UPSC Exam Eligibility 2023 - IAS Age Limit, IAS Attempt, Qualification
Overview of the Eligibility Criteria For UPSC CSE 2023
One cannot start their preparation for the UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE), also known as the IAS exam, without gathering accurate and reliable information on the eligibility criteria for the Exam. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) that conducts the Civil Services Examination for recruitment into various civil services under the Government of India such as Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS), etc., has set various criteria along the lines of age, a number of attempts, educational qualification, etc., to check the eligibility of a candidate appearing for the Civil Services Examination.
There are various relaxations provided for each of the different eligibility criteria, which an aspirant should be aware of in order to make use of the benefits provided. It is also important to note that reservation for SC/ST/OBC//EWS/PwD candidates is applied to each level of the selection process including a variation in the cut-off marks, hence, it is important to know if a candidate is eligible for such benefits as well.
The UPSC has kept the eligibility criteria unchanged for the most part except for the changes regarding the Creamy-Layer factor considered for Other Backward Classes (OBC) candidates and the quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) candidates. The most reliable source of information regarding the eligibility criteria is the UPSC CSE notification itself, hence in this article, we will be explaining the various pointers regarding eligibility and qualifications that are mentioned DIRECTLY in the UPSC CSE Notification.
Age Limit for UPSC Civil Services Examination
Minimum Age Limit for UPSC CSE
The minimum age to appear for IAS Exam is 21 years. This means that the candidate must have at least 21 years of age on 1st August of that given year when the exam is held.
The Minimum age limit is the SAME FOR ALL candidates irrespective of their reservation categories.
For example, if an aspirant is applying for UPSC CSE 2022, he/she should be above 21 years of age by August 1, 2022 (even if he/she is not 21 years old at the time of applying on February 2022).
Maximum Age Limit for UPSC CSE
The upper age limit for a candidate to be eligible for appearing in the UPSC Civil Services Examination is set at 32 Years for General Category and there are Age Relaxations provided for different reservation categories.
The Upper Age limit is also considered on 1st August of that year. For example, if a Candidate under General Category without any age relaxation is applying for UPSC CSE 2022, then if the candidate’s age crosses 32 Years on August 1, 2022, the candidate will NOT be eligible to attempt the exam.
Upper Age limit as it is set for different reservation categories (considering the Age relaxations mentioned in the UPSC CSE notification for 2021) –
|Category||Upper Age Limit|
|General category and Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)||32 Years|
|Other Backward Classes (OBC)||35 Years|
|Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST)||37 Years|
|Defense Services personnel disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof||35 Years|
|Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service||37 Years|
|Persons with Benchmark Disabilities (PwBD) such as blindness, loss of hearing, locomotor disabilities, autism, and other intellectual disabilities etc.||42 Years|
Other Points regarding Upper Age Limit Relaxation:
Candidates belonging to SC/ST/OBC who are also Ex-servicemen or PwBD, will be eligible for grant of CUMULATIVE age-relaxation under both categories.
The date of birth, accepted by the Commission is that which is entered in the Matriculation or Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) [i.e., 10th Marks Card].
The certificate in support of the date of birth is required to be submitted by a candidate only at the time of applying for the Civil Services (Main) Examination. However, only the 10th Marks Card issued prior to the date of submission of application is accepted, which means Marks Cards obtained after the submission of application (such as revised Marks card or Duplicate marks card) will not be accepted.
Number of Attempts for UPSC Civil Services Examination
UPSC has fixed the maximum number of attempts allowed for a candidate as a part of the eligibility criteria for the Civil Services Examination.
It is important to note that an attempt is counted ONLY when a candidate appears for the Prelims Examination! Just applying for the exam does NOT count as an attempt. This is one of the major reasons for about 50% of the 10+ lakh aspirants applying for the UPSC CSE to skip attempting the Prelims Examination.
Another important point to note is that – a candidate who has cleared the exam and is serving as an IAS (Indian Administrative Services) or IFS (Indian Foreign Services) officer cannot write the examination again while serving. However, an IPS (Indian Police Services) or IRS (Indian Revenue Services) officer can write the examination again while in services, to have a crack at getting a better rank for the coveted IAS posting.
|Category||Maximum Number of attempts|
|General category and Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)||6 attempts until 32 years of age|
|Other Backward Classes (OBC)||9 attempts until 35 years of age|
|Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST)||UNLIMITED attempts till 37 years of age|
|Physically Handicapped /disabled candidates belonging to the General category||9 attempts until 42 years of age|
Educational Qualification criteria for UPSC Civil Services Examination
The Minimum Educational qualification required for the UPSC CSE is – Any Graduation degree from
- any of the Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or
- other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or
- educational institutions declared to be deemed as a University under the University Grants Commission Act, 1956.
