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NITI Aayog has recommended lowering the age limit for general category civil service aspirants to 27 from the current 32, and DoPT data for 2014-16 shows why.

New Delhi: Over the years, governments have ignored many panels’ recommendations to lower the entry age to the civil services. But the topic is now back in focus, with the NITI Aayog recommending the age for general category aspirants be brought down to 27.

An analysis of data available with the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) reveals that the average age of candidates joining the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) has been 27 over the period 2014-16. The IAS is the most preferred choice for civil service aspirants.

The data includes both general category and SC/ST candidates. If only the general category is considered, the average age goes down further.

At present, general category candidates up to the age of 32 can appear for the civil service exam, and are allowed six attempts. For SC/ST candidates, the age limit is 37, with an unlimited number of attempts.

Situation in the states

Looking at the state cadres individually, only Punjab and Nagaland have reported an average age above 30 — at 30 and 31 years respectively in 2016.

A senior IAS officer explained that in the case of Nagaland, this is because it’s not a preferred posting for officers.

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Uttar Pradesh, which has one of the highest intakes into the IAS, has seen an average entry age of 26-27 years in the last three years, while for Madhya Pradesh, the average has been 26.

Over the years, the number of successful candidates in the age group 22-24 has also gone up manifold.

Also read: Older IAS entrants tend to have lower performance levels, says a global study

No changes expected in the near future

According to sources, the DoPT is aware of these trends. However, the Modi government has decided not to touch or act on the report of the B.S. Baswan panel it had constituted, until next year’s Lok Sabha elections.

It is also unlikely, therefore, that the government will undertake this or any other civil service reform suggested in the NITI Aayog’s report before the elections, fearing political ramifications which includes angering a large voter base of the country’s unemployed youth, which pins its hopes on the UPSC exam year after year, a senior government official said.

Another senior official pointed out that successive governments have developed cold feet when it came to implementing any major civil services reforms.

“Look at the idea of a cadre allocation after the foundation course or revamps in the civil services examinations recommended by various panels. No government wants to touch such drastic changes, especially if it is perceived to come with a cost,” the official said.

Also read: Why Niti Aayog’s suggestion to cut IAS, IPS entry age limit is unlikely to make headway


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40 Comments Share Your Views


  1. Why are they targeting General category students only? And why not OBC, SC/ST students? Are you planning to increase their age limit NITI Ayog? . If this recommendation gets implemented, general students will have only 3-4 attempts max. Think of the pressure ( performance) on them. And I have to ask – does the government plans to clear education loans of a GM student? Because , if not then GM student can hardly come within the upper age lmit recommended!! by the time he/she finishes education, earns money to pay the student loan, etc.. he/ she is out of age!! .. NITI Ayog, your data just includes the past and current trends, going by which , the GM candidates who could get through were mostly from atleast middle class backgrounds and they could afford coaching. But rural India is now waking up to the miracles of education. What about these GM candidates?. Without coaching, it would take atleast 2-3 attempts( for most of them) to clear the exam. Otherwise, they are out of age!. Wow! Now, we are clearly wasting our National assets.

  2. I think this decision is very bad as it will be not give chance to those civil service aspirant who prepare long time for their success.the entry age should be unchanged for the hope full aspirant those who prepare for long time .

  3. Pls remove this castism,
    Let india grow faster than fast as any thing. These only castism virus making India ill.
    Pls modiji remove these castism. Everyone has desires, but for some circumstances they can’t fullfill their desires specially girls. Pls pls pls don’t divide one citizen of a nation into different cast.

  4. From the village level competitive upsc aspirant ,they have not enough chance to clear the exam under this age, they cleared the exam in 30 to 31 age,but now a days most of the upsc cleared student belongs to sophisticated aristocfamily , good background, they have enough money for preparing civil services. It is bad decision for general category.

  5. From the village level competitive upsc aspirant ,they have not enough chance to clear the exam in 27 age, they cleared the exam in 30 to 31 age,but now a days most of the upsc cleared student belongs to sophisticated , aristocfamily , good background, they have enough money for preparing civil services. It is bad decision for general category.

