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This article is organised as follows:

  • Part 01: Background to the Indian Army’s JCO & Other Ranks Recruitment & Selection process.
  • Part 02: Getting Ready to Apply.
  • Part 03: After You Apply.
  • Part 04: The Merit List.
  • Part 05: Miscellaneous.


1.0     Introduction

This article provides an overview of the Indian Army’s recruitment and selection process for Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO) and Other Ranks (OR) soldiers.

Modern Indian armed forces can trace their military ancestry, in various forms, back several millennia, with Indian maritime history dating back some 5,000 years. However, the British East India Company established the nascent components of the future Indian armed forces with the creation of army and naval units. The Royal Indian Marine (RIM) was established in 1892, becoming the Royal Indian Navy in 1934. In 1932, the Indian Air Force was established as an auxiliary air force.

At the outbreak of war in 1939, the Indian Army consisted of just under 200,000 soldiers. By 1945, it had become the largest volunteer army in history with just over 2.5 million soldiers.

1947 witnessed the partition of British India and the creation of the modern states of India and Pakistan (both with dominion status at this point). Two Princely-ruled territories, Kashmir and Hyderabad, were also involved in the partition. Hyderabad was eventually annexed by India and Kashmir became a perennial flash point between India and Pakistan. The modern Indian Army was established on 15 August 1947.

On 26 January 1950, India removed the last vestiges of British rule and became a sovereign nation, the Republic of India.

In 1961, Portuguese colonial rule in Goa ended when India annexed the territory after a very brief military operation.

With a strength of approximately 1.4 million active personnel, India has the world’s 2nd largest military force and the world’s largest volunteer army. India also has a strength of over 1.1 million reserve personnel and 1.3 million paramilitary personnel.

1.1     The 11 Steps to the Recruitment and Selection Process

Below are the eleven (11) steps in the Indian Army’s JCO-OR recruitment and selection process:

  1. Check eligibility requirements for recruitment category applying for.
    1. Minimum educational qualifications depend on the job/role you are applying for.
  2. Gather and prepare relevant documents.
  3. Prepare for any tests (physical and written).
  4. Aadhar, PAN Card, Email Identification (ID) and Driving License are now mandatory during service. Therefore, candidates not possessing these documents are advised to apply and produce these IDs in original at the time of enrolment.
  5. Apply online.
  6. Download and print ‘Admit Card’ (take to recruitment rally).
  7. Attend Recruitment Rally (Screening Boards) on date noted in email.
    1. Documents check, and physical fitness test and measurement test.
    2. Physical Standards:
      1. Minimum height, weight and chest measurements depend on the region and state of the candidate, and recruitment category.
    3. Tradesman Aptitude Test (if applying for a technical trade).
    4. Sports Proficiency Testing Board (only for sportsperson candidates).
  8. Attend Medical Examination Board.
  9. Prepare and attend Common Entrance Exam.
  10. Publication of Merit List.
  11. Issue of Call Letter to selected candidates:
    1. Submit relevant documents (within time limit); and
    2. Report for dispatch to relevant training centre on due date.


2.0     Introduction

This part of the article outlines the process from when you decide you want to join the Indian Army to making your initial application online.

2.1     Initial Eligibility Details

The first step in the JCO-OR R&S process is checking initial eligibility for joining the Indian Army. The initial eligibility questions a potential candidate will be asked include:

  • Resident: State/District/Tehsil.
  • Height: must be in the range of 150 to 200 cm.
  • Date of birth (DOB): must be in range of 17 ½ to 23 years old.
  • Qualifications:
    • 10+2;
    • 8th Pass;
    • Engineering/B.Tech;
    • Graduation;
    • Matric; or
    • Post-Graduation.
  • Gender: Male only.
  • Marital Status:
    • Married;
    • Unmarried (Candidates below the age of 21 years at the time of screening must be unmarried);
    • Divorced;
    • Widow; or
    • Widower.
  • Re-mustering: yes or no.
  • Do you belong to a special category?
    • Non-Dispensation category.
    • Ladakhi.
    • Gorkha Nepalese and Indian origin.
    • Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
    • Recognised Tribal Areas.
    • Son or brother of Army personnel.
    • Sportsperson.

The answers to these questions will generate one or more recruitment categories that the candidate may be eligible to apply for, as noted in the next section.

The candidate will see either a green box with ‘Apply’ or a red box with ‘Application not open’. When the candidate clicks on a relevant recruitment category they will be invited to create a username and password, from which they can then formally start their application process.

