IAS (UPSC CSE) Eligibility 2021- Age limit and Relaxation, Qualification and Physical Standards

Updated On -

Mar 19, 2021

IAS (UPSC CSE) Eligibility is a certain set of criteria required to be fulfilled by a candidate before applying for the IAS exam. The requirements are issued in the official notification of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on the official website, click here. If the aspirants fail to meet the IAS eligibility criteria, their application form will be rejected automatically. 

Crash Course

Though a petition was filed for an extra attempt in IAS 2021 for candidates who exhausted the age limit in 2020 and missed the last attempt due to the pandemic, it has been rejected by Supreme Court. Read the news in details here

The official notification for IAS (UPSC CSE) 2021 is supposed to come out on February 10, 2021. The notification is a long list that mentions all the factors that make a candidate eligible or non-eligible for the exam. Along with the requirements, the aspirants must check out the restrictions too to avoid any disqualification.

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IAS Eligibility

UPSC IAS Eligibility Criteria 2021: Highlights

Age Criteria 21- 32 years
Age relaxation 3-10 years as per category
Educational Qualification Graduation (Minimum)
Nationality Indian
Physical Standards As per the Rank or post
Attempts 6 attempts (There is no restriction for SC/ST candidates)

Different Criteria for classification:-

  • Age criteria and relaxation
  • Educational Qualification
  • Nationality
  • Physical Standard
  • Number of attempts allowed

IAS (UPSC CSE) Exam 2021 Eligibility: Age Criteria

There is an age limit set by IAS for candidates who will appear in the UPSC IAS 2021. A candidate must have attained 21 years of age but the upper limit of age limit is set at 32 years.

IAS (UPSC CSE) 2021- Age Relaxation

Category Maximum Age Limit
General 32 Years
Other Backward Castes (OBC) 35 Years
Economically Weaker Section (EWS) 32 Years
SC/ST 37 Years
Physically Disabled Candidates 42 Years

Some important details related to the reserved category candidates are discussed in the following:

  • Relaxation of 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, is given. Read IAS Reservation Criteria
  • Five years of age relaxation is provided to the Candidates belonging to ex-servicemen including Commissioned officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered Military services for at least five years as of August 01, 2021, and have been released
    • On completion of assignment (including those whose assignment is due to be completed within one year from August 01, 2021, otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency.
    • On account of physical disability attributable to Military Service.
    • On invalided.
  • Relaxation of up to a maximum of five years will be given in the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service as of August 01, 2021.
  • Those 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 a selection from the date of receipt of an offer of appointment.

Note: No age relaxation will be provided to candidates who are domiciled from Jammu and Kashmir from 2021 onwards.

Check UPSC Prelims syllabus

IAS Exam 2021 Eligibility: Minimum Qualification

UPSC IAS Exam sets eligibility criteria for the candidates who wish to get recruited in All India Services. Candidates who wish to sit for UPSC Civil Services Exam must hold a graduation degree from any University which has been incorporated by the Act of Parliament or which is to be declared as a Deemed University by the University Grants Commission or he/she must possess an equivalent qualification for IAS Exam. However, there are several exceptions that may be treated by the commission. 

IAS 2021: Exceptions

  • Candidates who are waiting for the result of their graduation exam are eligible for the IAS Prelims exam but they will have to present the degree at the time of appearing for the IAS Main Exam.
  • IAS Exam Eligibility is considered on the basis that he/she has passed an exam conducted by other Institutions, the standard of which in the opinion of the Commission justifies his/her admission to the IAS Exam 2021.
  • Candidates with professional and technical degrees as recognized by the Government of India will also be eligible to appear for IAS Exam.
  • IAS will provisionally admit candidates with a professional MBBS degree or candidate who has passed any other medical examination but has not completed an internship. This is applicable only if he/she submits a copy of the certificate from the concerned authority of the University/Institution along with the IAS Online Application.

