Combined Defence Services Examination I – UPSC CDS Exam I 2018 Physical Standards

CDS Physical Standards

Combined Defence Services Examination I – UPSC CDS Exam I 2018 Physical Standards

Guidelines with regard to Physical Standards for Candidates for UPSC Combined Defence Services I Examination.

Note I : Candidates must be physically fit according to the prescribed physical standards. The standards of medical fitness and the Guidelines for the same are given below.

A number of qualified candidates are rejected subsequently on medical grounds. Candidates are therefore advised in their own interest to get themselves medically examined before submitting their UPSC Combined Defence Services I applications to avoid disappointment at the final stage.

Note II : Permanent body tattoos are only Permitted on inner face of forearm 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 barred from further selection. Tribes with tattoo marks on the face or body as per their existing custom and traditions will be permitted on a case to case basis.

A candidate recommended by the Services Selection Board will undergo a medical examination by a Board of Service Medical Officers. Women candidates will undergo Medical Examination by a Medical Board comprising Male / Female Doctors / Specialists / Gynaecologist. There will be a lady Medical Officer as member of Board. Only those candidates will be admitted to the Academy who are declared fit by the Medical Board.

However, the candidates declared unfit will be intimated by the President of the Medical Board and procedure for request for an Appeal Medical Board ( AMB ) will also be intimated to the candidate.

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Candidates who are unfit may apply for Appeal Medical Board ( AMB ) to be completed within 42 days of SMB and may request for Review Medical Board ( RMB ) within one day of completion of Appeal Medical Board.

Candidates declared unfit by AMB will be intimated by the President AMB about procedure of challenging the findings of AMB. The candidates will also be intimated that holding Review Medical Board ( RMB ) will be granted at the discretion of DGAFMS based on the merit of the case and that RMB is not a matter of right.

The candidate should address the request for RMB if he / she so desires to ADG Rtg. ( CDSE ) Army Hq., West Block – III, R.K. Puram, New Delhi – 110 066 and DMS ( MB ) / DGMS ( Air ), Air HQ, R.K Puram in case of AF candidates and a copy of the same is handed over to the President of AMB. The O/o the DGAFMS will inform the date and place ( Delhi and Pune only ) where the candidate will appear for RMB.

The candidate must be physically fit according to the prescribed physical standards which are summarized below :

a. The candidate must be in good physical and mental health and free from any disease / disability which is likely to interfere with the efficient performance of duties.

b. There should be no evidence of weak constitution, bodily defects or over weight.

c. The minimum acceptable height for Male candidate is 157.5 cms. ( 157 cms for Navy and 162.5 cms for Air Force ). For women candidates minimum acceptable height is 152 cms. For Gorkhas and individuals belonging to hills of North Eastern region of India, Garhwali and Kumaon, the minimum acceptable height will be 5 cms less. In case of candidates from Lakshadweep, the minimum acceptable height can be reduced by 2 cms.

These concessions are not applicable for Navy and Air Force. Height and weight standards are given below for Army and Navy only.

Interpolation for weights against height not mentioned may be done.

Height and Weight Standards ( Males )
Height in Centimetres ( Without shoes )
Weight in Kgs.
18 Years20 Years22 Years

45 for Navy @ 47 for Navy A ± 10% ( for Navy ) departure from the average weight given in the table above is to be considered within normal limit. However, in individuals with heavy bones and broad built as well as individuals with thin built but otherwise healthy this may be relaxed to some extent on merit.

Height and Weight Standards ( Females )
Height in Centimetres ( Without shoes )
Weight in Kgs.
20 Years25 Years30 Years

The acceptable weight for Air Force candidates will be ± 10% of the average weight given above.

(d) In your own interest you are advised to undergo a preliminary medical check up for wax in ears, refractory error of eyes, fungal infection of skin etc. before reporting for the SSB interview.