2.2     Recruitment Categories

JCO and soldier recruitment categories include:

  • Soldier (General Duty) (All Arms):
    • Soldiers (General Duty) are the backbone of the army and consist mainly of fighting troops among other roles, for example:
    • Arms: In Arms you could join the Infantry, Artillery, Armoured Corps, Engineers or Army Air Defence (AAD) as fighting troops, drivers, operators, gunners etc. and many other General Duties.
    • Services: In Services you could be enrolled into Army Service Corps (ASC), Ordnance, Army Medical Corps (AMC) on General Duties, operators, drivers etc.
  • Soldier (Technical) (Technical Arms, Artillery or Army Air Defence).
  • Soldier (Clerk/Store Keeper Technical/Inventory Management) (All Arms).
  • Soldier (Nursing Assistant) (Army Medical Corps).
    • Soldier (Tradesman) (All Arms): The army relies on a large contingent of support personnel, which includes: Chefs, Hair Dressers, Store Hands, Animal Store Holders, Ferriers, Pioneers, Postal, Stewards, Artisans (Wood), Artisans (Painters), Artisans (Tailors), Artisans (Metallurgy), Artisans (Musicians), Equipment Repairers, Dog Handlers, Cleaners, Mess Keepers and House Keepers.
  • Soldier (Nursing Assistant Veterinary) (Remount Veterinary Corps).
  • Havildar (Survey Automated Cartographer) (Engineers).
  • Havildar (Education) (Army Education Corps).
  • Junior Commissioned Officer (Religious Teacher) (All Arms).
  • Junior Commissioned Officer (Catering) (Army Service Corps).

2.3     Eligibility Criteria: Educational

Table 1 outlines the educational eligibility criteria for the various recruitment categories.

Table 1: Educational criteria by recruitment category
Recruitment Category Educational Criteria Age
Soldier General Duty (All Arms)
  • SSLC / Matric with 45% marks in aggregate and 33% in each subject. No percentage required for higher qualification, i.e. 10+2 and above.
17 1/2 to 21
Soldier (Technical) (Technical Arms, Army Air Defence)
  • Sol Tech: 10+2/Intermediate Exam pass in Science with Physics, Chemistry, Maths and English with 50% marks in aggregate and 40% marks in each subject.
  • Sol Tech (Aviation & Ammunition Examiner): 10 +2 / Intermediate exam pass in Science with Physics, Chemistry, Maths and English with 50% marks in aggregate and 40% marks in each subject OR Three years Diploma in Engineering (Mechanical /Electrical/ Automobiles/ Computer Science Mechanical Engineering and Electronic & Instrumentation Engineering) from a recognised Polytechnic Institute.
17 1/2 to 23
Soldier Clerk / Store Keeper Technical (All Arms)
  • 10+2 / Intermediate Exam pass in any stream (Arts, Commerce or Science) with 60% marks in aggregate and minimum 50% in each subject.
  • Should have studied and passed English and Maths / Accounts / Book Keeping in Class X or Class XII with 50% marks in each subject.
17 1/2 to 23
Soldier Nursing Assistant (Army Medical Corps)
  • 10+2 / Intermediate exam pass in Science with Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English with Min 50% marks in aggregate and min 40% in each subject.
  • OR In case the candidate has a BSc Degree with (Botany / Zoology / Bio-Science) and English, the stipulation of percentage in Class XII is waived off. However, the candidate should have also studied all four specified subjects in Class XII.
17 1/2 to 23
Soldier Nursing Assistant Veterinary (Remount Veterinary Corps)
  • 10+2 / Intermediate exam pass in Science with Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English with minimum 50% marks in aggregate and minimum 40% in each subject.
17 1/2 to 21
Soldier Tradesmen (All Arms)
  • 10th / ITI (except Mess Keeper and House Keeper, who may be 8th pass).
17 1/2 to 23
Survey Automated Cartographer (Engineers)
  • BA/BSc with Maths.
  • Must have also passed 12th class (10+2) or equivalent with Maths and Science as main subjects.
20 to 25
Junior Commissioned Officer Religious Teacher (All Arms)
  • Graduate in any discipline.
  • In addition requisite qualification in their own religious denomination.
27 to 34
Junior Commissioned Officer Catering (Army Service Corps)
  • 10+2 or equivalent exam and Diploma or Certificate course of a duration of one year or more in cookery or hotel management and catering from a recognised university or food craft institute.
  • AICTE recognition is not mandatory.
21 to 27
Havildar Education (Army Education Corps)
  • Group X – MA/MSc/MCA or BA/BSc/BCA/BSc (IT) with BEd.
  • Group Y – BSc/BA/BCA/BSc (IT) (without BEd).
20 to 25

2.4     Eligibility Criteria: Physical

Tables 2 to 4 outline the regional, special and dispensation of physical eligibility criteria that may apply to the candidate.

