Difference between Indian Military Academy (IMA) and Officers Training Academy (OTA)

The Dream of every kid once is their life is to Join Indian Army and serve the country. In India, All officers cadets are trained at Indian Military Academy (IMA) or Officers training Academy (OTA)  before being commissioned into the Army.

Here is everything to know about IMA and OTA


IMA is an officer training Academy of the Indian Army that trains officers for the Permanent Commission.To join IMA directly, One needs to be between the age of 19 to 24 years. The cutoff marks for IMA is generally higher than that for OTA in CDSE. This is obvious also since in IMA, there are three papers which a candidate has to appear in whereas in OTA there are only two (NO need to appear for the paper of Mathematics).IMA also provides you with the opportunity to join the army and serve for 30 years maximum.

To join IMA, One needs to appear for CDSE Exam. All Army Cadets from NDA are trained at IMA for One Year whereas Candidates Joining IMA directly are trained for 1.5 Yrs.


OTA is a 49-week course (1 Year approx.).OTA prepares graduates for all branches of the Army, except for the Army Medical Corps.OTA trains both ladies and gentlemen but IMA only trains gentlemen’s.

OTA is for only 14 years and not for life term service.The age limit for  OTA is between 19 to 25 years. You can Join Infantry/Engineering arm from OTA Chennai and OTA Gaya is for TES Entry scheme where you undergo training of 4 years, and you are given a degree of BE.

To Summarize:

Salary: No difference between the salary of an Officer from IMA and Officer from OTA.

Promotion: For higher posts, the preference for promotion is generally as follows: NDA, IMA, seldom OTA. There can be exceptions, though.

Commission: IMA provides you with the opportunity to join the army and serve for 30 years maximum whereas OTA is for only 14 years.

Military knowledge: At the time of passing out all three entry officers are almost at the same level in terms of military knowledge.

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