OR possess an equivalent qualification (or having professional and technical qualifications recognized by the Government as equivalent to professional and technical degrees).
- Candidates who are in the final-year of their graduation degree are also eligible to appear for UPSC Preliminary Examination. Candidates who are waiting for their graduation degree (or equivalent exam) results to be announced (i.e., who have appeared at an examination which would render them educationally qualified for CSE if they pass the exam) can also appear for UPSC CSE Prelims Exam.
- All such candidates who are declared qualified by the Commission for taking the Civil Services (Main) Examination will be required to produce proof of passing the requisite examination with their application for the Main Examination failing which such candidates will not be admitted to the Main Examination.
- Candidates who have passed the final professional M.B.B.S. or any other Medical Examination but have not completed their internship by the time of submission of their applications for the Civil Services (Main) Examination, will be provisionally admitted to the Examination provided they submit a copy of a certificate from the concerned authority of the University/Institution that they had passed the requisite final professional medical examination, along with their application .
- In such cases, the candidates will be required to produce at the time of their interview original Degree or a certificate from the concerned competent authority of the University/Institution that they had completed all requirements (including completion of internship) for the award of the Degree.
Nationality criteria for UPSC Civil Services Examination
The candidate must be a citizen of India to be selected for the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) and Indian Police Services (IPS) postings.
- For all other services such as Indian Revenue Services (IRS) etc., a candidate can be a:
- Citizen of India or
- The subject of Nepal or
- The subject of Bhutan or
- Tibetan refugee who came to India before 1st January 1962 to permanently settle in India or
- 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 intends to permanently settle in India.
- Except for Citizens of India, all other candidates (for services other than IAS and IPS) should furnish a certificate of eligibility issued by the Government of India, even though they can take the exam before getting the said certificate of eligibility.
- It is also important to note that a person who is NOT a Citizen of India or NOT 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] are NOT eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service (IFS).
NO AGE RELAXATION is provided for candidates belonging to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category.
EWS category students are hence allowed to attempt only till the Maximum Age limit of 32 Years (as of January 2023).
The Maximum number of attempts for EWS category students is 6 attempts, the SAME as that for General Category students. Therefore, there is NO RELAXTION in terms of number of attempts for EWS category students as well.
There is NO such criteria for having a minimum percentage/marks in any exam for the UPSC CSE. The only educational qualification required is having a graduation degree from a recognized university or an equivalent qualification.
NO, there is no such age relaxation or extra attempts provided for female candidates in UPSC CSE. However, it is to be noted that female candidates are exempted from having to pay the application fees for UPSC CSE.
To summarize the various relaxations provided by UPSC for different categories of students (upper age limit and number of attempts)
- General Category and EWS: 6 attempts till 32 years of age
- OBC (Non-Creamy Layer): 9 attempts till 35 years of age (32+3)
- SC/ST: Unlimited attempts till 37 years of age (32+5)
- Person with Benchmark Disability under General/OBC/EWS category: 9 attempts till 42 years of age (32+10)
- Person with Benchmark Disability under SC/ST: Unlimited attempts till 42 years of age (32+10)
- Disabled and discharged Defence service personnel under General/EWS: 35 years of age (32+3)
- Disabled and discharged Defence service personnel under OBC: 38 years of age (32+3+3)
- Disabled and discharged Defence service personnel under SC/ST: 40 years of age (32+3+5)
- Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least 5 years of Military Service: 37 years of age (32+5) for General/EWS, 40 years (32+5+3) for OBC and 42 years (32+5+5) for SC/ST
- Creamy Layer is a concept that sets a threshold within which OBC reservation benefits are applicable. If an OBC candidate is NON-CREAMY layer, then all the benefits and relaxations provided for OBC candidates can be availed. However, for OBC candidates coming within the creamy layer, no benefits/relaxations are provided.
- For those not in government, the current threshold is an income of Rs 8 lakh per year and for government employees, the threshold is based on their parents’ rank and not income.
- ONLY THE INCOME OF PARENTS IS CONSIDERED – the income of the candidate is not included.
- Income from salaries or agricultural land is also not clubbed while determining the creamy layer.