Table 2 outlines the general physical eligibility criteria for the various recruitment categories by region.

Table 2: General physical criteria by region
Region Height (cm) Chest (cm) Weight (kg)
Soldier (GD) & Tradesman Soldier (Technical) & Nursing Assistant Soldier Clerk or Store Keeper Technical
Western Himalayan Region (J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab Hills (Area South and West of the Inter State Border between Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and North and East of Road of Mukerian Hoshiarpur, Garh Shankar, Ropar and Chandigarh, Garhwal and Kumaon) 166 163 162 77 48
Eastern Himalayan Region (Sikkim, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Assam and Hill Region of West Bengal (Gangtok, Darjeeling and Kalimpong Districts). 160 157 160 77 48
Western Plains Region (Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Western UP (Meerut and Agra Divisions) 170 170 162 77 50
Eastern Plains Region (Eastern UP, Bihar, West Bengal and Orissa) 169 169 162 77 50
Central Region (Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Dadar, Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu) 168 167 162 77 [Note 1] 50
Southern Region (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa and Pondicherry) 166 165 162 77 50


  1. Chest 76 cm only for Soldier Technical category from Central Region.

Table 3 outlines the special physical eligibility criteria for the various recruitment categories.

Table 3: Special physical criteria by group
Group Height (cm) Weight (kg) Chest (cm)
Ladakhi 157 50 77
Gorkhas (both Nepalese & Indian) 157 48 77
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep Group including Minicoy (Settlers) 165 50 77
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep Group including Minicoy (Locals) 155 50 77
Tribals of authorised tribal areas 162 48 77
Brigade of Guards 173 50 77
Medium Artillery 170 50 77
Corps of Military Police 173 50 77
Clerk General Duty or Store Keeper Technical 162 [Note 1] 50 77
JCO (Religious Teacher) 160 50 77
Soldier Tradesman
  • Minimum Physical Standard of the regions given above, minus one (1) cm Chest and two (2) kg weight.
  • Height criteria would be at par with Soldier GD as relevant to the region.
Havildar (Education)
  • As applicable to Soldier Clerk / Store Keeper Technical for various regions.
  • However, preference will be given to the candidate fulfilling the physical standard laid down for Soldier GD.
JCO Catering (ASC) / Surveyor
  • As applicable to Soldier GD for Automated Cartographer (Engineer) various regions.


  1. Regional physical standards lower than the standards laid down in Para 2 (h) above will be applicable to clerical candidates belonging to those region.

Table 4 outlines the dispensation of physical eligibility criteria for the various recruitment categories.

Table 4: Dispensation of physical criteria by group
Group [Note 1] Height (cm) Weight (kg) Chest (cm)
Sons of Servicemen (SOS), Ex-Servicemen (SOEX), War Widows (SOWW) or Widows of Ex-Servicemen. 2 2 1
Adopted son or son–in–law of a War Widow, if she has no son including a legally adopted son of Serving Soldier or Ex-Servicemen. 2 2 1
Outstanding Sportsmen (National or State level having secured 1st or 2nd Position in last two years). 2 5 3
For candidates belonging to chronically poor areas and those desirous of joining overage categories who are from families engaged in traditional profession. This relaxation may be given at the discretion of DDG Recruiting (States) or Centre Commandants. Nil 2 Nil


  1. An eligible candidate can be granted prescribed relaxations in all three measurements i.e. height, weight and chest. However, they cannot claim dispensations of more than one category, i.e. parental and sportsman.

2.4.1     Instant Enrolment

Certain candidates can receive instant enrolment into the Indian Army in the Soldier General Duty recruitment category through the respective Regiment or Corps Training Centres:

  1. One son of a battle casualty.
  2. One real brother of a battle casualty, when deceased was unmarried or did not have a male child.
  3. One real brother of a battle casualty provided he gets married to the deceased widow who is issueless or has no male child.
  4. One real brother of a battle casualty provided he gets married to the deceased widow who has a male child but who has not attained age for enrolment.
  5. One real son of the battle casualty when the battle casualty has been invalidated out of service on medical grounds.

