The IAS exam (officially known as the Civil Services Examination) is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) annually. Those who clear all the three stages of the IAS exam enter into the prestigious civil services of the country, and become officers in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and a host of other services. This article focuses on the UPSC eligibility criteria. Questions such as what is the education qualification for IAS? What is the minimum education qualification required for the UPSC exam etc will be acknowledged.

What is the Qualification for IAS?

Read the sections below to get the in-depth details regarding the qualification details of an IAS Officer.

General Overview of Qualification for IAS Officer

IAS Age Limit 21 to 32 years
Educational Qualification for IAS Graduation
Nationality Indian citizens only

Eligibility Criteria for IAS Educational Qualification 2021-2022

The various academic requirements as per the IAS Eligibility Criteria are given below:

# Minimum IAS degree qualification for UPSC exam: The candidate must hold a degree from Government recognized Universities or possess an equivalent qualification.

# Candidates who are in their final year or awaiting results are also eligible to appear for UPSC preliminary Examination. All such candidates who are likely to appear for IAS exams must produce proof of having passed the said examination along with the application for the main IAS examination.

# Candidates having professional and technical qualifications recognized by the Government as equivalent to professional and technical degrees.

# Medical students who have passed the final year of MBBS, but are yet to complete their internship also have eligibility for IAS. Although, along with the Main Examination application, a certificate of course completion (including internship) from the concerned authority of the University/Institution has to be submitted.

Also Read: The Updated UPSC Syllabus to Kickstart Your Preparation

IAS UPSC Nationality Eligibility Criteria

For IAS and IPS:

# The candidate must be a citizen of India

All other Services:

# Candidate must be either

# A citizen of India, or

# A subject of Nepal, or

# A subject of Bhutan, or

# A Tibetan refugee who came to India before 1st January 1962 intending to settle in India permanently, or

# A person of Indian origin (PIO) who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zaire, and Vietnam intending to settle in India permanently.

# The candidates belonging to categories (2), (3), (4), and (5) should furnish a certificate of eligibility issued by the Government of India. Such candidates may take the exam before getting the said certificate of eligibility, but he/she would get the offer of appointment only after the Government of India has issued the certificate.

# Point to Note: A person belonging to categories (2), (3), and (4) are not eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service (IFS).


UPSC Eligibility Criteria for Age Limit 2021-2022

As per the Civil Services Age Limit, the candidate Should be between 21 and 32 years, as of 1st August 2020 (for the UPSC CSE 2020), i.e., he must have been born not earlier than 2nd August 1988 and not later than 1st August 1999. Civil Services Age Limit is an essential factor in the eligibility criteria. Therefore candidates applying for UPSC Exam should check these details properly before filling the online application form.

Category UPSC Age Limit- Upper Relaxation Number of Attempts
General 32 6
OBC 35 9
SC/ST 37 Unlimited (Up to age limit)
Disabled Defence Services Personnel 35 9
Ex-Servicemen 37 9
Persons with Benchmark Disability – EWS (Economically weaker section) 42 9

EWS Quota for UPSC

The government has introduced a 10% EWS reservation for general category candidates. This is for all those candidates who are not covered under any reservations (such as OBC, SC, ST, and except PH and Ex-servicemen criteria) and belong to economically backward sections. To be eligible for the EWS certificate, you will have to satisfy all the conditions mentioned below:

# You should be a ‘general’ candidate (not covered under reservation for SC, ST, or OBC).

# Your family’s gross annual income should be below Rs. 8 lakhs. This includes income from all sources such as agriculture, salary, business, etc. for the financial year before you apply for the exam.

# Your family should not own agricultural land of size 5 acres or more.

# Your family should not own a residential flat of area 1000 square feet or more.

# Your family should not own a residential plot (in notified municipalities) of an area 100 square yards or more.

# Your family should not own a residential plot (other than in notified municipalities) of an area 200 square yards or more.

Also Read: Complete Study Material Guide for UPSC IAS Exam

Various Job Roles of an IAS Officer

One of the most sought occupations in India is that of an IAS officer. Aspirants interested in pursuing a career as an IAS official can review the job descriptions of IAS officers below, which are the hallmarks of Indian administration.

Sub Divisional Officer

He or she is in command of the sub-different division’s development initiatives. The Sub Divisional Officer’s role is to coordinate the activities of several departments.

Divisional Commissioner

At the divisional level, the Divisional Commissioner coordinates all operations related to general administration, including law and order, revenue administration, and growth administration. The Divisional Commissioner is in charge of tax management in his division and handles appeals from District Collectors’ decisions. He/she is in charge of coordinating and supervising the activities of all branches of government in his division.

District Magistrate or District Collector

The District Magistrate is in charge of ensuring that the district’s administration runs smoothly and efficiently. He or she is the principal point of contact for coordinating the activities of the district’s government bodies. He or she is in charge of collecting income from the district as a Collector.

