Indian Economic Service Examination (IES) 2020

Exam Highlights
Level of Exam Post Graduate, National Level
Exam Medium English
Exam Frequency Once in a year
Purpose of the Exam To recruit Group 'A' Officers to be placed in the Planning Commission of India, Planning Board, Ministry of Economic Affairs, National Sample Survey of India and other allied offices and departments.
Conducting Body Union Public Service Commission

The Union Public Service Commission conducts Indian Economic Service (IES) examination for the recruitment in the field of economics for the various departments of the Government of India. It is a highly specialised and professional service within the government of India catering to economic analysis and policy advice.

Indian Economic Service is the administrative inter-ministerial civil service under Group-A for the executive branch of the Government Of India. It was constituted in 1961 with the objective of institutionalizing 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.

Indian Economic Service Examination Important Dates 2020

Event Date
IES Exam Notification June 10, 2020
Starting of IES Examination Registration June 10, 2020
Last Date of IES Examination Registration June 30, 2020
Date of Commencement of IES Written Examination October 16, 2020
Result of IES Examination To be notified.

Indian Economic Service Examination Eligibity Criteria 2020

  1. Nationality
  2. For the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Foreign Service and the Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India.
    For other services, a candidate must be either:—

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

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

  3. Educational Qualification
  4. A candidate for the Indian Economic Service must have obtained a Post-Graduate Degree in Economics/Applied Economics/Business Economics/Econometrics from a University incorporated by of an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other Educational Institutes established by an Act Parliament or declared to be deemed as University under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 or a Foreign University approved by the Central Government from time to time.

  5. Age Limit
  6. The age of the candidate to appear in the Indian Economic Service Examination should be minimum of 21 years and maximum of 30 years.
    However, there are age relaxations for candidates belonging to the reserved categories. They are given below in the table.
    Category Upper Age Limit
    Schedule Caste/ Schedule Tribe 35 years
    Other Backward Classes 33 years
    Candidate had ordinarily been domiciled in the State of Jammu & Kashmir during the period from the 1st January, 1980 to the 31st day of December, 1989 35 years
    Defence Services Personnel Disabled in Operations 33 years
    Ex‐servicemen including Commissioned Officers 35 years
    ECOs/ SSCOs 35 years
    Person with Benchmark Disability 40 years
    *Note

    Candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes who are also covered under any other categories, viz. those coming under the category of Ex-servicemen, persons domiciled in the State of J & K and Pwd will be eligible for grant of cumulative age relaxation under both the categories.

  7. Restrictions on Attempts
  8. There is no attempt restriction for the candidates provided the upper age limit has not been exceeded.

Indian Economic Service Examination Pattern 2020

The Indian Economic Service Examination is segregated in two parts:
Part I: Written examination for 1000 marks and
Part II: Viva-Voce for 200 marks.

Pattern for IES Written Examination

Part I consists of written examination of 1000 marks on following subjects:

Sl. No. Name of the Paper/Section Nature Nos. of Questions Question Type Duration Negative Marking Marks
1 General English

The standard of the paper is such as may be expected of a graduate of an Indian University.

Merit Ranking Nature Descriptive 180 mins 100
2 General Studies

The standard of the paper will be such as may be expected of a graduate of an Indian University.

Merit Ranking Nature Descriptive 3 mins 100
3 General Economics - I

The standard of this paper will be that of the Master’s degree examination of an Indian University in the relevant disciplines. The candidates will be expected to illustrate theory by facts, and to analyse problems with the help of theory. They will be expected to be particularly conversant with Indian problems in the field of Economics.

Merit Ranking Nature Descriptive 3 mins 200
4 General Economics - II

The standard of this paper will be that of the Master’s degree examination of an Indian University in the relevant disciplines. The candidates will be expected to illustrate theory by facts, and to analyse problems with the help of theory. They will be expected to be particularly conversant with Indian problems in the field of Economics.

