Indian Economic Service is one of the 32 main civil services. It is an important career choice and offers attractive positions, career growth and remuneration. It is a distinct cadre of Group ‘A’ Service government officers and suitable for those who enjoy playing with numbers. The service calls for strong analytical skills, a balanced judgement, scrupulous attention to detail, ability to explain and analyse complex research findings and an ability to work both independently and as a team member.


Indian Economic Service comprise of economic specialists who play an important role in advising the government on economic matters affecting the country. Broadly they are involved in the following:-

  • Economic Planning and analysis through State Boards, Planning Commission and other Government Organisations
  • Organisation, utilisation and distribution of productive and financial recourses nationally and internationally by study of political, industrial and social relationships
  • Provide Economic advice and economic administration
  • Implementation of development programmes
  • Economic reforms, regulation, price fixation
  • Monitoring and evaluation

They can further be employed in any other government organisation or cadre.

Procedure to join Indian Economic Service

Aspirants can apply for the Indian Economic Services Examination (IES) conducted alongside Indian Statistical Services (ISS) Examination on the UPSC website on advertisement of vacancies. The UPSC conducts the Examination to recruit Grade IV officers for the two services – IES and ISS. The basic requirement for the examination is post graduation in Economics/Applied Economics/Business Economics/Isometrics. If you are holding a post graduation degree in Statistics/Applied Statistics then you are eligible for ISS. You can apply to only either of the two services.

The examination consists of six papers and is of 1000 marks. For the IEs the papers are:-

  • General Economics I
  • General Economics II
  • General Economics III
  • Indian Economics
  • English
  • General studies

The aspirants are tested for their Economics Knowledge at Master’s degree level.

The candidates who make it to the merit are then called for a personal interview to assess their suitability for the service.

The candidates on selection are appointed as Assistant Director and posted to major cities, commercial centres, planning boards, departments of institutional finance, commerce, economic affairs, industry, agriculture, stock exchanges etc. As an Economic Service Officer you can receive postings to any of the following organisations:-

  • Niti Aayog
  • Labour Bureau
  • Central Electricity Authority
  • Economic Advisors in various Government Ministries
  • Forward Market Commission
  • Tariff Commission
  • National sample survey Organisation
  • Central statistical organisation
  • Deputation in United Nations agencies or International Organisations
  • Senior positions in banks/Financial Institutions

Career Prospects

The Economics career in Government service starts with the appointment as Assistant Director on selection and can take you upto the additional Secretary level post in Government of India Secretary in Indian Government.

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