Chief Secretary

Interdepartmental cooperation is ensured by the Chief Secretary. He/she is the head of coordination groups, which are formed to resolve interdepartmental conflicts, and he/she also consults secretaries on interdepartmental issues.

Cabinet Secretary

The Cabinet Secretary is the federal government’s main coordinator. He or she serves as a connection between the nation’s political system and its civil service. A Cabinet Secretary’s responsibilities include overseeing and coordinating the operations of numerous ministries/departments.

IAS Officer Power: Roles and Responsibilities 

IAS officials have a venerable position that requires a great degree of responsibility and respect. It is also necessary for an officer to be physically and psychologically fit and healthy in order to bear the pressures of the job without succumbing. An IAS officer is assigned to the following duties and responsibilities:

IAS Officer Power Section 1

# Managing government affairs, including policy formulation and execution in consultation with the relevant Minister.

# Observing and supervising the implementation of policies, as well as travelling to the locations where the policies will be applied.

# Disbursement of money under personal supervision is part of implementing policies.

# If you break the regulations while on duty, you’ll have to answer to the Parliament and state legislatures.

# At different stages of a career, various functions and duties are assigned.

# IAS officials first join the state government at the sub-divisional level, restarting their duties as sub-divisional magistrates, and are responsible for law and order, general management, and development activities in the area to which they have been assigned.

# The job of District Officer also termed as District Magistrate, District Collector, or Deputy Commissioner is one of the most recognised and prestigious positions held by IAS officers.

# An IAS official works with district issues, including the execution of developmental initiatives, at the district level.

IAS Officer Power Section 2

# Officials may be appointed to positions in the State Secretariat, as Department heads, or in Public Service Undertakings

# They may hold roles ranging from the state to the federal government, and vice versa. Deputation is used to accomplish this.

# Cabinet Secretaries, Advisers Secretaries, Joint Officials, Directors, Deputy Secretaries, and Under Secretaries are the highest-ranking IAS personnel at the federal level. Seniority determines their appointment to these positions.

# IAS officials play a major role in the design and execution of policies pertaining to a certain field at the Centre, such as finance, commerce, and many more.

# IAS officials functioning at various levels, such as joint secretary and deputy secretary, provide significant contributions during policy development and decision-making.

# Based on the gravity of the issue, the policy is finalised by a final decision by the minister responsible or the cabinet.

Employment Opportunities for IAS Officer

IAS officer is a broad career path with a wide range of options. There is a multitude of job options for IAS officers. As an IAS official, you might work in the Central Government as a Personal Secretary to Ministers. He or she can be appointed to autonomous organisations, subordinate organisations, public sector undertakings, UN organisations, and international organisations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Asian Development Bank, which provides deputation vacant positions to IAS officers for international postings. IAS officers can also serve international organisations such as the World Trade Organization, Commonwealth, SAARC, and the International Court of Justice.

Read the section below to know about the IAS Officer salary.

Also Read: 3 Months Preparation Plan for UPSC Prelims: A Step Towards Success

Pay Scale or Salary of IAS Officer

IAS officers are among the highest-paid government employees. An IAS officer’s compensation is determined by his or her position and salary.

The following is the UPSC IAS salary following the 7th pay commission:

Post Grade Pay Scale Basic Pay
After 2 years of probation: SDM or Sub Divisional Magistrate, SDO or Sub-Collector Junior or Lower Time Scale Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,50,000 Rs 56,100
DM or District Magistrate or a Joint Secretary or a Collector of a Government Ministry Senior Time Scale Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,50,001 Rs 67,700
The Head of Various Government Departments

or Special Secretary

Junior Administrative Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,50,002 Rs 78,800
Secretary to a Ministry Selection Grade Rs 1,00,000 to Rs 2,00,000 Rs 1,18,500- 1,44,200
Principal Secretary Super Time Scale Rs 1,00,000 to Rs 2,00,000 Rs 1,82,200
Varies Above Super Time Scale Rs 1,00,000 to Rs 2,00,000 Rs 2,05,400
Union Secretaries or Chief Secretary of States in charge of different ministries of Government of India Apex Scale Rs 2,25,000 (Fixed) Rs 2,25,000
Cabinet Secretary of India Cabinet Secretary Grade Rs 2,50,000 (Fixed) Rs 2,50,000

Books & Study Material to Become IAS Officer

Students devote a significant amount of time to prepare for the UPSC CSE, with the ultimate goal of becoming an IAS officer. Only a handful, though, are able to realise their ambitions. Aspirants who want to become IAS officers should first learn how to begin their preparation. To begin IAS preparation, the following are some of the top books and study materials to choose from in order to pass the entrance exam:

# A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir (Modern India)

# General Studies Paper 2 Manual by MHE (CSAT)

# NCERT Books

# Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations by M. Laxmikanth (Polity)

# Oxford School Atlas by Oxford Publishers (Geography)

# Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh (Economy)

# India Year Book (Current Affairs)

# Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania (Culture)

Pros of becoming an IAS Officer

# The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is a pan India service. One can contribute to society by pursuing a career as an IAS officer.

