Aspirants divided over upper age limit in UPSC exams


It has become quite a debatable topic for many UPSC aspirants regarding the age limit for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exams. There are so many opinions that one can see with people involved in the efforts of clearing the exam. To quite an extent, that is a justifiable opinion. It is widely known that the age limit for sitting for these civil service exams is 32 and that is the maximum age to appear for the prestigious test. However, many feel there needs to be a reduction in the age limit given the fact that such a long extension vitiates the competitiveness of these exams.

A panel had been formed that was tasked to look into such matters and form something related to civil service exams. A recommendation followed regarding the reduction in the upper age limit of 32 years to appear for such exams so that selection could take place for IAS and IPS officers. An expert committee was constituted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and Human Resource Development Secretary and retired IAS officer B S Baswan was made the chairman of this committee. This panel made a report and submitted the contents of the report to the Union Public Service Commission. In the report the reduction in the age limit was mentioned for those who had to appear for the civil service exam.

The factors that were taken into consideration by the panel to evaluate their report were plan of examination, number of papers, their structure and duration, marking scheme, weightage of marks and system of evaluation among others. The civil services examination is conducted by UPSC annually in three stages – preliminary, main and interview — to select officers for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), among others. The extension of age was though considered for the deprived class that belongs to the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Other Backward Classes, and those who had ordinarily been domiciled in Jammu and Kashmir during the period from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 1989.

The reasons for reduction are many. The requirement for young people in such field is one amongst the top. Moreover, a tendency to procrastinate the exams till 32 has been observed. From the age of 21 till 32, a lackadaisical attitude is developed in aspirants who take chances as per their convenience. The feeling of a healthy competition becomes negligent amongst them. Reduction that is being suggested is for retaining the quality of these exams so the deserving secures the place at the right time.

However, the fresh reports dictate that the upper age limit in UPSC exams might not be reduced. On one hand, it’s a good news for candidates who look forward to having chances and time to reappear for the exam, but on the other hand, the fresh graduates and aspirants feel that this scenario gives older aspirants an edge over them.

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