UPSC IAS Eligibility Criteria

UPSC IAS Eligibility Criteria
Civil Service

UPSC IAS Eligibility Criteria

To appear for the UPSC IAS examination, the candidates must have an accurate knowledge of the exam eligibility criteria. 
In this article, we will explain the complete UPSC IAS eligibility criteria in detail. 

Latest Update from UPSC

In UPSC 2021, candidates who have exhausted their last attempt by appearing in CSE 2020 will have one more chance. The Central Government has agreed to extend one more attempt to all those candidates who had given their last UPSC attempt in UPSC CSE 2020.
This is being done due to the COVOD-19 pandemic and is a one-time relaxation. This shall not be applied to candidates who have not exhausted their permissible number of attempts or are otherwise prohibited from taking the CSE by age.

UPSC IAS  Eligibility Overview

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


UPSC IAS Eligibility – Age Limit

As per the Civil Services Age Limit, as of 1 August 2020 (for the UPSC CSE 2020), the candidate should be between 21 and 32 years of age, i.e. he must have been born not earlier than 2 August 1988 and not later than 1 August 1999.
Civil Services Age Limit is a significant factor in the eligibility criteria. Candidates eligible for the UPSC Exam should then check these details correctly before filling out the online application form.

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
EWS (Economically weaker section) – Persons with

Benchmark Disability

42 9

Candidates in the physically handicapped category can check the image below for more details. 
The IAS Eligibility states that ECOs/SSCOs who have finished an initial assignment period of five years of military service as of 1st August 2020 receive five years of relaxation in age, given that their assignment has been extended over five years and in which case the Ministry of Defense issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on notice of three months.

IAS Eligibility- Educational Qualification

  • Minimum qualification for the UPSC exam: The candidate must hold a degree or have an equivalent qualification from government-recognised universities.
  • In their final year or are awaiting results, candidates are also eligible for the preliminary UPSC exam. All those candidates who are likely to appear for IAS examinations must produce evidence of having passed the IAS examination along with the main IAS examination. 
  • Candidates having professional and technical qualifications that the government recognises as equal to professional and technical degrees.


IAS Eligibility- Nationality

For IAS and IPS :

  • The candidate must be an Indian citizen

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 2,3 and 4 categories will have to provide an eligibility  certificate issued by the Indian government. Such candidates can take the exam without the certificate, but they will get the appointment letter only after the Government issues the certificate. 
  • Do remember that candidates belonging to 2,3 and 4 categories are not eligible for the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) examination. 

We, at Direction, wish you all the best for your upcoming UPSC IAS Examination. Also, if you need guidance for preparation, contact us here

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