About Engineering Services Examination (ESE)

The Engineering Services Examination (ESE) is conducted to recruit officers for the services which cater to the technical functions of the Government of India in the field of engineering. Many candidates take the exams, competing for a limited number of posts. Officers are selected by the union government on the recommendation of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

A three-stage competitive examination (preliminary, main and personality tests), the Engineering Services Examination (ESE), is conducted by the UPSC for recruitment to the Engineering Services.
Officers recruited through ESE are mandated to manage and conduct activities in diverse technical fields

Government spending makes up over 15 percent of India’s gross domestic product in a broad segment of the economy and infrastructure, including railways, roads, defence, manufacturing, inspection, supply, construction, public works, power, and telecommunications. Appointments to Group A services are made by the President of India, and appointments to Group B services are made by a competent authority of the relevant department

Candidates must be a citizen of India or Nepal or a subject of Bhutan, or a person of Indian origin who has migrated from PakistanBangladesh


The minimum educational requirement is a bachelor’s degree in engineering (B.E. or B.Tech) from a recognised university or the equivalent. An M.Sc. degree or equivalent with wireless communications, electronics, radio physics or radio engineering as special subjects is also acceptable for certain services or posts.

 The age range is 21–30 years on 1 January of the year of the Engineering Services Examination.

 The upper age limit is relaxed as follows:

  • A maximum of three years for Other Backward Class candidates (non-creamy layer only)
  • A maximum of four years for Defence Services personnel disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and discharged as a consequence
  • A maximum of five years for:
    • Candidates belonging to a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe
    • Candidates who resided in Jammu and Kashmir from 1 January 1980 to 31 December 1989
    • Ex-servicemen (including commissioned officers and ECOs or SSCOs) with at least five years of military service by 1 August
    • Candidates already in a permanent post of the Central Government Engineering Department

Candidates are required to apply on the UPSC website. 

The application fee for general-category male candidates is 200. No fee is required for female and reserved-category applicants. 

Stage 1 of the test is conducted during the first week of January;

 Stage 2 is conducted in June and July across India.


Revised examination
Stage Type Time Marks
I General studies and engineering aptitude paper 2 hours 200 (maximum)
Engineering discipline-specific paper 3 hours 300 (maximum)
II Discipline-specific paper I 3 hours 300 (maximum)
Discipline-specific paper II 3 hours 300 (maximum)
III Personality test 200 (maximum)

Candidates who qualify at Stage I are permitted to appear for the Stage II examination and those who qualify at Stage II are permitted to appear for the Stage III examination. Candidates qualifying at all three stages are included on the examination’s final merit list. The maximum score is 1300.

The personality test is an interview which assesses the candidate’s suitability for a career in public service by a board of unbiased observers. The interview also assesses social traits and interest in current affairs. Qualities judged include mental alertness, critical ability, clear and logical exposition, judgment, variety and depth of interests, social cohesion and leadership, and intellectual and moral integrity.






ESE Exam Group-A Services/Posts A combined competitive examination is conducted by the UPSC for recruitment to the Indian Engineering Services. The recruitment of qualified candidates is made under the following categories:  Electrical Engineering  Mechanical Engineering  Civil Engineering  Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering  Category Group-A Services/Posts 

General Studies & Engineering Aptitude

This section will have questions based on the recent news and events as well as the basics of Engineering. The important topics are listed below:

UPSC IES Syllabus
  • Current issues (national and international)
  • Environment: Conservation, environmental pollution, Climate Change, etc.
  • Production & construction
  • Maintenance
  • General Principles of Design & Drawing,
  • Importance of Safety
  • Material Science
  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
  • Project Management
  • Ethics and values in the Engineering profession
  • Basics of Energy
  • Logical reasoning and Analytical ability
  • Engineering Mathematics

Civil Engineering

The syllabus for the civil engineering division for Prelims and the main exam is listed in the table below.


Topics Paper 1 Civil Engineering Syllabus
Structural Analysis Basics of strength of materials, Types of stresses and strains, Bending moments and shear force, the concept of bending and shear stresses; Analysis of determinate and indeterminate structures, 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
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
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 
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 
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
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



Topics Paper 2 Civil Engineering Syllabus
Flow of Fluids, Hydraulic Machines and Hydro Power Fluid Mechanics, Open Channel Flow, Pipe Flow, Hydraulic Machines and Hydropower
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, canal and drainage design, Gravity dams, falls, weirs, Energy dissipators, 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.
Environmental Engineering Water Supply Engineering, Waste Water Engineering, Solid Waste Management, Air, Noise pollution, and Ecology
Geotechnical Engineering and Foundation Engineering 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.

