When a person decides to crack a UPSC exam, it defines their ambition and goal. Students start UPSC preparation during their graduation. Moreover, the age criteria to apply for the UPSC exam includes anyone below 32 years of age. Of course, there are few conditions because India is a democratic country, and it has to cater for the needs of all castes and religions.

Being an IAS officer is the most reputable job for any Indian citizen. People may think that it provides great rewards and perks along with dignity and pride, but with position comes responsibility. An IAS officer may have incomparable power, but it also has to serve the nation in the best way.

Rise in Engineers Applying for UPSC

After clearing the UPSC CSE, candidates are chosen for the civil services. These civil services help build the steel frame of the nation. They can be recruited as IAS, IPS, IFS or IRS. Lately, there has been a rise in engineers applying for the UPSC IAS exam.

Research showed that the UPSC IAS batch of 2019 included engineers as well. Out of 325 civil service trainees, 191 were engineers. Some were also engineers with management degrees. Even in 2018, out of 138 civil service candidates, 73 were engineers. Thus it turns out that the majority of civil service candidates are engineers or graduates. Looking at the increasing number of engineering candidates in civil services, the AGEs in IDSE are also trying their hands in IAS.

The Military Engineering Service (MES)

The Military Engineering Service (MES) is the oldest and biggest defence infrastructure of the Indian Government. It helps in the development of the country. Those who clear the IES exam are recruited for the engineering and construction of the Indian Army, Indian Air Force, DRDO, Indian Coast Guard, Indian Navy and the Indian Ordnance Factories. The UPSC Engineering Services Exam (ESE) or the UPSC IES is a 3 stage examination conducted by the UPSC.

IAS recruits for the administration services of the Government of India. On the other hand, UPSC IES recruits candidates for the technical wing of the Indian Government. After clearing the IES exam, the candidates can be posted in any of the following departments –

#  Indian Skill Development Service.

#  Indian Railways Service of Electrical Engineers, etc.

#  Central Public Works Department.

#  Indian Defence Service of Engineers.

#  Survey of India.

The recent trend of engineers applying for the IAS exam has lately raised doubts among officers in MES if it is possible to crack UPSC while working in IDSE? First of all, let’s understand why AGEs from IDSE are applying for the IAS exam.

Who is an AGE?

An Assistant Garrison Engineer (AGE) is a central government officer in MES. They are responsible for the whole infrastructure of the IAF. They have the rank of Executive Engineer from the IDSE. IDSE is also a prestigious engineering service. It is the backbone of the IAF. The AGE is the initial post in the IDSE.

Difference Between IAS and IES

The profiles of IAS, IPS, IFS officers and IES officers are completely different.

#   The IAS officers are generalist, and IES officers are specialised only in technical    service.

#   The IAS officers can be sent to any department to administer under the cabinet secretary, but an IES officer remains with the defence administration for technical service.

#   An IES officer, irrespective of any department, has to work in technical areas like defence, manufacturing, public works, telecommunications, power, construction, railways, etc. On the contrary, an IAS officer will hold responsibility in diverse portfolios.

#  Anyone can apply for the UPSC IAS exam if they fall under the age criteria, but only engineering graduates are eligible for the ESE exam.

Is it Wise to Apply for UPSC IAS while Working in IDSE as an AGE?

Many ESE recruited candidates think it is wise to apply for the UPSC IAS working in IDSE as an AGE. But, honestly, it depends on your choice and the kind of career you’re looking for. IAS officer is a position that requires skill and talent and no specialization. If you’re interested in technical service, then stay in the MES. If you don’t like engineering as a subject, then instead of focusing on ESE, you should try civil services.

Roles and Responsibilities as IAS and IES officers

IAS Officer

An IAS officer is a dignified person and gets more respect in society. IAS officers are more famous than any other civil servant. They are not confined to one area, but they cover diverse areas in one life. Although the salary for an IAS officer is similar to that of any other officer, the roles and responsibilities are huge. The highest position of an IAS officer can be of a cabinet secretary.

IES Officer

An IES officer has a low profile. If you don’t want any political interference in your role, then this job is for you. You will have a decent life and will be able to maintain a low profile without being too much in the picture. That doesn’t mean the officers don’t get respect in their job. Many IES officers have received high civilian awards from the government.

Not only AGE, but any IES officer can apply for the IAS exam as long as they are within 32 years of age and have not crossed six attempts. It depends on your priorities. An IES officer may have expertise and power for one unit, unlike an IAS officer who has a versatile job profile and tremendous power, but the IES officer is still the boss of its unit.

Things to Remember

Remember these few things before applying for the IAS exam –

#   If you feel comfortable with technical knowledge and find yourself more confident in technical complexities, IES is your cup of tea.

#  If you’re more comfortable in non-technical administrative subjects even though you’re an engineer, then go for the IAS exam.

#   The chances of getting selected in IES are more than getting selected in IAS.

You should know your personality, characteristics and traits to understand which field is better for you. Whether it is an AGE position or an IAS position, both are connected to the administration of the Indian government. Both jobs are prestigious. If you don’t want to work as an engineer, try your luck in the civil services.

Final thoughts

IAS is the most serious and dedicated civil service post. More than 9 lakhs candidates apply for the civil service exam, and only 4 lakhs enter the prelims. Out of these 4 lakhs, only 2-3 thousand get into the Indian administration. Many candidates who study hard for years and prepare for the IAS exam still are unable to crack it.

This doesn’t mean that the IES exam is simple. These positions are selected only for engineers. The IES exam is considered the hardest test in terms of thinking and answering in a specialized area. More than a million engineering students graduate every year from numerous colleges. Around 3 lakhs of engineering students apply for the IES test, and only 2-3 thousand clear and get selected.

You have tried your luck and succeeded by clearing the IES exam. If you feel that engineering is a comfortable job for you, then try for the UPSC IAS exam.

Want a Booster for Your Preparation?

Preparing for such prestigious exams is no cakewalk, and we at UPSC Pathshala fully understand that. That is why we come to your rescue and get you one step closer to your dream job. UPSC Pathshala is a one-stop solution for your UPSC preparation. What you get in return is a personalized platform with personal mentors guiding you for the most competitive exam. Video lectures, quality notes, and lots of practice. For more details, you can simply log in to the official website.

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Want to Try Your Luck in UPSC IAS Exam While Working as an AGE in IDSE? Learn the Possibilities Here
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Want to Try Your Luck in UPSC IAS Exam While Working as an AGE in IDSE? Learn the Possibilities Here
This article is about going for UPSC preparation while working as an AGE In IDSE. It also talks about fair chances of attempting the exam while you are at work.
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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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