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NITI Aayog wants age limit for general IAS-IPS aspirants reduced to 27. In 2016, Baswan panel wanted age limit cut to 26 years, but Modi govt has been sitting on it.

New Delhi: The NITI Aayog, in a recent report titled Strategy for New India At 75 has recommended bringing down the age limit for the general category IAS and IPS candidates from 32 to 27.

But at the same time, the Narendra Modi government has developed cold feet over a report it commissioned in 2015 to deal with the shortfall of IAS officers, which had made almost the same recommendation.

The B.S. Baswan committee submitted its report to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on 9 August 2016. It suggested changes in the civil service exam pattern, and wanted the age limit for general category candidates to be brought down to 26.

It did not recommend any changes for SC/ST candidates, who have an age limit of 37 years. Highly-placed sources from the Department of Personnel and Training told ThePrint that the panel made another crucial recommendation — stop the use of regional languages as a medium to write the civil services examination.

A few months later, Jitendra Singh, the minister of state responsible for personnel, told Parliament that the recommendations were being examined. But the report has been languishing ever since — the government never made the full report public, apparently fearing political ramifications.

The Baswan committee report is not the only one to have made a suggestion to reduce the age limit. Since 2001, several other committees set up to reform the civil services have suggested this move, but none of them have seen the light of day.

Also read: Midnight orders and hurried transfers: Where Modi govt is going wrong with IAS officers

Three recommendations ignored

The 10th report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission on Refurbishing of Personnel Administration — Scaling New Heights in 2008 had also suggested reducing the age limit for candidates writing the exam to 25 for general candidates, 28 for OBCs and 29 for SC/ST and physically challenged candidates.

It had also suggested reducing the number of permissible attempts in the civil services examinations to 3, 5 and 6 respectively for general, OBC, and SC/ST and physically challenged candidates.

The age limit for general candidates at that time was 30, with four permitted attempts. However, instead of accepting the report and reducing the age limit, the limit was increased to 32 with six attempts.

Similarly, the P.C. Hota committee in 2004 had said that the age of entry should be reduced to 24 years for general candidates, with concessions to candidates belonging to weaker sections of society.

“It may be futile to expect a person in his thirties, already married and well into domesticity and coming with an accumulated mental baggage, to learn the basics of ethical behaviour during foundational course training in the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration at Mussoorie,” the Hota committee report had said.

The Y.K. Alagh Committee in 2001 had also recommended the reduction of the age limit from 30 to 26 years.

Why govts haven’t acted on these reports

A senior IAS officer with the central government told ThePrint that while a reduction in the age limit for both general category and SC/ST aspirants would be a “wonderful and much-needed” reform, governments believe there will be a political price to pay for it.

“The age of induction into the civil services should definitely be reduced. When a candidate above 30 years of age is inducted into the civil service, he/she gets a much smaller training period. Like any profession, a civil servant also needs adequate training,” the officer said.

“However, it is a politically touchy subject for governments, as reducing the age limit will alienate the unemployed youth in the country, who appear for the exams year after year with the hope of making it to the civil service.”

Another top civil servant agreed: “After a certain age, attitudes harden. Commitment, sincerity, integrity are some of the essential qualities a civil servant must inculcate, but after an age, it will be difficult to mould the attitude of a candidate.

Also, at a higher age, many aspirants have family responsibilities, so their physical and mental capacities go down during two years of rigorous training, the official said.

“Moreover, a lot of frustration develops among those who do not qualify finally. And for those who do, the effective career span is affected, with the result that many retire before reaching higher posts.

“There is a fear of mobilisation by civil services aspirants, and no one wants to disturb the status quo,” the official added.

This article has been updated with quotes from senior civil servants.

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16 Comments Share Your Views


  1. I think it is am irresponsible and unjustifiable decision by NITI Ayog.
    A candidate for ex. If we take from engineering or medical field then they will complete their bachlors by 22 in general.
    For engineering candidate can be selected to work in some MNCs Or govt. Organisations like PSU so they work there for min. Of 2 years experience.
    And for Dr. They have to clear their PG Entrance which is a hard nut to crack and they di id their MD/ MS at generalised age of 25 .
    So for these candidates if they realised after 25 that they have to pursue their career as a civil servant then the door is almost shut by NITI Ayog as they are deciding 26 as limit. Many a candidates takes 3-4 atttempts to make it. So what for them.
    And for an ex. An individual want to pursue M. Tech. And PhD after their working ex. Then it will take 5 -6 more years to complete it. Then they will be at a age of 29 at that time and if these candidates are ready to crack it then their chance is vanished and i think a person with doctorate is most wise to serve for these service after having a fair experience in corporate.
    So this is a very hard decision and should not be implemented at all

  2. First of all. Govt should understand that at the age of 25, we do masters and all, after that it takes 2-3 years minimum to practice for IPS so the age limit 32 is best.

