Eligibility Criteria for UPSC Examination

It is important for the candidates appearing in UPSC to know the eligibility criteria for admission to UPSC examination. The candidates need to satisfy all the eligibility conditions to be the part of it. After filling all the eligibility certificates, commission does not assure that your application has been accepted by them. They take up the charge of verifying the eligibility conditions by cross checking your original documents, once you qualify the interview/ personality test. The detailed information about the eligibility criteria for civil services examination is given below:

Age eligibility:

According to the information shared on the website of the Department of Administrative Reform, the maximum age limit for SC/ST category is 37 years, for OBC category it is 35 years and finally for general or the unreserved category, the age limit is 32 years.

Number of attempts:

Candidates of SC/ST category are allowed to appear in the exam as many times as they wish to as there is no limit to them till they turn 37 in age. For OBC candidates the number of attempts allowed are 9 and for general category candidates 6 attempts are allowed.

Age eligibility and number of attempts allowed for physically challenged:

Age limit for physically handicapped candidates is 47, 45 and 42 for SCD/ST, OBC and General category. While the number of attempts allowed are 9 for General and OBC both and unlimited for SC/ST category.
Scholastic Eligibility for IAS Exams

All candidates must have Candidates must have at least the following certificates of education.

  • A degree from deemed university, may it be central or state
  • A degree from a distance or correspondence education institution.
  • A degree received from the Open University.
  • Qualification recognized by the Government of India
  • Candidates willing to appear in the examination and are awaiting results are eligible to sit in the prelims. Qualifying candidates of prelims examination are asked for the proof of passing the said examination together with the application form of appearing in the MAINS, i.e. the second level of examination.
  • Candidates who have passed the examination conducted by another institution or some standardized institution are not required to go through the prerequisites, as the commission approve their eligibility including and treat them as exceptional cases.
  • Candidates having technical or professional degrees recognized by the Government equal to the proficient and the scientific degrees.
  • Candidates having passed MBBS or any Medical Examination but are not done with the internship program are eligible for the MAINS examination. However, they are required to submit the certificates from the concerned university or institution as an evidence of the completion of final professional medical examination. Finally, at the interview stage the candidates are required to submit all the certificates including internship certificates.
  • A candidate who is appointed to the IAS (Indian Administrative Service) or IFS (Indian Foreign Service) based on the results of earlier examination result and continues to be the part of service is not eligible to compete at this examination.

Additional Eligibility Conditions for IAS Exams


  • The candidate must be Indian for appearing in the Indian Administrative service or In Indian Police Services.
  • For additional services, a candidate must be either :—
  1. A citizen of India, or
  2. Resident of Nepal, or
  3. Subject of Bhutan, or
  4. A Tibetan immigrant who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
  5. A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.
  6. Provided that a candidate belonging to categories last four categories shall be a person, holding a certificate of eligibility issued by the Government of India.
  7. Note: The candidates belonging to the 3rd, 4th and 5th categories will not be above will not be eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service.
  8. If in case there is any candidate in whose case, certificate of eligibility is essential, may get admission to the examination, but appointment offer is given only after the essential eligibility certificates is issued to him/ her by the Indian Government.