Engineering Services Examination (ESE/IES)

Indian Engineering Services remains the most sought-after career for the engineering graduates in India. Engineering Services Examination commonly known as ESE is conducted annually by UPSC to recruit engineers in four domains namely Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics & Telecommunications for the techno managerial posts. The examination constitutes a two-stage written examination followed by an interview. ESE is considered as one of the toughest examinations in India due to fewer posts. Owing to highly competitive selection procedure, IES officers carry high respect and status and are mandated to manage and execute activities in diverse technical and managerial fields.

These candidates after the final selection are posted in various Ministries and Departments of GOI such as Railways, Telecom, Border Roads, CPWD, CWC, CPES, NHAI, Naval Armaments, IDSE, MES, Ordnance Factories etc., however, the selected candidates can move to any cadre, organisation, agency, department, ministry and PSU of the Government of India. All these final selected candidates are designated as class-1 officers.

Contribution of MADE EASY in the ESE Success Stories

UPSC ESE Exam Selections from MADE EASY

ESE 2024 Eligibility

(I) Nationality:
A candidate must be either:
  1. A citizen of India or
  2. A subject of Nepal or A subject of Bhutan or
  3. A Tibetan refugee who came to India before the 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India or
  4. A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka or East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire and Ethiopia or from Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Provided that a candidate belongs to categories (b), (c) and (d) above shall be a person in whose favor a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.

(II) Age Limits: (As on 01/01/2024)
  • A candidate for this examination must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 30 years on the 1st January, 2024 i.e., he/she must have been born not earlier than 2nd January, 1994 and not later than 1st January, 2003.
  • The upper age-limit of 30 years will be relaxable upto 35 years in the case of Government servants of the following categories, if they are employed in a Department/ Office under the control of any of the authorities mentioned in column 1 below and apply for admission to the examination for all or any of the Service(s)/Post(s) mentioned in column 2, for which they are otherwise eligible.
    • A candidate who holds substantively a permanent post in the particular Department/Office concerned. This relaxation will not be admissible to a probationer appointed against a permanent post in the Department/Office during the period of his probation. However, this relaxation will be admissible to a probationer so appointed provided he/she already retains a lien on a permanent post in a Department/Office under the control of any of the authorities mentioned in column 1 below.
    • A candidate who has been continuously in a temporary service on a regular basis in the particular Department/Office for at least 3 years on the 1st January, 2024.
Column 1 Column 2
Central Public Works Department C.E.S. Group ‘A’, CE&MES Gr ‘A’
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Central Engineering Service (Roads) Gr. ‘A’
Ministry of Communication, Deptt. of Telecommunication Indian Radio Regulatory Service Group ‘A’
Indian Telecommunication Service Group ‘A’,
J.T.O. (G.C.S. Gr. ‘B’)
Ministry of Defence, Deptt. of Defence Production,
Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance
Defence Aeronautical Quality Assurance Service(DAQAS)Gr ‘A’
Ministry of Science and Technology, Deptt. of Science and
Survey of India Gr ‘A’ Service
Geological Survey of India Assistant Executive Engineer Gr ‘A’
Border Roads Organisation BRES Gr. ‘A’
Indian Navy Indian Naval Armament Service, Asstt. Naval Store Officer
Military Engineer Services Indian Defence Service of Engineers (lDSE) Group ‘A’
AEE(QS&C) in Military Engineer Service (MES) Surveyor Cadre
Ministry of Jal Shakti, Deptt. of Water Resources, River
Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Central Water Commission
Central Water Engineering Group-A Service.
Central Electricity Authority CPES Gr ‘A’ & CPES Gr ‘B’.
Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Indian Skill Development Service
  • The upper age-limit prescribed above will be further relaxable:
    • Up to a maximum of five years if a candidate belongs to a scheduled caste or a scheduled tribe.
    • Up to a maximum of three years in case if candidate belongs to OBC category.
    • Upto a maximum of three years in case of defence service personnel disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area, and released as a consequence thereof.
    • Upto a maximum of five years in case of ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service as on 1st January 2021, and have been released
      1. On completion of assignment (including those whose assignment is due) to be completed within one year from 1st January 2021) otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency, or
      2. On account of physical disability attributable to Military Service or
      3. On invalidment;
    • Upto a maximum of five years in the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Services as on 1st January 2021, and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and they will be released on three months notice on selection from the date of receipt of offer of appointment.
    • Up to a maximum of 10 years in the case of candidates of PwBD (Low vision Locomotor Disability including Cerebral Palsy, Leprosy cured, Dwarfism, Acid Attack victims & Muscular Dystrophy and Hard of Hearing).
    • A candidate of ESE-2024 will be eligible to get benefit of economically weaker Section reservation only in case the candidate meets the criteria issued by the Central Government  and is in possession of requisite Income & Asset Certificate based on income of financial year 2022-2023  and issued on/after 01.04.2023 (after the completion of FY 2022-23) but not later than the closing date of the application for Engineering Services (Preliminary) Examination-2024 i.e. 26 September, 2023. 
    • The OBC candidates applying for ESE- 2024 must produce OBC (Non-Creamy Layer) certificate based on the Income for the Financial Year (FY) 2022-2023, 2021-2022 and 2020-2021 and issued on/after 01.04.2023 (after the completion of FY 2022-23) but not later than the closing date of the application for Engineering Services (Preliminary) Examination-2024 i.e 26th September, 2023.
  • Minimum Educational Qualifications:
    • 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 foreign University/College/Institution and under such conditions as may be recognised by the Government for the purpose from time to time or
    • 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 (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:

