DoPT clarifies on the Age/Attempt relaxation in the UPSC Civil Service exam: Gen 32 year (6 attempt), OBC 35 (9 attempt), SC/ST 37(Unlimited), PH-42 to 47

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  1. #1: UPSC age/attempt relaxation: DoPT elaborates further:
    1. General category
    2. OBC category
    3. SC/ST category
    4. PH category
  2. Unofficial notes about age/attempt limit
    1. Q. what about IFoS exam?
    2. Q. What about JK residents and Ex-Servicemen?
    3. Q. Do Central service employees get additional age/attempt relaxation?
    4. Q. What counts as attempt?
    5. Q. When is the age counted? 1st August or 1st January?
    6. Q: is this age/attempt limit also valid for 2015, 2016, 2017? or is it only for 2015?
    7. Q. Creamy LAYER OBC = General = 6 attempts & 32 years
    8. Q: Changing category in between exams = permitted
    9. Q. Jat reservation in UPSC exam
    10. Non-cream layer jat outside those 9 states= General
  3. #2: Indian Engineering Service
  4. #3: NDA/NA Exam-I 2013 cutoffs

#1: UPSC age/attempt relaxation: DoPT elaborates further:

Feb 2014: Government approved two extra attempt for all categories in IAS/IPS exam (click me). But that notification was creating some confusion.

March 2014: now Department of Personnel and training (DoPT) issued a separate circular to elaborate the matter further. click me for the circular

Moral of that story circular is following:

General category

attempt limit44+2 = 6 years
age limit30 years30+2=32 years

OBC category

attempt limit77+2=9
age limit3333+2=35 years

SC/ST category

attempt limitunlimitedunlimited
age limit3535+2=37 years

PH category

PH candidate frombeforeAFTER
PH from General/OBC categoryattempt limit77+2=9
age limit40
  • General PH: 30+12=42 years
  • OBC PH: 33+12=45 years
PH from SC/ST categoryattempt limitunlimitedunlimited
age limit40SC/ST PH: 35+12=47 years

Unofficial notes about age/attempt limit

These are not given in the official circular, but frequently asked by readers. So I’m replying these based on the previous trend/system/rules of UPSC.

Q. what about IFoS exam?

Q. does this relaxed age/attempt limit also applicable in Indian forest services (IFoS) exam?

Ans. No. This relaxation only applies to Civil service exam (IAS/IPS).

Forest service (IFoS) is a separate exam- its age/attempt limit is counted separately. Only the preliminary exam of IAS and IFoS are common. Therefore, we should continue assuming that IFoS age/attempt=old system remains. (unless UPSC notification changes it on 17th May 2014.)

Q. What about JK residents and Ex-Servicemen?

Ans. Since the circular is silent about them. We can assume the old system continues for them. However, every JK and Ex-serviceman can also be classified under Gen/OBC/SC-ST/PH. and therefore benefits / gets hurts accordingly (depends on how UPSC interprets it!). For example:

J&K resident (SC/ST)30+10=40
  • viewpoint #1: circular is silent. = old system continues, he gets 40 years
  • viewpoint #2: as SC/ST candidate, he gets only 37 years. because circular did not mention him.

I believe in view point #1. Let’s wait for the notification on 17th May.

Q. Do Central service employees get additional age/attempt relaxation?


  1. No, for the IAS/IPS (Civil service exam).
  2. Yes, for CAPF (Assistant commandant exam)

Q. What counts as attempt?

  1. Appearing in the preliminary exam, count as attempt.
  2. Meaning, in past, if you had filled up the UPSC application form, but you remained ABSENT in the preliminary exam=> then it doesn’t count as attempt.
  3. If you wrote the preliminary exam, it counts as attempt. – Irrespective of whether you passed or failed.

