CDS Salary 2024: Check Structure, Pay Scale, Allowances & Benefits

Combined Defence Services Exam 2024 ( CDS )

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Exam On: 1 Sep '24

Dewesh Nandan Prasad

Dewesh Nandan PrasadAssociate Senior Executive

Updated on Jun 21, 2024 10:59 IST

CDS Salary 2024: Candidates who clear the CDS exam undergo Cadet Training at the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Air Force Academy (AFA), and Officers Training Academy (OTA). During training, candidates get a fixed stipend which is the base salary in Level 10. The starting CDS salary, i.e. training stipend is INR 56,100 per month as per the 7th CPC. 

The Combined Defence Services exam or CDS exam is one of the most sought-after defence entrance exams in the country. Eligible candidates through the CDS exam are selected for the post of Lieutenant after completion of training at IMA, INA, AFA, and OTA. 

In this article, we have explained CDS salary, promotion opportunities, basic pay, in-hand salary, various perks, benefits, etc. Candidates should read this article to get all the relevant information on CDS salary and related aspects.

Q:   What is the pay scale in CDS?

A:
The pay scale for CDS officers varies depending on their rank and position. Generally, the pay scale for CDS officers is quite competitive and includes various allowances and benefits. For example, the starting pay for a Lieutenant in the Indian Army is around Rs. 56,100 per month. This includes basic pay, Military Service Pay, and other allowances such as Dearness Allowance, Kit Maintenance Allowance, and Field Area Allowance. The pay scales for higher ranks such as Captain, Major, and Lieutenant Colonel are higher, and officers may also receive promotions and increments based on their performance and years of service. It's important to note that the pay scale and other benefits may vary depending on the academy or service for which the officer is recruited, as well as their rank and position.
 

Q:   Can a CDS officer become General?

A:

The chances of becoming General after becoming a CDS officer is very less as in duration of service in the Defence forces play a vital role in getting promotions. The candidates commissioned as officers after NDA serves for more duration in the Army as compared to CDS. Therfore, the chances of becoming General after NDA is slightly higher. Historically all the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) is an NDA alumni. The current General of India General Manoj Pande is from NDA.

However, the promotions also depends on the performance and contributions of the officers in the Army. So, it is quite possible that the officers with extra ordinary contribution to the Army can gain the positionof COAS (Cheif of Army Staff).

 

Q:   What are the educational criteria to apply for CDS exam?

A:
The candidates who wants to appear for the CDS exam must fulfill the eligibility criteria of the CDS exam. The candidates who did not fulfill the eligibility criteria of the CDS exam will not be allowed to fill out the application for the CDS exam. The educational criteria for the CDS exam have been given below for the candidates Indian Military Academy: Graduation Degree Indian Naval Academy: B.E and B.Tech (Intermediate with Physics and Maths Air Force Academy: Graduation, B.E and B.Tech (Intermediate with Physics and Maths Officers Training Academy (Men): Graduation Degree Officers Training Academy (Women): Graduation Degree.
 

CDS Salary After 7th CPC

It is already mentioned that the stipend given to the gentlemen or lady cadets during the training in the respective academies is INR 56,100 per month. The training period is not considered a commissioned service. On successful commissioning, the officer will be in the pay matrix of level 10 under 7th CPC and will be liable to get all the arears remaining based on their pay matrix with effect from their training period. The table below provides CDS salaries based on different ranks.

Rank Level Salary (In INR)

Lieutenant

Level 10

56,100 -1,77,500

Captain

Level 10 B

61,300- 1,93,900

Major

Level 11

69,400-2,07,200

Lieutenant Colonel

Level 12A

1,21,200-2,12,400

Colonel

Level 13

1,30,600-2, 15,900

Brigadier

Level 13 A

1,39,600-2,17,600

Major General

Level 14

1,44,200-2,18,200

Lieutenant General HAG Scale

Level 15

1, 82, 200-2,24,100

HAG+Scale

Level 16

2,05,400 – 2,24,400

VCOAS/Army Cdr/ Lieutenant General (NFSG)

Level 17

2,25,000 (fixed)

COAS

Level 18

2,50,000 (fixed)

The Military Service Pay (MSP) to the officers from Lieutenant to Brigadier is a fixed amount of INR 15,500 per month.

