Indian Economic Service(IES) Exam For Passionate Economists | Exam pattern, Syllabus for IES Exam

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Are you exceptional in providing financial solutions for the benefit of the whole? Has playing a productive role in nation-building been your dream job? If yes, then UPSC invites you to join the strongest, largest and most distinguished group of economists of the nation to contribute substantially to the Indian Economic Service.

Your fitness to serve the office is determined wholly on the basis IES (Indian Economic Service) Exam conducted by the UPSC.

India Economic Service (IES) Exam – Detailed Syllabus

This is a competitive exam conducted by the UPSC every year for recruitment to Grade IV Officers of the Indian Economic Service. The exam is conducted in the following two parts :

PART I :

This part is a written exam with a maximum of 1000 marks collectively and has questions relating to the following subjects:

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

Detailed information about these subjects is as follows:

General English

This section has a total of 100 marks and the maximum time allotted for this section is 3 hours. The questions are of subjective type and are designed in such a way that a normal graduate will be expected to answer them. This section evaluates the candidates’ basic acquaintance with basic English language, standard usage of words and comprehension skills.

General Studies

This section has a total of 100 questions and the maximum time allotted for this section is 3 hours. This section is of subjective nature and has questions pertaining to such areas as Indian Polity, History, Geography, General Knowledge, Current Affairs and Science. The questions are set in such a way that a normal graduate is expected to answer them. No specialized studies in the above areas are not demanded.

General Economics I

This section is basically of subjective nature and has a total of 200 questions. The maximum time allotted for this section is 3 hours. This section is divided into the following two parts :

Part A :

This section has questions pertaining to the  following areas :

  • Theory Of Consumer’s Demand: This section has questions relating to such areas as Cardinal Utility Analysis, Marginal Utility And Demand, Consumer’s Surplus, Indifference Curve Analysis And Utility Function, Price Income And Substitution Effects, Slutsky Theorem And Derivation Of Demand Curve, Revealed Preference Theory, Duality And Indirect Utility Function And Expenditure Functions, Choice Under Risk And Uncertainty and related areas.
  • Theory Of Production: This section has questions relating to such areas as Factors Of Production And Production Function, Forms Of Production Functions, Laws Of Return, Returns To Scale And Returns To Factors Of Production, Duality And Cost Functions, Measures Of Productive Efficiency Of Firms, Technical And Allocate Efficiency, Partial Equilibrium v/s General Equilibrium Approach, Equilibrium Of The Firm And Industry and related areas.
  • Theory Of Value: This section has questions relating to such areas as Pricing Under Different Market Structures, Public Sector Pricing, Marginal Cost Pricing, Peak Load Pricing, Cross-subsidy Free Pricing And Average Cost Pricing, Marshallian And Walrasian Stability Analysis, Pricing With Incomplete Information And Moral Hazard Problems and related areas.
  • Theory Of Distribution: This section has questions relating to such areas as Neo-classical Distribution Theories, Marginal Productivity Theory Of Determination Of Factor Prices, Factor Shares And Adding Up Problems, Elmer’s Theorem, Pricing Of Factors Under Imperfect Competition, Monopoly And Bilateral Monopoly, Macro-distribution Theories Of Ricardo, Marx, Kaldor, Kalecki and related areas.
  • Welfare Economics: This section has questions relating to such areas as Inter-personal Comparison And Aggregation Problem, Public Goods And Externality, Divergence Between Social And Private Welfare, Compensation Principle, Pareto Optimality, Social Choice And Other Recent Schools Including Coase And Sen And Game Theory and related areas.

Part B:

This section deals with Quantitative Methods In Economics and has questions pertaining to the following areas :

  • Mathematical Methods In Economics: This section has questions relating to such areas as Differentiation And Integration And Their Application In Economics, Optimization Techniques, Sets, Matrices And Their Application In Economics, Linear Algebra And Linear Programming In Economics, Input-output Model Of Leontief and related areas.
  • Statistical And Econometric Method: This section has questions relating to such areas as Measures Of Central Tendency And Dispersion, Correlation And Regression, Time Series, Index Numbers, Sampling And Survey Methods, Testing Of Hypothesis, Simple Non-parametric Tests, Drawing Of Curves Based On Various Linear And Non-linear Functions, Least Square Methods And Other Multivariate Analysis, Analysis Of Variances, Factor Analysis, Principle Component Analysis, Discriminant Analysis, Income Distribution, Lorenze Curve And Gini Coefficient and related areas.

