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  • Writer's pictureSaloni Jain

Economist to the Indian Government: Indian Economic Service

The IES was constituted in 1961 with the objective of appointing professionals within the Government to undertake economic analysis and render advice for:

  • designing and formulating development policies,

  • strengthening delivery systems, and

  • monitoring and evaluating public programmes.

A distinguishing feature of the service is that its posts are spread across different Ministries/ Departments of the Central Government, numbering around 55. The service is, therefore, an inter-Ministerial and inter-Departmental service.

Role of IES Officers


The Economist for Indian Government: IES Officers are primarily located in Ministries/ Departments dealing with economic and social sectors like the Planning Commission, IES officers posted therein serve in a diverse range of subject areas, such as:

  • finance,

  • social sector,

  • rural development,

  • education,

  • health,

  • agriculture,

  • industry,

  • trade,

  • transport, and

  • information technology.

IES officers are, thus, exposed to development issues in diverse sectors and contribute to policy-making in the Central Government over the entire span of their service career.

IES officers also go on deputation to serve in various domestic and international organizations such as:

  • UN bodies,

  • foreign governments,

  • state governments and

  • regulatory bodies.

The Indian Economic Service (IES) is an organized Group ‘A’ Central Service.

The Controlling of IES is located in the Ministry of Finance (Department of Economic Affairs).

IES Training: The Indian Government Economist


IES officers on joining the service, undergo a comprehensive probationary training comprising:

  • the Foundation course (conducted for the All India Services and the Central Civil Services),

  • training in Economics at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, and

  • training at various national level Institutes of repute across the country.

Capacity building of serving officers is carried out on an ongoing basis by conducting various in-service training programs suited to the officers’ needs, from the point of view of building up professional capacity at work as well as developing soft skills.

The Mid-career training of six-week duration comprising domestic learning and foreign learning components, conducted at a reputed management Institute in the country.

Educational Qualifications For IES Examination


A candidate must possess:

Post-graduate Degree in Economics/ Applied Economics / Econometrics / Business Economics from a recognized University.

A candidate who has appeared at a qualifying examination, the passing of which shall render him/ her eligible to appear at the IES Examination, but has not been informed of the result, can also apply for admission to the examination.

Age Limit: 30 (unreserved)

Scheme of Examination

  • Frequency: Once a year (June or July Month)

  • Exam Mode: Pen & paper-based (Offline)

  • Number of attempts: No Limit

  • Duration of the examination: 3 days

The IES examination is structured into:

(i) Phase 1: Written Examination

  • General English (100 marks),

  • General Knowledge (100),

  • Economics Paper-I (200), Economics Paper-II (200), Economics Paper-III (200) and Indian Economy (200)]; followed by

(ii) Phase 2: Viva-voce (200).

  • Economics Papers-I, II and III include mainstream Economics topics such as Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Public Finance, International Economics, Monetary Economics, Growth and Development, Econometrics and Environmental Economics.

A candidate who obtains the minimum qualifying marks in the written examination, as fixed by the UPSC at their discretion, is called by UPSC for viva-voce.

Candidates called for viva-voce are also required to undergo Medical Examination Part-I (i.e. Medical Examination minus X-Ray examination of Chest) by the Central Standing Medical Board.

To see details of the IES examination including schedule of forthcoming examination and question papers of examinations already conducted, please refer to the UPSC website (


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