Q. When is the age counted? 1st August or 1st January?

  1. Traditionally, UPSC civil service exam counted the age on 1st august of the given year.
  2. In Indian Engineering service exam, they count age on 1st January. But UPSC still silent on whether they’ll follow the same model for IAS/IPS exam or not? RTIs don’t reveal anything.
  3. So until any change is officially notified (on 17th May 2014), we should assume that for IAS/IPS (Civil service exam) exam, the Age limit is counted on 1st August.
  4. Meaning, as a general category candidate if you want to appear in 2014’s exam, YOU must not have crossed the 32 years on 1st August 2014.

Q: is this age/attempt limit also valid for 2015, 2016, 2017? or is it only for 2015?

Ans. I don’t know. And RTI is unlikely to reveal anything. Most likely the DoPT and UPSC will reply that “CPIO cannot predict the future course of action.”

Anyways, official notification of UPSC, will come on 17th May 2015. Hopefully that should throw some light. [This scenario is similar to optional subjects- no one knows when it’ll be removed from the mains exam, we can only come up with conspiracy theories.]

Q. Creamy LAYER OBC = General = 6 attempts & 32 years

  • From above table, you can see OBC gets 9 attempts and 35 years.
  • But that applies only to non-creamy layer OBC.
  • It doesn’t apply to creamy layer OBC.
  • for age/attempt limit: the creamy layer OBC is treated as General category candidate (meaning 6 attempt, 32 years).

In other words,

OBC typeage limitattempt limit
non-creamy layer359
creamy layer326

How/why? Well observe the following screenshot of 2013’s application form. The UPSC form is designed in such way that creamy layer has to tick “General” category.


click me to enlarge

I repeat again, to claim OBC reservation benefit in UPSC, you need TWO certificates:

  1. OBC caste certificate
  2. Non-creamy layer certificate.
    1. Non creamy layer status depends on your parents’ income and property.
    2. It doesn’t depend on your income/property
    3. It doesn’t depend on your husband/wife’s income/property.
    4. If your mom/dad is government employee then INCOME criteria doesn’t apply. (e.g. if dad is class3 employee, then it doesn’t matter whether he gets 6 lakhs or 7 lakhs. You’re still non-cream layer. For more, read this PDF file click me)

Q: Changing category in between exams = permitted

Q. I had applied as general category in xyz year’s exam. But for 2014, I want to apply as OBC/SC/ST candidate. Is this permissible?

Ans. Yes. As long as you’ve the necessary documents. example, candidate gives 2012’s exam as gen and 2013’s as OBC.

Q. Jat reservation in UPSC exam

Q. This week (March 2014), cabinet cleared the file. So it’ll take some weeks before gazette notification is released. Only after that, local tehsildar/SDM/collector office will start issuing certificates. Can I claim reservation in in UPSC?

Ans. You’ve to keep two things in mind:

#1: closing date in normal circumstances:

  1. In UPSC exams, The closing date fixed for the receipt of the application is be treated as the  date for  determining the  OBC  status (including that of creamy layer) of the candidate.
  2. For 2014: UPSC prelim application starts from 17 May 2014 and ends at 16 June 2014.
  3. So, 16/06/2014 is the closing date.

#2: closing date in extra-ordinary circumstances:

(quoting UPSC notification from 2013): There may be a few cases where there was a little gap (say 2-3 months) between the issuance of a Government Notification enlisting a particular community in the list of any of the reserved communities and the date of submission of the application by the candidate. In such cases the request of change of community from general to reserved may be considered by the Commission on merit. In case of a candidate unfortunately becoming physically disabled during the course of the examination, the candidate should produce valid documents to enable the Commission to take a decision in the matter on merit.

–end of copy paste–

Non-cream layer jat outside those 9 states= General

OBC list is always “State-wise”. Cabinet has cleared OBC status only for the jats of nine states viz.  Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

Meaning only the (non-creamy layer) Jats of those states will get OBC age/attempt benefit.