(e) All candidates who are selected will be undergoing tough military training and will be deployed to perform military duties in any terrain, weather and austere conditions. In such conditions ill health of any member of the team can jeopardize the military operations or endanger life of the entire team, therefore medical examinations are carried to select candidates who are “Medically fit to perform military duties in any terrain, weather and austere conditions” candidate should be :

  1. Medically capable of undergoing training and withstand physical and mental demands of performing Military duties of Armed Forces.
  2. Medically fit to adapt to the military environment without the necessity of geographical area limitations and capable of performing military tasks without access to specialized medical care.
  3. Free of medical conditions or physical defects that would entail excessive loss of time from duty for treatment and hospitalization. 
  4. Free of contagious diseases that might endanger the health of other personnel.

(f) All candidates will be examined by Board of Medical Officers who have undergone basic military training and are well oriented to working conditions of military deployment and working conditions. Medical Boards are held at designated Military Hospitals based on the principles described above and latest knowledge in the medical and military sciences. The entire body is examined thoroughly to the extent feasible to screen out common congenital deformities and other easily detectable disabilities. The medical examination is not intended to be diagnostic in nature, hence only limited investigations are carried out for the purpose of screening wherever indicated. The standards for 29 medical fitness indicated herein are only an outline, and are intended only for general guidance of candidates. The Board of Medical Officers refers to the more comprehensive Medical Standards for recruitment / Commission into the Armed forces as Applicable.

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(g) The following investigations are carried out mandatorily during Special Medical Board, however, Medical Officer / Medical Board examining a candidate may ask for any other investigation as required or indicated :-

  1. Complete Haemogram 
  2. Urine RE/ME 
  3. X Ray chest PA view 
  4. USG abdomen & pelvis

(h) The following are usual of causes for rejection, the list is not exhaustive and Medical Board is the final authority on fitness.

Sinus, fistulae and hernia, cyst, hyper / hypo pigmented patches, swelling, naevus, vascular malformations scars anywhere on the body.

  1. Head and neck : Muscolo-skeletal deformities which can interfere in using safety gear, cervical rib.
  2. Chest :  Musculoskeletal deformities viz pectus excavatum, pigeon chest, rickety rosary, pleural effusion, parenchymal lesions of lungs, active or residual lesions of tuberculosis.
  3. Abdomen and reproductive system : Hernia, organomegaly, vascular deformities. Renal deformities, gall stones, renal tones etc. Deformities of reproductive system.
  4. Upper limbs, lower limbs and spine : Hyper flexible or restricted movements of joints, Cubitus valgus, Cubitus varus, genu recurvatum, deformities of hands and feet, kyphosis, scoliosis, congenital deformities, like spina bifida etc.
  5. Skin : Vitiligo, scars, vascular malformations chronic skin diseases. 


Visual Standards for Indian Navy

Eyes and Vision standards

Should have :-

  1. Objective Convergence. It should be ≤ 10 cm.
  2. Accommodation. It should be ≤ 12 cm
  3. Binocular Single Vision ( BSV ). It should be at least gradeIII
  4. Visual Fields. Should be complete.
  5. Vision
VisionUncorrected VA 6 / 60 & 6 / 60
BCVA 6/6 & 6/6
Myopia ≤ -3.50 D Sph including
astigmatism, Hypermetropia ≤ +3.50 D Sph
including Astigmatism
Colour perceptionCP-II

The following ocular diseases will make an candidate unfit :

  1. Ptosis. 
  2. Corneal Opacity. 
  3. Pterygium. 
  4. Lenticular opacity. 
  5. Uveitis. 
  6. Nystagmus. 
  7. Entropion/Ectropion. 
  8. Squint. 
  9. Night blindness. 
  10. Retinal lesions. 
  11. Naso-Lacrimal occlusion.

Vision Correction :  Radial Keratotomy is not acceptable. Laser Surgery for correction of visual defects should not have been done earlier than 20 years of age on the date of operation, and also within one year period of reporting for medical examination.

Ears and Hearing standards

Causes for rejection : 

  1. Auricle and Mastoide Region. The pinna will be assessed for gross deformity which will hamper wearing of uniform / personal kit / protective equipment, or which adversely impacts military bearing. 
  2. External Auditory Meatus. Presence of wax, foreign body, exostosis, growth, otomycosis or discharge. 
  3. Tympanic Membrane. Perforations, scars, tympanosclerotic plaques or retraction of membrane. And immobile or partially mobile tympanic membrane.

