwide exam conducted in eight regions across India. Its purpose is to assess students' knowledge in Engineering and Science. 
  • Additionally, the GATE scorecard is utilised by various Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) like Indian Oil, GAIL, and HP for hiring engineering & technical positions.


  • Assistant Administrative Officer (LIC AAO) is a position for which the Life Insurance Company conducts recruitment for categories like legal, IT, CA, Rajbhasha, and Administrative. 
  • The eligibility criteria include being a citizen of India, having an age limit of 21 or older, with age relaxation for different categories, and having a graduate degree from a recognised government university.

D. List of Other Exams

Indian Economic Service Exam

Teacher Eligibility Test


DOT Exam

National Aptitude Test in Architecture

Indian Statistical Service Exam (ISS) 

Indian Economic Exam

CBSE Central Teacher Eligibility Test

GIC Competetive Exam

About the Author: Anirudh Nikhare | 29 Post(s)

Anirudh did his Bachelor's in Law and has practical experience in IPR, Contracts, and Corporate. He is your go-to legal content writer turning head-scratching legal topics into easy-to-understand gems of wisdom. Through his blog, he aims to empower readers with knowledge, making legal concepts digestible and applicable to everyday life.

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