Engineering Services Examination is the civil services that meet the technical and managerial operations of the Government of India. Like in most countries, the Government of India recruits its civil servants and officials on the basis of merit, and middle management positions in the bureaucracy are completed by competitive exams. Many candidates take these exams, competing for certain 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 organized by the UPSC for recruitment to the Indian Engineering Services.
In 2015, a total of 434 candidates were recommended by ESE, with the least selection ratio ever. In 2010, a total of 157,649 candidates applied for 434 vacancies (covering all branches and cadres). In 2011, a total of 693 candidates were recommended for appointments in these four lists covering 317 General, 209 Other Backward Classes, 113 Scheduled Castes and 54 Scheduled Tribes (covering 44 candidates belonging to the Physically Handicapped category). ESE 2012 was organized for the recruitment of candidates to as many as 560 posts, which included 47 vacancies available only for the PH (physically handicapped) category. ESE 2013 was organized for the recruitment of candidates to as many as 763 posts, which also covered 19 vacancies available only for the PH (physically handicapped) category.
ESE is therefore taken as the toughest exam in India and amongst the toughest in the world due to fewer posts having a selection ratio of 0.00275 (based on 2010 statistics) and its technical nature. Most IES officers are of reputed colleges like IITs, IIEST, NITs and Indian Institute of Science. Because of this hard selection procedure, IES officers carry high respect and status in society and are able to manage activities in diverse areas.
Government spending consisted 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 including the railways, roads, defense, manufacturing, inspection, supply, construction, public works, power, telecommunications, etc. All appointments to the Group A services are generated by the President of India.
Functions of officers
The nature of work done by these bureaucrats largely depends on their engineering branch and the service or cadre they are recruited in. However, they can move to any cadre, organization, agency, department, ministry or PSU of the Government of India. They are appointed in the posts analogous to their current one, either on deputation basis which is of a fixed tenure (at least 5 years and extensible) after which the officer returns to their parent cadre or on absorption basis where the official leaves the parent cadre and is “absorbed” permanently into the new cadre.