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.

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

Basic knowledge of Engineering geology & its application in projects

Transportation Engineering Highways – Planning & construction methodology, Alignment, and geometric design; Traffic Surveys and Controls

Railways Systems – Terminology, Planning, designs, and maintenance practices; track modernization.

Harbours – Terminology, layouts and planning. Airports – Layout, planning & design.

Tunnelling – Alignment, methods of construction, disposal of muck, drainage, lighting, and ventilation.


UPSC IES Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering Syllabus

The syllabus for the IES exam’s Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering division is listed below:


Topics Paper 1 Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering Syllabus
Basic Electronics Engineering Basics of semiconductors, Junction & Field-Effect Transistors, Transistor amplifiers of different types, oscillators, and other circuits; Basics of Integrated Circuits (ICs); Bipolar, MOS and CMOS ICs, Optical sources/detectors
Analog and Digital Circuits Small signal equivalent circuits of diodes, Active filters, timers, multipliers, waveshaping, A/D-D/A converters; Boolean Algebra & uses; Logic gates, Digital IC families, Combinatorial/sequential circuits, BJTS, and FETs, Analysis/design of amplifier single/multi-stage
Network Theory Network graphs & matrices; Wye-Delta transformation; Linear constant coefficient differential equations- time-domain analysis of RLC circuits; 26 Solution of network equations using Laplace transforms- frequency domain analysis of RLC circuits; 2-port network parameters, State equations for networks; Steady state sinusoidal analysis.
Materials Science Electrical Engineering materials; Crystal structure & defects; Ceramic materials-structures, composites, processing and uses; Insulating laminates for electronics, structures, properties and uses; Magnetic materials, basics, classification, ferrites, Ferro/para-magnetic materials and components; Nano materials-basics, preparation, purification, sintering, nanoparticles and uses; Nano-optical/magnetic/electronic materials
Electronic Measurements and Instrumentation Principles of measurement, accuracy, precision, and standards; Analog and Digital systems for measurement, measuring instruments for different applications; Static/dynamic characteristics of measurement systems, errors, statistical analysis and curve fitting; Measurement systems for non-electrical quantities; Basics of telemetry; Different types of transducers and displays; Data acquisition system basics
Basic Electrical Engineering DC circuits ohm’s & Kirchoff’s laws, mesh and nodal analysis, circuit theorems; Electromagnetism, Faraday’s & Lenz’s laws, induced EMF and its uses; Single-phase AC circuits; Transformers, efficiency; Basics-DC machines, induction machines, and synchronous machines; Electrical power sources



Topics Paper 2 Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering Syllabus
Advanced Electronics Topics VLSI technology: Processing, lithography, interconnects, packaging, testing; VLSI design: Principles, MUX/ROM/PLA-based design, Moore & Mealy circuit design; Pipeline concepts & functions; Design for testability, examples; DSP: Discrete-time signals/systems, uses; Digital filters: FIR/IIR types, design, speech/audio/radar signal processing uses; Microprocessors & microcontrollers, basics, interrupts, DMA, instruction sets, interfacing; Controllers & uses; Embedded systems.
Control Systems Classification of signals and systems; Application of signal and system theory; System realization; Transforms & their applications; Signal flow graphs, Routh-Hurwitz criteria, root loci, Nyquist/Bode plots; Feedback systems-open & close loop types, stability analysis, steady-state, transient and frequency response analysis; Design of control systems, compensators, elements of lead/lag compensation, PID and industrial controllers.
Advanced Communication Topics Communication Networks: Principles /practices /technologies /uses /OSI model/security; Basic packet multiplexed streams/scheduling; Cellular networks, types, analysis, protocols (TCP/TCPIP)

Microwave & satellite communication: Terrestrial/space type LOS systems, block schematics link calculations, system design; Communication satellites, orbits, characteristics, systems, uses; Fibre-optic communication systems, block schematics, link calculations, system design.

