IES/ESE 2021: Exam Notification, Application Form, Eligibility, Syllabus, Result & Vacancies


UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) is a constitutional body, which derives its powers and functions under Article 315 to 323, Part -14 of the Constitution of India. It is entrusted with a duty to conduct various important exams including Civil Services Examination, Engineering Services, Combined Defence Services exam, Indian Economic Services/Indian Statistical Services, National Defense Academy Examination etc. Here, we will be covering the Engineering Services Examination, also known as Indian Engineering Services, in detail.

About the IES/ESE

The UPSC conducts IES/ESE (Engineering Services Examination) every year for various posts under the PSU’s (Public Sector Undertakings) of the Government of India.

The IES is responsible for administering large-sized government PSU’s in various sectors of the economy like Railways, Road, Power, Central Water, and Telecommunication. They join as an Assistant Executive Engineer and get elevated to the post of Managing Director/Chairman of the PSU.

Categories in IES/ESE

There are four categories in the Engineering for which this exam is conducted. The categories are – Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Tele-Communication Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

UPSC IES/ESE Latest Update: UPSC has released the interview schedule for the IES 2020 recruitment. The interview process will begin on 8th March 2021 and will continue till 30th March 2021.

As per the UPSC annual calendar 2021 released on the UPSC’s official website, the notification for the ESE 2021 exam will be released on 7th April 2021. The Preliminary exam is scheduled to be conducted on 18th July 2021.

IES/ ESE 2021 - Quick Overview

Exam name

Engineering Services Examination (ESE -2021)

Also known as

Indian Engineering Services (IES -2021)

Exam conducting authority

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

Official website

Exam level


Mode of Application


Mode of Exam


Type of Questions

Multiple Choice Questions

Medium of exam


Negative Marking

Applicable, 1/3rd marks will be deducted for wrong response

Available Application Forms

IES/ESE Exam 2021 Important Dates

As per the official schedule, the important dates for different events of the exam are as under:

IES/ESE 2021 Events

IES/ESE 2021 Important Dates

Application form availability

7th April 2021

Closing Date of Application Form

27th April 2021

ESE 2021 Preliminary Exam

18th July 2021

Preliminary Exam Result

To be announced

Admit Card for Main Exam

Two weeks before the exam

ESE 2021 Main Exam

10th October 2021

Main Exam Result

To be announced

ESE Personal Interview

To be announced

Final Result

To be announced

IES/ESE Exam Previous Years Solved Papers

IES/ESE Exam 2021 Pattern & Syllabus

The IES/ESE is conducted in the following stages. There are three rounds of the exam. The Preliminary round, the Main round and finally, the interview round.

In the Preliminary Round, the candidates are given objective type questions with multiple choice answers. The candidate is required to select one of the most appropriate answers to the question from the given options.

Selection Process

The candidates, who are declared qualified in the Preliminary round are admitted for the 2nd round of the exam that is the Main exam.

The candidates, who qualify for the Main Round,  are given a call for the interview.

The Interview is essentially a test of the candidate’s personality. The candidate is asked questions in scholastic aptitude, about their Engineering stream and their General Knowledge. Hence it is advised that the candidates should keep themselves updated not only in their engineering stream but also in the General awareness of the world.

The Interview board consists of seniors from different engineering backgrounds. They have the necessary experience and mental calibre to cross-examine the candidates for their knowledge in the relevant aspects of engineering. In other words, the candidates are given weight for their practical knowledge, leadership quality, and general awareness.

IES 2021 Exam Pattern

Prelims exam

Prelims exam

Details about it

Number of Paper

2, Paper-1 and Paper-2

Type of questions



500 marks.

Paper-1-200 marks

Paper-2- 300 marks

Scheme of negative marking

1/3rd marks is deducted for every incorrect answer. For an unattempted question or no answer to a question, no marks will be deducted.

Question Pattern of the Prelims exam




Paper-1(General Studies and  Engineering Aptitude)



Paper-2. Specific engineering subject is chosen by the candidate- Civil Engineering/Electrical Engineering/ Electronics and Tele-Communication/ Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

3 hours





Scroll left or right to view full table

Note – The Main exam marks are added to the final merit list of the successful candidates.

The number of candidates to be selected for the Main exam is determined by the commission. It is usually 6 or 7 times the total number of vacancies for the post.

Details of the Main Exam

There are 2 question papers of conventional type.

Main Exam


Numbers of question papers


Total marks


Duration of exam

3 hours for each paper.

The language of the question paper

English only.




Duration of exam

Paper-1- – The subject selected by the candidate from any one of the Branch-Civil Engineering/ Electrical Engineering/Electronics and Tele-Communication/ Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.


3 hours

Paper-2 –The second paper of the subject selected by the candidate from any one of the given branches – Civil Engineering/Electrical Engineering/Electronics and Tele-Communication Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.


3 hours




Scroll left or right to view full table

Personality Test/Interview

The final stage of the exam is the Personality test or the interview. Those candidates, who qualify for the Mains exam are called for the interview by the commission.

