The Union Public Service Commission or UPSC conducts national level exams for more than 20 services under the States and Central Government of India. The UPSC comes under the authority of the Indian Constitution, and its main function is to recruit personnel to the All India Central Services Group. They also update and develop testing techniques for admitting individuals to different branches of civil services. 

UPSC has recently announced the implementation of the Economically Weaker Section reservation for all its exams. So it brings us to an important question, is there a reservation in UPSC, and how does the reservation system work in the UPSC? Continue reading this blog to know more about the UPSC reservation criteria. 

How does the Reservation System Work in UPSC?

Reservation in IAS, IPS, and other civil services are offered in terms of the number of attempts, age relaxation, the total number of seats, UPSC eligibility, and relaxation in the cut-off. Relaxation in cut-off will be provided to students belonging to the EWS categories, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, and to Persons with Disabilities. 

UPSC also provides reservations in vacancies for students belonging to SC, ST, OBC, and EWS categories, for about 16% to 25% of the total seats. The category-wise result for all the UPSC exams is declared after the interview section of the exams. The reservation criteria and the category-wise reservation is published on the UPSC official website every year. 

Reservation in IAS based on Age

UPSC offers reservations based on the applicant’s or students’ age. A secondary school mark sheet or mark sheet from any Indian University is considered valid age proof. Candidates need to submit these proofs while applying for various UPSC exams. The lower age limit for these exams is 21, but the upper age limit is relaxable depending on the different categories to which the student belongs to. The age limit relaxation for IAS exams is given as follows: 

  • 5 years for a student belonging to SC/ST category
  • 3 years for candidates from the OBC category
  • 3 years in case you are defense personnel
  • 3 years if you are orthopedically handicapped, blind, deaf, and mute.

Also Read: Working Professional UPSC Preparation Strategy: Can a Working Professional Clear UPSC?

Distribution of different Vacancies offered by UPSC

UPSC releases the list of different vacancies in each department along with the number of vacancies offered in each category. The reservation of students belonging to Scheduled caste is about 25% to 30% in each department. The reservation of students belonging to Scheduled Tribe is about 10% to 13% in each department. Below is given a chart of vacancies in each department: 

Service General O.B.C. S.C. S.T.
Indian Foreign Services 25 13 7 0
Indian Administrative Service 91 49 27 13
Indian Police Service 77 37 23 13
Indian Audit & Accounts Service, Group ‘A’ 14 8 4 2
Indian P&T Accounts & Finance Service, Group ‘A’ 14 3 3 2
Indian Revenue Service Group ‘A’ 92 48 27 13
Indian Defence Accounts Service Group ‘A’ 8 4 2 1
Indian Ordnance Factories Service Group ‘A’ 3 1 2 0
Indian Civil Accounts Service Group ‘A’ 4 2 1 1
Indian Railway Accounts Service Group ‘A’ 16 8 4 3
Indian Railway Traffic Service Group ‘A’ 36 18 10 5
Indian Railway Personnel Service Group ‘A’ 14 9 3 1
Indian Defence Estates Service Group ‘A’ 2 1 0 1
Assistant Security Officer in Railway Protection Force, Group ‘A’ 19 16 6 4
Indian Information Service, Group ‘A’ 11 5 2 3
Indian Corporate Law Service, Group ‘A’ 10 6 3 1
Indian Trade Service, Group ‘A’ 3 1 1 0
Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, DD & NH Civil Service, Group ‘B’ 1 2 0 0
Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service, Group ‘B’ 17 15 14 7
Pondicherry Civil Service, Group ‘B’ 1 0 0 0

 How can an Applicant Apply for UPSC Reservations?

Students applying for reservations need to follow the given reservation criteria and submit the required documents to avail the benefits. The guidelines considered to claim UPSC reservation are mentioned below: 

  • A candidate will get the benefit of reservation only if the caste of the student is included in the list of reserved communities as issued by the central government. 
  • The category of a student belonging to the General category cannot be changed to a reserved one, and such requests won’t be entertained under any circumstances. 
  • The same rule applies to students belonging to the physically disabled category as well. 
  • If a candidate becomes physically disabled during selection, the candidate will be asked to produce a valid document to address the Commission to decide the matter. 
  • All students who are looking for UPSC Reservation accessible for SC/ST/PH/OBC/Ex-servicemen should guarantee that they are qualified for the equivalent to per the principles and ought to have all the essential authentication endorsed by the Commission and ought to submit it before the due date of the UPSC Application Form.

UPSC Exam Eligibility Criteria

Individuals planning to apply for the IAS exam need to complete a particular set of eligibility criteria. You can check the eligibility criteria mentioned below before applying for the IAS exam:


The candidate must be an Indian citizen if they wish to apply for either IAS or the IPS. Apart from this, the applicant can also be an Individual of Indian Origin who had migrated from Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia, Pakistan, and Vietnam to permanently settle in India or a subject of Nepal, a subject of Bhutan, a refugee from Tibet who came to India before January 01, 1962. 

Age Limit

The minimum age to apply for an IAS is 21 years and the maximum age is 32 years. You might get relaxation if you belong to a reserved category.

How to Prepare for UPSC Exams?

Students must try to follow the following points while preparing for the IAS mains exam:

  • Start by making a timetable. Be well organized in your daily routines. It would be excellent if you stick to it. Don’t make a timetable that is over the top and completely impossible to follow. Making deadlines and dividing the syllabus into smaller parts will help you complete the syllabus faster.
  • Prepare for the exam thoroughly. Make yourself familiar with the pattern as well as the syllabus of the exam. Solving the previous year’s sample papers will help you in your preparation. 
  • Reading the newspaper regularly is a habit that is recommended by previous years’ IAS toppers. You must familiarise yourself with the happenings around you as well as in your country. Questions related to current affairs are majorly asked in the IAS exam.
  • The optional subject carries a weightage of 500 marks in your final count. So it is advised that you choose an optional subject after much deliberation and after analyzing all the pros and cons. 

Also Read: IAS Toppers Story without Coaching: All You Need for the required Dose of Inspiration


Reservation is one of the devices against social abuse and treachery against specific classes. Also called governmental policy regarding minorities in society, reservation helps in uplifting the oppressed classes. Be that as it may, reservation is only one of the strategies for social upliftment. There are numerous different techniques like giving grants, assets, instructing, and other government assistance plans. How the reservation is actualized and executed in India is generally administered by vote-bank legislative issues.

After accounting for the vacancies available for students belonging to the general category, it is clear that the ratio of vacancies available to students appearing in the UPSC exams is not proportional. If you want to serve in the IAS, IPS, or any other civil service, then you need to score extremely well in the exam. To do that you need to be focused, confident and optimistic. You will have to make the newspaper your best friend. 

We here at UPSC Pathshala will continue to bring you significant content identified with UPSC tests. Stay updated with our ordinary online blogs to go over helpful hints, tricks, methodologies, and recommendations for UPSC tests.

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How does the Reservation System Work in UPSC? Read All about the UPSC Reservation Criteria
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How does the Reservation System Work in UPSC? Read All about the UPSC Reservation Criteria
Do you know about the reservation criteria for UPSC examinations? UPSC examinations are the toughest competitive exams in the country. To know more about the reservation criteria click here.
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