Eligibility Criteria For UPSC Civil Services Exam

Civil Services Examination for recruitment to the posts of Indian Administrative Services, Indian Police Services, Indian Foreign Services, Indian Forest Services, Indian Revenue Services etc, is conducted by the central agency, Union Public Services Commission (UPSC). The Civil Services Examination is conducted every year to fill in vacancies of about 1000-1100 posts. Civil service is the most sought-after career in India due to the power, prestige, and responsibilities attached to it. The exam requires rigorous preparation with dedication.

The exam is spread over a year with 3 levels of tests namely

  • Civil Services Preliminary Examination
  • Civil Services Mains Examination
  • Personality Test

The UPSC Notification prescribes specific criteria for a candidate to fulfill in order to be eligible for the examination. It is essential to go through these eligibility criterions before you fill in the application form for the Civil Services Examination. Every candidate must and should fulfill all the eligibility criterions in order to be allowed to take the examination. This article explains, in detail, the eligibility criteria for appearing for the Civil Services Examination.


  • For IAS and IPS, the candidate must be a citizen of India.
  • For other services, the candidate must be a citizen of India/ Nepal/ Bhutan/ a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1 January 1962.

Age Limits:

A candidate must have attained 21 years of age and should be less than 32 years of age. There is a relaxation in the upper age limit in the following cases:

  • Relaxation up to a maximum of 5 years for candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (SC & ST).
  • Relaxation up to a maximum of 3 years for candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBC).
  • Relaxation up to a maximum of 5 years for candidates ordinarily domiciled in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Relaxation up to a maximum of 10 years for candidates with visual, hearing or orthopedic impairment.
  • Relaxation up to a maximum of three years in the case of Defense Services Personnel, disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof;

Educational Qualification:

  • A candidate must have a degree in any stream from a University recognized by the University Grants Commission or must possess an equivalent qualification.
  • Candidates who have appeared for an examination, the passing of which would render them educationally qualified for the civil services exam but the results of which are not informed to the candidate, will be eligible to take up to the Preliminary Examination.

Number of Attempts:

  • General Category: 06 attempts
  • SC & ST: Up to the upper age limit.
  • OBC : 09 attempts
  • Physically disabled candidates: as many attempts as are available to other non-physically handicapped candidates of his or her community. General Category: 09 attempts.
  • Disabled servicemen: Up to the upper age limit.

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