The commission shortlists candidates for the final round of the interview based on their marks in the Stage-1, Preliminary exam and in stage -2, Main exam.

IES/ESE Latest 2021 Syllabus

The ESE exam is conducted for different branches of Engineering and thus the syllabus for each paper is different. Only the subject of General Paper remains common for all the branches/disciplines. The General paper tests the candidates on General Awareness, Logical Reasoning, Mathematical Ability, Ethics and Values in Engineering Profession, Project Management, etc. The IES Syllabus for ETE, Civil, Mechanical, and Electrical is different. Check out the detailed ESE syllabus 2021 here.

IES/ESE Exam 2021 Eligibility


  • A candidate should be an Indian citizen.
  • The candidates from Nepal, Bhutan, and refugees of Tibet who have migrated to India before 1st January 1962 can also apply for the exam.
  • The PIO (People of Indian origin) who have migrated to India to settle down permanently are also eligible to appear for the exam. The countries to which they should belong are – Myanmar, Sri-Lanka, Pakistan, East African nations of – Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire and Ethiopia, and Vietnam. It is important that the candidate has been issued a certificate in their favour by the government of India.

Educational Qualifications

  • A candidate should have a B.E/ B.Tech.
  • A candidate should be eligible for the exam if he/ she has done a Diploma/ Degree from a foreign University/ Institution/College recognized by the Government of India.
  • A candidate, who has Passed as a member of the following institutions-
  1. Electronics and Telecommunication of India
  2. Aeronautical Society of India,
  3. Electronics and Radio Engineers.
  • A candidate appearing in his/ her final year exam can also apply for the exam.

Age –Limit

  • A candidate should not be less than 21 years of age and should not be more than 30 years of age.
  • A candidate should not have been born earlier than 2nd January 1991 and should not have been born later than the 1st January 2000.

However, the commission provides age-relaxation for the reserved category candidates.

Category of reservation

Age of relaxation.


5 years.


3 years.

J & K candidates

5 years.

Defence service Personnel

3 years.

Ex-servicemen including commissioned officers

5 years.

The candidates are also given age relaxation if they are employed by any government office or state government in the public sector undertakings.

A list of the government departments for which there is an age –relaxation of 5 years-

  1. The Ministry of Railways
  2. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
  3. Directorate of general ordnance factories
  4. Central Public works departments
  5. Central electricity authority
  6. Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology and the Department of Telecommunication and Department of Posts.
  7. Director of General disposals and civil supplies
  8. Border road organization
  9. Geological service of India
  10. Military Engineer Services
  11. Ministry of Science and Technology and the Department of Science and Technology.
  12. Central water commission
  13. Indian Navy
  14. Ministry of defence, Corporation of the Electronics and Mechanical Engineering.

IES/ESE Exam 2021 Application Process

The application forms for the examination are submitted online through the official website - The ESE 2021 application process will begin on 7th April and will continue till 27th April 2021. Candidates are advised to complete the application form filling process within the prescribed period of time. The process for application submission is stated under:

How to Apply for ESE Exam?

  • Visit the official website of UPSC mentioned above.
  • Click on the link for online application for various examination of UPSC.
  • In front of the ESE exam, click on the link under Part-I registration. You are required to complete both parts of the application process for successful registration.
  • After completing the registration, candidates can log-in using their Login ID and password for completing the remaining form later or continue with the application form.
  • Candidates are required to upload the scanned images of their recent photo and signature in the given sizes. Thus, a candidate should keep these particulars ready before he/ she starts filling the form.
  • After successful fee payment, candidates must take a print of the confirmation page. Please note that it is not required to send the hard copy of the confirmation page to the commission through email or by post.

Important - A candidate should apply for the exam only through one Application form. However, if due to any reason or uncalled-forth circumstances, the candidate has filled more than one application form, then he must ensure that the other application form with higher RID (Registration ID) is complete in all respects as only it will be considered by the commission. Also, the fee paid for one RID will not be considered for other RID.

Application Fee

  • Applicants are required to pay an application fee of ₹ 200/.
  • Applicants of reserved category SC/ST/PH and Female candidates are exempted from paying any fee. They are not required to pay any fee.
  • The OBC candidates are NOT Exempted from paying the Application fee. They are required to pay their full fee i.e. ₹200/.
  • Candidates can pay their Application fee either online mode or offline mode.
  1. They can pay online mode through Net Banking, Credit Card or Debit Card. For Net Banking candidates can use the following banks – State Bank of India/ State Bank of Hyderabad/ State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur / State Bank of Mysore / State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore.

Candidates can also pay in cash through any branch of SBI.

Other Details

IES 2021 Admit Card

The candidates are advised to download their Admit Card or e-Admission ticket online. Separate admit cards will be issued for the Preliminary and Main phase exam. The commission will not send any hard copy of the hall ticket to the address of the candidate. Candidates can get it by entering their Registration id on the website of the commission.