The candidates should meet age, educational qualification, physical measurement and medical standards. The concessions as applicable to the sons of servicemen or ex-servicemen in physical measurement will also be given in such cases. They will not be put through any formal test, for example the Physical Fitness Test or written tests.

2.4.2     Sportsman Recruitment

For candidates applying through the sportsman special category, there are just under 30 games and sports that qualify depending whether it is for Halvidar or Naib Subedar:

  • Halvidar: athletics (including track and field events); archery; badminton; basketball; boxing; cricket; cycling; equestrian sports; football; fencing; gymnastics (including body building); golf; hockey; handball; kabaddi; kayaking and canoeing; karate; rowing; swimming, diving and waterpolo; squash; shooting; sailing; tennis; taekwondo; volleyball; weightlifting; and wrestling.
  • Naib Subedar: athletics (including track and field events, marathon and cross country); archery; basketball; boxing; cricket; cycling; football; fencing; gymnastics; golf; hockey; handball; judo; kabaddi; kayaking and canoeing; karate; rowing; swimming; shooting; squash; sailing and yachting; tennis; taekwondo; volleyball; weightlifting; and wrestling.

Candidates should note:

  • That for enrolment of meritorious sportsmen from Unit HQ quota or from the Zones, the list of games as applicable for direct Havildar entry is considered.
  • Different recruitment centres have different preferences for the above games and sports, meaning they may accept some and discount others.

2.5     Eligibility Criteria: Medical

Candidates must meet minimum medical criteria, as outlined below:

  • A candidate should have robust physique and good mental health.
  • Chest should be well developed having minimum 5 cm expansion.
  • Should have normal hearing with each ear.
  • Eyesight:
    • Good binocular vision in both eyes.
    • They should be able to read 6/6 in distant vision chart with each eye.
    • Colour vision should be CP – III (able to recognise white, red and green signal colours correctly as shown by Martin’s Lantern at 1.5 metres).
  • Should have sufficient number of natural healthy gum and teeth i.e. minimum 14 dental points.
  • Should not have diseases like deformity of bones, hydrocele and varicocele or piles.
  • Soldier General Duty for infantry should have 6/6 eye sight.

2.6     Body Tattoos

The following criteria apply for body tattoos:

  • Permanent body tattoos are only permitted on inner face of forearms, i.e. from inside of elbow to the wrist and on the reverse side of palm/back (dorsal) side of hand.
  • Permanent body tattoos on any other part of the body are not acceptable and candidates will be disqualified.
  • Tribes with tattoo marks on the face or body as per their existing custom and traditions will be permitted on case to case basis.
  • Tattoos removed surgically can be accepted, provided it is cleared by the medical authority for HBV, HCV & HIV test. However, surgically removed tattoos should have healed completely at the time of the Med Exam.

2.7     Gather and Prepare Relevant Documents

Once the candidate has met the minimum eligibility criteria for the recruitment category/categories they wish to apply for, there are a number of documents that you are required to gather and prepare as part of the JCO-OR R&S process, as outlined below.

  • Valid E mail address: Each candidate is required to have personal Email ID which will be their user Id. All messages will be sent to the Email ID regarding Short Listing, Call-up Instructions, and Results etc.
  • Mobile Number: Each candidate will be required to have an individual mobile number – sharing of mobile numbers between candidates is not permitted.
  • 12 to 20 copies of latest passport-sized photographs (Sikh candidates 12 to 20 with turban and 12 to 20 without turban).
    • The exact number of photographs required is determined by the relevant recruiting centre and is noted in the recruitment rally documentation.
    • Both ears must be visible.
  • Education certificate/mark sheet issued by the education board (original and two attested photocopies).
  • Residence/nativity/domicile certificate issued by the Tehsildar/District Magistrate (original and two attested photocopies).
  • Relationship certificate issued by relevant Records Office (original and two attested photocopies).
    • Applicable for only the Son of Serving Soldiers / Widows / War Widows and Ex-servicemen).
  • Caste certificate issued by the Tehsildar/District Magistrate (original and two attested photocopies).
    • Caste Certificate with photograph to be signed by Village Sarpanch except in the case of SIKH (Mazbi and Ramdasia), Gujjar and Gorkha candidates wherein it is required to be signed by the authorised signatory of the State Government/Tehsildar/SDM.
    • Candidates belonging to Dogra Community to produce certificate with photograph issued by Tehsildar/Authorised Government Signatory.
  • Religion certificate issued by the Tehsildar/SDM (original and two attested photocopies).
  • School Character certificate from school/college principal/head-teacher (original and two attested photocopies).
  • Character Certificate with photograph issued by the Village Sarpanch/Municipal Corporation/Police issued within last six months.
  • Unmarried certificate issued by village sarpanch/district administrator within six months with photo (original and two attested photocopies).
    • If the candidate is below 21 years of age.
  • No claim certificate countersigned by village sarpanch with photo and by parents for those under 18 years of age (original and two attested photocopies).
  • Kandi area certificate for applicable candidates to be issued by Tehsildar/Authorised Government Signatory.
  • Scanned passport size photo of size between 10-20 kb in jpg format; this photo will be uploaded on the application form.
    Scanned photo of signature between 5-10 kb in jpg format; this photo will be uploaded on the application form.
  • Candidates with any of the following with receive bonus marks (original and two attested photocopies):
    • NCC certificate (A/B/C).
    • ITI/polytechnic/computer course and/or typing course.
    • Participation in sports at international/national/state level with first/second position in the discipline within the last two years.
  • Aadhar, PAN Card, Email ID and Driving License are now mandatory during service. Therefore, candidates not possessing these documents are advised to apply and produce these IDs in original at the time of enrolment.
  • Completed self-declaration affidavit (if applicable).
  • Police Clearance Certificate (if applicable).
  • Bond of Indemnity (if applicable).