  6. This decision is truly has a negative impact on the desire of many Civil Service aspirants.

    IAS, IPS and IFS are one of the great opportunities and dream of many candidates and youth’s in India.

    This decision is danger and will spoil career of thousands of candidates across the nation and put their future in jeopardy.

    For example, I think in year 2016 or 2017, one woman from Karnataka IAS cadre secured All India rank 1 in IAS exam at the age of 32 years.
    This is one fine example where the age limit should not lowered.

    This is one hopeless and useless proposal by Niti Aayog…..

  7. Why general people are always targeted. U have high cutoff marks for general candidate in cse or u can say in every exam, nd now reducing the age limit without reducing the age limit of sc/st/obc shows that ur a shit of mind people doing for vote politics… If u will disturb or try to curtail their age limit they will come to dharnas nd u know we can suppress only general candidates……….

  8. Paragraph from Hindustantimes:
    Till some years ago, almost all member states of the European Union had lower and upper age limits for entry to the civil service. However, in the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden and Portugal there are no upper age limits. In Belgium and Ireland the upper age limit is 50 years; in Germany it is 32 years for the probationary period and 50 years for definitive recruitment; in Austria it is 40 years; in Greece it varies between 30 and 35 years according to category, and in Spain and France the upper age limit varies according to the competition.

  9. Your survey says average people joined IAS from Uttar Pradesh and Nagaland and other states aged between 26-27 yrs in General category. Bull shit.

    Eg: Anu kumari , cleared in 2017
    She is a mother of 4 yrs child.
    Her age is 31 at the time of clearing.

    Even a single aged aspirant should get oppurtunity. And this is an exam UPSC which can’t be cleared at one shot. Taking decisions for preparing UPSC need a clarity and permission by leaving the job and family for most youths. And if working professionals they need to fullfil there family needs , they may plan even to write in later stages of ther life. Lack of maturity and visionless youths may get self known in later then 25 yrs also.

    90% of the aspirants who cleared UPSC they don’t have the dream of IAS from there childhood. It sparks once they enter into the society and get inspired of people, mind gets awaken on seeing the society design and systems…. He need to become a man of intellectual. Takes some time.

  10. It is time we scrap this class of sophisticated clerks who are main cause of failure of our economy & civilisation. Every govt department must be headed & manned by specialist professionals in that field & not by Jack of all -Master of None category ie Civil Servants. Start lateral entry from private sector & introduce competitive salary

  11. Niti ayoga is simply targeting general category student. I think it is a simple conspiracy against general caste student. The govt. Should increase the age limit to appear IAS exam and it should be up to 37 for general category like sc/st student. There should be no partiality for appearing competitive exam. Everyone dreams about a rosy future and general category student are not the exceptions. So why this facility are given to only Obc and Sc/st category,why not general category. We want justice for general category student.

  12. If age limit will decrease,its very tough for those who has 6 to 7 year course on bachelor,they don’t have enough Chance to clear exam.think about first.

  13. The students who have already become experts in other fields come with a dream of becoming an IAS.I totally agree with the decision of NITI Aayog.The freshers generally have a good and competitive spirit to become an administrator.

  14. why recommondation of lowering the age for the general category only for entering into the civil service exams . any how there are many talented minds who emerge into the public service exams in the future. so it should not b reduced to the lower age so that the upcoming talented minds can enter n can get the chances of entering into the civil service examinations,so it shud b helpful for the still degree holders

  15. I also dont agree to this recommendation of NITI Aayog. Lets look it this way-
    A regular student from medical background completes its graduation in 5 years i.e., even if we assume that they started at the age of 18 then they will be completing their graduation by the time they are 23.
    Likewise an engineering student would take 4 years, i.e 22.
    Now, as we look at the trend these days, most people are coming from these backgrounds. And just because they were not sure of getting into civil services from starting, they choose science subjects.
    Now, at this age of 21,22,23, maximum people are not even aware of the problems of the society. They look CS merely as a career or job.
    I am not saying that its not a job. But look at it this way- there must be a difference between a person who is choosing CS as a career after graduation and after PhD.
    So, by making 27 the maximum age for general, you are taking away the right of a PhD student to appear in CS exam. Because in India, a normal PhD student completes his course by the time he/she is 29 or 30.