  • For Indian Naval Armament Service (Electronics Engg. Posts) - 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 subject or Master’s Degree in Science with Physics and Radio Communication or Electronics or Telecommunication as a special subject.

Salary of IES Officers

Indian Engineering Officers joins as Assistant Executive Engineers or Assistant Directors at level of Junior Time Scale with a basic salary of Rs. 56,100/- per month and net salary of around Rs. 85,000/- per month.

Level Pay Scale Time Frame
Junior Time Scale (JTS) INR 56100-177500 On Joining
Senior Time Scale (STS) INR 67700-208700 3-5 years
Junior Administrative Grade (JAG) INR 123100-215900 10-15 years
Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) INR 144200-218200 15-20 years
Higher Administrative Grade (HAG) INR 182200-224100  
HAG+ INR 205400-224400  
Apex Scale INR 225000  

Indian Engineering Service Officers are among the top recipients of a good deal of privileges and allowances. Below is a list of allowances and privileges available for IES Officers apart from the basic pay :

  • Residential Quarters (Type IV to Type VIII) OR HRA (presently 24% of basic pay)
  • Official Vehicle
  • Dearness Allowance (presently 9% of basic pay)
  • CGHS Medical Facility
  • Leave Travel Allowance/ Tour Allowance
  • National Pension Scheme
  • Gratuity
  • Leave Encashment
  • Mobile and Briefcase Allowance
  • Newspaper and Mobile Bill Reimbursement
  • Laptops
  • Children Education Allowance
  • Transport Allowance (approx. 8000 per month), etc.

ESE 2024 Exam Pattern

Stage-I: Preliminary Examination (Objective Papers)

(CE/ ME/ EE/ E&T)
03 HOURS 300
  • Minimum Qualifying Marks for each Paper will be at the discretion of the commission.
  • Only those candidates qualifying at this Stage are permitted to appear for Stage – II examination.

Stage-II: Main Examination (Conventional Papers)

(CE/ ME/ EE/ E&T)
03 HOURS 300
(CE/ ME/ EE/ E&T)
03 HOURS 300
  • Only those candidates qualifying at this stage (i.e. Stage – I + Stage – II) are selected for Stage – III which is the Personality Test (Interview).

Stage-III: Personality Test

Personality Test 200
  • The Candidates who have qualified all stages (Stage I + Stage II + Stage III) ,will be included in the final list of ESE(Engineering Service Exam).

ESE 2024 Syllabus

Stage I - Paper I, Objective type, Common to all Candidates, duration 2 hours, Maximum Marks 200.

1. Current issues of national and international importance relating to social, economic and industrial development

2. Engineering Aptitude covering Logical reasoning and Analytical ability

3. Engineering Mathematics and Numerical Analysis

4. General Principles of Design, Drawing, Importance of Safety

5. Standards and Quality practices in production, construction, maintenance and services

6. Basics of Energy and Environment : Conservation, Environmental pollution and degradation, Climate change, Environmental impact assessment

7. Basics of Project Management

8. Basics of Material Science and Engineering

9. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) based tools and their applications in Engineering such as networking, e-governance and technology based education.

10. Ethics and values in engineering profession

Note: The paper in General Studies and Engineering Aptitude will include the knowledge of relevant topics as may be expected from an engineering graduate, without special study. Questions from all the 10 topics mentioned above shall be set. Marks for each topic may range from 5% to 15% of the total marks on the paper.


