While we strive to provide you with updated information, please go through the latest official exam notification to check the detailed eligibility criteria for the specific exam year to avoid any confusion.

UPSC Eligibility Criteria 2024

The IAS preparation procedure starts with incurring accurate knowledge on the UPSC Eligibility Criteria for the exam. UPSC Eligibility Criteria includes parameters such as age limit, nationality, educational qualification, number of attempts, etc. which decides whether or not an individual is eligible to apply for the UPSC CSE exam. An Indian citizen who is at least 21 years old and has completed graduation or is in the final year of graduation can apply for the CSE exam as per the UPSC eligibility criteria.

Candidates appearing for Civil Services Examination must meet specific UPSC eligibility criteria to be eligible to appear for the Prelims and Mains exam. This rigorous selection process aims to ensure that only the most qualified and competent individuals join the esteemed civil services of India, contributing to the efficient governance and development of the nation.

IAS Eligibility Overview

IAS Exam Age Limit21 to 32 years
Age RelaxationAs per category (mentioned below)
Educational Qualification for IASGraduation
NationalityIndian citizens only

UPSC Age Limit

The minimum age to appear for IAS Exam is 21 years. This means that the candidate must have at least 21 years of age on 1st August of that given year when the exam is held.

CategoryMinimum Age Limit for UPSCMaximum Age Limit for UPSC
IAS exam Age Limit for General Category2132
IAS OBC Age Limit2135

IAS Eligibility – Age Relaxation & Number of Attempts

CategoryUPSC Age Limit- Upper RelaxationNumber of Attempts
SC/ST37Unlimited (Up to age limit)
Disabled Defence Services Personnel359
Persons with Benchmark Disability – EWS (Economically Weaker Section)429

For details on the physically handicapped category, check the images below:

UPSC Eligibility Criteria


  • As per the IAS Eligibility for Defence Servicemen, the persons Disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof have special Civil Services age limit relaxation.
  • The IAS Eligibility states that ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of 5 years Military Service as on 1st August 2022 get five years of age relaxation, provided whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defense issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on three months’ notice on the selection from the date of receipt of an offer of appointment.

IAS Eligibility- Educational Qualification

The various academic requirements as per the IAS Eligibility Criteria are given below:

  • Minimum qualification for UPSC exam: The candidate must hold a degree from Government recognised Universities or possess an equivalent qualification.
  • Candidates who are in their final year or awaiting results are also eligible to appear for UPSC preliminary Examination. All such candidates who are likely to appear for IAS exams must produce proof of having passed the said examination along with the application for the main IAS examination.
  • Candidates having professional and technical qualifications recognised by the Government as equivalent to professional and technical degrees.
  • Medical students who have passed the final year of MBBS, but are yet to complete their internship also have eligibility for IAS. Although, along with the Main Examination application, a certificate of course completion (including internship) from the concerned authority of the University/Institution has to be submitted.

IAS Eligibility- Nationality

For IAS and IPS:

  • Candidate must be a citizen of India

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 categories (2), (3), (4) and (5) should furnish a certificate of eligibility issued by the Government of India. Such candidates may take the exam before getting the said certificate of eligibility, but he/she would get the offer of appointment only after the Government of India has issued the certificate.
  • Point to Note: A person belonging to categories (2), (3) and (4) are not eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service (IFS).

Restrictions on Applying for the UPSC Exam

  • Candidates appointed to the IAS or IFS posts, based on the results of a previous examination and currently serving in either of these two services, will not be eligible to appear in the exams for that specific year.
  • Similarly, a candidate previously appointed to the IPS Position based on the results of a previous examination and currently serving as an IPS officer will not be eligible to select the IPS as an option in the exams for that particular year.

UPSC Physical Eligibility – Medical and Physical Standards

It is essential to ensure that a candidate possesses the necessary physical fitness and capabilities required for the role of a Bureaucrat, as specified in the UPSC eligibility criteria.

  • Candidates who successfully pass the UPSC CSE undergo several stages, including qualifying for a medical test. Upon clearing this specific test, candidates become eligible to be appointed as Civil Servants.
  • Certain standard physical requirements such as weight, height, and chest measurements are necessary for the selection of officers, especially those being appointed as IPS officers for districts or Indian Railway services and the police services of Pondicherry, among others.
  • However, non-technical fields do not have stringent physical standards, but candidates are expected to meet basic demands, such as being physically fit and mentally stable.
  • These physical standards are determined according to the guidelines provided in Appendix-III of the Rules for Examination published in the Gazette of India Extraordinary dated February 02, 2023.

Summary of UPSC Eligibility Criteria for IAS Exam

Given below is a summary of IAS eligibility criteria mentioning the UPSC maximum age limit, count of attempts, relaxations, and more. Candidates must satisfy the following conditions to be eligible for the UPSC IAS Exam:

Nationality for IAS exam: Must be a citizen of India, a person of Indian origin or a subject of Nepal, Bhutan or Tibet settled in India before 1st January 1962.

Education Qualification for IAS exam: Candidate must hold a Graduate Degree from a recognized University.

UPSC Civil Services Exam Age Limit: The candidate must be a minimum of 21 years of age and must not be more than 32 years of age. 

Category wise UPSC CSE age limit, relaxation, and maximum attempts –

  1. General Category & EWS: 32 years; 6 attempts.
  2. OBC (with certificate): 32 years + 3 years; 9 attempts.
  3. SC/ST: 32 years + 5 years; unlimited attempts.
  4. Physically Disabled: 32 years + 10 years; Gen/OBC/Person with Benchmark Disability(EWS category)- 9 attempts & SC/ST unlimited attempts.
  5. Jammu & Kashmir Domicile: 32 years + 5 years + (3 years, if OBC OR 5 Years, if SC/ST); Number of attempts depends on the reserved category.
  6. Disabled and discharged Defence service personnel: 32 years + 3 years + (3 years, if Gen/OBC OR 5 years, if SC/ST)
  7. Ex-Servicemen Commission Officer: 32 years + 5 years + (3 years, if OBC OR 5 Years, if SC/ST)