Understanding UPSC Eligibility 2024: Age Limit, Qualifications, and Exam Criteria

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The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is the premier recruiting agency for the Government of India, responsible for conducting civil services examinations to select candidates for various administrative positions. Each year, thousands of aspirants vie for a chance to join the esteemed civil services, making it essential to understand the eligibility criteria set forth by the UPSC. As we step into 2024, aspirants must grasp the UPSC eligibility requirements, including age limits, educational qualifications, and other essential criteria.

UPSC eligibility: age, education, criteria

  1. Age Limit:

    • For the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS), candidates must be between 21 and 32 years old as of August 1st of the exam year.
    • Certain categories are eligible for age relaxation as per government rules. This includes candidates from SC/ST, OBC, ex-servicemen, and others, as specified by the UPSC.
  2. Educational Qualifications:

    • A candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university or institution.
    • Final-year students awaiting their results are also eligible to apply, provided they submit proof of passing the exam along with their application.
  3. Nationality:

    • For the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), the candidate must be a citizen of India.
    • For other services like Indian Foreign Service (IFS), a candidate must be either:
      • A citizen of India, or
      • A subject of Nepal, Bhutan, or Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, intending to settle permanently in India, or
      • A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia, or Vietnam intends to permanently settle in India.
  4. Number of Attempts:

    • The number of attempts allowed varies based on the category of the candidate.
    • General category candidates can attempt the exam six times, while OBC candidates can attempt it nine times. There is no restriction on the number of attempts for SC/ST candidates.
  5. Physical Standards:

    • Candidates applying for certain services like the Indian Police Service (IPS) or the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) need to meet specific physical standards as prescribed by the UPSC exam in 2024.

Understanding and meeting these eligibility criteria are crucial steps for aspirants preparing for the UPSC civil services examination. It’s essential to stay updated with the latest notifications and guidelines issued by the UPSC to ensure compliance with all requirements.

Aspirants should also focus on thorough preparation to excel in the UPSC exams. This includes understanding the exam pattern, and syllabus, and developing strong analytical and writing skills necessary to tackle the various stages of the examination, including the preliminary exam, mains exam, and the interview round.


In conclusion, while the UPSC civil services examination presents a challenging path, understanding and meeting the eligibility criteria are the foundational steps towards achieving success. Aspirants must adhere to the prescribed age limits, educational qualifications, and other criteria while also dedicating themselves to rigorous preparation to fulfil their aspirations of serving the nation through civil services.

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