General Economics II:

This section is of subjective nature and has a maximum of 200 marks. The maximum time allotted for this section is 3 hours. This part has questions dealing with the following areas :

  • Economic Thought: This section has questions relating to such areas as Mercantilism Physiocrats, Classical, Marxist, Neo-classical, Keynesian And Monetarist Schools Of Thought and related areas.
  • Concept Of National Income And Social Accounting: This section has questions relating to such areas as Measurement Of National Income, Inter-relationship Between Three Measures Of National Income In the Presence Of The Government Sector And International Transactions, Environmental Considerations, Green National Income and related areas.
  • Theory Of Employment, Output, Inflation, Money And Finance: This section has questions relating to such areas as The Classical Theory Of Employment And Output And Neo-classical Approaches, Equilibrium, Analysis Under Classical And Neo-classical Analysis, Keynesian Theory Of Employment And Output, Post-Keynesian Developments, The Inflationary Gap, Demand Pull v/s Cost Push Inflation, The Philip’s Curve And Its Policy Implications, Classical Theory Of Money, Quantity Theory Of Money, Friedman’s Restatement Of The Quantity Theory, The Neutrality Of Money, The Supply And Demand For Loanable Funds And Equilibrium In Financial Markets, Keynes’ Theory On Demand For Money and related areas.
  • Financial And Capital Market: This section has questions relating to such areas as Finance And Economic Development, Financial Markets, Stock Markets, Gift Market, Banking And Insurance, Equity Markets, Role Of Primary And Secondary Markets And Efficiency, Derivative Markets, Futures And Options and related areas.
  • Economic Growth And Development: This section has questions relating to such areas as Concepts Of Economic Growth And Development And Their Measurement, Theories Of Growth, Classical Approach, Neo-classical Approach, Theories Of Development, Rostow, Rosenstein-Rodan, Nurske, Hirschman, Leibenstein And Arthur Lewis, Amin And Frank, Respective Role Of The State And The Market, Utilitarian And Welfariest Approach To Social Development And A.K. Sen’s Critique, Sen’s Capability Approach To Economic Development, The Human Development Index, Physical Quality Of Life Index, Human Poverty Index and related areas.
  • International Economics: This section has questions relating to such areas as Gains From International Trade, Terms Of Trade, Policy, International Trade And Economic Development, Theories Of International Trade, Ricardo, Haberler,Heckscher-Ohlin And Stopler-Samuelson, Theory Of Tariffs, Regional Trade Arrangements and related areas.
  • Balanace of Payments: This section has questions relating to such areas as Disequilibrium In Balance Of Payments, Mechanism Of Adjustments, Foreign Trade Multiplier, Exchange Rates, Import And Exchange Controls, Multiple Exchange Rates and related areas.
  • Global Institutions: This section has questions relating to such areas as UN Agencies Dealing With Economic Aspects, World Bank, IMF And WTO, Multinational Corporations and related areas.

General Economics III:

This section has a total of 200 marks and the maximum time allotted for this section is 3 hours. This part is of subjective nature and has questions pertaining to the following areas :

  • Public Finance: This section has questions relating to such areas as Theories Of Taxation, Optimal Taxes And Tax Reforms, Incidence Of Taxation, Theories Of Public Expenditure, Budgetary Deficit, Theory Of Public Debt And Management and related areas.
  • Environmental Economics: This section has questions relating to such areas as Environmentally Sustainable Development, Green GDP, UN Methodology Of Integrated Environmental And Economic Accounting, Environmental Values, Valuation Methods, Stated And Revealed Preference Methods, Design Of Environmental Policy Instruments, Pollution Taxes And Pollution Permits, Collective Action And Informal Regulation By Local Communities, Theories Of Exhaustable And Renewable Sources, International Environmental Agreements, Climatic Change Problems, Kyoto Protocol, Tradable Permits, Carbon Taxes and related areas.
  • Industrial Economics: This section has questions relating to such areas as Market Structure, Conduct And Performance Of Firms, Product Differentiation And Market Concentration, Monopolistic Price Theory And Oligopolistic Interdependence And Pricing, Entry Preventing Pricing, Micro Level Investment Decisions And The Behavior Of Firms, Research And Innovation, Market Structure And Profitability, Public Policy And Development Of Firms and related areas.
  • State, Market and Planning: This section has questions relating to such areas as Planning In A Developing Economy, Planning Regulation And Market, Indicative Planning, Decentralized Planning and related areas.