IAS (UPSC CSE) 2021 Exam Eligibility: Nationality

For the recruitment of candidates for All-India Services like IAS, IPS, or IFS officer, a candidate must be a citizen of India. For Central Civil Services, the candidate must be any of the following:

  1. a citizen of India
  2. a subject of Nepal
  3. a subject of Bhutan
  4. a refugee from Tibet who came to India with the intention of permanently settling before January 01, 1962, or
  5. 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 Nepal, Bhutan, Tibetan refuge and other Indian origin candidates from countries mentioned above shall be given a certificate of eligibility issued by the Government of India.

Note: Candidate who is a subject of Nepal, Bhutan, or is a Tibetan refugee will not be considered eligible for appointment to Indian Foreign Services. Also, candidates who need to produce a certificate of eligibility will be admitted to the IAS Exam but the appointment will be given after submission of certificates issued by the Government of India.

Check IAS Exam Pattern

IAS (UPSC CSE) Exam Eligibility: Physical Standards

Candidates who wish to seek employment at any post of All India Services have to appear for and clear a physical test which is conducted by the commission as per rules and regulations laid down by the Government of India.

  • It is very important to be physically fit for the efficient discharge of duties and services.
  • For recruitment in civil services, a candidate must also be mentally fit.
  • If the candidate fails to satisfy the requirements of being mentally and bodily fit to discharge duties, he/she will not be appointed.

Hospitals conducting Medical tests for Civil Services Exam

  • Seven hospitals have been designated for conducting medical tests of candidates wishing to get employed in civil services posts in Delhi. Names for the designated hospitals are:
    • Safdarjung Hospital
    • Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital
    • Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital
    • Sucheta Kriplani Hospital
    • Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital
    • Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital
    • BR Ambedkar Hospital
  • Female candidates will also be examined in the above-mentioned hospitals.
  • For candidates with Physical Disability, the following hospitals will be conducting medical examination as per their IAS Prelims:
    • Safdarjung Hospital
    • Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital
    • LHMC
    • Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital
    • Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital
  • Candidates who will require Appellate Specialized Medical Board for eye conditions will be sent to Guru Nanak Eye Centre, New Delhi for medical examination.

Check UPSC Mains syllabus

IAS Attempts

IAS (UPSC CSE) Exam Eligibility: Attempts

There is a specified number of attempts that the candidate can take for the IAS Exams. However, the limitations vary according to the reservation of category.

Category Number of Attempts
General 6 Attempts
Other Backward Castes (OBC) 9 Attempts
Economically Weaker Section (EWS) 6 Attempts
SC/ST Till the age limit
Physically Disabled Candidates For General and OBC aspirants: 9 Attempts SC/ST Aspirants: Unlimited times till the age limit
IAS Restrictions

Restriction of Candidates for IAS (UPSC CSE) Exam

There are several cases in which candidates will stand non-eligible for the IAS Exam. The conditions of Non-Eligibility for the IAS exam have been mentioned below:

  • A candidate who has been appointed as an Indian Administrative Service (I.A.S) officer or Indian Foreign Service (I.F.S) officer by the results of an earlier examination and continues to be a member of that service will not be eligible to sit for IAS Exam. Read IS Exam Centres
  • If such is the case then candidates will be appointed to the IAS/IFS after the conduction of IAS Prelims. Candidates of such a case will continue to be a member of that service and he/she shall not be eligible to appear in IAS Main exam.
  • If a candidate is appointed to IAS or IFS after he/she sits for IAS Main before the announcement of IAS Exam Result thereof and continues to be a member of that service, he/she shall not be eligible for appointment to any service on the basis of IAS Result.


Ques. Which branch of engineering is eligible for the IAS?

Ans. Any candidate holding technical degrees of any kind from a central or state government recognized institute can apply for IAS too.

Ques. Is the AMIE degree considered for IAS eligibility?

Ans. AMIE is considered equivalent to B. Tech. and hence it is an eligible degree for applying for exams like IAS.

Ques. I am pursuing a Dual degree in M.Tech. Am I eligible for UPSC 2021?

Ans. Yes, you will be eligible as according to UPSC, candidates who have appeared in their final exam or will be completing the degree course they are pursuing, this year are also eligible to apply for IAS 2021.