Hearing Stds. Candidate should be able to hear forced whispering and conversational voice from 610 cms in each ear separately standing with his back to examiner.

Medical Examination of Female Candidates

General methods and principles of medical examination of female candidates will be the same as for male candidates. However, special points pertaining to medical examination of female candidates are given in succeeding paragraphs. A detailed menstrual and gynecological history in the form of a questionnaire is to be obtained from the candidate. A detailed physical and systemic examination 31will be carried out of the candidate and she should be examined by a lady Medical Officer or a lady Gynecologist only.

The examination will include the following inspections :

  1. External genitalia. 
  2. Hernial orifices and the perineum. 
  3. Any evidence of stress urinary incontinence or genital prolapse outside introitus
All married candidates will be subjected to speculum examination for any prolapsed or growth on cervix or vagina. In all unmarried female candidates, speculum or per vaginal examination will not be carried out.

Ultrasound scan of the lower abdomen and pelvis is mandatory in all female candidates during the initial medical examination.

  1. Any abnormality of external genitalia will be considered on merits of each case. Significant hirsutism, especially with male pattern of hair growth along with radiological evidence of PCOS will be a cause for rejection.
  2. Following conditions will entail female candidates being declared unfit.
    1. Primary or secondary amenorrhoea 
    2. Severe Menorrhagia or / and severe dysmenorrhoea 
    3. Stress urinary incontinence 
    4. Congenital elongation of cervix or prolapsed which comes outside the introitus even after corrective surgery. 
    5. Complex ovarian cyst of any size. 
    6. Simple Ovarian cyst more than 06 cm. 
    7. Endometriosis and Adenomyosis. 
    8. Submucous fibroid of any size. 
    9. Broad ligament or cervical fibroid of any size causing pressure over ureter. 
    10. Single fibroid uterus >3 cm in diameter or Fibroids >2 in number, >15 mm in diameter or fibroids causing distortion of endometrial cavity. 
    11. Congenital uterine anomalies except arcuateuterus 
    12. Acute or chronic pelvic infection 
    13. Disorders of sexual differentiation 
    14. Any other condition will be considered on merits of each case by the gynaecologist


Pregnancy would be a cause of temporary rejection. The individual would be advised to report again to the hospital 24 weeks after an uncomplicated vaginal delivery. In case of an MTP / abortion the review will be carried out after a period of minimum four weeks and upto 12 weeks. However, in case of caesarean section delivery, the candidate would remain unfit for a period of 52 weeks. The individual would then be examined by the 32 Gynecologist and assessed regarding her fitness. In cases wherein, a time period of more than six months has elapsed, post her initial medical examination, she would be subjected to repeat complete medical examination as per the existing regulations.

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In addition to the above, the following medical standards will be applicable in respect of Air Force candidates only :

Anthropometric measurements acceptable for Air Force are as follows :

Height162.5 cms
Leg LengthMin. 99 cms. & Max. 120 cms
Thigh LengthMax. 64 cms
Sitting HeightMin. 81.5 cms. & Max 96 cms

X-Ray of Chest is compulsory.

Visual Standards for Air Force

Candidates who habitually wear spectacles are not eligible for Air Force. Minimum distant vision 6 / 6 in one eye and 6 / 9 in other, correctable to 6 / 6 only for

Hypermetropia. Colour vision CP-1
Hypermetropia : +2.0 D Sph
Manifest Myopia : Nil
Retinoscopic Myopia : -0.5 in any meridian permitted
Astigmatism : +0.75 D Cyl ( with +2.0 D-Max )

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(i) at 6 meters – Exo -6 prism D Eso -6 prism D Hyper -1 prism D Hypo -1 prism D

(ii) at 33 cms – Exo -16 prism D Eso -6 prism D Hyper -1 prism D Hypo -1 prism D

Hand held Stereoscope – All of BSV grades

Convergence – Up to 10 cm.

