The clubs have been selected on basis of the licensing process which started on November 21, 2012 when State Associations were asked to nominate clubs interested in participating in the 2nd Division League 2012-13.
AIFF received 47 nominations for the same following which the clubs were informed to submit the documents by December 22, 2012.
The final deadline for the clubs to submit the documents were even extended to January 22, 2012 (by AIFF Executive Committee which met on January 15, 2013) and eventually twenty one clubs fulfilled the criteria.
The list of 21 clubs stay as follows:
EMTA Mohammedan Sporting, Green Valley Sports Club, Kalighat Milan Sangha FC, Southern United FC, Vasco Sports Club (Goa), Royal Wahingdoh, United Soccer, Kenkre Sports, Hindustan FC, Techno Aryan, PIFA Sports, Dodsal Sports, Samaleshwari Sporting, Aizwal FC, Rangdajied United FC, Langsning FC, DSK Shivajains FC, Kohima Komets, Shimla Youngs, Eagles FC, George Telegraph Sports Club.