The Indian Engineering Services (IES) are the services that cater to the technical and managerial functions of the Government of India in the field of engineering. As in most countries, the Indian government recruits its civil servants and officials through competitive examinations. Many candidates take the exams, competing for a limited number of posts. However, IES officers are selected on the recommendation of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Therefore, a three-stage competitive examination (preliminary, main and personality tests), the Engineering Services Examination (ESE), is conducted by the UPSC for recruitment to the Indian Engineering Services.

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Role of IES Officers– 

Indian Engineering Services is mainly composed of all the engineers who work under the Indian Government and are appointed as Class – 1 officer. They administer, regulate and operate a large segment of the public sector economy. Moreover, It constitutes of Indian Railways, Power, Telecommunications, Central Water Engineering, Defence Service of Engineers, Central Engineering Service, Geological Survey of India, etc.

The line of labour exercised by these bureaucrats is largely depended on their engineering branch and the service or cadre they are recruited in. The career progression escalates smoothly, procuring high approbation. The first position offered is that of Assistant Executive engineer. And one goes up in the hierarchical system till it ends at the position of Chairman/ Managing Director.

The Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) for the recruitment of Indian Engineering Services conducts the combined competitive examination, called the Engineering Services Exams. However, this exam constitutes a written exam followed by an interview for the personality test. The recruitment of qualified candidates is formed under the subsequent under the categories:

  1. Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering
  2. Electrical Engineering
  3. Mechanical Engineering
  4. Civil Engineering

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Eligibility Criteria For IES

UPSC Exam Eligibility, UPSC Age Eligibility UPSC educational Eligibility

UPSC has divided various norms that a candidate needs to fulfil before applying for IES 2020. UPSC IES eligibility criteria are defined by the following standards:


An applicant needs to be either:
(a) an India citizen, or
(b) a subject of Bhutan, or
(c) a subject of Nepal, or
(d) a Tibetan refugee came to India before the 1st January 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India.
(e) a person of Indian origin who has immigrated from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, or East African countries of Uganda, Kenya, United Republic of Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zaire, and Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of settling in India.

Given that an applicant belonging to categories (b), (c), (d) and (e) above shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been assigned by the Govt. of India.
An applicant in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary may be admitted to the examination. But the offer of the appointment may be awarded only after the required eligibility certificate has been assigned to him or her by the Govt. of India

Age Limit

An applicant for this exam must have attained at least age of 21 years and more than the age of 30 years on the 1st January 2019. This means he/she must have been born between 2nd January 1989 and 1st January 1998. Age relaxation is there for SC/ST/OBC and others candidates as per the government rules.


Candidates willing to apply for ESE 2019 should possess an Engineering degree from an authorized institute. So, a candidate must have: 

  • Obtained a degree in Engineering from a university incorporated by an act of the central or state legislature in India.
  • Or other educational institutions established by an act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as universities under section-3 of the university grants commission act, 1956 or 
  • Passed Section A and B of the Institution Examinations of the Institution of Engineers (India) or 
  • Obtained a degree/diploma in Engineering from such foreign University/College/Institution and under such conditions as may be recognised by the Government for the purpose from time to time or 
    • Have Passed Graduate Membership Examination of the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers (India) or 
    • Passed Associate Membership Examination Parts II and III/Sections A and B of the Aeronautical Society of India or 
    • Passed Graduate Membership Examination of the Institution of Electronics and Radio Engineers, London held after November 1959
  • Provided that a candidate for the post of Indian Naval Armament Service

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Other Education Qualifications

(Electronics Engineering Posts and Engineer Group ‘A’ in Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing/Monitoring Organization) may possess any of the above qualifications or the qualification mentioned below namely-

  • M.Sc. degree or its equivalent with Wireless Communication, Electronics, Radio Physics or Radio Engineering as a special subject
  • For Indian Radio Regulatory Service – M.Sc. degree or its equivalent with 
  • Wireless Communication Electronics, Radio Physics or Radio Engineering as a special subject or Master’s Degree in Science with Physics and Radio Communication or Electronics or Telecommunication as a special subject

An applicant who has appeared at an examination the passing of which would render him/her educationally qualified for this examination, but has not been informed of the result, may apply for admission to the examination. Also, An applicant who intends to appear at such a qualifying examination may also apply. Therefore, such applicants will be admitted to the examination, if otherwise eligible, but their admission would be provisional and subject to cancellation, if they do not produce proof of having passed the required qualifying examination along with the Detailed Application Form which will be required to be submitted by the applicants who qualify on the result of written part of the examination

