CDS applications dip a third to 4-year low

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NEW DELHI: Applications for the Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination have dropped by a third from last year to a four-year low.

Data from the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which conducts the biannual written test for admission to the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy, shows that 183,884 applications were received last month compared with 274,835 in October 2016. The commission had been receiving, on average, 235,000 applications for every examination held since 2013, data shows.

The decline in applications is sizeable only for CDS and no other examination conducted by the commission, said an official who did not wish to be named. Each year about 40% of applicants do not turn up for the examination, the official said.

“There is no cogent reasoning to explain the significant dip in the applications received (for CDS) this year. Depending on the rise in population and unemployment, the number of students applying for exam(s) only tends to increase,” the official said.

In 2013, the CDS exam held in the first half of the year received 208,270 applications. The number dipped to 201,603 in the second half.

The following year, it was 241,392 in February and 244,911 in October. In 2015, the applications rose to 255,697 and 242,177, respectively. In February last year, UPSC had received 235,156 applications.