The civil services exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is one of the prestigious exams in the country. To crack one of the toughest exams, such as UPSC, an aspirant needs the highest amount of hard work, planning, and dedication. However, apart from your preparation, there are a few conditions one needs to satisfy to become eligible for writing the exam. A few basic and standard guidelines set up by the Union Public Service Commission make you eligible to apply for the exam.

In this article, you will see the eligibility criteria like age, nationality, and education for UPSC aspirants of the general category. Apart from this, there’s news circulating that the UPSC age limit for general category aspirants is now 35. So, we’ll check the truth about it too.

Eligibility Criteria

Before getting into whether the UPSC age limit is increased to 35 or not for the general category aspirants, let us see the essential eligibility criteria.

1. Age

Age Qualifications for Normal Citizens

The age qualifications for UPSC are as follows:

# The minimum age limit for a candidate to write the exam is 21 years.

# The general category candidates should not be 32 years by August 1st in the year they are about to give their exam.

# For the OBC aspirants, the maximum age limit is 35 years.

# For SC/ST candidates, 37 years is the maximum age limit.

# For Defence Services Personnel who were disabled in operations, the maximum age limit is 35 years.

# The maximum age limit for PwD candidates is 42 years.

Also Read: UPSC Study Time Table 2021: The Ultimate UPSC Preparation Schedule to Crack the Exam

Age Qualifications for Ex-Servicemen

The eligibility qualifications for candidates who have served the nation or rendered military service for at least 5 years as of August 1 on the year of the examination include:

# If they have been released from or completed the last project assigned to them

# On account of physical disability regarded to the military service

# On invalidation

# ECOs or SSCOs who have completed their initial period of assignment, which is 5 years of military service

2. Education

The candidates need to satisfy at least one of the following qualifications:

# A qualification equivalent to a graduate degree, recognised by University Grants Commission.

# A degree from an open university.

# A graduation degree received through correspondence or distance education.

# A graduate degree from a central, state, or any university.

3. Nationality

Any candidate who wants to apply for the UPSC must prove to be any of India’s citizens.

# A subject of Nepal or Bhutan.

# A Tibetan refugee who migrated to India before January 1962 to permanently settle.

# A person of Indian origin from Pakistan, Vietnam, Myanmar, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Uganda, or Sri Lanka intended to settle in India.

4. Overall Eligibility

IAS Age Limit 21 to 32 years
Age Relaxation As per category
Educational Qualification Graduation
Nationality Indian citizen

5. Category Eligibility 

Category Age limit
General 32
OBC 35
SC/ST 37
Disabled Defence Services Personnel 35
Ex-Servicemen 37
Persons with Benchmark Disability – EWS 42

6. No. of Attempts

A UPSC aspirant can take a fixed no. of exam attempts in their respective category. The candidate will not be eligible to write the civil services exam further.

Categories and the no. of attempts per person are as follows.

Category No.of attempts
General 6
SC/ST Unlimited till the age limit is reached
Physically Handicapped 9 for General and OBC, Unlimited till age limit is reached for SC/ST
Disabled serviceman disable during duty Unlimited till the age limit is reached

Is UPSC Age Limit Increased to 35 for the General Category?

Back in the year 2019, the news made rounds that once the new quota bill for economically weaker sections comes into place, there is a high chance that there will be an increase in age limit and no. of attempts for general category UPSC aspirants.

Relaxations Same as OBC Students

Currently, OBC students enjoy an age limit of 35 years and nine attempts per person to crack the civil services exams. However, if the government passed down new rules, the general category would have the same rules as the OBC candidates. The rules for the general category would have altered in terms of

1. Age

If the government passed the bill, the upper age limit for the general category would have increased to 35 years, just like the OBC, instead of a 32 year age limit.

2. No.of Attempts

If the new bill was approved, the no. of attempts given for the Economically Weaker Section(EWS) among the general category would have increased to 9 instead of the present 6 attempts limit.

3. Cut-off Marks

If the government passed the bill, the cut-off marks would have been the same as the OBC for the  Economically Weaker Section(EWS) among the general category.

All the relaxation changes were in the Supreme Court’s hands, which would have further depended on their verdict on the passing of the EWS quota bill. However, the Supreme Court squashed the new bill for approval that contained all the changes for general category students, and the IAS eligibility criteria remained the same.

It is important to note that any such decisions are not easy for the government to take. All the plans and policies put forward are done by various high-level commissions consisting of several experienced individuals. Yet, their appeals are not accepted most of the time.

Aspirants Dilemma

UPSC aspirants should clearly understand that this was just a recommendation put forward and was not accepted. Hence, there will be no changes in the eligibility criteria.

Now, you must put this thought behind and completely concentrate on preparing for the exam if they are eligible based on the guidelines released by the Union Public Service Commission.

Also Read: UPSC Medical Science Optional Syllabus 2021: Here’s the Syllabus for UPSC Optional Subjects


As per the eligibility criteria released by the Union Public Service Commission for 2021, the civil service age limit for the general category ceases to be the same, i.e., 32 along with all other qualifications. The news may continue about the civil service age limit for the general category. Still, no decision is taken yet, so the candidates do not have to worry about the upcoming civil service exam this year. If the decision were taken in the future, that would not happen anytime soon, and every government decision taken will be informed to the public immediately. However, it is advised not to postpone your attempts to hope for some uncertain future decision and finish your exam successfully at the earliest possible.

For more updates, the truth about the rumours, continue reading UPSC Pathshala’s numerous bl2gs and articles that will help you gain a clear perspective about the exam. UPSC Pathshala’s personal mentor with years of experience can help you in every step towards your UPSC goal. They can solve your doubts, keep track of your progress, and even help you improve in weak areas. Experience the teaching methodology at UPSC Pathshala before you make the next-best decision of joining them. And, don’t miss out on their free demo class! For more details, visit UPSC Pathshala now.

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 Is UPSC Age Limit Increased to 35? Here’s the Latest Age Limit for General Category UPSC Aspirants
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Is UPSC Age Limit Increased to 35? Here’s the Latest Age Limit for General Category UPSC Aspirants
Is UPSC age limit increased to 35? Get answers for your queries regarding the eligibility criteria for general category UPSC aspirants, including age, nationality, education, and more!
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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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