UPSC Eligibility Criteria

The complete UPSC eligibility criteria for the IAS exam is explained in detail in this article.

The IAS preparation procedure starts with incurring accurate knowledge on the Eligibility criteria for the exam. The IAS Eligibility and UPSC Age Limit for the Civil Services Exam 2022 are discussed here.

The UPSC notification for 2022 has been released on 2nd February 2022 by the commission. The Prelims 2022 is scheduled to take place on June 5, 2022. The candidates can check and download the official notification PDF from the linked article.

One must also note that UPSC 2021 is an ongoing examination.

UPSC Eligibility – Latest Update

The UPSC 2022 Notification was out on 2nd February 2022. The interested candidates who want to apply this year, can check the eligibility criteria in this article.

An extra chance in UPSC 2021 for the candidates who stayed away from their final shot at the civil services exams in 2020 has been consistently in the news. Recently, the Supreme court had allowed candidates to submit a representation before the Central government for what it termed as ‘lenient view’ over this appeal. However, the court denied sending any directions to the central government for the same. “We are not expressing any opinion regarding resolution,” the Court noted.

Aspire to be a part of India’s elite bureaucracy?

Check your Eligibility here and get free study material from BYJU’S !


While we strive to provide you with updated information, please go through the latest official exam notification to check the detailed eligibility criteria for the specific exam year to avoid any confusion.

IAS Eligibility Overview

IAS Exam Age Limit 21 to 32 years
Age Relaxation As per category (mentioned below)
Educational Qualification for IAS Graduation
Nationality Indian citizens only

UPSC Age Limit – Minimum and Maximum Age for IAS

UPSC Age Limit for Civil Services Exam 2022

The candidates must have attained 21 years of age and be less than 32 years of age as of 1st August 2022 i.e., the candidate must have been born not earlier than 2nd August, 1990 and not later than 1st August, 2001. The official notification will carry UPSC Age Limit 2022 details. The official notification will carry the details about the age for UPSC Exam 2022.

Category Minimum Age Limit for UPSC Maximum Age Limit for UPSC
IAS exam Age Limit for General Category 21 32
EWS 21 32
SC/ST 21 37
IAS OBC Age Limit 21 35

Candidates should check the EWS Reservation Eligibility in the linked article for in-depth understanding.

Civil Services Age Limit is an essential factor in the eligibility criteria. Therefore, candidates applying for UPSC Exam should check what is the age for IAS exam before filling the online application form.

IAS Eligibility – Age Relaxation & Number of Attempts

(Civil Services Age limit relaxations, as discussed below, will apply).

UPSC Exam Age Limit for General, SC/ST, OBC & Other categories
Category UPSC Age Limit- Upper Relaxation Number of Attempts
General 32 6
OBC 35 9
SC/ST 37 Unlimited (Up to age limit)
Disabled Defence Services Personnel 35 9
Ex-Servicemen 37 9
Persons with Benchmark Disability – EWS (Economically Weaker Section) 42 9

For details on the physically handicapped category, check the images below:


As per the IAS Eligibility for Defence Servicemen, the persons Disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof have special Civil Services age limit relaxation.

The IAS Eligibility states that ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of 5 years Military Service as on 1st August 2022 get five years of age relaxation, provided whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defense issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on three months’ notice on the selection from the date of receipt of an offer of appointment.

IAS Eligibility- Educational Qualification

The various academic requirements as per the IAS Eligibility Criteria are given below:

  • Minimum qualification for UPSC exam: The candidate must hold a degree from Government recognised Universities or possess an equivalent qualification.
  • Candidates who are in their final year or awaiting results are also eligible to appear for UPSC preliminary Examination. All such candidates who are likely to appear for IAS exams must produce proof of having passed the said examination along with the application for the main IAS examination.
  • Candidates having professional and technical qualifications recognised by the Government as equivalent to professional and technical degrees.
  • Medical students who have passed the final year of MBBS, but are yet to complete their internship also have eligibility for IAS. Although, along with the Main Examination application, a certificate of course completion (including internship) from the concerned authority of the University/Institution has to be submitted.

IAS Eligibility- Nationality

For IAS and IPS:

  • Candidate must be a citizen of India

All other Services:

  • Candidate must be either:-
    1. A citizen of India, or
    2. A subject of Nepal, or
    3. A subject of Bhutan, or
    4. A Tibetan refugee who came to India before 1st January 1962 intending to settle in India permanently, or
    5. A person of Indian origin (PIO) who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zaire and Vietnam intending to settle in India permanently.
  • The candidates belonging to categories (2), (3), (4) and (5) should furnish a certificate of eligibility issued by the Government of India. Such candidates may take the exam before getting the said certificate of eligibility, but he/she would get the offer of appointment only after the Government of India has issued the certificate.
  • Point to Note: A person belonging to categories (2), (3) and (4) are not eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service (IFS).