Analog and Digital Communication Systems Random signals, noise, probability theory, information theory; Analog versus digital communication & applications: Systems- AM, FM, transmitters/receivers, theory/practice/ standards, SNR comparison; Digital communication basics: Sampling, quantizing, coding, PCM, DPCM, multiplexing-audio/video; Digital modulation: ASK, FSK, PSK; Multiple access: TDMA, FDMA, CDMA; Optical communication: fibre optics, theory, practice/standards.
Electro Magnetics Elements of vector calculus, Maxwell’s equations-basic concepts; Gauss’, Stokes’ theorems; Wave propagation through different media; Transmission Lines-different types, basics, Smith’s chart, impedance matching/transformation, S- parameters, pulse excitation, uses; Waveguides-basics, rectangular types, modes, cut-off frequency, dispersion, dielectric types; Antennas-radiation pattern, monopoles/dipoles, gain, arrays-active/passive, theory, uses.
Computer Organization and Architecture Basic architecture, CPU, I/O organisation, memory organisation, peripheral devices, trends; Hardware /software issues; Data representation & Programming; Operating systems-basics, processes, characteristics, applications; Memory management, virtual memory, file systems, protection & security; Databases, different types, characteristics, and design; Transactions and concurrency control; Elements of programming languages, typical examples.

Electrical Engineering Syllabus

The syllabus for the UPSC IES exam’s Electrical Engineering division is listed below:


Topics Paper 1 Electrical Engineering Syllabus
Engineering Mathematics Matrix theory, Eigen values & Eigen vectors, system of linear equations, Numerical methods for the solution of non-linear algebraic equations and differential equations, probability and statistics fundamentals, Sampling theorem, random variables, Normal and Poisson distributions, correlation and regression analysis, integral calculus, partial derivatives, maxima and minima, Line, Surface and Volume Integrals. Fourier series, linear, non-linear and partial differential equations, initial and boundary value problems, complex variables, Taylor’s and Laurent’s series, residue theorem
Electrical Materials Electrical Engineering Materials, crystal structures, and defects, ceramic materials, insulating materials, magnetic materials – basics, properties and applications; ferrites, ferromagnetic materials, and components; basics of solid-state physics, conductors; Photo-conductivity; Basics of Nano materials and Superconductors.
Electric Circuits and Fields Circuit elements, network graph, KCL, KVL, Node, and Mesh analysis, ideal current and voltage sources, Thevenin’s, Norton’s, Superposition and Maximum Power Transfer theorems, transient response of DC and AC networks, Sinusoidal steady-state analysis, and spherical charge distributions, Ampere’s and Biot-Savart’s laws; inductance, dielectrics, capacitance; Maxwell’s equations,basic filter concepts, two-port networks, three-phase circuits, Magnetically coupled circuits, Gauss Theorem, electric field and potential due to point, line, plane
Electrical and Electronic Measurements Principles of measurement, accuracy, precision, and standards; Bridges and potentiometers; moving coil, moving iron, dynamometer and induction type instruments, Basics of sensors, Transducers, basics of data acquisition systems, measurement of voltage, current, power, energy and power factor, instrument transformers, digital voltmeters and multimeters, phase, time and frequency measurement, Q-meters, oscilloscopes, potentiometric recorders, error analysis
Computer Fundamentals Peripheral devices, data representation and programming, basics of Operating system, and networking, virtual memory, file systems; Elements of programming languages, typical examples, Number systems, Boolean algebra, arithmetic functions, Basic Architecture, Central Processing Unit, I/O and Memory Organisation
Basic Electronics Engineering Basics of Semiconductor diodes and transistors and characteristics, Junction and field-effect transistors (BJT, FET, and MOSFETS), different types of transistor amplifiers, equivalent circuits and frequency response; oscillators and other circuits, feedback amplifiers.