Merit Ranking Nature Descriptive 3 mins 200
5 General Economics - III

The standard of this paper will be that of the Master’s degree examination of an Indian University in the relevant disciplines. The candidates will be expected to illustrate theory by facts, and to analyse problems with the help of theory. They will be expected to be particularly conversant with Indian problems in the field of Economics.

Merit Ranking Nature Descriptive 180 mins 200
6 Indian Economics

The standard of this paper will be that of the Master’s degree examination of an Indian University in the relevant disciplines. The candidates will be expected to illustrate theory by facts, and to analyse problems with the help of theory. They will be expected to be particularly conversant with Indian problems in the field of Economics.

Merit Ranking Nature Descriptive 180 mins 200
Total Marks* 1000

*The total marks shown here are considered for merit ranking purposes.

Pattern for IES Viva - Voce (Interview)

Total marks allotted: 200

Viva voce - The candidate will be interviewed by a Board of competent and unbiased observers who will have before them a record of his/her career.
The object of the interview is to assess his/her suitability for the service for which he/she has competed.

Indian Economic Service Examination Syllabus 2020

Syllabus for IES Written Examination

1 General English

    • Candidates will be required to write an essay in English.
    • Other questions will be designed to test their understanding of English and workman like use of words.
    • Passages will usually be set for summary or precis.

2 General Studies

    • General knowledge including knowledge of current events and of such matters of everyday observation and experience in their scientific aspects as may be expected of an educated person who has not made a special study of any scientific subject.
    • The paper will also include questions on Indian Polity including the political system and the Constitution of India, History of India and Geography etc. of a nature which a candidate should be able to answer without special study.

3 General Economics - I

    PART A:

    • Theory of Consumer’s Demand: Cardinal utility Analysis: Marginal utility and demand, Consumer’s surplus, Indifference curve, Analysis and utility function, Price income and substitution effects, Slutsky theorem and derivation of demand curve, Revealed preference theory. Duality and indirect utility function and expenditure function, Choice under risk and uncertainty. Simple games of complete information, Concept of Nash equilibrium.
    • Theory of Production: Factors of production and production function. Forms of Production Functions: Cobb Douglas, CES and Fixed coefficient type, Translog production function. Laws of return, Returns to scale and Return to factors of production. Duality and cost function, Measures of productive efficiency of firms, technical and allocative efficiency. Partial Equilibrium versus General Equilibrium approach. Equilibrium of the firm and industry.
    • Theory of Value: Pricing under different market structures, public sector pricing, marginal cost pricing, peak load pricing, cross-subsidy free pricing and average cost pricing. Marshallian and Walrasian stability analysis. Pricing with incomplete information and moral hazard problems.
    • Theory of Distribution: Neo classical distribution theories; Marginal productivity theory of determination of factor prices, Factor shares and adding up problems. Euler’s theorem, Pricing of factors under imperfect competition, monopoly and bilateral monopoly. Macrodistribution theories of Ricardo, Marx, Kaldor, Kalecki.
    • Welfare Economics: Inter-personal comparison and aggression problem, Public goods and externalities, Divergence between social and private welfare, compensation principle. Pareto optimality. Social choice and other recent schools, including Coase and Sen.

    PART B : Quantitative Methods in Economics

    • Mathematical Methods in Economics: Differentiation and Integration and their application in economics. Optimisation techniques, Sets, Matrices and their application in economics. Linear algebra and Linear programming in economics and Input-output model of Leontief.
    • Statistical and Econometric Methods: Measures of central tendency and dispersions, Correlation and Regression. Time series. Index numbers. Sampling of curves based on various linear and non-linear function. Least square methods and other multivariate analysis (only concepts and interpretation of results). Analysis of Variance, Factor analysis, Principle component analysis, Discriminant analysis.
      Income distribution: Pareto law of Distribution, longnormal distribution, measurement of income inequality. Lorenz curve and Gini coefficient. Univariate and multivariate regression analysis. Problems and remedies of Hetroscedasticity, Autocorrelation and Multicollnearity.