Related Links:

Q:   What are the perks for CDS officers?

A:
The Combined Defence Services is one of the most challenging but respectable careers to aspire to. CDS officers get many perks, which include the following: 1. Salary: The officers get a fixed stipend during training, which is Rs. 56,100 per month. After commissioning into the respective services, the officers get a salary as per their rank. 2. Allowances: Officers get many additional allowances such as Dearness Allowance, Uniform Allowance, High Altitude Allowance and Children education allowance etc. 3. Ration: In field areas, defence officers get a free ration, and in peace areas they get a Ration Money Allowance (RMA). 4. Other perks: Officers as well as their family members get facilities such as medical facilities, canteen facilities, and accommodation on concessional rent.
 

Q:   What are the stages of CDS selection process?

A:
The selection process for the CDS (Combined Defence Services) exam consists of three stages: Written Exam: The first stage of the selection process is a written exam consisting of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) on English General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics. The exam is conducted in an offline mode and carries a total of 100 marks for each subject. SSB Interview: Candidates who clear the written exam are called for the Services Selection Board (SSB) interview. The SSB interview consists of a series of tests such as Intelligence and Personality Test, Group Testing Officers (GTO) Tasks, and Personal Interview . The SSB interview is conducted over a period of five days and carries a total of 300 marks. Medical Examination: Candidates who clear the SSB interview are called for a medical examination to ensure that they meet the required physical standards for the respective defense services. The medical examination includes a thorough physical and medical examination by a board of medical officers. On the basis of the performance of the candidates in the written exam, SSB interview, and medical examination, the final merit list is prepared, and candidates are selected for admission to the respective defense academies. Therefore, candidates who wish to join the Indian Army, Navy, or Air Force through the CDS exam should prepare well and perform their best in all the stages of the selection process to increase their chances of selection.
 

Q:   Who is eligible to take the CDS exam?

A:

The minimum age limit for applying CDS exam is 19 years. Candidates must be graduate or appearing in the final year. B.Tech and BE candidates can apply for IMA, INA and AFA. The age limit criteria for CDS exam have been given below for the candidates:

Indian Naval Academy: 19 to 22 years

Air Force Academy: 19 years to 23 years

Indian Military Academy: 19 to 24 years

Officers Training Academy (SSC Women Non Technical Course): 19 to 25 years 

Officers Training Academy (SSC Course for Men): 19 to 25 years

The candidates must note that if they don't fulfill the age limit and educational qualification criteria will not be able to appear in the CDS exam. 

 

CDS Salary: Allowances and Perks to INA/IMA/OTA/AFA Officers

Officers in Army, Navy and Air Force are given handsome CDS salary after selection. Apart from the CDS salary, candidates are also entitled to various allowances and perks such as Dearness Allowance, Flying Allowance, Uniform Allowance, High Altitude. All these allowances offered to the officers are mentioned below:

Qualification Grant

This is abolished as a separate allowance. Eligible employees will be governed by the newly proposed higher qualification incentive. The order is awaited by MoD.

Also Read: Best Tips to Crack CDS Exam for Women

Flying Allowance

The Army Aviators (Pilots) serving in the Army Aviation Corps are entitled to flying allowance. The lieutenant and above rank in level 10 and above will be INR 25,000 per month (R1H1 of Risk and Hardship Matrix).

Other Allowances

Dearness Allowance

Admissible at the same rates and under the same condition as are applicable to the civilian personnel from time to time.

Kit maintenance Allowance

Subsumed into the newly proposed Dress Allowance which is INR 20,000 per year

 Depending upon rank and area of posting, an officer posted to Field Areas will be eligible for the following Field Area allces.

Rank Level HAFA Fd Area Allce Mod Fd Area Allce

Lieutenant and above

Level 10 and above

16900 R1H2

10500 R2H2

6300 (60%R2H2)

High Altitude Allowance

Rank Level CAT-I (PM) CAT-II (PM) CAT-III (PM)

Lieutenant and above

Level 10 and above

3,400 (R3H2)

5,300 (R3H1)

25,000 (R1H1)

Siachen Allowance

Siachen's Allowance will be INR 42,500 per month.