Summary of UPSC Eligibility Criteria for IAS Exam

Given below is a summary of IAS eligibility criteria mentioning the UPSC maximum age limit, count of attempts, relaxations, and more. Candidates must satisfy the following conditions to be eligible for the UPSC IAS Exam:

Nationality for IAS exam: Must be a citizen of India, a person of Indian origin or a subject of Nepal, Bhutan or Tibet settled in India before 1st January 1962.

Education Qualification for IAS exam: Candidate must hold a Graduate Degree from a recognised University.

UPSC Civil Services Exam Age Limit: Candidate must be a minimum of 21 years of age and must not be more than 32 years of age. 

Category wise UPSC CSE age limit, relaxation and maximum attempts-

  1. General Category & EWS: 32 years; 6 attempts.
  2. OBC (with certificate): 32 years + 3 years; 9 attempts.
  3. SC/ST: 32 years + 5 years; unlimited attempts.
  4. Physically Disabled: 32 years + 10 years; Gen/OBC/Person with Benchmark Disability(EWS category)- 9 attempts & SC/ST unlimited attempts.
  5. Jammu & Kashmir Domicile: 32 years + 5 years + (3 years, if OBC OR 5 Years, if SC/ST); Number of attempts depends on the reserved category.
  6. Disabled and discharged Defence service personnel: 32 years + 3 years + (3 years, if Gen/OBC OR 5 years, if SC/ST)
  7. Ex-Servicemen Commission Officer: 32 years + 5 years + (3 years, if OBC OR 5 Years, if SC/ST)

Related Links:

How to become IAS Officer? UPSC Syllabus UPSC Current Affairs
UPSC Notes UPSC Prelims UPSC Mains
IAS Salary IAS Toppers IAS Interview Questions

UPSC Eligibility Criteria:-Download PDF Here

UPSC Eligibility Related Queries

Q. What is the age limit for the IAS Exam?

  • A candidate belonging to the General category giving the UPSC prelims should not have completed 32 years as on 1st August of that year. Candidates belonging to other categories have relaxations to the upper age limit. The age limit for UPSC CSE is clearly mentioned in the official notification released by the conducting body. Candidates must carefully go through the same before applying for the exam.

Q. How many attempts are there for the IAS exam?

  • A general category/EWS category candidate has 6 attempts in the UPSC IAS exam. OBC candidates have 9 attempts; SC/ST candidates have no bar on the number of attempts (they can take the exam until they reach the upper age limit). EWS category with benchmark disability have 9 attempts, general and OBC physically disabled candidates have 9 attempts. SC/ST physically disabled candidates have no bar on the number of attempts.

Q. Is there any reservation for ex-servicemen in the UPSC exam?

  • Yes, ex-servicemen are given age relaxations of up to 5 years in the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of 5 years Military Service.

Q. Is there a minimum percentage required in graduation for IAS exam?

  • No. Candidates only have to be graduates from a recognised university. There is no minimum graduation percentage required for IAS eligibility.

Q. What is the salary of an IAS officer?

  • The basic entry-level pay of an IAS officer is Rs. 56,100. Officers are given other benefits too like residences, official vehicles, etc.

Q. What is the highest post an IAS officer can reach in his career?

  • The highest position an IAS officer can aspire to is the Cabinet Secretary of the country. Learn more about Civil Services Posts in the linked article.

Q. Is there a lateral entry in the IAS?

  • There is a lateral recruitment scheme in civil services since 2018. The RTI revealed that the government tried to bring in 10 joint secretaries through lateral recruitment. Lateral entry refers to the induction of private sector specialists in government departments. (Source – India Today)

Q. What is the IAS age limit for general category candidates?

  • The age limit for IAS exam for general category as specified in the official notification is
  • Minimum Age for IAS Exam – 21 years
  • Maximum Age for UPSC Exam – 32 years
  • One must also remember that there are no relaxations for civil service age limit for general category.

Q. Can a 30 year old take the UPSC exam?

  • As per the official notification, the UPSC civil services age limit generally varies between 21 and 32, however, there are upper age limit relaxations for specific categories. Thus, if a candidate has not exhausted their number of attempts, he/she can take the IAS exam at the age of 30 years.

Q. What is the age limit for OBC in UPSC?

  • As per the official notification, the Civil Services age limit for UPSC is between 21 and 32 years of age. Age relaxation of 3 years is added to the civil service age limit for OBC, making the maximum age for UPSC 35 years for the OBC category.

Q. Can a candidate who has exhausted his/her number of attempts but is eligible based on the UPSC IAS Exam age limit, apply for the civil services exam?

  • No, one must fulfil both the criteria of number of attempts and cut off age for IAS exams.

Q. What is the age bar for UPSC?

  • Ans. The minimum age to take the UPSC exam is 21 years which is common for all candidates. There are variations in the upper age limit as relaxations are provided to candidates belonging to different categories.
  • Upper UPSC Age Limit for general category – 32 years
  • Upper UPSC Age Limit for OBC – 35 years
  • Maximum age limit for IAS for SC/ST – 37 years

Q. Are there any age relaxations in UPSC for female candidates?

  • No, there are no separate relaxations for female candidates. The UPSC age criteria are only dependent on the category.

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Back to top button