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NDA Salary Insights: From Lieutenant to Chief of Army Staff

The National Defence Academy (NDA) is the joint defence service training academy of the Indian Armed Forces, where cadets of the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force train together before they go on to their respective service academy for further pre-commission training. The NDA is located in Khadakwasla, Pune, Maharashtra. It is the first tri-service academy in the world.

According to the NDA eligibility, only unmarried male and female aspirants whose age should be between 16.5 – 19.5 years are eligible to apply for the exam. The educational qualification for the Army Wing of NDA is a passing certificate in the 10+2 exam. Candidates must clear Class 12th with Physics, Chemistry and Maths to apply for the Air Force and Naval Wings of NDA.

 During the three-year training period after NDA exam, candidates receive a monthly stipend of INR 56,100. After the training period, NDA officers receive various allowances such as Dearness Allowance (DA), High Altitude Allowance, Uniform Allowance, and more.

NDA Salary 2024 is provided according to the guidelines of the 7th Pay Commission, as per Level 10 of the matrix pay. 

This article includes the details about the salary, perks, allowances and benefits provided to candidates joining the National Defence Academy.

NDA Stipend-

The NDA exam is conducted twice a year and there are two selection processes – a written examination and SSB Interview. Candidates who qualify in both rounds and make it to the merit list are sent to the National Defence Academy for their training.

The training period is of 3 years. During training, candidates are paid a stipend as per the allowances applicable for the training period.

NDA Salary Per Month during Training
Fixed StipendStipend AmountPay Level
Stipend to male/female Cadets during the entire duration of training in the academyRs 56,100Starting pay in Level 10

Rank–wise NDA Salary-

The NDA Officer salary for UPSC NDA Officers differs for the ranks in the three defence wings:

o Army

o Navy

o Air Force

The salary according to different ranks is given below- 

Rank- wise Salary – Army, Navy, Air Force
NDA Posts or RanksSalary of NDA Officer (Per Month)
Stipend during the training of the candidates in IMAINR 56,100/
LieutenantINR 56,100/- to INR 1,77, 500/- 
CaptainINR 61,300/- to 01,93,900/- 
MajorINR 69,400/- to 02,07,200/-
Lieutenant ColonelINR 01,21,200/- to 02,12,400/-
ColonelINR 01,30,600/- to 02,15,900/- 
BrigadierINR 01,39,600/- to 02,17,600/-
Major GeneralINR 01,44,200/- to 02,18,200/- 
Lt. General HAG ScaleINR 01,82,200/- to 02,24,100/- 
HAG+ ScaleINR 02,05,400/- To  02,24,400/-
VCOAS/ Army Cdr/ Lt Gen (NFSG)INR 02,25,000/- Fixed
Chief of Army StaffINR 02,50,000/- Fixed

Rank-wise Grade Pay-

The rank-wise grade pay of the officers is given below-

NDA RankNDA Grade Pay (in INR)
Lieutenant Colonel8,000
Major General10,000

NDA Salary Structure-

The salary of an officer consists of basic pay and other allowances and perks. These allowances are discussed below-

• Dearness Allowance (DA): Officers receive a DA, It is calculated as a percentage of the basic pay (currently 17%) and varies based on location of posting and inflation.

• Military Service Pay (MSP): This stipend compensates officers for the risks and hardships they face. MSP ranges from Rs. 15,500 for a Lieutenant to Rs. 30,000 for a Major General.

• Grade Pay: It is a fixed amount based on rank. 

• House Rent Allowance (HRA): The amount varies based on location of posting and ranges from 8% to 24% of the basic pay.

• Transport Allowance: The monthly amount ranges from Rs. 3,600 to Rs. 7,200, depending on rank and location of posting.

• Flying Allowance:  The Army Aviators (Pilots) serving in the Army Aviation Corps are entitled to a flying allowance at Rs 25,000.

Tables are given below for the easy understanding about the salary structure-

NDA Allowances 
Allowances Amount 
Dearness AllowanceAdmissible at the same rates and under the same conditions as are applicable to civilian personnel from time to time.
Kit Maintenance AllowancesINR 20,000/- Annually with Dress Allowances
Para AllowanceRs 10,500/- pm
Special Forces AllowanceRs 25,000/- pm
Para Jump Instructor AllowanceRs 10,500/- pm
Project AllowanceRs 3,400/- pm
Para Reserve AllowanceRs 2,625/- pm
Technical Allowance (Tier-I)Rs 3,000/- pm
Technical Allowance (Tier-II)Rs 4,500/- pm

Field Area Allowances:

Depending upon rank and area of posting officers are provided following Field Area allowances-

Field Area Allowance to NDAAmount Payable
Highly Active Field Area Allowance – HAFARs 16,900/- pm
Field Area Allowance – FD AreaRs 10,500/- pm
Modified Field Area Allowance – Mod FD AreaRs 6,300/- pm

High Altitude Allowance: 

Siachen Allowance: Candidates posted to Siachen are entitled to a Siachen Allowance of Rs 42,500/- per month. 

NDA officers posted to high-altitude regions are given the following allowances.

Levels of NDA OfficersAllowance Amount
Category-IRs 3,400/- pm
Category-IIRs 5,300/- pm
Category-IIIRs 25,000/- pm

Counter Insurgency Allowance:

Depending upon the type of area of posting, the following Counter Insurgency Allowance is provided:

Levels of NDA OfficersAllowance Amount
In Peace AreaRs 10,500/- pm
In Field AreaRs 16,900/- pm
In Modified Field AreaRs 13,013/- pm

Transport Allowance (TPTA):

Higher transport allowance Cities are Kolkata, Delhi, Hyderabad, Ahmadabad, Surat, Kochi, Bengaluru, Pune, Greater Mumbai, Jaipur, Coimbatore, Chennai etc. The transport allowance is admissible to those service personnel who have been provided with the facility of Government transport. 

