Civil service aspirants will soon get two additional attempts at cracking the UPSC examination along with a relaxation in the upper age limit.

“The Central government has approved two additional attempts to all categories of candidates with effect from Civil Services Examination 2014, with consequential age relaxation of maximum age for all categories of candidates, if required,” a statement by the Department of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions said.

As per the existing rules, a general category candidate is permitted a maximum of four attempts. The maximum age limit for such candidates is 30.

There is no restriction on the number of attempts by candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and the Scheduled Tribes (STs).

As for aspirants belonging to Other Backward Classes, seven attempts are permissible, according to a notification issued for Civil Services Examinations, 2013.

The relaxation comes after months of protests, dharnas and knocking at the doors of politicians by the students.

“We last protested on January 30, which was our 10th protest in the city. We met Rahul Gandhi on that day and he assured us that this would come about,” said Vikas Kumar, who will now be getting two additional chances to crack the exam.

“The last time in the 1970s when the changes were incorporated, there was an increase in the number of attempts as well as an increase in the age limit. There is very short notice, we usually spend years preparing for an exam and the notice of two months was simply not enough,” said Sunil Kumar, another aspirant who now has two more attempts to crack the exams.

The exact age relaxation, however, has not been clarified, which has some students worried. “This is very worrying and it has stopped us from feeling truly relaxed.”

The aspirants had demanded an increase in the age limit and additional attempts so that those disadvantaged by the changes could catch up.