Consider this hypothetical situation:

A Jat candidate, who originally belongs to Madhya Pradesh but currently living in Delhi for last few months, to study in a coaching class. = No, he doesn’t get OBC reservation UNLESS he can prove that he is a domicile of Delhi. Meaning, he needs to show birth certificate, proof-of-resident/ration card/lightbill/phone bill etc.

If I recall correctly, Delhi sarkaar wants domicile proof that you/your parents are living in Delhi since 1993, only then you can get OBC certificate.

Moral of the story: you must have two certificates.

  1. OBC certificate (depends on state.)
  2. non-creamy layer certificate (depends on your parents’ income/property. BUT for government servent parents- it doesn’t depend on income but rank.)

Moving to the next topics:

#2 and #3 are based on RTI reply filed by Mr.Prashant Kumar.

#2: Indian Engineering Service

Q1. Can an engineer from Computer Science/Information technology eligible to sit in the exam? if yes, then under which subject (out of the four available) they may apply?

Q2. if a computer science candidate gets selected in another subject (Electrical, etc) is there any preference given to the Electrical candidate or all must be considered equal?

UPSC replies for Q1 and Q2:

The rules of ESE-2014 are yet to be finalized. However as per the rules of 2013, degree in engineering in any steam is essential educational qualification for appearing in the engineering service examination. A candidate may apply for the admission to the examination in respect of any one of the four categories of the services/posts viz. civil engineering or mechanical engineering or electronic engineering or electronics and telecommunication engineering.

Q3. Is there any provision or discussion over inclusion of Computer Science/ IT as one of the subjects in Engineering Service Exam in the coming years?

UPSC replies:

Query is hypothetical in nature and hence does not qualify as information as defined under section 2/F of the RTI act, 2005

Q4. What is the total time from Pre-Exam to Joining for a candidate in Engineering Service?

UPSC replies:

there is no such specific timeframe between the conduct of exam and joining of the candidate. It varies from year to year

Q5. How many Computer Science/IT students have applied and got selected in Engineering Service Exam 2011 and 2012?

UPSC replies:

The information regarding the qualification of candidates is neither compiled nor maintained in the manner asked for in the application. As such the information cannot be provided.

#3: NDA/NA Exam-I 2013 cutoffs

Q1. Please provide the cutoff marks for all categories in the NDA 2013 exam?

NDA stagemarks secured by last candidate
written stage333/900
final stage698/1800

Q2. Is the NDA cutoff paper-wise or overall?

UPSC replies: There is no separate paper wise cutoff in this exam.

Ref: scanned copy of UPSC RTI reply to Mr.Prashant Kumar.

DoPT clarifies on the Age/Attempt relaxation in the UPSC Civil Service exam: Gen 32 year (6 attempt), OBC 35 (9 attempt), SC/ST 37(Unlimited), PH-42 to 47

So far 136 Comments posted

  1. AKASH


    1. aashirwad singh

      Dnt b confused,,just close your eyes,listen to your heart,think about God, parents,friends, and go ahead,,see you will conquer the world.

  2. rashmi

    hi..can anyone tell me about age relaxation new notification..please clarify ….is it 30 +2 for general and 6 attempts or some changes or notification coming for it..pls tell me


      @Rashmi as per the guidelines issued by DoPT it will be 30+2 and 6 attempts. But, the UPSC calculates the age as on 1st of August. So if an aspirant is born before 1st August 1983, e.g 19th July 1983, he will get only one extra chance to appear in IAS exam. A detailed notification of this effect was scheduled to released by UPSC on 17/5/2014 but for some reason that has been postponed.

