Eligibility Criteria for Civil Services (IAS & IPS) Exam
i) Academic Eligibility
- The candidate must hold a PASS BACHELOR'S degree from any of the Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University, under Section-3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification.
- Candidates who have appeared or intend to appear for the final examination and are awaiting results are also eligible to apply for the Preliminary Examination.
- All such candidates who qualify the Prelims examination must produce a proof of Pass Bachelor Degree to appear for the Civil Services Main Examination. This Degree has to be attached with their application for the Main Examinations.
- The UPSC may in exceptional cases treat a candidate without the foregoing requisite qualification as an eligible candidate if he / she have passed an examination conducted by other institutions, the standard of which justifies his / her admission in the opinion of the Commission. The criteria may apply to candidates having bachelor's degree from any reputed foreign university for example Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard etc.
- Candidates with professional and technical bachelor's degrees that are recognised by the Government are also eligible to apply example MBBS, BE etc.
- Candidates who have passed the final year of MBBS but are yet to complete the internship can also appear for the Main Examination. However, they must submit a certificate from the concerned authority of the University / Institution that they have passed the final professional medical examination along with their Main Examination application. At the Interview stage they must produce a certificate from a competent authority that they have completed (including internship) and all the requirements for the award of the Medical Degree.
ii) Age limits
A candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 32 years on the 1st of August, 2017 i.e., he/she must have been born not earlier than 2nd August, 1985 and not later than 1st August, 1996.
The upper age limit prescribed above is relaxed:
- Up to a maximum of five years if a candidate belongs to a Scheduled Caste (SC) or a Scheduled Tribe (ST).
- Up to a maximum of three years in the case of candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBC) who are eligible to avail of reservation applicable to such candidates
- Up to a maximum of five years if a candidate had ordinarily been domiciled in the State of Jammu & Kashmir during the period from the 1st January, 1980 to the 31st December, 1989
- Up to a maximum of three years in the case of Defence Services personnel disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof.
- Up to a maximum of five years in the case of ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service as on 1st August, 2017 and have been released
- On completion of assignment (including those whose assignment is due to be completed within one year from 1st August, 2017) otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency, or on account of physical disability attributable to Military Service, or on invalidment.
- Up to a maximum of five years in the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years Military Service as on 1st August, 2017 and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on three months' notice on selection from the date of receipt of offer of appointment
- Up to a maximum of 10 years in the case of blind, deaf-mute and orthopedically handicapped persons.
UPSC not to relax upper age limit
Candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes who are also covered under any other clauses of para 3(ii) (b) above, viz. those coming under the category of Ex-servicemen, persons domiciled in the State of J & K, blind, deaf-mute and orthopedically handicapped etc. will be eligible for grant of cumulative age-relaxation under both the categories.
The term ex-servicemen will apply to the persons who are defined as ex-servicemen in the Ex-servicemen (Re-employment in Civil Services and Posts) Rules, 1979, as amended from time to time.
The age concession under para 3(ii) (b) (v) and (vi) will not be admissible to Ex Servicemen and Commissioned Officers including ECOs/SSCOs who are released on own request.
Notwithstanding the provision of age-relaxation under para 3 (ii) (b) (vii) above, a physically disabled candidate will be considered to be eligible for appointment only if he/she (after such physical examination as the Government or appointing authority, as the case may be, may prescribe) is found to satisfy the requirements of physical and medical standards for the concerned Services/posts to be allocated to the physically disabled candidates by the Government.
iii) Number of Attempts and Age Limit
The UPSC has raised the upper age limit and number of attempts of applicants of the Civil Service Examination with effect from 2015. The upper age limit will be 32 years for the unreserved (general) category with 6 attempts. It will be 35 years for OBC candidates with 9 attempts; and will be 37 years for SC/ST candidates with unlimited number of attempts. For physically handicapped candidates the age limit is 42, 45 and 47 years for General, OBC and SC/ST category respectively while the number of attempts is 9 for General and OBC and unlimited for SC/SC category.