2.8     Preparing for the Tests

Candidates should ensure they give themselves plenty of time to prepare for the various tests and assessments they will have to undertake during the JCO-OR R&S process, which include both physical and written tests (outlined in Part Three).

2.9     Apply Online

All candidates must apply online, there is no alternative method.

2.10     Recruitment Offices

A candidate’s location, recruitment category and arm/service applied for will determine which recruiting centre they will attend for their recruitment rally.

  • Headquarters Recruiting Zones:
    • HQ Recruiting Zone Ambala (For Haryana & Himanchal Pradesh), 8 locations.
    • HQ Recruiting Zone Bangalore (For Karnataka, Kerala & Lakshadweep), 5 locations.
    • HQ Recruiting Zone Chennai (For Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh & Pondicherry & Andaman & Nicobar Islands), 7 locations.
    • HQ Recruiting Zone Danapur (Bihar & Jharkhand), 5 locations.
    • HQ Recruiting Zone Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh), 5 locations.
    • HQ Recruiting Zone Jalandhar (Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir), 7 locations.
    • HQ Recruiting Zone Kolkata (For West Bengal, Sikkim & Orissa), 7 locations.
    • HQ Recruiting Zone Lucknow (For Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand), 9 locations.
    • HQ Recruiting Zone Pune (For Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Union Territory of Diu & Daman), 8 locations.
    • HQ Recruiting Zone Shillong (For North East States), 6 locations.
  • Independent Recruitment Office:
    • Independent Recruiting Office Delhi Cantt (For Delhi, Gurgaon, Faridabad, & Mewat District of Haryana), one location.
  • Gorkha Recruiting Depot:
    • Gorkha Recruiting Depot Kunraghat.
    • Gorkha Recruiting Depot Ghoom.


3.0     Introduction

Once a candidate’s online application has been successfully processed, they will undertake a number of tests and assessments based on the recruitment category they have applied for. Some of these tests and assessments are outlined below.

3.1     HQ Quota Screening Board

There is usually a screening board for Regimental/Unit HQ quota candidates which includes a documents check, and physical fitness test and measurement test.

3.2     ‘Admit Card’

Download and print the ‘Admit Card’ and remember to take it with you to the recruitment rally.

3.3     The Recruitment Rally

A recruitment rally is the term for a series of tests and assessments at a single location that candidates must attend and successful pass as part of the Indian Army’s JCO-OR R&S process.

Candidates will be invited to attend a recruitment rally on a date, and location, noted in an email to their registered email address. There are strict entry cut-off time for candidates, make sure you attend on time or be locked out!

A recruitment rally can last from seven (7) to fourteen (14) days, although a candidate would only attend one of those days. Each day caters to a different recruitment category, although some recruitment categories may attend on the same day as each other.

