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Indian Engineering Services abbreviated as IES are the civil services that meet the technical and managerial functions of the Government of India. Like most countries, the Government of India recruits its civil servants and officials on the basis of merit, the middle management positions in the bureaucracy are filled through competitive exams. Large number of candidates take these exams, competing for limited posts. IES officers are selected by the union government on the recommendations made by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). A combined three-stage competitive examination (comprising five tests), called the Engineering Services Examination (ESE) is conducted by the UPSC for recruitment to the Indian Engineering Services.

IES remain the most sought-after careers for the engineering graduates in India. ESE is considered as the toughest exam in India and amongst the toughest in the world due to less number of posts having a selection ratio of 0.00275 (based on 2010 statistics) and its technical nature. Most toppers of this exam are graduates of institutes like the Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institute of Science. Because of this difficult selection procedure, IES officers carry high respect and status in society and are able to manage activities in diverse areas. Government spending comprises more than 15 percent of India's GDP and given the extent of tasks and functions managed by the public sector, this extends to a fairly broad segment of the economy covering the railways, roads, defence, manufacturing, inspection, supply, construction, public works, power, telecommunications, etc. All appointments to the Group A services are made by the President of India.

The recruitment of qualified candidates is made under the following categories:

  • Civil Engineering

  • Mechanical Engineering

  • Electrical engineering

  • Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering


Group ‐ A Services/Posts

(i) Indian Railway Service of Engineers.

(ii) Indian Railway Stores Service (Civil Engineering Posts).

(iii) Indian Ordinance Factories Service AWM/JTS (Civil Engineering Post).

(iv) Central Engineering Service (Roads), Group‐A (Civil Engineering Posts).

(v) Central Water Engineering Service Gr‘A’ (Civil Engineering Posts).

(vi) AEE (Civil Engg Posts) in Border Roads Engineering Service Gr‘A’.

(vii) Indian Defence Service of Engineers.

(viii) Indian Skill Development Service.

A. Stage-I (Preliminary Examination):

The Examination shall comprise of two papers.

Subject Duration Maximum Marks
Paper-I (General Studies and Engineering Aptitude) 2 hrs 200
Paper-II (Civil Engineering) 3 hrs 300
Total 500

Minimum Qualifying Marks for each paper should be at the discretion of the Commission. Only those candidates qualifying at this Stage to be permitted to appear for Stage-II examination

B. Stage-II (MainExamination):

The Examination shall comprise of two papers.

Subject Duration Maximum Marks
Paper-I (Civil Engineering) 3 hrs 300
Paper-II (Civil Engineering) 3 hrs 300
Sub-Total 600
(Stage-I + Stage-II) :Sub-Total 1100

Only those Candidates qualifying at this Stage (i.e. Stage-I + Stage-II) to be permitted to appear for Stage-III examination

C. Stage-III (Personality Test) - 200 Marks

((Stage-I + Stage-II + Stage-III) : Sub-Total 1300

Only those Candidates qualifying at this Stage (i.e. Stage I + Stage II + Stage III) to be included in the Final Merit List of Engineering Services Exam.

General Studies and Engineering Aptitude

(Preliminary Examination/Stage-I, Paper-I, Objective Type, Common to all Candidates)

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

  • Engineering Aptitude covering Logical reasoning and Analytical ability

  • Engineering Mathematics and Numerical Analysis

  • General Principlesof Design, Drawing, Importance of Safety

  • Standards and Quality practices in production, construction, maintenance and services

  • Basics of Energy and Environment: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, Climate Change, Environmental impact assessment

  • Basics of Project Management

  • Basics of Material Science and Engineering

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

  • Ethics and values in Engineering profession.

Note : The paper in General Studies and Engineering Aptitude will include 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 in the paper.

CE - Civil Engineering

Contents for syllabi of both the Papers together for

Preliminary Examination/Stage-I (Paper-II, Objective Type) and separately for Main/Stage-II Examination (Conventional Type Paper-I and Paper – II).


1. Building Materials : Stone, Lime, Glass, Plastics, Steel, FRP, Ceramics, Aluminium, 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, Unitload 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 ManagementConstruction - 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 andContract 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: Multi-purpose 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 andtheir 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 andgeometric 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.


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