By 2022-23, in a phased manner, the upper age limit for entry into the civil services be brought down to 27 years from the present 30 years for general category candidates, suggested the Niti Aayog on Wednesday.
The government think-tank also pitched for an integrated exam for all civil services in its 'Strategy for New India @75' document released on Wednesday.
It also said that the service conditions for employees of autonomous bodies need to be regulated and harmonised.
"The upper age limit for the civil services should be brought down to 27 years for the general category in a phased manner by 2022-23," the document said.
Through rationalisation and harmonisation of services, the existing 60-plus separate civil services at the central and state level need to be reduced, it said.
"Recruits should be placed in a central talent pool, which would then allocate candidates by matching their competencies and the job description of the post," it said.
"Concomitantly, the number of exams for civil services should ideally be brought down to one with all-India ranking. States may also be encouraged to use this pool for recruitments," the document added.
It noted that reforms in civil services are a continuous process and several initiatives have been taken in recent years by the present government.
(With PTI Inputs)