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How to join NIA

Update on 2024-04-11

How to Join NIA - Steps to Become an NIA Officer

How to Join NIA: NIA is a Central agency that works as a counter-terrorism force in our country. NIA is a federal agency that falls under the Home Ministry and its primary objective is to combat terror-related crimes in the country. NIA is an investigative agency that works behind the public view and maintains the internal security of the country.

Candidates who are already working with the law enforcement agency can join the NIA directly through a transfer. Other aspirants who are wondering how to join NIA must read the following carefully.

Overview of NIA (National Investigation Agency)

Competitive Exams to join the NIA:

  • SSC CGL Exams - This exam recruits candidates for the post of Sub Inspector in NIA.
  • UPSC Exams - Candidates qualifying for the Civil Service exam will get a rank in IPS or IRS. Interested candidates can then get a transfer to NIA.

The NIA is an investigative agency and those of you who want to join the NIA must know the following facts:

  • NIA is much smaller than CBI but the power and the area of investigation are wider compared to CBI.
  • NIA has investigation powers in both India and abroad.
  • The headquarters of NIA is in Delhi but it has offices in Lucknow, Guwahati, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jammu, and Kochi.
  • NIA investigates different areas of crime like terrorist operations, human trafficking, cybercrime, counterfeiting operations, plane hijacking, and illegal arms trade.
  • NIA can investigate in any state without permission and every Indian citizen comes under the jurisdiction of NIA.
  • The NIA operates all over India with the help of its different branches.
  • Candidates who belong to the SC/ST category have some relaxation in the age parameter.

NIA comprises 3 main divisions:

  • Administrative division
  • Investigation division 
  • Policy research and Coordination division.

NIA Recruitment Rules:

Aspiring candidates working in law enforcement agencies can join the NIA directly while candidates with a Bachelor’s Degree can join NIA by qualifying for the SSC CGL or the Civil Service exam.

Given below are some NIA recruitment rules which the candidates must follow:

  • The Candidate must be an Indian citizen less than 30 years of age.
  • The candidate must have a Bachelor’s Degree in any stream from a recognized college or University.
  • The National Investigative Agency will prefer candidates having work experience of 1 or 2 years.
  • Candidates must meet the physical parameters set by NIA.

The NIA recruitment rules are much tougher than any other exams and aspiring candidates must prepare well to qualify for this exam.

How to Apply for NIA Recruitment?

  • Go the official website of NIA is
  • On the homepage go to the Recruitment and Training section.
  • Select the option “Recruitment”.
  • Go to the recruitment notice.
  • Click on the link “Inviting for the post of Sub Inspector in NIA on deputation”.
  • Download the documents and take a printout of them for further study.

How to join NIA After the 12th?

For candidates who are wondering how to join NIA after the 12th, the answer is, the minimum qualification for joining NIA is Graduation in any stream. So the candidates can't join NIA after the 12th exam. The candidates must complete their graduation in any discipline from a recognized College or University to join NIA.

How to join NIA After Engineering?

For candidates who are wondering how to join NIA after Engineering, the answer is all candidates who have completed their Graduation Degree course in any stream can join the NIA. Candidates can appear for the SSC CGL Exams or the UPSC exams after they complete graduation in any stream. Candidates having an Engineering degree can join NIA after qualifying for the SSC CGL or the UPSC exam.

NIA recruitment rules for candidates appearing for the SSC CGL and the UPSC exams:

SSC CGL Exams- There are 4 levels of this exam followed by physical fitness and the personal interview. A candidate has to qualify for each level of the exam to move on to the next level.NIA recruits candidates for the post of Sub Inspector after the SSC CGL exams. Given below are the details of the different levels of the SSC CGL exam.


Tier 1



General English

General Knowledge


General Science

Total marks- 200

Total number of questions- 100

Total time- 1 hour

Tier 2



Time- 2 hours(each paper)

Tier 3

Letter writing test


Tier 4

Computer proficiency test


After the candidate has qualified for all 4 levels of the exam, he/she has to undergo a medical fitness test which includes running, walking, and cycling for a fixed distance. The candidates are shortlisted to the next level based on the scores obtained in this test. 

  • Medical fitness tests the physical endurance level of the candidate.
  • Candidates who qualify for the medical fitness test have to undergo a personal interview test to check their mental endurance abilities and presence of mind.

UPSC Exams- The UPSC or the Civil Service Exam is a direct way to join NIA in the officer position. Candidates can join IPS, IRS, or any other law enforcement agency after clearing the UPSC exams. These candidates can then apply for a transfer to NIA in an Officer position. The candidate must remember that he/she can only apply for NIA only when the authorities release a vacancy notification.

NIA Physical Eligibility Criteria

Candidates who qualify for all the tiers of the SSC CGL exams must undergo a physical fitness test. NIA selects candidates for the post of Sub Inspector who meet the physical eligibility criteria for the  SSC CGL Exam. After passing this test the candidate has to take the final round of the exam which is a personal interview test. The NIA physical eligibility includes the vision test and required Physical measurement of the candidates.

Let us now check the NIA physical eligibility criteria:

Particulars of physical eligibility
Details of physical eligibility


Height of the candidate

Male- 170 cms

Female- 150 cms

SC/ST height relaxation- 5 cm


Chest of the candidate

Male- 76 cm with expansion.

Female- Not applicable


The vision of the candidate

Distant vision- 6/6 in one eye and 6/9 in another eye

Near vision- 0.6 in one eye and o.8 in another eye.

