Eligibility for IAS – Age Limit, Qualification, Attempts, Relaxation

The IAS Eligibility includes certain criteria and rules as mentioned below.


Before getting into the details of eligibility for IAS, let’s learn about UPSC Civil Services Exam

About UPSC

Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) annually conducts civil services exam and lakhs of candidates apply for the examination to get into the prestigious posts like Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.

UPSC releases notification for the examination a year earlier and propounds some conditions under eligibility for IAS and candidates who are willing to apply for the exam should fulfill all the mentioned criteria.

Below given are the complete and important conditions for the eligibility of IAS Exam, which candidates can go through and make sure that they meet all the eligibility criteria for UPSC Civil Services Exam.


Candidates who are willing to apply for the post of probationary officers’ Examination should fulfill the condition of IAS Eligibility Criteria 2019 mentioned below.

A candidate must be a citizen of India for the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Foreign Service and the Indian Police Service.

A candidate must be one of the following to get into the Indian Revenue Service:

  • A citizen of India
  • A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with an intention of permanently settling in India

A candidate must be one of the following to get into other services:

  • A citizen of India
  • A citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan
  • Tibetan Refugee who came to India before 1st January 1962 to be settled permanently in India
  • A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with an intention of permanently settling in India


A candidate, in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary, may be admitted to the examination but the offer of appointment may be given only after the necessary eligibility certificate has been issued to him/her by the Government of India.


Minimum Education Qualification for appearing in IAS Exam

Candidates who wish to apply for IAS Examination need to fulfill at least one of the following educational qualifications:

  • A degree of any of the Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India
  • Any other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament
  • Any Deemed University under the UGC Act, 1956 or an equivalent qualification
  • A degree attained through correspondence or distance education
  • A degree attained from an open university
  • A qualification recognized by the Government of India as being equivalent to one of the above

Candidates who meet the below criteria are also eligible to take the exams, however, one should submit the proof of eligibility from a proficient authority of their university/institution during the UPSC Mains Examination, failing which the candidate may not be allowed to take the exam.

  • Candidates who have appeared in an examination and waiting for the results and after success in the exam and if they meet one of the above educational criteria
  • Candidates who have passed the final exam of the MBBS degree but have not yet completed an internship
  • Candidates who have passed the final exam of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), ICSI and ICWAI
  • A degree from a private university
  • A degree from any foreign university recognized by the Association of Indian Universities


Candidates who have appeared or intend to appear for the qualifying examination and are awaiting results are also eligible to appear for the Preliminary Examination; however, they are supposed to submit proof of passing the requisite qualification along with Detailed Application Form (DAF) for Civil Services (Mains) Examination.


Age Criteria and Number of Attempts for IAS Exam

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has structured the age criteria for the candidates who are willing to appear for civil services IAS Examination. The minimum age for UPSC exam is 21 years. With effect from 2015, the UPSC raised the upper age limit and number of attempts for candidates who apply for civil service examination and is as given below.

To take the civil services prelims 2019, a candidate should have attained the age of 21 years and should not have attained the age of 32 years on the 1st of August, 2019 i.e., a candidate should have been born not before 2nd August 1987 and not later 1st August, 1998.

The following table gives details about the civil services age limit:


Upper Age Limit

Age Relaxation

No. of Attempts Allowed


32 Years


06 Attempts

Other Backward Castes (OBC)

32 Years

Relaxation of 03 years = 35 years

09 Attempts

Scheduled Caste (SC)/Scheduled Tribe (ST)

32 Years

Relaxation of 05 Years = 37 years

Till the Upper Age limit

Physically disabled candidates (Blind, Deaf-Mute, Orthopedic)

32 years

Relaxation of 10 years = 42 years

General and OBC Candidates= 09 attempts                    SC/ST Candidates = Unlimited till age limit

Jammu & Kashmir Domicile

32 years

Relaxation of 5 Years General = 37 Years OBC = 40 Years SC/ST = 42 Years  PH = 50 years

Up to the Upper Age limit

Disabled servicemen disabled from duty

32 years

General = 37 years  OBC = 38 Years (Relaxation of 6 Years) SC/ST = 40 Years (Relaxation of 8 Years)

Up to the Upper Age limit


The candidates applying for Civil Services Exam must meet all the prescribed eligibility for IAS, by the UPSC. Though the admission tickets are issued but when a candidate qualifies for the Personality Test/Interview, the commission verifies the eligibility criteria with reference to the original documents.

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