Branch/Discipline: Civil Engineering

(Contents for syllabi of both the Papers together for Stage-I objective type Paper–II and separately for Stage-II Conventional type Paper-I and Paper – II)


1. Building Materials:

Stone, Lime, Glass, Plastics, Steel, FRP, Ceramics, Aluminum, Fly Ash, Basic Admixtures, Timber, Bricks and Aggregates: Classification, properties and selection criteria;Cement: Types, Composition, Properties, Uses, Specifications and various Tests; Lime & Cement Mortars and Concrete: Properties and various Tests; Design of Concrete Mixes: Proportioning of aggregates and methods of mix design.

2. Solid Mechanics:

Elastic constants, Stress, plane stress, Strains, plane strain, Mohr’s circle of stress and strain, Elastic theories of failure, Principal Stresses, Bending, Shear and Torsion.

3. Structural Analysis:

Basics of strength of materials, Types of stresses and strains, Bending moments and shear force, concept of bending and shear stresses; Analysis of determinate and indeterminate structures; Trusses, beams, plane frames; Rolling loads, Influence Lines, Unit load method & other methods; Free and Forced vibrations of single degree and multi degree freedom system; Suspended Cables; Concepts and use of Computer Aided Design.

4. Design of Steel Structures:

Principles of Working Stress methods, Design of tension and compression members, Design of beams and beam column connections, built-up sections, Girders, Industrial roofs, Principles of Ultimate load design.

5. Design of Concrete and Masonry structures:

Limit state design for bending, shear, axial compression and combined forces; Design of beams, Slabs, Lintels, Foundations, Retaining walls, Tanks, Staircases; Principles of pre-stressed concrete design including materials and methods; Earthquake resistant design of structures; Design of Masonry Structure.

6. Construction Practice, Planning and Management:

Construction - Planning, Equipment, Site investigation and Management including Estimation with latest project management tools and network analysis for different Types of works; Analysis of Rates of various types of works; Tendering Process and Contract Management, Quality Control, Productivity, Operation Cost; Land acquisition; Labour safety and welfare.


1. Flow of Fluids, Hydraulic Machines and Hydro Power:

(a) Fluid Mechanics, Open Channel Flow, Pipe Flow: Fluid properties; Dimensional Analysis and Modeling; Fluid dynamics including flow kinematics and measurements; Flow net; Viscosity, Boundary layer and control, Drag, Lift, Principles in open channel flow, Flow controls. Hydraulic jump; Surges; Pipe networks.

(b) Hydraulic Machines and Hydro power - Various pumps, Air vessels, Hydraulic turbines – types, classifications & performance parameters; Power house – classification and layout, storage, pondage, control of supply.

2. Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering:

Hydrological cycle, Ground water hydrology, Well hydrology and related data analysis; Streams and their gauging; River morphology; Flood, drought and their management; Capacity of Reservoirs. Water Resources Engineering : Multipurpose uses of Water, River basins and their potential; Irrigation systems, water demand assessment; Resources - storages and their yields; Water logging, canal and drainage design, Gravity dams, falls, weirs, Energy dissipaters, barrage Distribution works, Cross drainage works and head-works and their design; Concepts in canal design, construction & maintenance; River training, measurement and analysis of rainfall.

3. Environmental Engineering:

(a) Water Supply Engineering: Sources, Estimation, quality standards and testing of water and their treatment; Rural, Institutional and industrial water supply; Physical, chemical and biological characteristics and sources of water, Pollutants in water and its effects, Estimation of water demand; Drinking water Standards, Water Treatment Plants, Water distribution networks.

(b) Waste Water Engineering: Planning & design of domestic waste water, sewage collection and disposal; Plumbing Systems. Components and layout of sewerage system; Planning & design of Domestic Waste-water disposal system; Sludge management including treatment, disposal and re-use of treated effluents; Industrial waste waters and Effluent Treatment Plants including institutional and industrial sewage management.

(c) Solid Waste Management: Sources & classification of solid wastes along with planning & design of its management system; Disposal system, Beneficial aspects of wastes and Utilization by Civil Engineers.

(d) Air, Noise pollution and Ecology: Concepts & general methodology.

4. Geo-technical Engineering and Foundation Engineering :

(a) Geo-technical Engineering : Soil exploration - planning & methods, Properties of soil, classification, various tests and inter-relationships; Permeability & Seepage, Compressibility, consolidation and Shearing resistance, Earth pressure theories and stress distribution in soil; Properties and uses of geo-synthetics.

