UPSC Eligibility

Understanding UPSC Eligibility Criteria for IAS Examination in India

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In this article, we shall help you in understanding the UPSC eligibility criteria of the most prestigious job of India i.e. IAS Examination.

Every year lakhs of candidates appear for UPSC civil services examination in the hope that they will crack this exam and get most values and tough exams of India.

The candidates who want to appear for UPSC civil services examination have to fulfill some eligibility criteria. These eligibility criteria include age, qualification, nationality, etc which candidates must fulfill. Those eligibility criteria are described below:

UPSC Civil Services Eligibility Criteria

There are four eligibility criteria for the IAS eligibility criteria which are explained as under:

  • Nationality
  • Age Limit
  • Number of Examination Attempts in Past
  • Educational Qualification

UPSC Eligibility – Nationality

The nationality criteria have two categories:

For Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS):

  1. Indian Citizenship is Must

For all other services:

  1. Citizenship of Indian Citizenship  or
  2. Nepal, or
  3. Bhutan, or
  4. Tibetan refugee who came to India before 1st January 1962 intending to permanently settle in India, 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 permanently in India.

The candidate of B, C, D, are not eligible to get into IFS (India Foreign Services).

The candidates who belong to category B, C, D & E cannot get an appointment till they do not get citizenship certificate issued by the Government of India. They can appear for examination but cannot get appoint till submission of the certificate.

UPSC Eligibility Criteria – Age

  • Must complete the minimum age of 21 years as on 1st August of the year in which the exam is held.
  • That means if a candidate will appear in the UPSC exam 2020 then, he must complete 21 years on 1st August 2020.
  • Must complete the maximum age of 32 years as on 1st August of the year in which the exam is held. That means if a candidate will appear in the UPSC exam 2020 then, he must be less than 32 years of age on 1st August 2020 (e.g. birth should fall between 02/08/1987 and 01/08/1998).

There is age relaxation given for reserved category candidates which are as below:

Sr. No.CategoryAge RelaxationUpper Age Limit
1GeneralNo relaxation32
2Other Backward Class (OBC)Up to 3 years35
3Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST)Up to 5 years37
4Defence Service Personnel disabled during serviceUp to 3 years35
5Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least 5 years military service as on 1st August 2020 and have been releasedUp to 5 years37
6Visually challenged/hearing impaired/physically challenged candidatesUp to 10 years42

The following types of candidates are also included in Sr. No. 5 category:

  1. The candidates who have completed their assignment from the military (within one year from 01/08/2020 for UPSC Exam 2020) but other than those who are dismissed and discharged on the ground of misconduct and inefficiency.
  2. Those ex-servicemen who are released due to physical disability by the military.

Points to note:-

  1. Candidates who fall in the category of ex-servicemen or physically or visually challenged or hearing impaired and also falls in the SC/ST/OBC category shall get age relaxation in both categories cumulatively.
  2. The definition of Ex-servicemen as per Ex-servicemen (Re-employment in Civil Services and Posts) Rules, 1979
  3. Ex-servicemen and Commissioned Officers including ECOs/SSCOs who left the military on their own will are not eligible for age relaxation
  4. Physical disables candidate who wants age relaxation must provide a disability certificate issued by the government or competent authority.
  5. Matriculation or secondary school leaving certificate will be considered for age calculation. Candidate can also provide certificate recognized by an Indian University as equivalent to matriculation.
  6. These certificates must be submitted while applying for UPSC Exam.
  7. Candidates must enter Date of Birth as per matriculation certificate while applying online else action will be taken against the candidate.

UPSC Exam – Number of Attempts

There is the limit for appearing in the UPSC exam and candidates are permitted up to that limit only.

CategoryNumber of Exam Attempts
SC/STNo limit
Physically Handicapped (General)9
Physically Handicapped (OBC)9
Physically Handicapped (SC/ST)No limit

Points to note:-

  • Appearing for the UPSC Prelims exam will be considered as one attempt.
  • If candidates clear UPSC exam Prelims then he has to appear for same year Main exam only. He cannot appear for next year’s Mains exam.
  • If a candidate is disqualified or has cancelled his application then also that will be considered as one attempt.
  • A candidate who is currently appointed in IAS/IFS cadre after clearing the earlier exam and continues to be a member of the same cadre then candidates are not eligible for this civil service exam. If a candidate appointed after giving this year’s Prelims exam then his application will be cancelled. If candidates appointed after giving this year Mains exam but before result then also his application will be cancelled

UPSC Criteria – Educational Qualification

  • Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.
  • Those candidates who have written the bachelor’s degree final exam or would write are eligible for applying in Prelims but they have to submit proof of passing bachelor’s degree exam before appearing for Mains exam.
  • In exceptional cases, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) may allow a candidate who doesn’t fall under the above category and passed an exam which is conducted by other institutes if UPSC is convinced.
  • Those candidates who are possessing professional/technical qualifications which are recognized by the Government of India as equivalent to professional/technical degrees are also eligible to appear for the UPSC exam.
  • Candidates who have passed the final M.B.B.S. exam or any other Medical Examination but have not yet completed their internship by the time submission of their applications for the Civil Services (Main) Examination will be given a provisional admission to take the mains, provided they submit a copy of the certificate from the university/institution authority that they have passed the requisite final professional medical examination. At the time of the interview, they have to produce a certificate from the University/institution stating that they have completed all the requirements (including completion of internship) for the award of the medical degree.

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