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Difference Between NDA And MNS Exam

Difference between NDA and MNS Exam 2

The defence services of India provide many opportunities to the aspirants for them to serve the nation. NDA and MNS are two different ways through which the people can serve the nation as being part of the defence services. 

Before applying for any of the exams, the candidates must know the basic difference between the NDA and MNS exams. It will help the candidate to analyse and choose the best for themselves. Both the exams require certain eligibility criteria which must be fulfilled by the candidate. Both the services have different pay scales and different selection processes. So, the candidate must be aware of it. We suggest you read this article till the end to get an overall idea of the differences between the NDA and MNS exams. 

Also Read: NDA Vs MNS Which One Is Good For You?


NDA exam 

NDA exam is a national level exam conducted by UPSC twice a year. It is conducted to select suitable candidates for the three branches of the Indian defence system i.e. Army, Navy and Air Force. 

NDA exam provides the gateway to the candidates to make their career in the defence forces. It is a two-step process. The first stage consists of the written exam that the candidate has to pass. The second stage is a personality test and interview conducted by the SSB.

MNS exam 

Conducted yearly by the Directorate General of Medical Services (DGMS), Indian Army B.Sc. Nursing services are is the gateway for women to serve the nation through the Indian Army. Military nursing service exam is only conducted for women. It is a three-stage recruitment process. First, is the online mode of test that is attempted by the candidates. Those who pass move to the second stage of the interview. Cracking this round leads the candidate to the third and final round, which is the medical examination. 

Who can apply?

NDA exam 

Earlier, only men were allowed to apply for the NDA exam, but now women are also allowed to appear in the UPSC NDA exam. On August 18, the Supreme Court has passed an interim order to allow women to join UPSC National Defence Academy & Naval Academy (NDA & NA) exam.

The candidates must see the eligibility criteria before applying for the NDA exam. The vacancies are announced by the UPSC authority through the notification that was released 2-3, months earlier from the exam. 

Both male and female who completes the eligibility criteria are eligible to apply for the NDA exam. 

MNS exam 

The women are only eligible to apply for the Military Nursing Services. This service has opened the gates for women to serve the nation and join the army from an early age, after class 12. The minimum eligibility requirements make this service very suitable for women. 

Although, certain eligibility criteria must be followed and completed before applying for the MNS exam. We will discuss these eligibility criteria below.

Eligibility criteria 

NDA exam 

  • Nationality 

All the candidates including females need to meet the criteria regarding certain requirements need nationality to be eligible for NDA application. The candidate must be either one of the following:

  • A citizen of India
  • A subject of Nepal or Bhutan
  • A Tibetan refugee who moved to India, before January 1, 1962, intending to settle here permanently
  • A PIO (Person of Indian origin) is someone who has migrated from the countries specified below, to permanently settle in India. The nationals from the following countries would fall under this category such as Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania (Formerly Tanganyika and Zanzibar), Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia, Vietnam. 
  • Age Limit 

Candidates between the ages of 16 and 19 can apply for the NDA exam, according to the NDA age eligibility standards.

  • Educational Qualification

Here we have provided the required educational criteria for different posts in NDA in a tabular manner for a better understanding of the candidate. Check out this!

Posts Required Educational Criteria
Air Force and Naval Wings of National Defence AcademyCandidates should have passed their 10+2 or equivalent from State Education Board or University with Physics and Mathematics
Army Wing of NDA ExamPass certificate in 10+2 exam from a recognized board or University.
10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme at the Indian Naval AcademyCandidates should have passed their 10+2 or equivalent from State Education Board or University with Physics and Mathematics.
  • Physical Fitness and Medical Standards

There are certain requirements that need to be fulfilled by the NDA aspirant, which is related to physical fitness and health standards. For detailed information regarding the medical and physical requirements of the NDA, click here

MNS exam 

  • Nationality 

Only aspirants belonging to the Indian territory are allowed to appear for this exam. 

  • Gender 

Only female candidates are allowed to sit for the MNS exam.

  • Age Limit 

 As per MNS eligibility 2022, applicants must be born between October 1, 1997, to September 30, 2005. This is inclusive of both the dates mentioned. The date of birth (DOB) of the candidate will be verified via their class 10 certificate.

  • Educational  qualification

Candidates who wish to apply for MNS must have passed their class 12 exams as ordinary students with Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and English as their main subjects. Applicants who are doing their class 12 exams are also eligible to apply for the Indian Army B.Sc. nursing programme.  Those who have passed their class 12, should have qualified for their exam in a single attempt.

  • Physical fitness standards

Candidates applying for the Indian Army B.Sc. nursing programme must be at least 152 cm tall. In MNS 2022, the minimum height requirement for Gorkhas and candidates from North East India is 148 cm. In addition, candidates who applied for Indian Army B.Sc. nursing 2022 would be required to pass a rigorous fitness check. Admission will be granted only to individuals who meet the requirements for the Armed Forces.

Selection process 

NDA exam 

Every candidate in the NDA Selection Process must take the written test in Phase 1. Those who pass the written exam progress to the SSB Interview phase. Below you can find all the stages that the candidates have to pass to crack the NDA exam.

  • Phase I – Written Exam
  • Phase 2 – SSB Interview
  • Phase 3 – Medical Examination
  • Final Merit List 

MNS exam 

The selection for suitable candidates for the  MNS exam starts from the written exam, which happens in online mode. After passing the exam, the candidates will have to undergo  Interview & Medical Examination. And then the final selection happens based on the marks gained by the candidate in the above stages. 

  • Computer-Based Examination (CBE)
  • Interview & Medical Examination
  • Final Merit List 

Pay Scale 

NDA exam 

The Stipend to Gentlemen Cadets during the entire duration of training in Service Academies i.e. during the training period at IMA is Rs 56,100/ per month. The salary of NDA officers depends on the post, and it may vary from INR 56,100/- to INR 02,50,000/-further, allowances and perks are also provided to the military personnel. 

MNS exam 

The candidates will be given the rank of Lieutenant upon completion of the pre-commissioning processes. The monthly Basic Pay will be Rs 15,600 + Rs 5,400/- Grade Pay + Rs 4,200/- Military Service Pay + DA and other Allowance at current rates.

Rationing, lodging, and other services will also be provided to those who qualify.

How to prepare for the MNS and NDA Exam?


Here, in this article, we have talked about the difference between the MNS and NDA exams. We have discussed the PayScale, selection process and eligibility criteria of both exams. An overview of both the exams is also given at the start of this article. 

Both the services are good at their level. It just deepens on the candidates to know the basic difference and choose the one suitable for them. There are different eligibility criteria required for NDA and MNS exams that must be fulfilled by the candidates if they wish to apply. 

To read more such articles regarding the MNS exam, go to the website of SSBCrackExams and feel free to drop your queries at

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