Indian Economic Service (IES) Exam

You must be knowing that qualified economists work in various government departments. From bringing out economic plans and policies to assisting various projects, they take over various job roles. But how are they hired? The answer is something most of you must have heard of. UPSC Indian Economic services exam. In this article, we are going to look at the Indian economic service (IES) and Indian economic service (IES) exam in detail.

What is Indian Economic Service?

Indian economic service is an inter-Ministerial and inter-Departmental group A central service spread over various Ministries or Departments under the executive branch of the government of India.  This service was formulated with the aim to institutionalize a core professional capacity within the Government to undertake economic analysis and render advice for designing and formulating development policies, strengthening delivery systems, and monitoring and evaluating the public programs. 

These highly specialized services which cater to the formulation and implementation of economic policies and programs currently function with more than 55 ministries or departments under the government of India. Even within different departments, IES officers serve in various areas. This includes finance, social sector, rural development, education, health, agriculture, industry, trade, transport, and information technology.

What do Indian economic service (IES) officers do?

For a growing economy like India, social development projects need to be backed with economic rationality. And this was the purpose behind the formulation of a multi departmental wing called Indian economic service. Their contribution is not just limited to the economic sector, but also to the social sector. IES officers are usually allocated to ministries and departments that deal with economic and social development. 

Their job constitutes providing economic advice, economic administration, implementation of development policy and programs, economic reforms, regulation, price fixation, and monitoring and evaluation. In most departments, they play the role of an in house economist with enough domain knowledge and experience. They also ensure the continuity of policies undertaken by the concerned departments keeping in mind its economic impact. 

Who can join the Indian Economic Service?

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Only the minds who can crunch numbers, involve in logical reasoning and come up with productive plans are fit for this profession. Moreover, you should also master the branches of economics and social sciences. This is pretty much a compulsory requirement to sit for the Indian Economic services exam. If you think you are the right fit, it’s time to attempt the Indian economic services (IES)  examinations. Trust me, that’s not going to be easy. 

Well, we will discuss that towards the end. Now, let’s look at the route towards becoming an Indian Economic services officer.

How to become an Indian Economic services officer?

I’m going to give a pretty straight forward answer here. Clear the Indian economic services exams. That’s something you already know.

Indian Economic Services examination

Indian Economic Services (IES) examination is a national level competitive exam conducted by the Union Public Services Commission of India to recruit candidates for the Indian Economic Services (IES).  This is one of the most prestigious government examinations and like Indian Engineering Services or IAS exams, the candidates join various ministries or departments with group A gazetted officer’s rank. UPSC usually conducts these exams along with the Indian Statistical services examination and is called a combined IES/ISS examination. The exam happens once every year, usually in the month of June, and eligible candidates can apply for the exam online through the UPSC website once the notification is out.

Now, let’s look at the eligibility requirements to appear for Indian Economic Services (IES) exam.

Unlike the UPSC Civil Services Examination, not all graduates can apply for IES exams. The job role will require you to deal with the application of complex economics concepts. So, a post-graduate degree in either Economics or Applied Economics or Econometrics or Business Economics from a recognized University is a mandatory requirement to apply for the position. The candidate should either be a post-graduate in the above-mentioned field or someone awaiting the results of the final exams in those subjects.

The candidate should also meet the age requirements. The lower age limit to appear for Indian Economics Services (IES) Exam is 21 years and the upper age limit is 30 years. The age limit is relaxed for a few categories. You will find detailed information regarding this on UPSC official website. 

Apart from this, a candidate should also meet the nationality and medical requirements that are pretty much common for all central service professions. 

Exam pattern

Now, let’s get to the most important part. The Indian economic services exam consists of two parts. The first part is a written examination while the second part is a viva. The written examination consists of 6 papers. Namely, General English, General Studies, General Economics 1, General Economics 2, General Economics 3 and Indian Economics. 3 hours of time is allotted for each paper. A total of thousand marks is divided among these 6 papers. While the General English and General studies papers carry 100 marks each, all the remaining papers are for 200 marks each. All the questions will be essay type and cut off marks to qualify for the next round is set by the UPSC. 

The second part of the Indian Economic services examination is a viva or interview round. Candidates who clear the written examination will be allowed to attempt this round. Here, the candidates will be interviewed by a panel of experts. This round will test a candidate’s general knowledge, aptitude, reasoning skills, etc. The interview round is more of a natural conversation than a cross-examination session. As it is not just about testing the candidate’s knowledge in a particular subject, candidates knowledge of things that happen around him or her can be crucial in clearing this round. So, better grab some GK texts along with your academic guides on the way home. 

Once the two rounds are over, the UPSC will recommend the names of candidates who made it through the examination to the services. The selected candidates will then undergo a medical examination and then be appointed in various departments. 

How tough is it?

No UPSC exam will be easy. In a country like India, nobody says no to a government job. It will give you good pay, work-life balance, job security, reputation. Then, why not? So, you will always find 1000 others fighting for the same post. And this is true for the Indian Economic services examination. Last year, almost a lakh candidates applied for combined IES/ISS examination. Only 64 of them got recommended by the UPSC. That explains it all. 

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Salary and benefits

A central service profession always pays you well. If you qualify through Indian economic services, you will join the government workforce as a grade-A gazetted officer. Though the pay scale depends on the department you join and the job role you take up, the average salary will range between Rs 40000 to Rs 60000. Along with it, you will receive all the employee benefits and regular perks. You will also enjoy a better work-life balance and job security when compared to a corporate job that pays you around the same. 


So, that’s it, folks. I believe we able to give you all the necessary information about the Indian Economic Service and Indian Economic Services Examination through this blog. If you need any further guidance from us, feel free to contact us using the free chat service. The link is right below this article.

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