IES Syllabus: UPSC ESE Preliminary and Mains Syllabus

By Mona Kumari|Updated : May 4th, 2022

IES syllabus is released by the exam conducting authority Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on its official website. The syllabus has been the same over the years. Below we have mentioned the UPSC IES syllabus including important topics that candidates should prepare for the Engineering Services Examination (ESE). The syllabus is based on the engineering graduation curriculum.

Understanding the IES syllabus is important for candidates aspiring to appear in the exam which is conducted to fill up thousands of vacancies for various posts in Railways, Telecom, Border Roads, CPWD, CWC, CPES, NHAI, Naval Armaments, IDSE, MES, Ordnance Factories, etc. Thus, candidates must be familiar with the UPSC ESE syllabus to excel in the Prelims and Mains IES exam. With the help of the exam syllabus, candidates will get to know the important topics they need to prepare for the exam.

Table of Content

What is the IES Syllabus?

The IES syllabus is divided into various sections as per the pattern of the Prelims and Mains phase. The syllabus for General Studies & Engineering Aptitude is common for all the branches- Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, and Electronics & Telecommunication engineering. Understanding the IES Syllabus is essential to strategize your preparation level to get through the exam. The examination is conducted in three stages which are as follows:

  • Stage-I: Engineering Services (Preliminary) Examination
  • Stage-II: Engineering Services (Mains) Examination
  • Stage-III: Personality Test

The IES syllabus includes General Studies, Engineering Aptitude, and Engineering branches for the preparation of the Prelims and Mains exam. Thus understanding the syllabus is important before going deep into the exam preparation. The UPSC Indian Engineering Services (IES) examination is conducted annually by UPSC to recruit engineers for techno-managerial posts. The exam is conducted in four domains namely- Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Electronics & Telecommunications Engineering.

By referring to the UPSC IES syllabus, candidates can get clarity about the important topics they need to cover for the examination. Hence, below we have provided the subject-wise syllabus in detail.

IES Syllabus for General Studies and Engineering Aptitude

The IES syllabus for General Studies and Engineering Aptitude for paper-1 is common for all four domains. It contains questions on all the topics mentioned below. Each topic has a weightage of 5% to 15% of the total marks of the exam.

  • Current issues of national and international importance relating to social, economic, and industrial development
  • Engineering Aptitude covering Logical reasoning and Analytical ability
  • Engineering Mathematics and Numerical Analysis
  • General Principles of Design, Drawing, Importance of Safety
  • Standards and Quality practices in production, construction, maintenance, and services
  • Basics of Energy and Environment: Conservation, environmental pollution, and degradation, Climate change, Environmental impact assessment
  • Basics of Project Management 8
  • Basics of Material Science and Engineering
  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) based tools and their applications in Engineering such as networking, e-governance, and technology-based education.
  • Ethics and values in the Engineering profession.

IES Civil Engineering Syllabus 

The important topics of the UPSC IES Civil Engineering syllabus both for the Prelims and Mains examination are mentioned below:

IES Civil Engineering Syllabus Paper-1

The IES Civil Engineering syllabus for paper-1 consists of various important topics such as building materials, structural analysis, steel structures, construction, etc. Let us discuss these in detail.

Building Materials

Classification, characteristics, and selection criteria for aggregates, stone, lime, glass, plastics, steel, FRP, ceramics, aluminum, fly ash, basic additives, timber, bricks, types, compositions, properties, applications, specifications, and numerous tests for cement, tests of lime and cement mortars and concrete, concrete mixture design: aggregate proportioning and mix design approaches.

Solid Mechanics Constants of elasticity plane stress, plane strain, elastic failure theories, stress bending, shear, and torsion, Mohr's circle of stress and strain.
Structural Analysis 

Basics of material strength, stress, and strain types bending moments and shear force, the concept of bending and shear stresses, analysis of structures that are both determinate and indeterminate, trusses, beams, and plane frames, rolling loads, influence lines, the unit load method, and other methods, vibrations of a single degree of freedom and a multi-degree freedom system, both free and forced, suspended cables, computer-aided design concepts, and applications.

Design of Steel StructuresIndustrial roofs, girders, principles of ultimate load design, principles of working stress methods, design of tension and compression members, design of beams and beam-column connections, built-up sections.
Design of concrete & masonry structuresBending, shear, axial compression, and combined forces, limit state design, beams, slabs, lintels, foundations, retaining walls, tanks, and staircases are all designed, pre-stressed concrete design principles, covering materials and procedures, structures designed to withstand earthquakes, masonry structure design.
Construction- Practice, Planning & Management

Planning, equipment, site Investigation, and management, estimation using the most up-to-date project management tools and network analysis for many types of projects, rates of various sorts of works are analyzed, tendering and contract management, quality assurance, productivity, and operational costs, land acquisition, and worker safety and welfare.