|SC/ST||32+5=37||As many as upto age limt|
(Blind, Deaf-mute, Orthopedic)
|32+10=42||if general then 9
OBC then 9
SC/ST- then upto age limt
|J&K domicile||if general then 32+5=37
OBC then 32+5+3=40
SC/ST then 32+5+5=42
PH then 32+5+10=50
|depending on above categories viz.Gen, OBC, SC/ST, Disabled|
|Disabled serviceman discharged from duty||if general then 32+3=35
OBC then 32+3+3=38
SC/ST then 32+3+5=40
|Ex-serviceman with five years duty* specific condition on page2 of notification||if general then 32+5=37
OBC then 32+5+3=40
SC/ST then 32+5+5=42
iv) Restrictions on applying for the Civil Services examination:
A candidate who is appointed to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) or the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) on the results of an earlier examination is NOT eligible to take this examination again. In case such a candidate is appointed to the IAS/IFS after the Preliminary Examination of Civil Services Examination, is over and he/she continues to be a member of that service, he/she shall NOT be eligible to appear in the Civil Services (Mains) Examination, notwithstanding his/her having qualified in the Preliminary Examination. Also provided that if such a candidate is appointed to IAS/IFS after the commencement of the Civil Services (Main) Examination but before the result thereof and continues to be a member of that service, he/she shall NOT be considered for appointment to any service/post on the basis of the result of this examination viz. Civil Services Examination.
v) Restrictions relaxed on applying for the Civil Services examination:
The candidates who are appointed to other services barring the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) on the results of an earlier examination are eligible to take this examination again.
vi) Other Eligibility Criteria:
- The candidate must be a citizen of India to be eligible for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS), for other services, a candidate must be either:
- a citizen of India,
- or a subject of Nepal,
- or a subject of Bhutan,
- or a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India,
- or 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.
Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (c), (d), (e) and (f) shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.
Provided further that candidates belonging to categories (c), (d) (e) and (f) above will not be eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service
Note: A candidate in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary is eligible to take the examination but the offer of appointment may be given to only those candidates who have submitted the necessary eligibility certificate issued to him/her by the Government of India.
Note: The Candidates applying for the Civil Service Examination should ensure that they fulfil all eligibility conditions and criteria for admission to examination. Their admission to all the stages of the examination will be purely provisional subject to satisfying the prescribed eligibility conditions. Mere issue of admission certificate to the candidate will not imply that his/her candidature has been finally cleared by the UPSC. UPSC take up verification of eligibility conditions with reference to original documents only after the candidate has qualified for Interview/ Personality Test.
How to choose a Civil Service
The Order of preference of services for Civil Service is asked when you have qualified for the Prelims and you are filling up the form to write the Mains exam. This list of services includes the All India Services, Group 'A' and Group 'B' services, you may choose the order of preference of services as per your choice.
However, before you do that get to know about the responsibilities and posting of all the services and their standing in society vis-a-vis other jobs you may take up. You may look down upon some services to begin with but they may still be better options than to take up private jobs.
Make sure you do your research and not regret later. You can seek some basic information from this website and also take advice from experts of the Civil Services exam. After that make up your mind about the best of the services which you can happily pursue and then make your choices while applying for the mains exam.
Remember you may like to join a particular service which you may consider your dream job but your rank in merit list may not help you to fulfill your wish. In such case do not get obsessed with only one service and you must choose other options as well. Your options must be based in order of popularity of the service.
One thing you must remember, later on you will not get an opportunity to change your choice to a more popular service, and even you get the required ranking. So it's better to choose the preference according to the list of services "in Demand".
Some people underestimate themselves and list their preference first for lower service or less desirable services, so that they may get it for sure. But it's a wrong thinking, why you may under estimate yourself when you have qualified for the mains exam?
Start with the very first service that is All India Service IAS/IPS/IPS and the Group A service. After that you may choose the Group B Service. Do not leave any option, even though you may not like it on its face value.
The civil services results can be very unpredictable and even if you are a topper in your school and college, you may not get the best services on the list. Make sure you do not leave out any service due to over confidence.
List all of them in descending order so that in case you do not get the service you think you will surely get, you still have some options left.