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UPSC CDS Pay Scale, Salary Structure, Vacancies, and Other Benefits

Vaibhav BansalUpdated On: March 21, 2022 02:40 pm IST | UPSC CDS

UPSC CDS is one of the most sought after fields. Read this article to know about CDS Salary, Training Stipend, Benefits & Perks, and Promotion Policy.

UPSC CDS Pay Scale

UPSC CDS Exam: After clearing the CDS 2022 selection process, the candidates will undergo the Cadet training during which the officers in Army, Navy, or equivalent posts get a fixed stipend which is the base salary of Level 10. The starting salary i.e. the training stipend is 56,100/ per month. After the training is completed and the cadets are successfully commissioned they get a salary that comprises Basic Pay and Allowances such as DA, High Altitude Allowance, Uniform Allowance, and others. The amount of the salary will vary depending on the designation and academy of the officers. 

Also ReadHow to Crack SSB in First Attempt: Tips to Qualify CDS, UPSC NDA & NA

UPSC CDS Fixed Stipend

Candidates who get admitted to Army, Navy, or Air Force following clearing the UPSC CDS exam and SSB are first required to experience Cadet Training. During the training period, the candidates of all the three defense forces are given a fixed stipend of INR 56,100 per month. This is also the beginning compensation of officers working at Level 10. Candidates must know that this period is not counted as commission service. After getting successfully commissioned, candidates would get all the arrears remaining based on their pay matrix with effect from their training period.

UPSC CDS Salary & Pay Scale of Officers

In the following table, the salary and pay scale is mentioned as per the designation for IMA, IFA, AFA & OTA: 



Pay Scale


Level 10

INR 56,100 – 1,77,500


Level 10 B

INR 61,300 – 1,93,900


Level 11

INR 69,400 – 2,07,200

Lieutenant Colonel

Level 12 A

INR 1,21,200 – 2,12,400


Level 13

INR 1,30,600 – 2,15,900


Level 13A

INR 1,39,600 – 2,17,600

Major General

Level 14

INR 1,44,200 – 2,18,200

Lieutenant General HAG Scale

Level 15

INR 1,82,200 – 2,24,100

HAG + Scale

Level 16

INR 2,05,400 – 2,24,400

Lieutenant General (NFSG) / Army Cdr / VCOAS

Level 17

INR 2,25,000 (Fixed)


Level 18

INR 2,25,000 (Fixed)

Military Service Pay (MSP): For officers in the rank of Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel or Brigadier in Army or equivalent posts in Air Force and Navy are offered the Military Service Pay (MSP) of INR 15,500 each month.

Also Check: List of Most Important Topics for UPSC CDS (I) GK 2022: Preparation Tips

UPSC CDS Allowances & Perks

Apart from a decent salary package, the officers are also eligible for some allowances such as Flying Allowance, Dearness Allowance, High Altitude Allowance, Uniform Allowance, etc. Have a look at these allowances and perks mentioned below.

Allowances & Perks


Flying Allowance

Pilots in Level 10 & above pay scale get Rs 25,000 per month as flying allowance

Dearness Allowance

Same rates as applicable to civilian personnel

Kit Maintenance Allowance

Combined with the newly proposed dress allowance of INR 20,000 annually

Highly Active Field Area (HAFA) Allowance

For officers serving in rank 10 or above get INR 16,900 per month

Field Area Allowance

For officers serving in rank 10 or above get INR 10,500 per month

Modified Field Area Allowance

For officers serving in rank 10 or above get INR 6,300 per month

High Altitude Allowance

Category-I – For officers serving in rank 10 or above get INR 3,400 per month 

Category-II –  For officers serving in rank 10 or above get INR 5,300 per month

Category-III – For officers serving in rank 10 or above get INR 25,000 per month

Siachen Allowance

Rs. 42,500 per month

Uniform allowance

Rs. 20,000 per month

Free Ration

Officer in Peace & Filed Areas get Free ration.

Transport Allowance (TPTA)

Higher TPTA Cities: Rs 7200 + DA per month 

Other Places: Rs 3600 +DA per month

Officials of pay level 14 and above who are allowed to use the official car can either utilize the official car or take an allowance of INR 15,750 + DA per month

Children Education Allowance (CEA)

Rs. 2250 per month per child only for the two eldest children is applicable from Nursery to 12th class

Qualification Grant

Employees will be governed according to the newly proposed Higher Qualification Incentive (HQI). The order is yet to be issued by MoD.

UPSC CDS Salary: Additional Benefits 

Officers in the Navy/ Army/ Air Force are entitled to some additional benefits that includes - Annual Leave of 60 days per year and a casual leave of 20 days per year. To cover incidental travel expenses CDS officers can encash their Annual Leave up to 10 days along with the Leave Travel Concession till 60 days in a career span.

Officers, along with their family members, get other benefits like free medical assistance, group insurance scheme, lodging on concessional rent, canteen facilities, group housing scheme, family assistance scheme, and more.

UPSC CDS Promotion Policy

The promotion ranks are different in all the armed forces. So, have a look at the promotion criteria for officers recruited in Indian Military, Navy, OTA, and Air Force below.

  • Promotion Policy in Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA)


Promotion Criteria


After completing training


2 years of commissioned service


6 years of commissioned service

Lieutenant Colonel

13 years of commissioned service

Colonel (Time Scale)

26 years of commissioned service


15 years of commissioned service


On Selection

Major General

On Selection

Lieutenant General

On Selection


On Selection

  • Promotion Policy in Air Force Academy (AFA)


Promotion Criteria

Flying Officer

On Commission

Flight Lieutenant

2 Years of commissioned service

Squadron Leader

6 years of commissioned service

Wing Commander

13 years of commissioned service

Group Captain

26 years of commissioned service

Group Captain (Select)


Air Commodore


Air Vice-Marshal


Air Marshal


Air Chief Marshal


Promotion Policy in Officers Training Academy (OTA)

On successful completion of training, Gentleman/Lady cadets are granted with the Short Service Commission in the rank of Lieutenant (SSCOs) by the OTA. These cadets  are eligible for the following promotion avenues:


Promotion Criteria


On completion of 2 years of commissioned service


On completion of 6 years of commissioned service

Lieutenant Colonel

On completion of 13 years of commissioned service


Q. What is the starting salary of CDS Officer?

The Entry Level Pay For Officers Recruited By IMA, INA, AFA Or OTA Is Rs 56,100 Plus Allowances.

Q. What is the rank assigned to CDS Officer after training?

The CDS Officers After Training Are Commissioned In The Rank Of Sub-Lieutenant (INA), Lieutenant (IMA), Flying Officer (AFA), Lieutenant (OTA) (Both Men & Women).

Q. What is the CDS OTA salary?

The salary of the CDS OTA category is the same as other categories i.e. 56,100 per month.

Q. How long is the training period after the CDS examination?

The training period for Navy, Army, Air Force officers after CDS examination is of 18 months whereas for Officer’s Training academy it is for 49 weeks.


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