Eligibility Criteria for IAS

Eligibility Criteria for IAS - Number of Attempts and Age Limit

IAS exam is the most prestigious exam conducted by UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) to select candidates for services that includes IAS, IRS, IPS, IRS, IFS and other Group A and Group B services. In this article, you will get to know about the eligibility criteria and all the other details before you fill in the details in your application form.

Minimum Qualification:

Candidates aspiring to appear for the IAS exam must hold a graduation degree in any discipline from any recognized university. The exam consists of three stages that comprise of IAS prelims followed by the Main exam and interview round. General knowledge and knowledge of their optional paper are part of the IAS main exam and the final interview is for those who successfully clear IAS mains. In a matter of graduation degree, there are certain exceptions that are considered, those who are waiting for the result of their graduation exam are eligible for the prelims exam but will have to present it at the time of the main exam. Candidates having professional and technical degrees from recognized universities are also eligible to appear for the IAS exam. Candidates with professional MBBS degree or who have passed any other medical examination but not completed internship are also eligible to appear for the exam but have to submit a copy of the certificate from the concerned authority of the University or institution along with the application form.

Age Criteria:

There is an age limit for IAS candidates. A candidate should be between 21 years to 32 years of age. Candidates appearing for IAS 2020 must not be born earlier than August 02, 1988 and not later than August 01, 1999. Relaxations are there for reserved categories. Candidate from SC or ST category will be given 5 years of age relaxation and for OBC up to 3 years, 3 years in the case of defense services personnel. Maximum relaxation of 5 years is given in case of ECOs/SSOs who have completed five years of Military service as on August 01, 2019 and whose assignment has been extended beyond 5 years and Ministry of Defense issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment.


To be recruited as an IAS officer candidate should be a citizen of India and any of the following

  • A Subject of Nepal
  • A subject of Bhutan
  • A refugee from Tibet who came to India with the intention of permanently settling before January 01, 1962 or
  • A person of Indian origin migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

For the subject of Nepal, Bhutan or a Tibetan refugee they will not be eligible for IFS (Indian Foreign Services).

Physical Standards:

As per the rules defined by the government of India, every candidate appearing for IAS has to appear for and clear a physical test. It is important for a candidate aspiring to be an IAS to be physically and mentally fit. One cannot be recruited if he/she fails to meet the requirement of being physically and mentally fit.

List of hospitals conducting medical tests for candidates:

  • Safdarjung Hospital
  • Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital
  • Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital
  • Succheta Kriplani Hospital
  • Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital
  • B R Ambedkar Hospital
  • Guru Nanak Eye center

How many attempts are allowed?

For General Category candidates, it is 6 attempts till 32 years of age. For OBC candidates 9 attempts are allowed until 35 years of age. For SC/ST candidates unlimited attempts are allowed until 37 years of age. For differently able candidates belonging to the general category, 9 attempts till the age of 42 years are allowed. If you fill the UPSC application form but don’t appear for Preliminary Exam, that attempt is NOT COUNTED.

Hope this article is informative enough for you to get all the details about eligibility standards.

Good Luck!!