Uniform Allowance

It is subsumed into the newly proposed Dress Allowance which is INR 20,000 per year.

Free Rations

  • In Fd Area to all Defence Officers
  • Defence officers posted in peace areas to get Ration Money Alice (RMA) every month

Transport Allce (TPTA)

Pay Level Higher TPTA Cities (INR Per month) Other Places (INR Per month)

9 and above

7,200+DA thereon

3,600+DA thereon

Children Education Allowance

Candidates will be given INR 2,250 per month for the two eldest surviving only. The Children's Education Allowance is admissible from Nursery to Class 12.

NDA vs CDS Salary

The candidates wondering about the difference between NDA salary and CDS salary must go through the enlisted points to know the differences between them:

  • NDA candidates get a fixed stipend of INR 56,100 per month during the training period. On the other hand, CDS commissioned officers are paid INR 56,100 to 2,25,000 depending upon their ranks
  • CDS candidates get slightly higher salaries than the NDA candidates as CDS candidates are recruited after graduation whereas the NDA candidates are recruited after 10+2

CDS Career Growth

The career growth of candidates under respective academies is given below:

IMA

Ranks Timeline

Lt

On completion of training

Capt.

2 years of reckonable commissioned service

Major

6 years of reckonable commissioned service

Lt. Col.

13 years of reckonable commissioned service

Col (TS)

26 years of reckonable commissioned service

Col.

15 years of reckonable commissioned service

Brigadier

23 years of reckonable commissioned service

Major Gen.

25 years of reckonable commissioned service

Lt. Gen.

28 years of reckonable commissioned service

General

No restrictions

INA

Selected candidates may be appointed as cadets on reporting at the Indian Naval Academy. The cadets shall be commissioned in the rank of Sub-Lieutenant after the successful completion of approximately 18 months of training.

AFA

After successful completion of training, candidates will be given the rank of Flying Officer. Candidates are promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant, Squadron Leader, Wing Commander and Group Captain on completion of 2 years, 6 years, 13 years and 26 years of successful service respectively. Grant of Group Captain (select) and higher ranks is only by selections. Promising officers have a fair chance of getting higher promotions to air ranks of Air Commodore, Air Vice Marshal and Air Marshal.

OTA

Selected candidates will be enrolled as gentlemen/Lady Cadets and will undergo a course of training at the OTA for an approximate period of 49 weeks. On successful completion of training Gentleman/Lady Cadets are granted Short Service Commission in the rank of Lt. Candidates will be eligible for promotion in the following ranks:

Ranks Timeline

To the rank of Capt.

On completion of 2 years of commissioned service

To the rank of  Major

6 years of reckonable commissioned service

To the rank of Lt. Col.

13 years of reckonable commissioned service

Other Defence Exam Salaries

NDA Salary AFCAT Salary

Q:   What are the opportunities for CDS officers in private sectors?

A:
CDS officers have a wide range of opportunities for career growth in the private sector their leadership skill, strategic thinking, and experience in managing the large organisations. Some of the opportunities for CDS officers in the private sectors are: 1. Consulting: CDS officers can work as consultants for private companies, advising them on various strategic issues, risk management, and crisis management. They can also provide training and coaching to executives and managers 2. Security: CDS officers can work in the private security sector, providing security consulting services, risk assessment, and threat analysis. They can also as security directors for private companies, overseeing security operations and managing security personnel. 3. Healthcare: CDS officers can work in healthcare industry, especially in hospitals and healthcare organisations that cater to the needs of veterans and military personnel.
 

Q:   What is CDS and what kind of job is offered after clearing the exam?

A:
CDS is a Combined Defence Services Examination conducted by UPSC Union Public Service Commission twice a year probably in February and in October/November. It is a written examination consisting of three papers Maths Gk and English it is a multiple choices question paper. After Clearing the written examination. You get a chance to appear in SSB I. e. Service Selection Board Interviews. And once you are through with it you are required to get training through prestigious institutions of Army, Airforce or Navy whichever you give the preference for. Then after completing the training you are posted as a Officer in the Armed Forces.
 