Ques. I am in my 3rd year of engineering. Can I apply for UPSC?

Ans. No, if you are in the third year of engineering you cannot apply for UPSC 2021 as you have to complete the graduation before the application procedure of UPSC 2021 starts, which means if you were in the last leg of your 8th semester in 2020, you could consider applying for IAS 2021.

Ques. Is graduation necessary to appear in the UPSC exam?

Ans. Yes, the minimum qualification required for IAS educational qualification is graduation. You can check the detailed IAS eligibility criteria here.

Ques. Will my graduation marks affect the UPSC examination?

Ans. There are no minimum marks required for applying for the UPSC exam and hence, your graduation marks will not affect the UPSC exam either. However, if you are in the final year of your graduation and apply for IAs but fail the final exam, then you cannot appear for the IAS.

Ques. What is the eligibility for the medical fitness test for IAS?

Ans. There no no height, weight, and chest girth specifications for IAS candidates but in the case during the medical checkup, they seem disproportionate, the candidate will be sent for further tests and even X-rays. Stable mental and physical health is required for the IAS postings and the medical checkups will be done at a different government recognized medical centers. You can find the detailed physical fitness criteria for IAS here.

Ques. What is the maximum age limit to appear in IAS exams?

Ans. The maximum age limit for IAS is 32 years. However, there are age relaxations for reserved categories as well which you can find in detail here.

Ques. I am doing B.SC (IT). Am I eligible for IAS?

Ans. Yes, graduation is the minimum required educational qualification for IAS and hence, B.Sc. in IT is eligible. If you have already graduated or in the final year of your graduation, you can apply for IAS.

Ques. Is a diploma holder eligible for UPSC?

Ans. No, a diploma degree is not enough for UPSC eligibility as the minimum required qualification is graduation.

Ques. Is a BA without honors eligible for the IAS exam?

Ans. Yes, BA without honours is eligible for the IAS exam provided it is completed from any recognized central or state university.

Ques. How many marks are required in 12th for IAS?

Ans. There is no minimum marks requirement in class 12 for IAS as the exam is conducted based on the graduation level qualification.

Ques. Will my graduation marks affect the UPSC examination?

Ans. No, the graduation marks do not affect the UPSC examination which is entirely based on your preparation of the prelims and mains syllabus.

3 Months Crash Course

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.


tanishka shah
How much relaxation is given to ex-servicemen including Commissioned officers and ECOs/SSCOs?
jaya garg

Hi. Relaxation of maximum five years is provided in the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service as of August 01, 2021.

What are different eligibility criteria for the selection of candidates for the IAS exam?
jaya garg

Hi. Age criteria and relaxation, Educational Qualification, Nationality, Physical Standard, etc. are different eligibility criteria for the selection of candidates for the IAS exam. Candidates need to meet the minimum eligibility criteria.

tanishka shah
Who decides the minimum eligibility criteria for the IAS candidates?
jaya garg

Hi. The eligibility criteria of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is mentioned on the official website by the exam conducting authorities. If the aspirants fail to meet the IAS eligibility criteria, their application form will be rejected automatically.

divakar sharma
I have completed my education from Foreign University for example Cambridge, Oxford, can I apply for IAS Examination?
jaya garg

Hi Divakar. No, to give the IAS exam, your degree must be approved with the UGC or the any other govt. organization that is mentioned in the notification.

ananya pandey
What is IAS Exam Application Procedure?
jaya garg

Hi Anaya. The application procedure for UPSC exams is online, candidates have to fill applications online. The UPSC Admit cards are issued online, which IAS exam aspirants are supposed to download the same from UPSC official website. For more information, refer here.

ankur jain
I have completed from education from an open school/ University apply for Commissions Examination, can I apply?
jaya garg

Yes, provided it is a recognized University and you meet the educational qualifications mentioned in the exam. If they are fine, you are eligible to give the IAS exam.