The tests and assessments that a candidate may have to undertake during the recruitment rally include:

  • Take print out of ‘Admit Cards’ to the recruitment rally, along with all requested documents (see Section 2.3), or be disqualified from the recruitment rally.
    • Sons of servicemen/ex-servicemen should bring their relationship certificate, which must be signed by the record office.
    • Candidates from Kandi Area who are less than 170cm in height (but 166cm or more) should bring Kandi Area Certificate issued by SDM for dispensation in height.
    • Verification of education, caste and residence certificates will be conducted prior to dispatch of candidates.
  • Physical Fitness Test (PFT) (see Section 3.4).
  • Physical Measurement Test (PMT) (see Section 3.5):
    • Minimum height, weight and chest measurements depend on the region and state of the candidate, and recruitment category.
  • Tradesman Aptitude Test (if applying for technical trade), conducted by a separate board of officers during the recruitment rally (see Section 3.6).
  • Sports Proficiency Testing Board (only for sportsperson candidates), conducted by a separate board of officers during the recruitment rally (see Section 3.7).
  • Medical examination (for all candidates) (see Section 3.8).
  • Common entrance exam (for all candidates) (see Section 3.9).
  • All candidates are liable to be screened for the use of performance enhancing drugs during a recruitment rally.

3.4     Physical Fitness Test

The physical fitness test (PFT) consists of four (4) sub-tests, which include:

  • 1600 metre run: tests for endurance and awards a maximum of 60 marks.
  • Pull-ups (heaves): tests for strength and awards a maximum of 40 marks.
  • Balance test: tests for courage and is pass/fail.
  • 9 foot ditch: tests for agility and is pass/fail.

It should be noted that candidates applying in the JCO Religious Teacher recruitment category are only required to complete the 1600 metre run.

3.4.1     1600 Metre Run

The 1600 metre run tests a candidate’s physical endurance and Table 5 outlines the marking system used.

Table 5: Marking system for 1600 metre run
Timings Group Marks
All Soldiers (except General Duty)
5 minutes 40 seconds or less Group I 60
5 minutes 41 seconds to 6 minutes 20 seconds Group II 48
6 minutes 20 seconds or more N/A Fail
Soldier General Duty
5 minutes 40 seconds or less Group I 60
5 minutes 41 seconds to 6 minutes Group II 48
6 minutes N/A Fail

There are provisions for extra time when the 1600 metre run is conducted in hilly terrain:

  • Between 5,000 feet and 9,000 feet add 30 seconds to all timings; and
  • Between 9,000 feet and 12,000 feet add 120 seconds to all timings.

3.4.2 Pull-ups (Heaves) Test

Pull-ups test a candidate’s physical strength and Table 6 outlines the marking system used.

Table 6: Marking system for the pull-ups test
Number of Pull-ups Marks
10 or more 40
9 33
8 27
7 21
6 16
5 or less Fail

3.4.3     Balance Assessment

The Zig-Zag balance tests a candidate’s agility. Candidates should qualify and no marks are awarded.

3.4.4     9 Foot Ditch Assessment

The 9 foot ditch tests a candidate’s courage. Candidates should qualify and no marks are awarded.

3.5     Physical Measurement Test

The physical measurement test (PMT) measures a candidate’s height, weight and chest as per state/region (Table 2 above).

Dispensation for the PMT for Sons of Serving/ESM includes:

  • Height – 02 cm.
  • Chest – 01 cm.
  • Weight – 02 Kg.

Candidates should note that all three dispensations can be given at the same time.

3.6     Tradesman Aptitude Test

All candidates applying for a technical (artisan or traditional) trade must successfully pass the Tradesman Aptitude Test; sometimes known as the Aptitude Proficiency Test.

The purpose of the Tradesman Aptitude Test is to ensure that the individuals being selected in the tradesman recruitment category are suitable for the job which they are expected to perform.

The test is conducted in accordance with the Appendix to IHQ of MoD (Army) letter No 62506/Rtg 5(OR)(A) dated 20 September 2006.

Typically, a screening board will conduct the Tradesman Aptitude Test at the recruitment rally, and it is a pre-requisite that candidates qualify at the Tradesman Aptitude Test before moving on to the Common Entrance Exam (Section 3.9).

Candidates in the Soldier Tradesman recruitment category who are declared fail in the Tradesman Aptitude Test, and are in Permanent Unfit (PUF)/Temporary Unfit (TUF) category, will not go for further review medical exam and a medical slip will not be given. This is also applicable for the Soldier Tradesman (Musician) recruitment category.

3.7     Sports Proficiency Testing Board

All candidates applying through the special category of Outstanding Sportsman must successfully pass the Sports Proficiency Testing Board; sometimes known as the Sports Proficiency Trials.