(b) Foundation Engineering: Types of foundations & selection criteria, bearing capacity, settlement analysis, design and testing of shallow & deep foundations; Slope stability analysis, Earthen embankments, Dams and Earth retaining structures: types, analysis and design, Principles of ground modifications.

5. Surveying and Geology:

(a) Surveying: Classification of surveys, various methodologies, instruments & analysis of measurement of distances, elevation and directions; Field astronomy, Global Positioning System; Map preparation; Photogrammetry; Remote sensing concepts; Survey Layout for culverts, canals, bridges, road/railway alignment and buildings, Setting out of Curves.

(b) Geology : Basic knowledge of Engineering geology & its application in projects.

6. Transportation Engineering:

Highways - Planning & construction methodology, Alignment and geometric design; Traffic Surveys and Controls; Principles of Flexible and Rigid pavements design. Tunneling - Alignment, methods of construction, disposal of muck, drainage, lighting and ventilation. Railways Systems – Terminology, Planning, designs and maintenance practices; track modernization. Harbours – Terminology, layouts and planning. Airports – Layout, planning & design.



ESE Preparation Strategy

Often, I hear a concern among the students regarding "What should be our strategy to crack the ESE exam?"  To answer this question in the most simplified way, this article is my sincere effort to strategize things for aspirants, which will be fruitful for young friends.

There are two categories of ESE aspirants: (1) Freshers, preparing for the first time for the competitive exams (neophytes) (2) Repeaters who have already taken their exams once or twice (Rank Improvers)

(I) Strategy for Neophytes:

Big Journeys begin with Small Steps

If you are a fresher and preparing first time then I would suggest you the following approach to be adopted-

Define your aim and target the desired exam right from the beginning. You should examine closely the examination pattern, syllabus and the level of difficulty.

The first step for an amateur should be, to go through previous years’ question papers of the aimed exam and identify what type of questions are asked, whether it is theoretical (then what subjects/which topics are mostly asked) or derivations or numerical type.

Keep one best reference book for each subject. You are not advised to read so many books for each subject; practically it is not possible in a limited time frame.


Make an overall plan of your career; define immediate and ultimate goals of your career, then make a roadmap to execute in the most effective manner. Being an engineer, you should understand the importance of planning and execution of the plan.

Overall plan may be further divided in three stages:

1. Six month /One year plan:

Divide months for different subjects and plan it so as to complete the entire syllabus in the left over time. In the current scenario of high cut-offs, do not go for selective study; instead cover the entire syllabus, because you never know “the topic left could be the topic of conquest.”

2. Subject-wise Plan/ Bi-weekly plan:

For each subject, study should be exam oriented, i.e. you should get acclimatized with the subject , so that you know which area is to be focussed, whether theory has to be focussed or numerical or solving previous years' questions will suffice. Every subject requires a different approach .For example in mathematics you may be required to focus on practicing problems whereas the General Studies Paper requires a different approach. Similarly , in technical subjects the approach may differ from subject to subject.

If you are enrolled in any coaching institute, then concentrate and study well in the classroom. Your class notes should be complete and ready in the classroom itself, with simultaneous marking of IMPORTANT concept /formulae and also develop a habit of writing NOTE points ,wherever required. If only self study is your style of preparation without coaching, then also notes making is advisable.

One point to be kept in mind is “Work for Yourself”; i.e. make notes for yourself, it should be self hand written notes, as this will increase your writing efficiency in terms of speed, accuracy and handwriting and also help in memory retention.

3. Daily To-Do list /Daily plan:

This is basically for effective time management. Plan and freeze the study hours and abstain from using mobile phones, social media, whatsapp etc. during these hours. 10 to 15 minutes are sufficient to plan the next day's schedule, it will help in removing redundant activities from your schedule and you can make best use of your time for study. I would also suggest you to pre plan your area /subject /topic of your study for the next day, it would help in activating senses of your mind to stimulate for study which helps in better memory retention. Solving previous years’ questions of GATE & ESE (at least of the last 10-15 years) should be made contemporaneous with class notes. Do not postpone it for later, for all the topics that are covered in class or studied on your own, finish the previous years' questions on priority basis. While solving questions, mark the questions which you are not able to solve. Refer to the reference book for the clarity of concepts, and solve again. In front of the question write the Page Number and Name of the book referred and underline or highlight the concept. This methodology is to be followed for all workbooks and other materials also. After a few months while doing revision you should re-attempt these marked questions only and no need to solve other questions.

