About IES
  • The Indian Economic Service (IES) is an organized Group ‘A’ Central Service.
  • The IES was constituted in 1961 with the objective of institutionalising 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 programmes. With the initiation of large-scale economic reforms in 1991 and the proliferation of the regulatory role of the government, such analysis and advice within the domain of the service has increased manifold.
  • The Cadre Controlling of the IES is located in the Ministry of Finance (Department of Economic Affairs). The Cadre Controlling Authority is advised, on policy matters pertaining to the service, by the high-level IES Board, which is headed by the Cabinet Secretary. The management of the service is on the basis of the service rules called the IES Rules, first notified in 1961. The service rules, besides constitution of the service, specifies the various grades and sanctioned strength therein, future maintenance of the service, appointment, probation, seniority and conditions of service. The service rules of 1961 have since been superseded by the comprehensively revised IES Rules 2008, which were notified on 6.6.2008. These Service Rules are amended from time to time in accordance with the instructions of the Government. Latest Amendment to the Rules has been notified on 18th February, 2011 following the Cabinet approval to the revised cadre structure of the service.
  • The Cadre strength of IES is periodically reviewed by the IES Board, with the final Cadre structure of the service approved by the Cabinet. Reviews of the IES Cadre were earlier undertaken in 1991, 2000 and 2005. The latest review of the service was conducted in 2010, with the Cabinet approving the revised Cadre structure on 6.1.2011. Pursuant to this, the sanctioned strength of the IES Cadre is 511, consisting of 471 duty posts and 40 leave reserves.
  • A distinguishing feature of the service is that its Cadre 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. The posts are primarily located in Ministries/ Departments dealing with economic and social sectors. Even within organizations that account for a large proportion of its Cadre posts, 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. With the economic reforms having transformed the nature and domain of economic policy-making in the country, the IES, as a service, provides a pool of in-house economic expertise that is well placed to meet the growing demand for analytical economic inputs for policy-making in the government.
  • Besides manning Cadre posts, IES officers go on deputation to serve in various domestic and international organizations such as UN 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.
  • At the entry grade of IES i.e. Junior Time Scale (Grade-IV), 60 per cent of the posts are filled through direct recruitment and the remaining 40 per cent by promotion of feeder post holders. Direct recruitment is on the basis of an All-India open competitive examination called the IES Examination, conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. Direct recruitment in the IES commenced in 1968, derived from the first-ever IES Examination that was conducted in 1967. The 40% departmental promotion quota at the entry-level is filled by promotion of Economic officers or officers holding equivalent posts recognized for this purpose as feeder grade by the Cadre Controlling Authority.
  • Direct recruits joining the service, after being offered appointment, undergo a comprehensive probationary training comprising the Foundation course (conducted for the All India Services and the Central Civil Services), training on Economics at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, and training/ attachment 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 programmes suited to the officers’ needs, from the point of view of building up professional capacity at work as well as developing soft skills. The flagship in-service training programme is the mid-career training of six-week duration comprising domestic learning and foreign learning components, conducted at a reputed management Institute in the country. Officers of the service are required to participate in three such mid-career training courses at different phases in their career.

Authorized Strength of the various grades in the IES

Grade/ Designation
Pay Structure
I. Duty Posts    
(1) Higher Administrative Grade + (HAG +)/ Principal Adviser (Apex) 80,000 (fixed) 5
(2) Higher Administrative Grade (HAG)/ Senior Economic Adviser/ Senior Adviser 67,000- (annual increment @3%)- 79,000 15
(3) Senior Administrative Grade (SAG)/ Economic Adviser/ Adviser Pay Band-4: 37,400-67,000 plus Grade Pay: 10,000 89
(4) Junior Administrative Grade (JAG)/ Joint Director/ Deputy Economic Adviser

{including Non-Functional Selection Grade (NFSG)/ Director/ Additional Economic Adviser}
Pay Band-3: 15,600-39,100 plus Grade Pay: 7,600

{Pay Band-4: 37,400-67,000 plus Grade Pay: 8,700}


{111 i.e. 30% of senior duty posts}
(5) Senior Time Scale (STS)/ Deputy Director/ Assistant Economic Adviser/ Senior Research Officer Pay Band-3: 15,600-39,100 plus Grade Pay: 6,600 114
(6) Junior Time Scale (JTS)/ Assistant Director/ Research Officer Pay Band-3: 15,600-39,100 plus Grade Pay: 5,400 107
    Total Duty posts 471
II Reserves   40
    Total authorized strength 518


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