  16. Minimum age should be increased and so also the max age. No fresh candidate can serve better. Till today no officer is working properly. With lots of power ,rosy picture is being created. 5 year working experience may considered as eligibility.Drastic cahnge in Exam pattern is highly expected.

  17. If NITI AAYOG “THINK TANK” of india see this comments…I request them for not 2 be reduced the age limit of General category… From till my graduation under (commerce) background i don’t know about the Upsc n SPSC what exactly is or nor i’ve any family background who had appear ever any govermantal examination…At the age of 25 i got little info. about it n step forward for preparing… Sir, my getting point is that a person should be matured for appearing this prestigious examination of india… And a maturity developed under the age after 23-24 yr… Everyperson is not equally expert as you think… or it had not any sources of regarding the examination…after get full info. about exam patterns n procedures he already attended the age of 24-25, n clear this type of examinations hard preparations, practices, needed which takes few years… Ias n Ips is not like a one day play game it takes lots of time & years… Sir, Plz think practically… n not to be reduce the age limit… Thank You

  18. I belong to North East,
    Barak Balley, a region containing 3 mp seats, 3 districts, a Large area so it’s called a Valley.

    It’s in the Lower Assam, in bewteen Mizoram, Manipur, and Tripura.

    Since Independence, none of the person from This Valley, cracked UPSC exam.

    Afterall, a person
    goes to school at age 5
    graduates at 21
    then prepares the exam upto 25 for first attempt

    At 27 It’s that students Just 2nd attempt, and
    from my VALLEY, from Silchar
    we students travel 350 kms to take the exam
    at centeres in Guwahati City.

    Whether this personal who took this Issue in Niti Ayog Is so much mad by mind that,
    raising such Issue, Instead of thinking for a balanced regional development,

    unlike motivating students to participate in UPSC
    from whole Indian geographical areas.

    G M Zuljalal Barbhuiya
    Assam University, Silchar.
    350 km’s from Guwahati City.

  19. Why is this paper supporting the recommendation? It’s dumb . What about people who pass graduation at 24 years of age? They can only attempt 3 times?

  20. instead of reducing the age, govt should make a plan on allotment of services. there must be a separate exam for IAS only not for a candidate who has also qualified the same exam with same magnitude and preparations but got ranked over 700 and 800 and got some quite we could say “inferior” service as compared to the top services. so these services and and it’s exams must be separated from combined civil services exams.

  21. instead of reducing the age, govt should make a plan on allotment of services. there must be a separate exam for IAS only not for a candidate who has also qualified the same exam with same magnitude and preparations but got ranked over 700 and 800 and got some quite we could say “inferior” service as compared to the top services. so these services and and it’s exams must be separated combined civil services exams.

  22. All this report favors to SC,ST then why general category people are living in this country, why they are decreasing age limit only for general make equal age limit for everyone and no more reservation system, IAM sure all general category people will leave this country with in 10 years and settled in others country’s which has equal rights

  23. Its not spot on. The average age if at any number means that many candidates above that age also are in the fray. Your editorial team seems to be lacking in statistical skills.

  24. Present Govt. is reducing the age of Civil services without any valid reason. Govt.will unnecessarily attract the controversy from opposition party. If someone is willing to compete at the age of 30, what is the harm to Govt or any body else. Govt should avoid it but give relief to the applicants working hard for any competition.

  25. You call this spot-on? Do we really want to decrease the average age? It is average age because people greater than 27 are also the entrants. Making 27 the upper age limit will decrease the average age of entrants.

    Do we really need 23 year old IAS officers who know nothing about this world?
    For a change, the minimum age should be raised. Being an IAS isn’t easy. People fresh out of college should taste life first, then become IAS. Only then they will know the fundamental problems of our system.

  26. Niti aayog vice chairman does he has came on merit who give comments like desi economists are better and so. Also concern of CEO niti aayog (ex-bureaucrats) is to get entry for his daughters into exams and through his connections they got entry into ivy leagues of India.

  27. No need to lower the age of entry. Abolish the IAS altogether. It will improve governance and professionalism across the board.


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