# It is a secure job with several benefits and advantages.

# The position of an IAS officer is highly regarded, and it provides a tremendous feeling of fulfilment because you will be making a significant contribution to society.

# In India, the function of an IAS officer is intimately linked to political leadership.

Cons of becoming an IAS Officer

# Workplace stress is a part of the job. IAS officers bear a great deal of responsibility. It might be difficult to be responsible for everything that happens in one’s area.

# Politicians and individuals with vested interests put political pressure on IAS officials in a variety of ways.

# Although if they are ethical, IAS officers have to deal with lots of wrongdoing in their jobs.

Preparation Tips to Become an IAS Officer

The preparation approach is where the real answer to “how to be an IAS officer in India” begins! The Civil Services test usually takes 8 to 12 months to study for. To prepare for the full curriculum holistically, you need to start roughly a year in advance. The following are some fundamental measures to take in order to prepare for the Civil Services test.

Also Read: What should be the Timetable/Strategy to Clear The IAS 2021-22 if I Start Studying Now?

Tip 1: Know about the Exam

It is critical that you be well-versed in the UPSC test format as well as the exam curriculum. Keep a copy of the curriculum on your desk at all times so you can assess the importance of any lesson from the perspective of an examination. As a result, for efficient preparation, you must have the curriculum planned out in your head. After that, look at a few prior year’s papers to get a sense of how the questions are phrased.

Tip 2: Work on Building a Strong Foundation

If you want to give your preparation a solid framework, you need to start with a solid foundation. As a result, begin with the fundamentals. NCERTs are a vital and fundamental source of knowledge that will expose you to the subjects you will need to study in-depth for UPSC preparation. As a result, use the NCERTs to get a head start in your UPSC preparation!

Tip 3: Read Standard Books

The first query that comes to mind is probably, “What are the essential books for UPSC preparation?” As a result, standard books refer to works that must be read from beginning to end for a specific subject. Go over it and locate all of the key books, then begin reading them. The post also includes a list of NCERT books that may be downloaded for free from the NCERT site.

Tip 4: Master the Current Affairs

Each year, relevant questions from current events are asked in the Prelims test. As a result, for UPSC, it is critical to read current affairs from the previous 12 to 18 months. You may either enrol in a current affairs course, which will undoubtedly assist you in quickly gathering vital knowledge, or you can cover it through newspapers and publications.

Tip 5: Mock Tests and Answer-writing Practice

The two most crucial pillars in UPSC preparations are mock exams and answer writing. Without these, you won’t be able to finish your UPSC preparation! While a mock exam may help you analyse your preparation and identify areas where you need to improve, answer-writing practice can help you improve your writing abilities and perfect your answer-writing strategies. As a result, including both of them in your planning.

Tip 6: Revision 

The UPSC preparation process includes a lot of revision. Importance of several revisions of what you’ve learned is critical for ideal retention. In General Studies, we have a tendency to forget dates and events, thus it is critical to review it several times to cement those notions in your mind.

Why Choose UPSC Pathshala?

Since its establishment, UPSC Pathshala has been a leader in training UPSC candidates and guaranteeing that they achieve their desired results. UPSC Pathshala strives to provide you with the finest at the convenience of your own home, with elite mentors from around the nation with over 10 years of expertise. Personalised mentorship, offline access, frequent assessments, live current events lectures, and doubt-solving sessions are just a few of the elements that students have commended in their reviews.

Some of the key features of UPSC Pathshala are:

Personal Mentor 

Preparing for the Civil Services test is a long process, and it’s critical to have an expert mentor who can help you through each step. UPSC Pathshala provides students with a specialized mentor who creates a study plan for them, answers their questions, discusses current events, assesses their answers, and puts them on track.

Video Lectures

Expert academic members from throughout the country deliver high-quality video lectures to students. These lessons cover the complete General Studies (GS) and Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) syllabuses, and also the most in-depth current affairs for both the preliminary and mains exams.

Regular Practice Sessions

UPSC Pathshala requires students to complete several practice tests in order to guarantee that they are fully prepared for their UPSC examination. Students may keep records of their study, identify their weak and strong aspects, and improve on them accordingly with the aid of online practise tests.


A candidate must go through the eligibility criteria for UPSC and also make sure there are no further qualifications needed for their service such as candidates that want to appear for Defense or Forest Services, etc. and make sure they meet all criteria. This should generally be the first step to starting your preparation for the UPSC exam, even before you check the UPSC IAS syllabus.

Take a visit to the UPSC Pathshala website and explore the excellent courses with expert mentors and mock tests. Register for a course now and get one step closer to your IAS dream.

Also Read: UPSC 2021 Form Date: Everything You Must Know about the Upcoming UPSC Exam 2021

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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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