The Sports Proficiency Testing Board is only for sportsperson candidates and is conducted by a separate board of officers during the recruitment rally.

Qualifying sports criteria for outstanding sportsmen include:

  • Participation at international, national, state level with a certificate from a recognised or authorised national, state sports body or authority (will be given 1st preference for selection).
  • Representation in district, college or school team in state, university or school board championship and earned 1st or 2nd position (will be given 2nd preference, though only if the candidate displays exceptional performance in the proficiency trials).

All candidates should note that a sports certificate should be within two years of date of screening; however recent performance will be preferred/given priority for selection.

Candidates must ensure their sponsoring unit forwards the complete details of the issuing authority (with full postal address) and is available for verification in a sponsoring letter from unit. No candidate will be accepted as unit sponsored unless accompanied by sponsoring letter from the unit.

3.8     Medical Examination

All candidates are required to undergo a medical examination.

3.9     Common Entrance Exam

All candidates are required to undertake a written test, known as the Common Entrance Exam (CEE), in a time limit of one hour. The details of the marking system used by recruitment category are outlined in Table 7.

Table 7: CEE marking system by recruitment categroy
CEE Subject [Note 1] Paper/Part Max Marks/Pass Mark No/ of Questions Marks for Each Question Negative Marks for Each Answer
Sol (GD/SHGD) ALL One Paper Only 100/32 50 2 1/2
GK 30/? 15
GS 40/? 20
MA 30/? 15
Sol (Tdn) GK & MA One Paper Only 100/32 50 2 1/2
Sol (Tech) ALL One Paper Only 200/80 50 4 1
GK 40/? 10
MA 60/? 15
PH 60/? 15
CH 40/? 10
Sol (Nursing Assistant) All One Paper Only 200/80 50 4 ?
GK 40/? 10
MA 20/? 5
PH 20/? 5
BI 60/? 15
CH 60/? 15
Sol (Clk, SKT) One Paper Only [Note 2] ALL Part 1 100/32 25 4 1
GK 20/? 5
GS 20/? 5
MA 40/? 10
CO 20/? 5
EL Part 2 100/32 25 4 1
Source: IHQ of MoD (Army) AG’s Br, Dte Gen of Rtg/Rtg B (D) letter No A/64111/R/Rtg 5 (OR) (D) dated 31 January 2014.


  1. GK = general knowledge; GS = general science; MA = maths; PH = physics; CH = chemistry; CO = computer science; BI = biology; and EL = English language.
  2. Candidates are required to score a minimum of 32 marks in Part 1 and 2 separately and aggregate 80 marks in total.

Candidates should note that negative marking is applied in the CEE for all recruitment categories.

3.10     Awarding Bonus Marks

The performance of individual candidates for Soldier General Duty, Soldier Technical, Clerk, Store Keeper Technical, Nursing Assistant and Soldier Tradesman will be taken into account while awarding bonus marks as given below:

  • Soldier General Duty: PFT and CEE marks.
  • Soldier Technical, Clerk, & Store Keeper Technical & Nursing Assistant: (CEE) marks. However, the candidate should have qualified in PFT.
  • Tradesmen with Aptitude Test: 30% PFT marks and 30% CEE marks and 40% Tradesman Aptitude Test marks.
  • Tradesmen without Aptitude Test: 60% PFT marks and 40% CEE marks.
  • Tradesmen Musician: 50% PFT marks and 25% Aptitude Test marks and 25% CEE marks.
  • Havildar Education and Havildar Survey Automated Cartographer: No bonus marks awarded. However, JCO Religious Teacher, Catering and Direct Havildar Sportsman (Meritorious Sportsman) should have qualified in the PFT.

Candidates may also be awarded bonus marks as outlined in Table 8.

Table 8: Bonus marks awarded by recruitment category
Category Marks [Notes 1 & 2]
Soldier (GD) Soldier (Clerk, SKT or Tech) Soldier (Tradesman)
SOS/SOES/SOWW (only for one son) 20 20 20
Outstanding Sportsman (Represented India at International Level) 20 20 20
Outstanding Sportsman (Represented State at National Level) 15 15 15
Outstanding Sportsman (Represented District at State Level) 10 10 10
Outstanding Sportsman (Represented University Team or Regional Team at District Level (only I/II position) 5 5 5
NCC ‘A’ Certificate 5 5 5
NCC ‘B’ Certificate 10 10 10
NCC ‘C’ Certificate Exempt from CEE 15 (exempted from CEE only if attended Republic Day Parade) Exempted from CEE
Candidates having O+ Level Computer Certificate issued by the DOEACC Society N/A 15 (Soldier Clerk/SKT only) N/A


  1. Only one type of Bonus Marks will be given to the candidate, whichever is maximum.
  2. Bonus Marks will be awarded only if the candidate qualifies (i.e. passes) the CEE.
  3. NCC ‘C’ Certificate holders (GD & Tradesman) are exempted from CEE. However, presence of candidates along with original NCC ‘C’ Certificates is mandatory during the CEE to claim the exemption.