LevelHigher TPTA CitiesOther Places
9 and AboveRs. 7200/ Rs + DA thereon (Per month)Rs. 3600/Rs + DA thereon (Per month)

Other Allowances:

Some additional allowances are also given to the officers. Below given is the list of such allowances:

Children Education Allowance Rs. 2250 Per Month Per Child for two eldest surviving. CEA is admissible from Nursery to class 12th. 
Hostel SubsidyRs. 6,750/- per month per child for two eldest surviving only (admissible from Nursery to Class 12th).
Ration in Kind In Field Area and Peace Area to all defence officers every month
Uniform AllowanceRs 20,000/- per year.

Monetary Support In Case of Death or Disablement:

The following monetary benefits are available to the Cadets (Direct)/NoKs in the event of invaliding on medical grounds/death of a Cadet (Direct) due to causes attributable to or aggravated by military training: 

(These figures are according to the guidelines released by UPSC in 2023-

Deatho Ex-gratia amount of Rs. 12.5 lakhs to the NoK.o Monthly Ex-gratia amount of Rs. 9000/- per month to the NoK.
Disablemento Monthly Ex-gratia amount of Rs. 9,000/- per month.o Ex-gratia disability award at Rs. 16200/- per month shall be payable in addition to 100% of disability during the period of disablement subject to pro-rata reduction in case the degree of disablement is less than 100%.o No disability award shall be payable in cases where the degree of disablement is less than 20%.o Constant Attendant Allowance (CAA) at Rs 6750/- per month for 100% disabled on the recommendation of Invaliding Medical Board (IBM).

Flying Allowances: The Pilots or Army Aviators serving in the Army Aviation Corps are entitled to a flying allowance (R1H1 of Risk and Hardship Matrix) at a rate of Rs 25,000/ per month.

Insurance Policies for Officers:

• At IMA (at the time of stipend) the cadets are provided insurance cover of Rs 75 lakhs with a monthly contribution of Rs 5,000 (with effect from October 1, 2016, as per AGI scheme).

• A compulsory contributory group scheme, Army Group Insurance Fund provides an insurance cover for 15 lakhs rupees on payment of onetime non-refundable premium of INR 6,400 for 3 years. This has to be paid from the date of joining NDA until completion of training.

• In the case of relegation, an additional premium of Rs 1,160 per relegated term will be paid immediately on occurrence.

• For those who are invalided out from NDA by IMB on account of disability and not entitled to any pension areprovided Rs 7.5 lakhs for 100 per cent disability. This will be reduced to Rs 1.5 lakhs for 20 % disability.

• Those who are invalidated out from IMA by IMB on account of disability and not entitled to any pension will be provided Rs 25 Lakhs for 100 % disability. This will be reduced to Rs 5 lakhs for 20 % disability. For less than 20% disability only an Ex-Gratia amount of Rs 50,000 for the initial year of training and Rs 1 lakh during the last year of training will be paid.

NDA Retirement Benefits-                    

Pension and gratuity is given according to the guidelines issued by the UPSC.

NDA Promotions and Opportunities-

Below listed are the promotions given to officers in all the three wings i.e. Army, Air Force and Navy.

NDA Promotion
Minimum Service Required for PromotionIndian ArmyIndian NavyIndian Air Force
On being CommissionedLieutenantSub LieutenantFlying Officer
After 2 years of serviceCaptainLieutenantFlight Lieutenant
After 6 years of serviceMajorLt  CommanderSquadron Leader
13 years of serviceLieutenant ColonelCommanderWing Commander
On SelectionColonel(Selection)Captain (Selection)Group Captain (Selection)
26 years of serviceColonel (Time Scale)Captain (Time Scale)Group Captain (Time Scale)
On SelectionBrigadierCommodoreAir Commodore
On SelectionMajor GeneralRear AdmiralAir Vice-Marshal
On SelectionLieutenant GeneralVice AdmiralAir Marshal
On SelectionGeneralAdmiralAir Chief Marshal

Frequently Asked Questions-

Qus: How much is an NDA officer’s House Rent Allowance (HRA)?

Answer- NDA officer’s House Rent Allowance (HRA) varies by location and ranges from 8% to 24% of basic pay.

Qus: What is the starting salary of NDA?

Answer- NDA salary is fixed in the first Cell of Level 10.  The starting salary of an NDA officer is Rs. 56,100 per month during the training period. 

Qus: What is Military Service Pay given to officers in NDA?              

 Answer- The Military Service Pay known as MSP provided to the officers from the rank of Lieutenant to Brigadier is Rs 15,500/ per month.

Qus: What are the allowances admissible to the officers in the defence academy apart from NDA Salary? 

Answer- Apart from the fixed NDA Salary the officers are providedvarious allowances such as field area allowance, high altitude allowance, Flying allowance, Travelling allowance, dearness allowance, etc.Pension, Gratuity and Insurance benefits are also provided.

Qus: What is the salary of NDA officer per month?

Answer- The salary of an NDA officer per month varies depending on their rank and experience. The starting salary of NDA officers per rank-

Lieutenant     Rs. 56,100 – Rs. 1,77,500
Captain     Rs. 61,300 – Rs. 1,93,900
Major    Rs. 69,400 – Rs. 2,07,200 
Lieutenant Colonel     Rs. 1,21,200 – Rs. 2,12,400
Colonel    Rs. 1,30,600 – Rs. 2,15,900 
Brigadier    Rs. 1,39,600 – Rs. 2,17,600 

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