Topics Paper 2 Electrical Engineering Syllabus
Analog and Digital Electronics Microprocessor basics- interfaces and applications, basics of linear integrated circuits; Analog communication basics, Modulation, and demodulation, noise and bandwidth, transmitters and receivers, signal to noise ratio, digital communication basics, sampling, quantizing, coding, frequency and time domain multiplexing, power line carrier communication systems, Operational amplifiers, combinational and sequential logic circuits, multiplexers, multivibrators, sample and hold circuits, A/D and D/A converters, basics of filter circuits and applications, simple active filters
Systems and Signal Processing Representation of continuous and discrete-time signals, Shifting and scaling operations, linear, time-invariant and causal systems, Discrete Fourier transform, FFT, linear convolution, discrete cosine transform, FIR filter, IIR filter, bilinear transformation, Fourier series representation of continuous periodic signals, sampling theorem, Fourier and Laplace transforms, Z transforms
Control Systems Routh-Hurwitz criterion, Nyquist techniques, Bode plots, root loci, lag, lead and lead-lag compensation, stability analysis, transient and frequency response analysis, state-space model, state transition matrix, controllability and observability, linear state variable feedback, PID and industrial controllers, Principles of feedback, transfer function, block diagrams and signal flow graphs, steady-state errors, transforms and their applications;
Electrical Machines Single-phase transformers, three-phase transformers – connections, parallel operation, auto-transformer, energy conversion principles, DC machines, generator characteristics, armature reaction and commutation, starting and speed control of motors, Induction motors, Synchronous machines
Power Systems Matrix representation of power systems, load flow analysis, voltage control and economic operation, System stability concepts, Swing curves and equal area criterion. HVDC transmission and FACTS concepts, Concepts of power system dynamics, Basic power generation concepts, steam, gas and water turbines, transmission line models and performance, cable performance, insulation, corona, and radio interference, power factor correction, symmetrical components, fault analysis, principles of protection systems, basics of solid-state relays and digital protection; Circuit breakers, Radial and ring-main distribution systems, distributed generation, solar and wind power, smart grid concepts, environmental implications, fundamentals of power economics.
Power Electronics and Drives Semiconductor power diodes, transistors, thyristors, triacs, GTOs, MOSFETs and IGBTs, principles of choppers and inverters, basic concepts of adjustable speed DC and AC drives, DC-DC switched-mode converters, DC-AC switched-mode converters, resonant converters, high-frequency inductors and transformers, power supplies.


Mechanical Engineering Syllabus

The syllabus for the UPSC IES exam’s Mechanical Engineering division is listed below:


Topics IES Mechanical Engineering Syllabus
Fluid Mechanics Basic Concepts and Properties of Fluids, Manometry, Fluid Statics, Buoyancy, Equations of Motion, Bernoulli’s equation and applications, Viscous flow of incompressible fluids, Laminar and Turbulent flows, Flow through pipes and head losses in pipes.
Power Plant Engineering Rankine and Brayton cycles with regeneration and reheat, Fuels and their properties, Flue gas analysis, Boilers, steam turbines and other power plant components like condensers, air ejectors, electrostatic precipitators and cooling towers
IC Engines, Refrigeration and Air conditioning Vapour compression refrigeration, Refrigerants, and Working cycles, Compressors, Condensers, Evaporators and Expansion devices, SI and CI Engines, Engine Systems and Components, Performance characteristics, and testing of IC Engines; Fuels; Emissions and Emission Control. Other types of refrigeration systems like Vapour Absorption, Vapour jet, thermoelectric, and Vortex tube refrigeration. Psychometric properties and processes, Comfort chart, Comfort and industrial air conditioning, Load calculations, and Heat pumps.
Turbo Machinery Reciprocating and Rotary pumps, Pelton wheel, Kaplan and Francis Turbines, velocity diagrams, Impulse and Reaction principles, Steam and Gas Turbines, Theory of Jet Propulsion, Rotary Compressors
Renewable Sources of Energy Plate and focusing collectors their materials and performance. Solar Thermal Energy Storage, Applications, Bio-mass and Tidal Energy
Thermodynamics and Heat transfer Thermodynamic systems and processes; properties of pure substance; Zeroth, First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics; Entropy, Irreversibility, and availability; analysis of thermodynamic cycles related to energy conversion: Rankine, Otto, Diesel and Dual Cycles; ideal and real gases; compressibility factor; Gas mixtures. Modes of heat transfer, Steady and unsteady heat conduction, Thermal resistance, Fins, Free and forced convection, Correlations for convective heat transfer, Radiative heat transfer