4 General Economics - II

  • Economic Thought: Mercantilism Physiocrats, Classical, Marxist, Neo-classical, Keynesian and Monetarist schools of thought.
  • Concept of National Income and Social Accounting: Measurement of National Income, Inter-relationship between three measures of national income in the presence of Government sector and International transactions. Environmental considerations, Green national income.
  • Theory of employment, Output, Inflation, Money and Finance: The Classical theory of Employment and Output and Neo-classical approaches. Equilibrium, analysis under classical and Neo-classical analysis. Keynesian theory of Employment and output. Post Keynesian developments. The inflationary gap; Demand pull versus cost push inflation, the Philip’s curve and its policy implication. Classical theory of Money, Quantity theory of Money. Friedman’s restatement of the quantity theory, the neutrality of money. The supply and demand for loanable funds and equilibrium in financial markets, Keynes’ theory on demand for money. ISLM Model and AD-AS Model in Keynesian Theory.
  • Financial and Capital Market: Finance and economic development, financial markets, stock market, gift market, banking and insurance. Equity markets, Role of primary and secondary markets and efficiency, Derivatives markets; Future and options.
  • Economic Growth and Development: Concepts of Economic Growth and Development and their measurement: Characteristics of less developed countries and obstacles to their development- growth, poverty and income distribution.
    Theories of growth: Classical Approach: Adam Smith, Marx and Schumpeter- Neo classical approach; Robinson, Solow, Kaldor and Harrod Domar. Theories of Economic Development, Rostow, Rosenstein-Roden, Nurske, Hirschman, Leibenstien and Arthur Lewis, Amin and Frank (Dependency scool) respective role of state and the market. Utilitarian and Welfarist approach to social development and A.K. Sen’s critique. Sen’s capability approach to economic development. The Human Development Index. Physical quality of Life Index and Human Poverty Index. Basics of Endogenous Growth Theory.
  • International Economics: Gains from International Trade, Terms of Trade, policy, international trade and economic development- Theories of International Trade; Ricardo, Haberler, Heckscher- Ohlin and Stopler- Samuelson- Theory of Tariffs-Regional Trade Arrangements. Asian Financial Crisis of 1997, Global Financial Crisis of 2008 and Euro Zone Crisis- Causes and Impact.
  • Balance of Payments: Disequilibrium in Balance of Payments, Mechanism of Adjustments, Foreign Trade Multiplier, Exchange Rates, Import and Exchange Controls and Multiple Exchange Rates. IS-LM Model and Mundell- Fleming Model of Balance of Payments.
  • Global Institutions: UN agencies dealing with economic aspects, role of Multilateral Development Bodies (MDBs), such as World Bank, IMF and WTO, Multinational Corporations. G-20.

5 General Economics - III

    • Public Finance: Theories of taxation: Optimal taxes and tax reforms, incidence of taxation. Theories of public expenditure: objectives and effects of public expenditure, public expenditure policy and social cost benefit analysis, criteria of public investment decisions, social rate of discount, shadow prices of investment, unskilled labour and foreign exchange. Budgetary deficits. Theory of public debt management.
    • Environmental Economics: Environmentally sustainable development, Rio process 1992 to 2012, Green GDP, UN Methodology of Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting. Environmental Values: Users and non-users values, option value. Valuation Methods: Stated and revealed preference methods. Design of Environmental Policy Instruments: Pollution taxes and pollution permits, collective action and informal regulation by local communities. Theories of exhaustible and renewable resources. International environmental agreements, RIO Conventions. Climatic change problems. Kyoto protocol, UNFCC, Bali Action Plan, Agreements up to 2017, tradable permits and carbon taxes. Carbon Markets and Market Mechanisms. Climate Change Finance and Green Climate Fund.
    • Industrial Economics Market structure, conduct and performance of firms, product differentiation and market concentration, monopolistic price theory and oligopolistic interdependence and pricing, entry preventing pricing, micro level investment decisions and the behaviour of firms, research and development and innovation, market structure and profitability, public policy and development of firms.
    • State, Market and Planning Planning in a developing economy. Planning regulation and market. Indicative planning. Decentralised planning.