anuj singh chauhan
Within how many days, the IAS results are declared?
jaya garg

The results are motsly declared within 45 days from the day of the exam. The candidates can easily check the UPSC result 2021 in the result pdf; the results will be released online and at the notice board of the UPSC. The UPSC 2021 result pdf will provide the roll number of all the qualified candidates. Further details are here.

sandesh kumar
How can I check the status of my application submitted for a particular post?
jaya garg

The candidate are advised to refer to the UPSC’s official Website which shows the list of finally submitted Online applications. The list contain all the details related to the Name of the Post, Vacancy, Roll number, Application number, etc.

saurav kumar
What is the restriction on number of attempts in IAS Examinations? Is there any relaxation in number of attempts for physically handicapped?
jaya garg

General-56, OBC-9, SC/ST- No restriction. Yes, physically handicapped candidates belonging to the general category shall be eligible for 9 attempts. Further details are here.

utkarsha khatri
What options are more suitable for me, I belong to an arts background?
jaya garg

It is a highly sensitive issue, and the most crucial too, because the selection of optionals is finalized considering so may prospects. You can refer to the official website to get full details and select the optionals based on their preferences. 

ibashisha mukhim
What are the eligibility criteria in terms of physical requirements/ functional classification required for a Service/ Post?
jaya garg

Hi Ibashisha. Candidates planning to get employment at any post of All India Services have to give the physical test which is conducted by the commission.
There is no height, weight and chest girth minimum requirement in the IAS, as compared to other technical services but if the candidates’ measurements are disproportionate as regarded by the medical board, they are supposed to be hospitalized for investigation and chest X-ray can be taken. Also, candidates must have a proper vision in the eyes. Corrections permitted are spectacles, CL and refractive surgery like LASIK, ICL, IOL, etc. Candidates having macular degenerative changes will be declared unfit for service in the IAS.

mamata pradhan
Hello sir I am a government service holder , group C .will I be eligible for IAS?
gurpreet singh

Hi Mamta

 If you are not older than 32Years of age then you can apply for the IAS exam.

kashish tomar
What are the minimum educational qualifications prescribed?
jaya garg

Hi Kashish. Yes, you must be a graduate to give the IAS exam. Check other details here.

Hello sir I have done diploma after 10 instead of 12. Now I am doing btech through lateral entry. Will I be eligible for ias after btech or diploma instead of 12 will be a hindrance. One more query, I have my name Nitish in my all academic marksheets but have name Nitish Bhati in all pan, aadhar, bank. I cannot change in any will it affect if it then please provide a solution.
diya suresh

Hi Nitish, To be eligible you need to pass a bachelor’s degree from a recognised board/university. The percentage does not matter but being a graduate is mandatory. As you are doing, you will be eligible if you have completed it or at least be in the final year. As far as name mismatch is concerned, you can edit the same in the documents from an authorised department. For more details on UPSC IAS exam click here.

krupa sharma
Hello sir/madam, I'm born on 09/05/1989, can I attempt 2021 IAS exam ......?please help me on this
swati srivastava

Hi Krupa, you can attempt IAS 2021 exam. For details visit: IAS EXAM

Hello sir/madam... Am 32 yrs old ... Completed MSc(computer science),M.Ed degree... Whether am eligible to apply UPSC
aniket ranjan

Hii Jayasri. The upper age limit of IAS exam is 32 years for general candidates. You should not be born earlier than August 02, 1987. Some relaxations have been given to candidates belonging to certain reserved categories. For more details Click Here

I am a bsc nurse ,Am I eligible for IAS
aniket ranjan

Hii Sakeer. Yes, You are eligible IAS exam. For IAS exam one must hold a graduation degree from any University. For more details Click Here

Is computer course compulsory for upsc ?
akankshya pattanaik


No specific computer course is required for UPSC. 

chikkanna kg
Chikkanna kg Sir my age 44 years cast obc i a s exam apply
akankshya pattanaik


Extremely sorry to inform tht the age limit for OBC is 35 years. 

Hello, I m 27 year old nd want to start IAS exams preparation, I have done my B.Ed, Is am I eligible for this
akankshya pattanaik


Yes, you are eligible to start your preparations for the IAS examinations.