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Physical Criteria

Medical Examination

  • Candidates finally recommended by the Commission on the basis of Engineering Services Examination, 2020, shall be required to undergo a medical examination. 
  • Every candidate, on being finally recommended by Commission will be required to undergo a medical examination. As and when so decided by the Ministry of Railways (Railway Board) irrespective of the fact that he/she has appeared for such medical examination in the past and found the fit/unfit on the basis of earlier examination. 
  • The medical examination will be conducted at various Railway Hospitals under the Ministry of Railways (Railway Board). Other additional instructions for candidates are listed in the official notification of UPSC. Also, the findings of the Railways Medical Board will be taken as final and binding for all allotment purposes.

Physical Standards

Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Engineering Services Examination, 2020. Also, the guidelines mentioned in official notification of the Rules for the Engineering Services Examination, 2020 which is going to be published in the Gazette of India Extraordinary.

IES Examination Pattern


Indian Engineering Services Examination 2020 shall be conducted according to the following plan: 

  1. Stage I: Engineering Services (Preliminary/Stage-I) Examination (Objective Type Papers) for the selection of candidates for the Stage-II: Engineering Services (Main/Stage-II) Examination; 
  2. Stage II: Engineering Services (Main/Stage-II) Examination (Conventional Type Papers) and;  
  3. Stage III: Personality Test. 

Stage I (IES Preliminary Round)

  1. The Engineering Services (Preliminary) Examination will consist of two objective type (multiple choices) questions papers. Also, it carries a maximum of 500 marks (Paper 1 – 200 Marks & Paper II – 300 Marks). 
  2. Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Stage-I Examination will be eligible for admission to the Main Stage-II Examination.
  3. The Marks obtained in Preliminary Stage-I Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Main/Stage-II Examination will be counted for determining their final order of merit. 
  4. The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main/Stage-II Examination will be about six to seven-time the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year through this examination.
  • The Commission will draw a list of candidates to be qualified for Engineering Services (Main/Stage-II) Examination based on the criterion of minimum qualifying marks in General Studies and Engineering Aptitude Paper (Paper-I) and Engineering Discipline specific paper (Paper-II) of Preliminary/Stage-I Examination.
  • However, there will be penalty (Negative Marking) for wrong answers marked by a candidate in the objective type question papers. 
  • There are four alternatives for the answers to every question. For Example, each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one-third (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty 
  • If a candidate gives more than one answer, it will be treated as a wrong answer. However, if one of the given answers happens to be correct and there will be the same penalty as above for that question 
  • If a question is left blank i.e., there will be no penalty.

Stage II (IES Mains Round)

The Engineering Services (Main/stage-II) Examination mainly consists of two conventional papers in Engineering Discipline specific. Its duration will be of three hours and maximum marks of 600 (300 Marks in each paper). Therefore, scoring high in this test is key for selection into IES.

Stage III (Personality Test)

The Personality Test carries 200 Marks. Therefore, special attention will be paid to assessing the candidate’s capacity for leadership, initiative and intellectual curiosity, tact and other social qualities. Mental and physical energy, powers of practical application and integrity of character.

Read: UPSC Exam Pattern For 2020

Some Of The Notable IES Officers

Narinder Singh Kapany – Former IOFS officer, FREng, “Father of Fibre Optics”. Also known as “The Man who Bent Light”, invented fibre optics that revolutionalised telecommunication, power transmission, laparoscopic and endoscopic surgery etc. Above all, he is named as one of the seven “Unsung Heroes of the 20th century” by Fortune magazine. Former Professor at Stanford, Universities of California at Berkeley, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz. Moreover, he has more than 150 patents to his credit.

Narinder Singh Kapany

Nalini Ranjan Mohanty – Former IOFS officer. Secured All India 2nd Rank in the Engineering Services Examination of 1965, served as the Chairman & Managing Director of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Director of Kudremukh Iron Ore Company, Mahanadi Coalfields, National Aluminium Company (NALCO), Bharat Earth Movers (BEML). Moreover, he was awarded Padma Shri in 2004 by the Government of India for his role in the development of LCA – Tejas.

Rajendra K. Pachauri – Former IRSME officer. Served as Chair of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change during which the organisation received the Nobel Prize in 2007. Also, he served as Director General of The Energy and Resources Institute, India. Received Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India. Order of the White Rose of Finland by the Finnish Government, Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star by the Japanese Government and Légion d’Honneur by the French Government.

RAJENDRA PACHURI- Indian Engineering Services (IES)


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