Q:   What are the most in demand skills for CDS officers in the private sector?

A:
CDS officers possess a unique set of skills and experience that can be highly valuable in the private sector. Some of the most in-demand skills for CDS officers in the private sector include: 1. Leadership: CDS officers are trained to lead and manage large organizations, inspire and motivate teams, and make strategic decisions. The ability to lead and manage people is a highly sought-after skill in the private sector. 2. Strategic thinking: CDS officers are trained to think strategically and analyze complex situations. They can develop and implement effective strategies to achieve organizational goals, which is a valuable skill in the private sector. 3. Risk management: CDS officers are trained to identify and assess risks, develop mitigation plans, and manage crises. The ability to manage risks and crises is highly valuable in the private sector, particularly in industries such as finance, healthcare, and security. 4. Communication: CDS officers are skilled communicators, capable of delivering clear and concise messages to diverse audiences. The ability to communicate effectively is a highly valued skill in the private sector, particularly in roles such as public relations, marketing, and sales. 5. Project management: CDS officers are trained to manage complex projects, often involving multiple stakeholders and high levels of uncertainty. The ability to manage projects effectively is a valuable skill in the private sector, particularly in roles such as programme management, operations management, and consulting. Overall, CDS officers possess a range of skills and experience that can be highly valuable in the private sector. Their leadership, strategic thinking, risk management, communication, and project management skills are particularly in demand in various industries and roles.
 

Q:   How can CDS officers transition to the private sector?

A:
Here are some steps that CDS officers can take to transition to the private sector: 1. Identify transferable skills: CDS officers should identify the skills that they have developed during their military career that can be transferred to the private sector. This may include leadership, strategic thinking, risk management, project management, and communication skills. 2. Research industries and companies: CDS officers should research industries and companies that align with their skills and interests. They can use their network or job search websites to explore job opportunities in various industries and companies. 3. Update their resume: CDS officers should update their resume to highlight their transferable skills and experience. They should focus on their accomplishments and results, and tailor their resume to the job they are applying for. 4. Network: CDS officers should leverage their network to explore job opportunities and learn more about industries and companies. They can attend networking events, reach out to alumni networks, and connect with professionals in their target industries. 5. Consider further education and training: CDS officers may need to acquire additional education or training to transition to certain roles or industries. They can consider pursuing a degree, certification, or training programme that will enhance their skills and make them more competitive in the job market.
 

CDS Salary 2024 FAQs

Refer CDS 2024 Salary FAQs Here

Q:   What are some training programs that CDS officers can pursue?

A:
CDS officers possess a wealth of experience and skills that can be highly valuable in the private sector. However, they may need to acquire additional education or training to transition to certain roles or industries. Here are some training programs that CDS officers can pursue: 1. Executive MBA (EMBA): An EMBA programme is designed for experienced professionals who want to develop their leadership and management skills. The programme typically focuses on practical and applied learning, and can be completed while working. An EMBA can be particularly useful for CDS officers looking to transition to management or executive roles in the private sector. 2. Project Management Professional (PMP): The PMP certification is a globally recognised certification for project managers. The certification is granted by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and requires passing an exam and demonstrating project management experience. The PMP certification can be useful for CDS officers looking to transition to project management roles in the private sector. 3. Six Sigma: Six Sigma is a methodology for improving business processes and reducing defects. The Six Sigma certification is granted by the American Society for Quality and requires passing an exam. The certification can be useful for CDS officers looking to transition to roles in operations management or quality management in the private sector. 4. Certified Information Systems Security Professional: The CISSP certification is a globally recognised certification for information security professionals. The certification is granted by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium and requires passing an exam and demonstrating cybersecurity experience. The certification can be useful for CDS officers looking to transition to cybersecurity roles in the private sector.
 

Q:   What are some universities that offer EMBA programs in India?