Indian Economics:

This section has a maximum of 200 marks and the maximum time allotted for this section is 3 hours. This part is of subjective nature and has questions pertaining to the following areas:

  • History And Development Of Planning: This section has questions relating to such areas as Alternative Development Strategies, Goal Of Self-reliance Based On Import Substitution And Protection, The Post 1991 Globalization Strategies Based On Stabilization And Structural Adjustment Packages and related areas.
  • Federal Finance: This section has questions relating to such areas as Constitutional Provisions Relating To Fiscal And Financial Powers Of The States, Finance Commissions And Their Formula For Sharing Taxes, Financial Aspect Of Sarkaria Commission Report, Financial Aspects Of 73rd And 74th Constitutional Amendments and related areas.
  • Poverty, Unemployment And Human Development: This section has questions relating to such areas as Estimates Of Inequality And Poverty Measures For India, Appraisal Of Government Measures, India’s Human Development Record In Global Perspective, India’s Population Policy And Development and related areas.
  • Agriculture And Rural Development Strategies: This section has questions relating to such areas as Technologies And Institutions, Land Relations And Land Reforms, Rural Credit, Modern Farm Inputs And Marketing, Price Policies And Subsidies, Commercialization And Diversification, Rural Development Programs, Development Of Economic And Social Infrastructure, New Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and related areas.
  • India’s Experience With Urbanization And Migration: This section has questions relating to such areas as Different Types Of Migratory Flows And Their Impact On The Economies Of Their Origin And Destination, The Process Of Growth Of Urban Settlements, Urban Development Strategies and related areas.
  • Industry: This section has questions relating to such areas as Strategy Of Industrial Development, Industrial Policy Reforms, Reservation Policy Relating To Small-scale Industries, Competition Policy, Sources Of Industrial Finances, Bank, Share Market, Insurance Companies, Pension Funds, Non-banking Sources And Foreign Direct Investment, Public Sector Reform, Privatization And Disinvestments and related areas.
  • Labour: This section has questions relating to such areas as Employment, Unemployment And Under-employment, Industrial Relations And Labour Welfare, Strategies For Employment Generation, Urban Labour Market And Informal Sector Employment, Report Of National Commission On Labour, Social Issues Relating To Labour and related areas.
  • Foreign Trade: This section has questions relating to such areas as Salient Features Of India’s Foreign Trade, Composition, Direction And Organization Of Trade, Recent Changes In Trade Policy, Balance Of Payments, Tariff Policy, Exchange Rates, India And WTO Requirements and related areas.
  • Money and Banking: This section has questions relating to such areas as Financial Sector Reform, Organization Of India’s Money Market, Changing Roles Of Reserve Bank Of India, Commercial Banks, Development Financial Institutions, Foreign Banks And Non-banking Financial Institutions, Indian Capital Market And SEBI, Development In Global Financial Market And Its Relationship With Indian Financial Sector and related areas.
  • Inflation: This section has questions relating to such areas as Definition, Trends, Estimates, Consequences And Remedies Of Wholesale Price Index, Consumer Price Index, Components And Trends and related areas.
  • Budgeting and Fiscal Policy: This section has questions relating to such areas as Tax, Expenditure, Budgetary Deficits, Pension And Fiscal Reforms, Public Debt Management And Reforms, Fiscal Responsibility And Budget Management Act, Black Money And Parallel Economy In India Definition, Estimates, Genesis, Consequences And Remedies and related areas.

PART II :

The second part of the examination is a viva-voce with a maximum of 200 marks where the candidates’ interpersonal skills and their suitability for the proposed position is evaluated by a board of experts in the area. Apart from the academic knowledge, the candidates’ acquaintance with general issues affecting the political, economic and social life of the common mass are evaluated.

If you are an expert in this field, this career provides you with an opportunity to apply your skills holistically for the benefit of the society and to engage yourself in innovative research beyond the frontiers of the discipline with the support and guidance from  the largest, strongest and the most recognized economic institution of our nation. Good luck for your attempts!