4.0     Introduction

Once all candidates have attended the recruitment rally (and any screening boards), their medical examination and CEE, a decision is made on who will be selected based on the number of vacancies and a candidate’s overall score and performance during the process.

4.1     Merit List

The selection of candidates is carried out on the basis of the Common Merit List, and the total number of vacancies available in each trade/recruitment category.

Candidates are notified of their success, or otherwise, via the publication of the Merit List.

4.2     Issue of Call Letter

Candidates who successfully complete the Indian Army’s R&S process will be issued with a Call Letter. This letter will detail:

  • Any further/outstanding submission of relevant documents required to complete the R&S process; and
  • Reporting details for dispatch to the relevant training centre noting the due date.

The training centre a candidate reports to is subject to the state/region and recruitment category they applied for.

  • Para Regtl Centre, Bangalore.
  • Punjab Regtl Centre, Ramgarh Cantt.
  • Rajputana Rifles Regimetnal Centre, Delhi Cantt.
  • Madras Regtl Centre, Wellington.
  • Grenadiers Regtl Centre, Jabalpur.
  • Maratha LI Regtl Centre, Belgaum.
  • Raj Rif Centre, Delhi Cantt.
  • Rajput Regtl Centre, Fatehgarh.
  • Sikh Regtl Centre, Ramgarh.
  • Sikh LI Regtl Centre, Fatehgarh.
  • JAT Regtl Centre, Bareilly.
  • Dogra Regtl Centre, Faizabad.
  • Garhwal Rif Regtl Centre, Lansdowne.
  • Kumaon Regtl Centre, Ranikhet.
  • Assam Regtl Centre, Shillong.
  • Bihar Regtl Centre, Danapur.
  • Mahar Regtl Centre, Sagaur.
  • JAK Rif Centre, Jabalpur.
  • JAK LI Centre, Srinagar.
  • 14 GTC, Sabatu.
  • 39 GTC, Varanasi.
  • 58 GTC, Shillong.
  • 11GRRC, Lucknow.
  • Ladakh Scouts Regtl Centre, Leh.
  • Armd Corps Centre & School, Ahmednagar.
  • Bde of the Guards Regtl Centre, Kamptee.
  • Mech Inf Regtl Centre, Ahmednagar.
  • Arty Centre, Nasik Road Camp.
  • Arty Centre, Hyderabad.
  • AAD Centre, Gopalpur.
  • BEG Centre, Roorkee (Bengal).
  • BEG Centre, Kirkee (Bombay)
  • MEG Centre, Bangalore.
  • 1 EME Centre, Secunderabad.
  • 3 EME Centre, Bhopal.
  • HQ 1 STC, Jabalpur.
  • HQ 2 STC, Panaji.
  • ASC Centre (North), Bangalore.
  • ASC Centre (South), Bangalore.
  • AMC Centre, Lucknow.
  • AOC Centre, Secunderabad.
  • RVC Centre & College, Meerut Cantt.
  • CMP Centre, Bangalore.
  • Pioneer Corps Centre, Bangalore.
  • AEC Centre, Pachmarhi.
  • Army Postal Service Centre, Kamptee.
  • Bengal Engineer Group (BEG) & Centre, Roorkee.
    • BEG & Centre, Kirkee.


5.0     Summary

This article provides a basic outline of the Indian Army’s Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and Other Ranks (OR) recruitment and selection process.

The reader will now have a better understanding of the process they will undertake if they decide that joining the Indian Army is for them.

5.1     Useful Books

  • Rao, K.L. (2016) A History of the Indian Army. New Delhi: Manas Publications.
  • Subramaniam, A. (2016) India’s Wars: A Military History 1947-1971. Delhi: Harper Collins India.
  • Roy, K. (2008) Brown Warriors of the Raj: Recruitment and the Mechanics of Command in the Sepoy Army 1859-1913. New Delhi: Manohar Publishers and Distributors.

5.2     Useful Links