Are You Eligible To Appear For The Civil Services Examination?


As discussed in our previous posts there are in total 24 civil services for which one can apply through the UPSC exam. But it is important to note that there are slight differences in eligibility criteria. As per the latest UPSC notification below are criteria that candidates must fulfill to appear for the civil services examination.

Nationality: It is one of the important eligibility criteria that one must confer to before applying for the exam. For candidates applying for IAS or IPS, they must be a citizen of India. For all the other 22 services if the candidate is not a citizen of India, they can be one of the following;

  • A Citizen of Nepal or Bhutan
  • A Tibetan Refugee settled in India before January 1, 1962. 
  • Candidate with an Indian origin and has migrated from countries like Burma, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania,, the, etc van also apply. But they must migrate to India with the intention of permanent settlement. 
  • A citizen of Nepal and Bhutan or a Tibetan refugee does not have the eligibility to appear for the Indian Foreign Services. 

Age Limit: In general the minimum age limit for the candidates appearing for the exam is 21 while the maximum is 32 years. But one must also take into account there are certain variations depending upon the caste reservations. 

  • For OBC the upper limit is 35 while for SC and ST it is 37 years. 
  • Defense Services personnel disabled in operations during hostilities have an upper age limit of 40.
  • For domiciles of J&K born between January 1, 1980, to December 31, 1989, the limit is 32 years. 
  • Ex-Servicemen, ECOs/SSCOs and Commissioned officers have an upper limit of 32 years. Check out for more information on the same on the UPSC website. 
  • Lastly, for the PwD candidates, the age limit is 37 years. 

Educational Qualification: The following checklist will help understand the minimum educational qualification required to appear for UPSC. The candidates must fulfill at least one of the below criteria. 

  • A degree issued by a Central, State, Private, or a Deemed University.
  • A degree from a foreign university subjected to it being recognized by the Association of Indian Universities. 
  • Degrees are obtained through correspondence/distance education or from an open university.
  • Any other degree that is termed as equivalent to one of the above by the government of India.
  • Final year students awaiting their results are also eligible to appear for the exam. 
  • Candidates who have passed the MBBS final exam but have not completed the internship.
  • Candidates who have cleared the final exam of ICAI, ICSI, and ICWAI can also apply. 

Number Of Attempts: The number of attempts a candidate can take to appear for the exam is in no way related to age. There are certain pre-defined parameters defined by the board that candidates must adhere to. 

  • The general category students are allowed to take 6 attempts before they attain the maximum age limit of 32.
  • For the OBC category, the number of attempts allowed is 9 till 35 years of age.
  • The SC/ST candidates are allowed to take unlimited attempts until 37 years of age.

As a rule of thumb the if a candidate appears for the preliminary exam it is counted as the first attempt. However, in a scenario where the candidate has applied for the exam but has not appeared on the date of examination, it is not counted as an attempt. 

Related Post

Free E-mail Job Alerts