Age limit of NIA Candidates

The age limit of the NIA candidate is 18 to 30 years. However, SC/ST and other sections of society enjoy further age relaxation benefits.

Given below is the age relaxation of the NIA recruitment rules:

Category of the NIA candidate

Age relaxation


5 years


3 years

PwD( General)

10 years

PwD ( OBC)

13 years

PwD ( SC/ST)

15 years


3 years 

Defense personnel disabled during the war with foreign countries

5 years

Defense personnel disabled during the war with foreign countries (SC/ST)

8 years

NIA Syllabus

Candidates appearing for the NIA exams have to go through a written exam and a computer proficiency test. The aspirants must know the exam pattern and the NIA syllabus properly to score well and get selected for the post of Sub Inspector in the National Investigation Agency.

The NIA exam pattern has 2 sections. The 1st section comprises General Awareness, General Reasoning, and Quantitative Aptitude Test. The 2nd section has General English and Computer proficiency Tests. The total duration of the exam is 1 hour.

Check out the NIA Exam Pattern




Number of questions

Total marks


Section 1

General Awareness

General reasoning

Quantitative Aptitude




Section 2

General English

Computer proficiency



NIA Syllabus

Check out the NIA exam syllabus for the written Exams:



NIA syllabus


General reasoning



Visual memories 

Number series

Decision making


Coding and Decoding

Non Verbal series

Embedded figures

Syllogistic reasoning


General awareness

Current affairs

Science and Technology



Awards and Honours

Places and persons in the news


Quantitative Aptitude

Time and Distance

Decimals and Fractions

Whole numbers

Profit and Loss

Data Interpretation


Ratio and Proportion

Fundamental arithmetic operations

Rate of Interest


Computer knowledge

History of Computers

Operating systems

Computer devices

Computer network

Uses of Computer

Security aspects of the PC

Internet programming language(HTML/DHTML)


General English


Fill in the blanks

Spot the error

One word substitution

Idioms and Phrases

One word substitution

Verbal comprehension

Antonyms and synonyms



Job Profile of NIA

Sub Inspectors for NIA have to do fieldwork at the beginning of their career and after gaining experience they will be assigned more difficult responsibilities. The work of the Sub Inspector is challenging as well as risky. In some cases, the Sub Inspector is also assigned Clerical duties. The roles and responsibilities of a Sub Inspector are many and this increases as they gain higher posts.

Given below is the job profile of the NIA Sub Inspector:

  • Analyzing critical intelligence situations and predicting any unforeseen danger.
  • Assisting senior officials in their duties.
  • Sub Inspectors carry out clerical duties like questioning the suspects and witnesses, maintaining their custody, providing their warrants, maintaining custody of criminals, etc.
  • Assist Senior officials in tracking dangerous criminals, busting drug syndicates, locating the Mafia, tracking down terrorists, etc.
  • Arrested criminals were caught during the investigation.

Salary and Benefits of NIA

The salary structure of the Sub Inspector ranges from INR 9400 to INR 34,800. The NIA personnel also enjoy other benefits and allowances.

The distribution of the salary of the NIA Sub Inspector is as follows:


Salary structure

Amount ( in INR)


Overall pay scale

9300- 34,800


Initial pay



Grade pay



Total pay


The salary of the Sub Inspector for NIA in hand varies depending upon the city to which he/she has been assigned. Sub Inspectors for NIA is also entitled to several allowances and benefits:

Salary of NIA Sub Inspector in hand:

  • For X Grade cities- INR 43,166
  • For Y Grade cities- INR 39,492
  • For Z Grade Cities- INR 37,664

Other benefits of NIA Sub Inspector:

  • House rent allowance ( if the candidate is not allotted a Government Quarter)
  • Transport allowance
  • Mobile bill( Limited)
  • Dearness allowance

Promotion of Sub Inspector in NIA:

After recruitment in NIA the candidate may get posted in any one of the following regional offices:

  • Mumbai
  • Lucknow
  • Guwahati
  • Delhi
  • Hyderabad
  • Kochi

The path of career growth of the Sub Inspector is difficult and a candidate normally gets the first promotion after 5 years of working in NIA. A candidate who starts his/her career as a Sub Inspector may get a maximum of 3 to 4 promotions in a year. To become a Gazetted Officer the candidate must get at least 2 promotions after joining NIA.

Higher posts in NIA are normally occupied by the Bureaucrats who are working on deputation. So it is difficult for a Sub Inspector to become a Gazetted officer. Moreover, the promotion of the NIA candidate also depends upon the number of vacant positions available.

Important facts of the National Investigation Agency (NIA)

  • The National Investigation Agency was established by the Indian Government in the year 2008.
  • The main objective of this agency is to combat terrorist operations in the country.
  • This agency comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The National Investigation Agency can investigate terror-related matters in the state without permission from the State authorities.
  • The NIA candidates are selected through the SSC CGL exams for the post of Sub Inspector.
  • The candidates who have qualified for their Civil Service Exam can also apply for Officer level posts in NIA.
  • NIA works to investigate matters that affect the integrity, security, and sovereignty of the country.


Candidates who are interested in serving the motherland can join the NIA. Though the profession of an NIA candidate is thrilling, it involves risks and uncertainty. The National Investigation Agency personnel maintains the peace and sovereignty of the country in a secretive manner by countering terror attacks and performing criminal investigations.

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