A:
There are several universities and business schools in India that offer Executive MBA (EMBA) programs. Here are some examples: 1. Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad and Mohali 2. Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad 3. Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore 4. Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta 5. Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Indore 6. Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Lucknow 7. SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai 8. Xavier School of Management (XLRI), Jamshedpur 9. Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM), Pune 10. Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad These universities and business schools are some of the most prestigious and highly-ranked institutions offering EMBA programs in India. However, there are many other universities and business schools that offer high-quality EMBA programs as well. It's important for CDS officers to research and compare different EMBA programs to find the best fit for their needs and goals. Some factors to consider when evaluating EMBA programs include the curriculum, faculty, location, cost, and alumni network.
 

Q:   What is the mode of CDS application?

A:
The mode of CDS application is online. Candidates who are eligible for the exam can fill out the application form through the official website of the Union Public Service Commission The online application process involves various steps, including registration, filling out personal and educational details, uploading scanned copies of photograph and signature, and payment of application fee. Candidates are advised to carefully read and follow the instructions mentioned in the official notification for the exam and the instructions provided during the online application process. Candidates should also ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria for the exam before filling out the application form.
 

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CDS Exam

Student Forum

chatAnything you would want to ask experts?
Write here...

Answered 2 weeks ago

The medical standard fixed for CDS  including eyesight i.e., - for a male candidates the minimum acceptable visual acuity are distant Vision (corrected) better eye 6/6 and worse eye 6/18 and for women candidates the minimum acceptable visual acuity are distant Vision (corrected) better eye 6/6, wors

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S

Supriya Rani

Beginner-Level 3

Answered 2 weeks ago

Exam preparation for the National Defense Academy (NDA) and Combined Defence Services (CDS) SSB (Services Selection Board) necessitates a thorough strategy that includes comprehension of the exam structure, concentrated study, and both mental and physical preparation.  Regular exercise, running, and

...more

N

Nishtala vks Gayatri

Beginner-Level 5

Answered a month ago

AFCAT exam means Air Force Common Admission Test. This exam is taken to select candidates for admission in Flying and Ground Duty (Technical and Non-Technical) branches in Indian Air Force. AFCAT exam is conducted by Indian Air Force. CDS exam is conducted for candidates who wish to make their caree

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A

Anangsha Patra

Contributor-Level 10

Answered a month ago

The Combined Defence Services (CDS) application form was released on the official website on May 15, 2024. The candidates can able to apply for the CDS 2 exam from May 15, 2024 to June 4, 2024. The candidates can aply for the exam by following the steps given below:

  • Go to the official website- upscon

...more

D

Dewesh Nandan Prasad

Contributor-Level 10

Answered a month ago

The candidates can check the expected CDS 1 expected cut off below in the table:

CDS Written Exam Expected Cut Off 2024
CDS 1 Expected Cutoff 2024CDS 1 Written ExamCDS 1 Final Cutoff 
CDS Cut off AFA135-140260-270
CDS Cut off IMA110-120240-250
CDS Cut off INA108-115230-240
CDS Cut off OTS (female)90-95160-165
CDS Cut off OTS (male)90-94165-170

D

Dewesh Nandan Prasad

Contributor-Level 10

Answered a month ago

The candidates can download the CDS 1 2024 result by following the steps given below:

  • Go to the official website 
  • Click on the CDS 1 Written exam result link 
  • The CDS 1 Result PDF link will appear on the screen 
  • Click on the CDS 1 Result PDF link 
  • The UPSC CDS result PDF will appear on the screen 
  • Check t

...more

D

Dewesh Nandan Prasad

Contributor-Level 10

Answered a month ago

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) released the UPSC CDS 1 Result 2024 for the exam conducted on April 21, 2024 on May 9, 2024. The candidates can download the CDS result as a PDF from the official website-upsc.gov.in. The candidates need not log in to their registrered accounts to download

...more

D

Dewesh Nandan Prasad

Contributor-Level 10

Answered a month ago

Follow the below list of age limits for the 2024UPSC CDS exam:

Indian Military Academy (IMA): In Indian Milatary Academy the condiate should be born between 2nd Jan 2001 to 1st Jan 2006. Also in Indian Naval Academy the same criteria is applied.

Air Force Academy: The candidates who has an age between

...more

T

Tathagata Patra

Beginner-Level 5

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