  1. Refractive Surgery : Candidates who have undergone PRK ( Photo Refractive Keratotomy / Lasik ( LASER in Situ Keratomileusis ) may be considered fit for commissioning in the Air Force in all branches. 
  2. Post PRK / LASIK candidates must meet the visual requirements required for the branch as laid down in para
  3. The following criteria must be satisfied prior to selecting postPRK / LASIK at the time of Air Force Medical Examination :-
    1. PRK / LASIK surgery should not have been carried out before the age of 20 years. 
    2. The axial length of the eye should not be more than 25.5 mm as measured by IOL master.
    3. At least 12 months should have elapsed post uncomplicated stable PRK / LASIK with no history or evidence of any complication. 
    4. The post PRK / LASIK corneal thickness as measured by a corneal pachymeter should not be less than 450 microns. 
    5. Individual with high refractive errors ( >6D ) prior to PRK / LASIK are to be excluded. 
    6. Radial keratotomy ( RK ) and Photo Refractive Keratotomy ( PRK ) surgery for correction of refractive errors is not permitted for any Air Force duties. Candidates having undergone cataract surgery with or without IOL implants will also be declared unfit.

Binocular Vision—Must possess good binocular vision ( fusion and stereopsis with good amplitude and depth ).

Candidates who have undergone LASIK surgery are not considered fit for permanent commission in flying branch in IAF.

Hearing Standards 

  1. Speech test : Whispered hearing 610 cms. each ear. 
  2. Audiometric Test : Audiometric loss should not exceed +20 db in frequencies between 250 Hz and 8000 Hz.

Routine ECG should be within normal limits

The following conditions detected on X-ray examination will be disqualifying for entry to Army and Navy :

  1. Granulomatous disease of spine. 
  2. Arthritis / Spondylosis 
  3. Scoliosis more than 10º degree as measured by Cobb’s Method. 
  4. More than mild Kyphosis / Lordosis. 
  5. Spondylolisthesis / Spondylosis. 
  6. Herniated nucleus pulposes. 
  7. Compression fracture of Vertebra. 
  8. Sacralisation Disease. 
  9. Cervical ribs with demonstrable neurological or Circulatory deficit. 
  10. Presence of Schmorl’s node at more than one level. 
  11. Atlanto-occipital and atlanto-axial anomalies. 
  12. Incomplete Sacralisation Unilateral or Bilateral. 
  13. Spinabifida other than SV 1 and LV 5. 
  14. Any other abnormality, if so considered by specialist.

Spinal Conditions for Air Force

Past medical history of diseases or injury of the spine or sacriliac joints, either with or without objective signs which have prevented the candidate from successfully following a physically active life, is a case for rejection for commissioning in IAF. History of spinal fracture / prolapsed intervertebral disc and surgical treatment for these conditions will entail rejection. The following conditions detected during medical exam will disqualify a candidate for Air Force service.

  1. Granulomatous disease of spine 
  2. Arthritis / Spondylosis
    1. Rheumatoid arthritis and allied disorders 
    2. Ankylosing spondylitis 
    3. Osteoarthrosis, spondylosis and degenerative joint diseases 
    4. Non articular rheumatism ( e.g. lesions of the rotator cuff, tennis elbow, recurrent lumbago etc. ) 34
    5. Miscellaneous disorders including SLE, dermatomyositis, polymyositis, vasculitis
  3. Spondylolisthesis / spondylolysis / spondylosis
  4. Compression fracture of vertebrae Scheurman’s disease ( Adolescent kyphosis )
  5. Loss of cervical lordosis when associated with clinically restricted movements of cervical spine.
  6. Unilateral / bilateral cervical ribs with demonstrable neurological or circulatroy deficit.
  7. Scoliosis more than 15 degree as measured by Cobb’s method.
  8. Degenerative Disc Disease.
  9. Presence of schmorl’s nodes at more than one level.
  10. Atlanto—occipital and atlanto-axial anomalies.
  11. Hemi vertebrae and / or incomplete block ( fused ) vertebrae at any level in cervical, dorsal or lumbar spine and complete block ( fused ) vertebrae at more than one level in cervical or dorsal spine.
  12. Unilateral Sacralisation or lumbarisation ( Complete or incomplete ) at all levels and bilateral incomplete sacralisation or lumbarisation.
  13. Any other abnormality if so considered by the specialist.
The Medical standards for candidates of Naval Aviation Branch will be the same as for flying duties of Air Force except limit of myopia in the worst eye is -0.75D and limit of hypermetropia in both eye is +1.5D

