Age mismatch between Class-1 and NDA entry?
The minimum age for admission to class I of the Primary School stage across the nation is generally 5+ or 6+ years. Students are strictly denied admissions to class 1, if not meeting this age criteria, which is highly in order and as per rules. Advisory Board of Education (CABE) Committee on Free and Compulsory Education Bill also states the same. Data in r/o following prominent schools for admission into class 1 are as given below:-
From the table as given in paragraph 3, it is clear that the lower limit of 16 ½ yrs of entry does not match with the present admission norms of the schools. To enter NDA/NA at the age of 16 ½ implies that the student should have taken admission in Class 1 at the age below 4 years, which is highly doubtful in present system of educational norms since student has to do Nursery, LKG and UKG also. This age limit criteria were apparently acceptable when the educational qualification for NDA examination was 10+1 i.e prior to 1986. In view of the fact that no school gives admission to students in class 1 prior to attaining minimum 5 or 6 yrs age, it is strongly recommended to clear the anomaly at the earliest and make the age limit for NDA/NA entrance between 18 to 20 ½ yrs . This will entail lower & upper limits being raised by 1 ½ yr .
Another serious issue related to this is the in – service discrepancy arising due to candidates joining at the age between 16 ½ and 17 yrs after passing class 12th and those who have passed class 12th as per norms of Education i.e admission in class 1 at the age of 6 yrs. There is also a need to carry out study on percentage of students who have cleared NDA/NA exam with 16 ½ to 17 yrs age especially those who appeared for NDA / NA examination after passing class 12th examination. The authenticity of school certificates of such students should be checked as to how and when they got admission in class 1 at the age of 3 yrs 9 months.
The case merits an urgent review prior to holding next NDA/NA exam and is in benefit of many a candidate desirous of joining Indian Military.