  3. uday

    Sir I completed my 7 attempts in 2010. I am obc candidate. Now I am age 33 . According to new regulations I am getting 2 more attempts. But friends telling that those who completed attempts after or on c-sat 2011 are eligible. Sir plz clarify my doubts whetherI am eeligible another 2 attempts

    1. Aabithabu

      It means, if you are a non creamy layer in OBC you should get obc certificate recently, it will be valid for 1 year, they are asking that certificate date only. if you are creamy layer no need for obc certificate date

  4. santosh wakode

    Ok, OBC with non-Non-creamy layer required two certificate that are (OBC caste certificate,Non-creamy layer certificate) but which date I should enter on form for “community certificate date”, bcz my OBC caste certificate issued date is 07-08-2005 , Non-creamy layer certificate issued date is 04-05-2014

  5. vijayT

    Sir, I am appearing for ESE 2014 under General Category. Now I have OBC certificate. Can I apply for CSE 2014 under OBC category?

  6. deepali

    my frd already appeared upsc prelims exam before his final year degree,nw he finished his degree and he wants to give attempt this year.he belongs to sc,any problem wil arise for giving attempt in under graduation?

  7. naresh

    sir i rendered more than five year service as deputed ex army postal service personnel as a non regular army personnel with the same hardship as an army personnel. now sir i want to know whther am i also eligible for getting the benfits of age relaxation . at present i am serving in ag audit deptt as an auditor after resigning technically from aps. pls clarify me. i shall remain ever grateful to u for doing the same.

  8. sadiq

    sir, im entering my final year engineering now, my d.o.b is 28/09/1994, i want to know whether im eligible for upsc exam 2015

  9. Vinay

    Sir, Can you please help me on “Community Certificate Date”?
    As you mentioned we need to have two certificates(OBC, Non Creamy layer certificates). So, which certificate holds “Community Certificate Date”. And I had OBC certificate which was issued in 2005. Is this sufficient or do I need to apply again?

  10. veera

    Sir, im applying for the first time for cse. Im from st category born in 1991. While filling the application form what option should i opt for age relaxation sir, weather yes or no. do i claim age relaxation nw

  11. akshay

    For UPSC Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination – 2014
    FOR OBC candidate need OBC with non-Non-creamy layer required two certificate that are (OBC caste certificate,Non-creamy layer certificate) but which date I should enter on form for “community certificate date”, bcz my OBC caste certificate issued date is 01-09-2005 , Non-creamy layer certificate issued date is 04-03-2014.

    please ClARIFY what is community certificate date on my certificate?

  12. shashi

    I have made some error in part 1 of the application and submitted it (I got a registration ID after that), yet I have not filled the part2. I can again fill the different form ??
    will it create problem??

  13. Vikash

    Dear Sir,
    In my OBC certificate the last line itself mentions that i do not belong to creamy layer. Do I still need a separate Non-creamy Layer Certificate???
    Can I show a Non-creamy Layer Certificate of a later date, that is, of July or August,2014 and so on??

  14. Hasi

    Sir, I belong to OBC category. Last year i appeared through general category. Can i appear this year through OBC.. This year i have all my certificate along with me.

  15. mks

    i come under obc and non cremy layer ,but there is an ‘community certificate date’ option in nda form for non creamy layer candidates.what is to be filled in it.please rply fast

  16. Prashant Boriwal

    I want to give IES(engineering services exam) in 2015..I am from Mumbai…i belong to SC category and i have the SC certificate.
    In Maharashtra, SC caste validity certificate is also required to claim reservation…..but i don’t have validity certificate…is validity certificate required in IES?

  17. bharti

    Ok, OBC with non-Non-creamy layer required two certificate that are (OBC caste certificate,Non-creamy layer certificate) but which date I should enter on form for “community certificate date”, bcz my OBC caste certificate issued date is 013-5-2011 , Non-creamy layer certificate issued date is 26-5-2012

  18. sunil

    i come under obc and non cremy layer ,but there is an ‘community certificate date’ option in nda form for non creamy layer candidates.what is to be filled in it.please rply fast

  19. Chinmayananda Behera

    I am belonging in SC category in Odisha. I am applying the civil service first time and unable to understand the meaning of Community certificate date.
    Please clarify me as soon as possible.