Topics IES Mechanical Engineering Syllabus
Engineering Materials Basic Crystallography, Alloys and Phase diagrams, Heat Treatment, Ferrous, and Non-Ferrous Metals, Nonmetallic materials, Basics of Nano-materials, Mechanical Properties and Testing, Corrosion prevention and control
Design of Machine Elements Design for static and dynamic loading; failure theories; fatigue strength and the S-N diagram; principles of the design of machine elements such as riveted, welded and bolted joints. Shafts, Spur gears, rolling and sliding contact bearings, Brakes and clutches, flywheels.
Manufacturing, Industrial and Maintenance Engineering Failure concepts and characteristics-Reliability, Failure analysis, Machine Vibration, Data acquisition, Fault Detection, Vibration Monitoring, Field Balancing of Rotors, Noise Monitoring, Wear and Debris Analysis, Signature Analysis, NDT Techniques in Condition Monitoring. Metal casting-Metal forming, Metal Joining, Machining and machine tool operations, Limits, fits and tolerances, Metrology and inspection, computer Integrated manufacturing, FMS, Production planning and Control, Inventory control and operations research – CPM-PERT.
Mechatronics and Robotics Microprocessors and Microcontrollers: Architecture, programming, I/O, Computer interfacing, Programmable logic controller. Sensors and actuators, Piezoelectric accelerometer, Hall effect sensor, Optical Encoder, Resolver, Inductosyn, Pneumatic and Hydraulic actuators, stepper motor, Control SystemsMathematical modelling of Physical systems, control signals, controllability and observability. Robotics, Robot Classification, Robot Specification, notation; Direct and Inverse Kinematics; Homogeneous Coordinates and Arm Equation of four Axis SCARA Robot
Engineering Mechanics Analysis of System of Forces, Friction, Centroid and Centre of Gravity, Dynamics; Stresses and Strains-Compound Stresses and Strains, Bending Moment and Shear Force Diagrams, Theory of Bending Stresses- Slope and deflection-Torsion, Thin and thick Cylinders, Spheres.
Mechanisms and Machines Types of Kinematics Pair, Mobility, Inversions, Kinematic Analysis, Velocity and Acceleration Analysis of Planar Mechanisms, CAMs with uniform acceleration and retardation, cycloidal motion, oscillating followers; Vibrations –Free and forced vibration of undamped and damped SDOF systems, Transmissibility Ratio, Vibration Isolation, Critical Speed of Shafts. Gears – Geometry of tooth profiles, Law of gearing, Involute profile, Interference, Helical, Spiral and Worm Gears, Gear Trains- Simple, compound and Epicyclic; Dynamic Analysis – Slider – crank mechanisms, turning moment computations, balancing of Revolving & Reciprocating masses, Gyroscopes –Effect of Gyroscopic couple on automobiles, ships and aircraft, Governors.

UPSC IES Preparation Strategy

Preparation for the ESE requires both clarity of concepts as well as problem-solving skills, since the written exam has objective and subjective sections. A few key points will have you sailing through.

  • Begin with awareness of exam patterns, percentage of technical questions & non-technical ones, weightage of each section to streamline your studying strategy. Use Previous year question papers as guides to make smart decisions regarding your study plan. 
  • Use Reference books for understanding theory, concepts, derivations and equations etc. and make your basics strong.
  • You can practice previous year question papers to analyze your weak areas. Identify the weak topics and revise them thoroughly. Time yourself as you solve the papers to get an idea of your speed so that you can focus on that too.
  • The General Ability section carries 200 marks and is important even for the Personal interview. Keep your General Knowledge updated for this section through newspapers, news channels or surfing websites. 

Writing the Exam

While writing your examination the following are the tips you need to follow.

  • Smart writing skills, good presentation, proper explanations, theoretical reasoning, derivations, related equations and diagrams will help you cover the subjective section.
  • Short Cut Techniques: Solve numerical using short techniques rather than traditional methods to save time.
  • Beware of marks per question, negative marking and exam duration while attempting the paper.

Personal Interview 

The interview round is for maximum marks 200. Your all-round personality is the focal point of personal interviews. A Positive attitude, Smart body language, Proper communication and

Select Your Course

Duration: 1 year

Time: 1200+ Hrs

Features: Classroom Sessions, Revision Sessions, Full Syllabus Test, Class Room Offline Test Series, Online Test Series, Personal Interview Guidance, Post Counselling Sessions

Duration: 2 year

Time: 2200+

Features: Classroom Sessions, Revision Sessions, Full Syllabus Test, Class Room Offline Test Series, Online Test Series, Personal Interview Guidance, Post Counselling Sessions

Duration: 3 Years

Time: 3600+

Features: Classroom Sessions, Revision Sessions, Full Syllabus Test, Class Room Offline Test Series, Online Test Series, Personal Interview Guidance, Post Counselling Sessions

Duration: DLP

Features: Classroom Sessions, Revision Sessions, Full Syllabus Test, Class Room Offline Test Series, Online Test Series, Personal Interview Guidance, Post Counselling Sessions