  3. This is the most stupid thing NITI aayog could come up with.
    1. Age- SO, a person who is in his 30s can’t learn? Why do so many people in 30s go for executive MBA then?
    2. Marriage- A lot of people are also married in early 20s, mid 20s and late 20s. So, by NITI aayog’s logic, these people are not fit to be IAS officers. Then, they should not be allowed to marry during the entire service. What about Civil servants getting married after training? They don’t have family responsibilties?
    3. General vs Reserved/Handicapped- Har jagah general ki g***d maaro. How can they even suggest 26 years? Many people, especially those who study masters or medical, complete their studies by 26-27. Who the hell is writing these reports? Aisa kare na, age limit 20 saal rakh de. Taki sab school se nikal ke hi civil servant ban jaye. Aur agar 26 years rakhni hai to sabke liye rakho.
    This is the worst thing they could come up with. Why don’t they retire as they are too senile to write proper and coherent reports.

  4. The age limit should not be minimised, for after attaining professional or academic degrees the individual’s wisdom and knowledge enchants to go for civil exam. who becomes matured beaurocate and serve the country efficiently.

  5. Why are they targeting general category always?
    What about SC/ST, are they not getting married even after 37 years of age? Will they not have mental baggage?

    They are general category people who are poor. They also need a chance. If it continues to be like this wherein you are doing injustice with general category aspirants, trust me people will not forgive you.

  6. Such recommendations are made to make way for the children from elite class. They want younger inexperienced aspirants in order to mould them according to corrupt system to make them their servants. Modi keep on applying every foreign policy in India but in this case he is not following the developed countries. Bureaucrates failing to acknowledge the plight of the youth of India and they are doing every ill reason to prove themselves right. I got married in 33. How can one person even generalise such things in such an unrealistic way. These people sitting on high posts are failing to realise the real situation of impoverished nation.

  7. First NITI Aaayog should do recommendations for political aspirants – educational qualifications, age, criminal cases, etc and then if it does any thing such this, people can welcome.

    I believe, first country should clear the critical paths.

  8. the age limit for the general category should not be reduced bcoz there are many talented candidates in the society so it should not be reduced bcoz ot bcums helpful for upcoming talented minds

  9. 1. Objective is to have intelligent administrators for implementing the policies of govt.
    2. Intelligent: Implies ‘rational choice’ amongst many.
    3. Administrate: Implies ‘to apply’
    4. Service: implies’ action to help or assist’
    5. Administrative service implies ‘ assist governance by applying rationally’
    6. Impact of age: As a person ages, experience is enhanced, application choices/ options evaluated rationally before application, knowledge base enhanced etc.
    7. Learning curve: depends from person to person. Theoretically a person continues to enhance learning base till death. Accordingly training and development courses are planned throughout the career in a good organisation.
    8. Commission’s perception of limiting the age is therefore incorrect. However limiting the No of attempts (3/4/5) before age of 40 should be considered. Age-40 can be debated and fixed between 35 and 45. More no of attempts for the underprivileged is recommended.
    9. Does it mean it is ok for the married qualified civil servants to execute duties with mental baggage? What about currently married civil servants.
    10. Or should it be like Chinese rules of engagement of civil servants (eunuch) during their Imperial legacy?
    11. Fail to understand logic of recommendations that too by COMITTEE.

  10. You are so stupid.
    The Govt is doing the right thing. Why reduce the age limit ? Who the hell told that by the age of 30 everyone are married ? I mean, these days, a lot of boys as well as girls are actually gettting married after 30, around 35 years of age. Even after someone got married, why can’t he/she learn ?
    In fact, what the govt. should do is completely let go of the age limit or attempt limit. Let everyone appear as many times they want, as long as they want. In developed countries, there’s no age limit for nothing.

    Why the hell these people are after reducing age limit. There’s a lot of better things to do, to plan for, but rather, these bastards are only going after reducing the age limit ! So pathetic people.

  11. It’s ok you reduce the age limit for generals. Then give same number of attempts to every category or same age limit to everyone. Every where people from backward or sc sts get concessions. Then what about rich people who get concessions based on reserved categories and poor people from general who never get any concession anywhere and has many limits on . If you can my dear government no need to give any concession to general but at least don’t keep more limits on us and don’t increase concessions on reserved categories. I am for the first time(completed 18 )voted for Narendra modi in2014 for the sake he would do something really good for country. We also thought he would change these reservations. But nothing happened. If this reservation system continues like this, one day poor people from general category become untouchables as dalits were in past

  12. Has general category ko jitna exploit Kar sakte ho Kar lo. Kyn sc/st 37 age tak married Nahi honge . Unka mental baggage Kaha Jayega. Kuch v anap shanap report Bana ke has general walo ko mua dena hai

  13. What’s is the need in every circumstances people who are from general category they suffered lots .
    India need quality of Beuracrats , it’s possible just cut down reservation percentage . somewhere it’s Injustice for the aspirants of general category , I am not targeting any community cast or Creed .
    Reducuing age is not fair even the average age of member of parliament is approx 65 why any committee not questioning for it .

  14. It is in right track now i.e 32,so politician should not play their dirty games for general student.They should give us chance not the Borden.Some general people comes from such a family where they can’t afford a book to their child and it’s very far to IAS coaching…so kindly gives wings to fly a general people and please do not
    Discourage by putting all theseinformation….

  15. NITI Aayog’s focus has got diffused. For the last four and a half years, it ought to have focused on agriculture, manufacturing, exports, job creation. The fact that official data is no longer being compiled on employment and farmers’suicides is a telling commentary on how slender its contribution has been in real terms.


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