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IAS Exam Eligibility
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IAS Exam Eligibility Criteria:

Equal Opportunity for All

  • You can become an outstanding civil servant irrespective of your academic specialisation, class, caste or family background.
  • Any graduate/ undergraduate is eligible to appear for the civil service exam. Academic excellence, extra courses or work experience is not required.

Civil Services Age Limit and Number of Attempts

According to the Caste categories as on 1st August of that particular year

General Merit Candidates

Minimum 21 years, Maximum 32 years - 6 attempts
Other Backward Class Candidates - Minimum 21 years, Maximum 35 years - 9 attempts

SC/ST Candidates

Minimum 21 years, Maximum 37 years - Unlimited attempts
Blind, Deaf-Mute, Ortho-Handicapped - Maximum age relaxation 10 years


Maximum age relaxation 5 years

Military Service (ECOS/SSCOs)

Maximum age relaxation 5 years (Who have completed initial period of assignment of five years)

Educational Qualification: Graduates

Under Graduates (who are pursuing final semester) (UPSC will not consider percentage of marks or class, nor discipline of graduation)

Who is eligible to appear in the Civil Services Exam?

  • For the Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India.
  • For other Services, a candidate must be either
    • A citizen of India, or
    • A subject of Nepal, or
    • A subject of Bhutan, or
    • A Tibetan refugee who came over to India before the 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
    • Person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma (Myanmar), Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire and Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India:
    • A candidate in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary may be admitted to the examination but the offer of appointment may be given only after the necessary eligibility certificate has been issued to him/her by the Government of India.

Civil Services Age Limit as on 1st August of that Particular Year has been prescribed for appearing in the Civil Services Exam for different categories of candidates? How many attempts are allowed for the same?

  Unreserved OBC SC/ST P.H.
Consequential changes in number of attempts 06 09 Unlimited 09 for General/OBC Unlimited for SC/ST
Consequential changes in age limits(*) 32 years 35 years 37 years 12 additional years in each category (30+12 for General, 35+12 for SC/ST & 33+12 for OBC)

Whether a candidate who is allocated to one of the services participating in the Civil Services Exam can again appear in the Civil Services Exam for improvement?

  • Except those who have been allocated to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS)/Indian Foreign Service (IFS).

Who is competent to take final decision with regard to the IAS Exam Eligibility or otherwise of a candidate for admission to CSE?

  • The UPSC
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