    Thanking you,

  20. Niharika Nayak

    I am belonging SC category in Odisha. I am applying the civil service first time and unable to understand meaning of “Community certificate date”.

    Please clarify me as soon as possible

    thanking you,

  21. Nithish

    I have a doubt regarding creamy layer.My dad works in a PSU(public sector undertaking).Am I eligible for OBC reservation? The blog here says I am eligible the document attached says otherwise. Please explain.Dad is an employee not an officer.


    Sir, My DOB is 27/05/1975. I belong to the ST category. I also work with the Income tax deptt since the last 7 years. Will I be eligible to appear Civil services exam 2015?

  23. Mahi

    As per the upsc order civil service aspirants belongs to general category gets two extra attempt, is it applicable to engineering service aspirants of general category

  24. Abdul.Rafi

    Now Iam studying B.A in distance education (Andhra university ). Am I eligible for upsc and other competitive exam . My caste is. Obc. what is the maximum age limit of obc. Now Iam 28. I have no guidance.please help.

  25. kalpana kale

    I am 38 year Gp Ç obc employee. Now can I apply in Gp B post in the same organisation as a departmental candidate?


    Respected sir,
    I have filled the upsc form for 2014 but due to some problem will not be able to write, so pls clarify if I miss both preliminary and main paper exam will that be count as attempt or i’ll not lose my attempt….??

  27. Sartaj ahmed


    Please tell me my eligibility for upse competitive exam i have complete my Building Quantity surveying course from (insinuation of surveyors) Delhi.
    my date of birth 1983.


  28. soumya

    Res Sir,
    I belong to OBC cat (Marata 3B) from karnataka, Now i’m 33 years old, Am i eligible to opt for UPSC exam (IAS) next year.

    Thank you,


  29. sunil yadav

    sir i am a govenment employee in railway aged 38 years and in obc non cremylayer. whther i am eligible for engineering services exam 2015 pl.advise me

  30. Candace

    Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break. I love the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, fantastic site!


    Respected Sir
    The age limit for the General Category Candidates should also be increased to 35 years with equal number of attempts atleast that for OBC Candidates. The government should think of this as there are still many deserving candidates who have dreamt of this prestigious job. Is there any possibility in the nearby future.
    Kindly guide in this matter

  32. archana

    My dob is jan.1979.I appeared in 2011 preliminary exam but could not clear. Can I appear in 2015. I belong to gen.catogery.

  33. ch anilsingh

    Please reply next year civis-2015 same 32 year for general will continue or it again come back to 30 years

    1. ankita

      sir actually i am ask RPSC textile desiging lecturer form whose last date is 29 aug. but the limit is 21to 37 year . and i am born 19 april 1994. so can i applicable or not?


    SIr, Iam an obc ias aspirant. My date of birth is 13..4.1982. How many times i can attend the civil service last attempt was on 24.08.2014 (3rd)

  35. name sayani roy

    i had given civil prelim as general i want to know can i apply as sc in my second attempt as my caste certificate was issued in 2008

  36. Sachin

    Sir i just want to know about the 2 extra attempts given by UPSC. I belongs to OBS category and my DOB is 08.06.1980, would i be eligible for CSE-2015 or not? IF not is there anything which could help me to be eligible i.e. any requests any other legible and legal option. I am also a govt. servant under central govt having completed more than 6 yrs of my service.

  37. Sachin

    Sir i also want to know about your views regarding the expected cutoffs for OBC for CSE-2014. I have gone through a lot some says it would be around 207 other say around 193 and some says around 216+.

  38. Santu

    I appeared 2011 prelim when I was 30. Can I appear in 2015 prelim as per the latest news on August 4 that 2011 aspirants can appear in 2015? I am a general candidate.

  39. Ladle

    sir a person who has completely lost sight of one eye but anohter is normal can got AGERELAXATION in IAS/IFS exams. please help by giving answer by mail.

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