UPSC IFoS Eligibility: Check Age Limit, Nationality, and Qualifying Criteria

Updated On -

May 3, 2021

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Exams Prepmaster

Union Public Service Commission conducts an annual exam every year for the recruitment of Forest Services Officers. The exam is known as IFoS and must not be confused with IFS (Indian Foreign Service).

It is a part of Civil Services Exams and the Prelims of both the exams are the same. IFoS has lesser vacancies than the Civil Services which makes it very tough and competitive as thousands of students take this exam. While preparing for the UPSC IFoS exam, candidates should practise the previous question papers along with the mock tests.

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Though some eligibility criteria are the same for both the exams, others are different. So the candidates need to make sure they have gone through the eligibility requirements of the exam they want to take before filling up the UPSC IFoS application form. The candidates also need to choose one of the exams in the application, or specify if they want to take both.

IFoS Highlights

UPSC IFoS Eligibility 2021: Highlights

Exam conducting authority Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Official Website
Exam Level National Level
Exam occurrence Once in a year
Application Mode Online
Examination mode Online
Selection Procedure Preliminary, Main, Interview
Post Forest Services Officers
IFoS Exam Dates

UPSC IFoS Important Dates

UPSC IFoS exams are conducted every year. The dates of the 2021 exams are not released yet. However, the Mains 2020 exams are due in February-March 2021. Their interview and the final result will tentatively be conducted and released in April-May 2021.

Events Dates
UPSC IFoS 2020 Mains Exam 28th February to 7th March 2021
UPSC IFoS 2020 Mains Result March 2021
Release of UPSC IFoS 2020 Cut Off Marks March 2021
UPSC IFoS 2020 Interview April 2021
UPSC IFoS Final Result May 2021
Release of UPSC IFoS 2021 Official Notification To be announced
UPSC IFoS 2021 Application Dates To be announced
UPSC IFoS 2021 Prelims Admit Card To be announced
UPSC IFoS 2021 Prelims Exam To be announced
UPSC IFoS 2021 Prelims Result To be announced
IFoS Eligibility

UPSC IFoS 2021- Eligibility Criteria

Before you go to fill up the forms, you must check whether you meet all the requirements for the eligibility criteria. All the criteria are mentioned in the notification PDF that is shared by the conducting body. We have listed them in a gist for your reference and you can always check the entire details from the official notification-


The first criteria that are considered are the nationality of the aspirant.

  • The aspirant should be a citizen of India, or
  • They must be a subject of Nepal and Bhopal, or
  • Tibetan refugees who came to India before January 1, 1962, and had the intention of permanently settling in the country.
  • Persons of Indian origin who have migrated from countries like Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Vietnam, etc., and have the intention to settle in the country permanently.
  • All candidates except citizens of India produce a certificate of eligibility issued by the Government of India during recruitment.

Age limit and Relaxation

The candidates can be minimum of 21 years and a maximum of 32 years on August 1, 2020, on the year of examination. This means the candidate should not be born before August 2, 1988, and not after August 1, 1999.

However, there is age relaxation for the reserved categories to a certain extent which is discussed below:

Category Relaxation
SC/ST 5 years
OBC 3 years
Those belonging to Jammu and Kashmir and Domiciled from January 1, 1980, to December 31, 1989  5 years
Defense Service Personnel 5 years
Ex-servicemen and commissioned officers, ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered a minimum of 5 years of military service. The Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and will be released on three months’ notice from the date of receipt of the offer of appointment.  5 years
PwD  10 years

Note: SC/ST who are also covered by the other clauses of age limit will be eligible for cumulative age relaxation

Educational Criteria

Unlike IAS, when you are applying for IFoS, the educational criteria are very specific. Only graduates in the following subjects are eligible to apply-

  • Botany,
  • Chemistry,
  • Geology,
  • Mathematics,
  • Physics,
  • Statistics
  • Zoology or a
  • Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture or Forestry or engineering

Candidates who are appearing in their degree exam for any of the prescribed subjects are also eligible to apply for the exam. However, if they qualify for the prelims, they have to submit the details of passing the exam in the application form for the next stage to be eligible.

Restriction on Attempts

This is another criterion that one should keep in mind before applying. The number of times you are applying for the exam is restricted which means, every time you are unable to crack the exam, one attempt is lost. The maximum number of attempts that candidates may have are as follows-

Category Number of attempts
General candidates 6
SC/ST No restrictions
PWD 9 for OBC/general, unlimited for SC/ST

Physical Fitness Criteria

There are some basic height, weight requirements for the candidates and they all have to undergo a physical fitness test who have to be qualified to make it to the final merit list.

Parameters Men Women
Height 163 cm minimum with 5cm relaxation for reserved categories. 150 cm with 5cm relaxation for reserved categories
Chest expansion Chest expansion- minimum 84 cm with an expansion of 5 cm. Minimum of 79 cm with 5 cm expansion
Eyesight 6/6 or 6/9 distant vision for good eyes and 6/12 or 6/9 for worst eyes.
Ears Good listening with normal ear cavity- 1000-4000 hearing frequency. Impairment should not be more than 30 decibels.
Nasal Candidates should not have stammering issues while talking
Blood pressure Age 22-34- 122- 127
  • Women should not be pregnant during the medical test
  • Lastly, there is a walking test of 25 km in 4 hours for men and 15 km in 4 hours for women.

This is the eligibility criteria of UPSC IFoS which the candidates must go through carefully before applying for the exam. Along with this, the candidates must also go through the eligibility criteria of the Civil Services exam if they are applying for the recruitments.



Ques. I am in the final semester of Bachelor's in Forestry, can I apply for IFoS?

Ans: Yes, you can apply for IFoS provided you get your result before the final round of recruitment.

Ques: What are the minimum age requirements for UPSC IFoS and Civil Services Exams?

Ans: The minimum age requirement for both UPSC IFoS and Civil Services Exams is 21 years.

Ques: I am an SC PwD, how many years of relaxation will I get?

Ans: The relaxation for SC candidates is 5 years and for PwD candidates, it is 10 years. So, you will get a cumulative relaxation of both.

Ques: Is there any age relaxation for women candidates?

Ans: No, there is no separate age relaxation for women candidates. However, if they belong to any of the reserved categories mentioned above, they can avail the relaxation reserved for their category.

Ques: Is the physical fitness requirement for men and women the same?

Ans: No, the physical fitness requirements are different for men and women. Candidates are advised to through the list of eligibility criteria to know about them in detail.

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