IAS 2022: What Is the Qualification Of IAS?

The UPSC will release the IAS admit card soon. IAS is a civil services exam under the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), along with IPS and IRS. Candidates who wish to write the IAS exam must apply online within a stipulated time frame. As an all-India exam, the UPSC conducts the IAS exam in three stages: Prelims, Mains, and the Interview.

IAS 2022 will be an offline pen-and-paper-based test where the three rounds are elimination-based, meaning that candidates must qualify in every subsequent exam to get to the next stage in the selection process.

Like many other UPSC exams, applicants must meet specific minimum eligibility requirements to qualify for the IAS exam. So, those appearing for this exam must check if they meet all the eligibility requirements before applying.

The eligibility criteria for the IAS exam depends on three factors, including:

Nationality

Applicants must be Indian nationals. However, they can also be subjects of neighboring countries like Nepal or Bhutan or refugees from Tibet.

While only Indian nationals are eligible to write the IAS exam, Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) or Indians residing abroad also qualify. Besides this, Indians migrating from places like Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and East African nations like Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, and Ethiopia, can also apply to write the IAS exam, provided they are willing to settle in India or get permanent Indian citizenship.

Age

Age is another essential factor that a candidate appearing for the IAS exam must satisfy. According to this criterion, applicants must be no less than 21 years and no more than 32 years as of August 2022.

However, people from EWS, SC/ST, and OBC categories can get relaxation. For instance, applicants from the OBC category can get age relaxations of up to three years, and SC/ST candidates, up to five years.Similarly, former Defence Services Personnel and PWD candidates can get age relaxations of up to three years.

Education

Candidates appearing for the IAS exam must be graduates, although the UPSC does not consider their scores a qualification criterion. So, only graduates from a recognised university or institute are eligible to write the IAS exam. However, candidates in their final years or awaiting results can also apply.

Attempts

There are limited attempts to qualify for the IAS exam and move to the subsequent stages in the selection process. The number varies depending on the category, such as General Merit, SC/ST, and OBC. While General Candidates get six attempts, SC/ST applicants get unlimited attempts, and all the other candidates have nine attempts each to qualify.

Every time a candidate appears for the exam, the UPSC counts it as an attempt. However, this is also one of the primary reasons candidates who apply for the exam don’t appear. The UPSC does not consider it an attempt whenever a candidate applies and does not appear for the IAS exam.

Moreover, existing IAS officers cannot apply for the IAS exam. However, IPS officers can write this exam and stand a chance to move up in rank.

Final Thoughts

So, remember that candidates must meet all the eligibility requirements to apply for the IAS exam, including age, nationality, and education. These criteria may vary depending on different factors, including class or category. There are also relaxations for reserved candidates.

Similarly, while reserved candidates, especially SCs, and STs, get unlimited attempts to write the IAS exam, candidates from other classes only have limited attempts.

However, as far as education is concerned, all candidates are equal. Those who appear for the IAS exam must have a valid undergraduate or postgraduate degree from a recognized university or institute.

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