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Difference between UPSC IAS & IES Exam

Get details of Difference between UPSC IAS & IES Exam. So many of the students who are willing to write UPSC exams, does not know what is the difference between UPSC IAS & IES Exams. So, we are here providing details about the difference between IAS &IES under UPSC.

IAS Stands for Indian Administrative Service Examination .

IES Stands for Indian Engineering Service Examination .

What is IAS

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is All India administrative civil service of India. IAS officers hold key and strategic positions in the Union Government, States and public-sector undertakings. Like in various countries (for example UK) following Parliamentary system, IAS as the permanent bureaucracy in India forms an inseparable part of the executive branch of the Government of India, thus providing continuity and neutrality to the administration. Unlike Candidates selected to other civil services, a person once appointed to Indian Administrative Service or Indian Foreign Service (IFS) becomes ineligible to reappear in Civil Services Examination conducted by Union Public Service Commission, because, prior to 1972 a person to be eligible for IAS/IFS has to write extra exam but even after common UPSC civil services exam the status quo is maintained which needs to be changed with changing times.

What is IES

Indian Engineering Services abbreviated as IES are the civil services that meet the technical and managerial functions of the Government of India. Like most countries, the Government of India recruits its civil servants and officials on the basis of merit, the middle management positions in the bureaucracy are buried through competitive exams. Large number of candidates take these exams, competing for limited 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 conducted by the UPSC for recruitment to the Indian Engineering Services.

Difference between UPSC IAS & IES Exam


Below given is a simple table to illustrate the major differences between IES (Indian Engineering Services) and IAS (Indian Administrative Services).

IES officers are mainly placed in the technical departments handling technical things in various branches of government services. The IAS officers are employed in the administrative departments of the Indian government.
Cracking IES exam will give you an opportunity to join railways, road, telecom or any other infrastructure related service as an officer/engineer. IAS has different branches like IPS, IRS, IFS and candidates who clear IAS will join different administrative services as officers.
A degree in Engineering is the minimum requirement to be eligible to appear in Indian Engineering Services Exam. A bachelor degree in any discipline is the only academic pre-requisite to sit for the Civil Services Exam.
It consists of only two rounds – a written exam & an interview round. It consists of three rounds – two written (CS Mains, CS Prelims) and an interview round.
There is no qualifying round to write the main written paper. You are eligible to write the main exams only after you clear the prelims.
There is no limit on the number of attempts you can take at cracking the IES exam. Civil Services attempts are limited to 6.
There are no electives in exams. It consists of only General Ability Test and papers related to the relevant branch of engineering i.e. Civil, Mechanical, Electrical & Electronics and Telecommunications. The candidates can choose from a wide variety of subjects according to their preference to attempt in the Civil Services examinations.

Difference between IAS & IES Selection Procedure

IAS Selection Procedure

  • Preliminary Exam
  • Main Exam
  • Personal Interview

IES Selection Procedure

  • Written Exam
  • Personal Interview

Difference between IAS & IES Exam Syllabus

IAS Selection Syllabus


  • Current Issues
  • History of India
  • Indian National Movement
  • Indian and World Geography
  • Indian Polity and Governance
  • Economic and Social Development
  • General Issues
  • General Science
  • Comprehension
  • Logical reasoning
  • analytical ability
  • Decision-making
  • problem solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy
  • English language comprehension


  • Agriculture
  • Animal Husbandry & Vetinary Science
  • Anthropology
  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Commerce & Accountancy
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Indian History
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medical Science
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science & International Relations
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Statistics
  • Zoology

IES Selection Syllabus

  • General ability
  • Conventional Paper
  • Objective paper

So, these are the major differences between UPSC IAS & IES Exam. Hope this will be useful for the students who are willing to know about this difference

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