Make a Revision Plan:

Make a habit of reading and revising simultaneously.

While studying a particular subject; devote 70-80% of self study time in developing concepts of new subjects and rest 20-30% time should be religiously devoted to revision of already completed topics/subjects. And, towards months closer to the exam, increase the revision time for proper retention of concepts till exam day.

While revising, make sure you do the following:

  • Review of class notes.
  • Revise the  underlined/ highlighted portion of the  text book.
  • Then attempt only the marked questions once more.
  • If time permits, then start with a  new set of questions.

Make Micro notes:

After finishing every subject make micro notes, which have only principal formulae/ diagrams/ concepts of utmost importance. Especially note down the area which you find difficult to remember. Then, once this is done, take a snapshot and store it on your mobile gallery. These will be your Digital Micro Notes, which can be revised anywhere and everywhere, while travelling, gap between two classes, and free time.

Flow like a river:

Be loquacious and discussion oriented with friends and seniors and keep on clearing your doubts, don't allow to accumulate the doubts which may result in mental stress. Let your doubts/thoughts flow like river water which when flows gets self-purified. Also interact with successful seniors and friends to know about their path of success/strategy.

Evaluate yourself:

Take tests in an examination environment and analyze your performance and make notes of areas of difficulty and make a roadmap to improve these before the next test.

Stay away from incompetent and non-achievers. Don’t let their failure demoralise you in any sense.

Make holistic and balancing approach:

Cover entire syllabus but more time should be given to important areas. Identify important subjects and mark important topics within a subject. Scoring and low scoring areas should be segregated. Make a balance study plan for technical and non technical subjects.

(II) Strategy for Repeaters:

“The road to success may be long and winding but, each step forward brings you closer to your destination”
  • Review your past performance and find the reasons for failure. Consider failure as the next stepping step. In fact you have not failed your success is little postponed.
  • Identify weak areas of each subject and start your preparation by first improving these areas.
  • Focus more on solving different types of problems and that too from an exam oriented  & new source of material in each iteration.
  • Plan your study to maintain regularity and self motivation; daily scheduling and subject wise scheduling is very important for a systematic preparation.
  • Join some good test Series & appear for tests with full preparation and take the test in an  examination environment. Solve previous years’ papers.
  • Maintain continuity and keep up the self motivation, form groups of 3-4 friends and make a  schedule of group study once in a week to discuss complex questions and doubts.

Things to be kept in mind during preparation:

Never read too many books for the same topic. This will simply kill your time. To save time, always refer to material of coaching institute supplemented by the standard books.

Strengthen the key concepts of each subject. The questions are based on the basic concepts and they do not require much calculation. Cramming up the formulae won’t help until and unless you have a clear concept of the topic.

Focus on writing & presentation skills, theory, derivations & diagrams for subjective paper.

Solve all the previous 10 years' questions thoroughly. In the IES exam, a lot many questions are based on the concepts of previous years' questions.

Rather than solving five questions on similar concepts. It is better to solve one question with five different methods. It gives knowledge about the shortest methods to be used.

Strategy during the Exam:

Objective Papers:

  • Stay ahead of time, and not with it. Split your time into milestones like 28-30 questions per 30 minutes.
  • The questions from the same subject on the objective papers are mostly bunched together. Solve the questions from the easy subjects first to be ahead of time and your milestones.
  • Blind Guessing should be avoided. Always try to make a smart guess by eliminating some of the options which cannot be right.

Conventional Papers:

  • Selection of questions and time management is an important key for getting good marks in the conventional paper. The questions must be selected from the subjects which you are good at.
  • With the introduction of Question Paper cum Answer Booklet (QAB) by UPSC in the Main Exam, there is absolutely no reason to do the questions in the order they are printed in the paper. Solve the easiest ones first. Getting the easy questions safely under your belt at the start of an exam is a wonderful boost to confidence, and can help reduce any feelings of panic that might arise when looking at the harder questions. The easy questions are likely to take less time than the average. That means you’ll be ahead of schedule from the start – another good confidence booster.
  • Allot time appropriately for the theory questions as per the marks allocated against these questions.


ESE 2024 Exam Schedule

STAGE Date of Notification Last date of receipt of Application Exam Date
Preliminary Examination 06.09.2023 26.09.2023 18.02.2024
Main Examination To be announced To be announced 23.06.2024

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