6 Indian Economics

    • History of development and planning: Alternative development strategies—goal of self-reliance based on import substitution and protection, the post-1991 globalisation strategies based on stabilization and structural adjustment packages: fiscal reforms, financial sector reforms and trade reforms.
    • Federal Finance: Constitutional provisions relating to fiscal and financial powers of the States, Finance Commissions and their formulae for sharing taxes, Financial aspect of Sarkaria Commission Report, financial aspects of 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments.
    • Budgeting and Fiscal Policy: Tax, expenditure, budgetary deficits, pension and fiscal reforms, Public debt management and reforms, Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, Black money and Parallel economy in India—definition, estimates, genesis, consequences and remedies.
    • Poverty, Unemployment and Human Development: Estimates of inequality and poverty measures for India, appraisal of Government measures, India’s human development record in global perspective. India’s population policy and development.
    • Agriculture and Rural Development Strategies: Technologies and institutions, land relations and land reforms, rural credit, modern farm inputs and marketing— price policy and subsidies; commercialisation and diversification. Rural development programmes including poverty alleviation programmes, development of economic and social infrastructure and New Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
    • India’s experience with Urbanisation and Migration: Different types of migratory flows and their impact on the economies of their origin and destination, the process of growth of urban settlements; urban development strategies.
    • Industry: Strategy of industrial development: Industrial Policy Reform; Reservation Policy relating to small scale industries. Competition policy, Sources of industrial finances. Bank, share market, insurance companies, pension funds, non-banking sources and foreign direct investment, role of foreign capital for direct investment and portfolio investment, Public sector reform, privatisation and disinvestment.
    • Labour: Employment, unemployment and underemployment, industrial relations and labour welfare— strategies for employment generation—Urban labour market and informal sector employment, Report of National Commission on Labour, Social issues relating to labour e.g. Child Labour, Bonded Labour International Labour Standard and its impact.
    • Foreign trade: Salient features of India’s foreign trade, composition, direction and organisation of trade, recent changes in trade, balance of payments, tariff policy, exchange rate, India and WTO requirements. Bilateral Trade Agreements and their implications.
    • Money and Banking: Financial sector reforms, Organisation of India’s money market, changing roles of the Reserve Bank of India, commercial banks, development finance institutions, foreign banks and non-banking financial institutions, Indian capital market and SEBI, Development in Global Financial Market and its relationship with Indian Financial Sector. Commodity Market in India-Spot and Futures Market, Role of FMC.

Syllabus for IES Viva - Voce (Interview)

There is no specified syllabus for Viva - Voce but the interview is intended to supplement the written examination for testing the general and specialised knowledge and abilities of the candidate.
The Board will pay special attention to assess

  • intellectual curiosity,
  • critical powers of assimilation,
  • balance of judgment and alertness of mind,
  • the ability for social cohesion,
  • integrity of character initiative and
  • capacity for leadership.

The candidate will be expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in his/her subjects of academic study but also in events which are happening around him/her both within and outside his/her own State or Country.

They must have knowledge in the field of Current Affairs, New Discoveries & Inventions also. The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination, but of a natural, through directed and purposive conversation intended to reveal the candidate's mental qualities and his/her grasp of problems.

UPSC IES Job Prospects

IES is the gateway to the central service as Group A officers. Aspirants who successfully pass IES examination are placed in various cadre posts in the

  • Planning commission
  • Planning board
  • Ministry of economic affairs
  • National sample survey
  • Allied offices where specialists in economics are required

The posts are primarily located in Ministries/Departments dealing with economic and social sectors. Besides Cadre posts, IES officers go on deputation to serve in various domestic and international organizations such as:

  • United Nation bodies
  • Foreign governments
  • State governments and regulatory bodies

Officers from the service are also appointed on deputation to posts in the Central Ministries/ Departments under the Central Staffing Scheme. The places of posting are usually in the State capitals or New Delhi.

A candidate selected at a favourable age can expect to rise quite high in the career and touch the level of even Secretary to the Government of India, in any Ministry concerned with economic affairs.