Detection of any disability in the course of a special test carried out prescribed for one service, may render the candidate unfit for any other service(s), if so considered as disqualifying by Medical Board.

Physical Conditioning : Prospective candidates are advised to keep themselves in good physical condition by following the under mentioned routine :

a) Running2 to 4 Km. in 15 minutes
b) Skipping
c) Pushups & Sit-upsMinimum 20 each
d) Chin upsMinimum 08
e) Rope Climbing3 to 4 meters



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Combined Defence Services Examination I – UPSC CDS Exam I 2018 Physical Standards


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18 Responses to “Combined Defence Services Examination I – UPSC CDS Exam I 2018 Physical Standards”

  1. Ankur Sharma February 29, 2012 at 10:20 pm # Reply

    Sir I have a query regarding medical fitness. i am 19 years old and i had my gall bladder removed 1 year ago by operation and i have stitch marks on my abdomen. so can you please tell me wether i am fit for CDS or not?
    thank you

  2. Prasanth March 12, 2012 at 3:41 pm # Reply

    Sir, i have breathing trouble if i have cold(during that time only). Am i physically eligible to apply for CDS?

  3. paresh maheshwari March 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm # Reply

    what are the different entries to apply for officer in air force

  4. manali May 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm # Reply

    best coaching institute 4r preparing cds exam in delhi?

  5. BHANU CHANDRA May 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm # Reply

    Is the candidate appearing physical test for CDS must comprise any prescribed weight according to his height

  6. ramesh June 8, 2012 at 12:04 pm # Reply

    sir i having one extra finger sir i physically fit or not . thank u sir

  7. Tomster July 14, 2012 at 8:55 am # Reply

    Can flat foot be considered as a disability during the course of medical tests?

  8. kavishnagpal July 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm # Reply

    which would be the best option to take up coching for cds(ima) in delhi… and i wanted sujjestions on the fact that how do we exactly prepare our body that by the time we are there..we dnt face any probs..

    thankyu so much :)

  9. shubham September 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm # Reply

    my eye no is -4.2.can i join cds after laser operation?

  10. vikki September 25, 2012 at 5:45 am # Reply

    Friends , i’m perfectly in all basis but i’m wearing spects ,now i dont know what to do next , pls help me out…….
    thanks a lot

  11. vikki September 25, 2012 at 5:46 am # Reply

    Friends , i’m perfectly alright in all basis but i’m wearing spects ,now i dont know what to do next , pls help me out…….
    thanks a lot

  12. Deekshith Reddy D M October 5, 2012 at 1:32 am # Reply

    Best coaching institute for preparing CDS exam in chennai?

  13. mayank November 9, 2012 at 6:12 pm # Reply

    hello sir/ ma’am,
    in the year 2001 i was operated because of my left renal, now every thing is fine and i am a basket ball player. i wanted to join army. am i eligible for IMA/ OTA?

  14. hemant November 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm # Reply

    Sir, my left eye is weak and i am going for surgery. am i eligible for CDS after it? there is some muscler problem in my eye.

  15. hemant November 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm # Reply

    Sir, my left eye is weak and i am going for surgery. am i eligible for CDS after it? there is some muscles problem in my eye.

  16. Alok Mishra November 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm # Reply

    sir actually I want to ask that according to height the weight should be littlebit approximate more or less.can that person would be eligible?

  17. Akshaya August 31, 2015 at 11:48 pm # Reply

    I have a power of -2.5 am I eligible for ota??? Suggestions me out with this confusion

  18. Lenavathi K June 9, 2017 at 9:32 pm # Reply


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