Candidates should carry their UPSC ESE 2021 Admit card at the centre of the exam. Without the admit card/hall ticket, the candidate will not be permitted to enter the examination hall. Separate admit cards are issued for Preliminary and Main examination.

How to download IES 2021 admit cards online?

  1. Visit the official website of UPSC.
  2. Navigate to the “E-Admit cards” link for various UPSC exams
  3. Select IES 2021 exam admit card link
  4. Carefully read the instructions mentioned and take a print out of the same
  5. Now, submit the details as required and press enter
  6. IES 2021 admit card will be displayed on the screen
  7. Download the IES 2021 admit card and take two printouts of the IES admit card

Check all the details mentioned and in case of discrepancy immediately inform the authorities at UPSC.

IES 2021 Result

Separate results are released for the Preliminary and Main phase examination. And, the final result is released after the completion of all the phases. The commission prepares the final merit list of the candidates based on their performance in the Preliminary, Main, and Interview phase.

 Below you can check the proven steps on how to check the UPSC IES Merit List 2021:

  • Go to the official UPSC website.
  • Now, under the “What’s new” section, tap the link that reads UPSC engineering services (main) results.
  • A PDF will open your computer screen, scroll down the page and check your roll number in the merit list.

Also Read:

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Frequently asked questions related to the ESE 2021 exam will help in resolving queries.

Q. When will the IES/ESE 2021 preliminary exam be held?

The IES/ESE preliminary 2021 exam is scheduled to be held on 18th July 2021.

Q. In how many stages the IES/ESE is conducted?

This exam is conducted in three stages. Stage -1 is Preliminary, stage -2 is the Mains exam and the final stage is the interview stage.

Q. If the marks of the Preliminary round of exam is added while preparing the final merit list of the successful candidates?

Yes, the marks of the Preliminary exam is not merely qualifying in nature rather it is scoring in nature. The candidate is required to score well in the Preliminary Round of the exam also to gain a competitive edge over other candidates and gain good ranks in the merit list.

Q. How many question papers are there in the Preliminary exams?

There are 2 question papers in the Preliminary exam. Paper-1 is the General Aptitude paper and the Paper-2 is the specific Engineering paper that has been selected by the candidate for the exam.

Q. How many question papers are there in the Main exam of the IES/ESE 2021 exam?

There are two papers in the IES/ESE exams. Both the question papers are from the specific area of the subject of engineering which is selected by the candidate for the exam above. The candidate is advised to score as much as he can in these papers of his specialization because the marks of these papers provide them with a competitive edge over the other candidates. The marks scored in the Mains papers play a crucial role in determining the standing of the candidate in the merit list.

Q. What is the maximum marks for which the Main exam is conducted?

The maximum marks of the IES/ESE exam are 600 marks. There are 2 papers and each paper carries 300 marks. Both papers are the engineering papers or the subjects which the candidate has chosen for the exam. It is the conventional type of question paper, where candidates are asked to write about the theories and solve the question from the practical engineering difficulties.

Q. What is the final stage of the exam?

The final stage of the exam is the Interview or the Personality test. The candidates’ overall personality stands Measured by the interview board. The interview board aims to reveal the various personality dimensions of the candidates. The board looks for the leadership skills of the candidate. In addition, it also looks for his social skill, capacity to judge the situation, creativity, problem-solving skills, friendliness etc. In other words, the interview measures all the aspects of the personality of the candidate.

Q. How does the commission prepare the Merit List of the successful candidates?

The commission takes into account the marks scored by the candidate along with all three stages of the exam. It is the aggregate marks of the candidate which forms the basis for the preparation of the final merit list. The candidate can check their result online on the official website of the commission.

Q. What is the age limit for the exam?

The candidate should be between the age group of 21 years and 30 years. It means he should not be less than 21 years of age and should not be more than 30 years of age.

Q. Is there any age relaxation for the reserved category of candidates?

Yes, there is a provision for the age relaxation of the candidates as per the government rule. For further details about it check above the article.

Q. If there is any age relaxation for those candidates who are already employed under the government department?

Yes, there is such provision of age relaxation for the candidates who are already employed in the government sector jobs either at the centre or at the state government public sector undertakings. The maximum age relaxation is 5 years. It means that they can appear for the exam up to the age of 35 years.

Q. What should be the educational qualification of the candidate for the exam?

The candidate should have done his B.E. or B.Tech from any recognized University or Institutions or Board. Those candidates who have obtained their Engineering degree from any foreign university/institution or board are also eligible for the exam provided that the university has been recognized by the Engineering Association of India.

Q. What should be the nationality of the candidate?

The candidate should be a citizen of India. The persons from Nepal, Bhutan and Tibetan refugees are also eligible for the exam provided that they have migrated to India to permanently settle down in India. In addition, they are also issued a certificate by the government of India in their favour.

Q. If the People of Indian origin are also eligible to appear for the exam?

Yes, people of Indian origin from some countries are also eligible to appear for the exam. But there are only a few selected countries from where the Indian people can be made eligible for the exam.