IES Civil Engineering Syllabus Paper-2

The IES Civil Engineering syllabus for paper-2 comprises topics such as hydrology, the flow of fluids, photogrammetry, remote sensing, water supply, and a lot more. Let us discuss these topics in detail.

  • Flow of fluids: Fluid characteristics, dimensional analysis, and modeling, fluid dynamics, including flow kinematics and measurements, fluid mechanics, open channel flow, pipe flow: viscosity, boundary layer, and control, drag, lift, open channel flow principles, flow controls surges, pipe networks, hydraulic jumps.
  • Hydrology: Streams and their gauging, river morphology, flood, drought, and their management, hydrological cycle, groundwater hydrology, well hydrology, and related data analysis, reservoir capacity, water resources engineering: water for multiple purposes, river basins, and their potential water demand assessment, irrigation systems, resources - storages and yields, waterlogging, canal, and drainage design, gravity dams, falls, and weirs, energy dissipators, barrages, and distribution works, as well as their design, river training, measurement, and analysis of rainfall, concepts in canal design, building, and maintenance.
  • Environmental Engineering: Water supply sources, estimation, quality standards, and testing, as well as treatment, water supply in rural, institutional, and industrial areas, drinking water standards, water treatment plants, and water distribution networks, physical, chemical, and biological features, estimation of water demand, planning and design of residential wastewater, sewage collection, and disposal. sewerage system components and layout, domestic waste-water disposal system planning and design, industrial wastewaters and effluent treatment plants, covering institutional and industrial sewage control, and sludge management.
  • Geotechnical Engineering: Permeability and seepage, compressibility, consolidation, and shearing resistance, earth pressure theories, and stress distribution in soil, properties and uses of geo-synthetics.
  • Surveying & Geology: Survey classification, diverse procedures, tools, and distance, elevation, and direction measurement analysis, global positioning system, field astronomy, photogrammetry, concepts of remote sensing setting out of curves, culverts, canals, bridges, road/railway alignment, and buildings survey layout.
  • Transportation Engineering: Highways, railway systems, tunneling, harbors, airports- planning and design.

IES Mechanical Engineering Syllabus

The important topics of the IES Mechanical Engineering syllabus for both Prelims and Mains examinations are mentioned below.

IES Mechanical Engineering Syllabus Paper-1

The IES Mechanical Engineering syllabus for Paper-1 consists of multiple important topics namely: fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, IC engines, turbomachinery, power plant engineering, and sources of energy. Further, let us discuss these in detail.


IES Mechanical Engineering Syllabus

Fluid Mechanics

Manometry, fluid statics, buoyancy, equations of motion, basic concepts and properties of fluids the equation of Bernoulli and its applications laminar and turbulent fluxes, viscous flow of incompressible fluids, flow via pipes, and pipe head losses.

Thermodynamics & Heat Transfer

Thermodynamic systems and processes, pure substance qualities, thermodynamics- zeroth, first, and second laws, entropy, irreversibility, and availability, Rankine, Otto, diesel, and dual cycles, ideal and real gases, compressibility factor, examination of thermodynamic cycles related to energy conversion gaseous mixtures heat transfer modes, both steady and erratic heat conduction, thermal resistance, fins, free and forced convection, convective heat transfer correlations boiling and condensation, radiant heat transmission - radiative heat transfer co-efficient, the performance of a heat exchanger.

IC Engines, Refrigerators, and Air Conditioning

Refrigeration by vapor compression and other types of refrigeration systems includes vapor absorption, vapor jet, thermoelectric, vortex tube refrigeration, compressors, condensers, evaporators, and expansion devices. the properties and procedures of psychometrics, comfort chart, residential and commercial air conditioning, load estimates, and heat pumps.

Turbo Machinery

Pelton wheel, Kaplan and Francis turbines, velocity graphs, impulse and reaction principles, reciprocating and rotary pumps turbines, steam and gas, pulse jet and ramjet engines, reciprocating and rotary compressors- theory and applications.

Power Plant Engineering

Rankine and Brayton cycles with regeneration and reheat, fuel quality, analyses of flue gases boilers, steam turbines, and other power plant components such as condensers, air ejectors, electrostatic precipitators, and cooling towers- their theory and design.

Renewable Sources of Energy

Solar thermal energy storage, applications- heating, cooling, and power generation, solar photovoltaic conversion, wind, biomass, and tidal energy harvesting- methods and applications, fuel cell working principles.

IES Mechanical Engineering Syllabus Paper-2

The IES Mechanical Engineering syllabus for Paper-2 consists of various important topics such as phase diagrams, engineering mechanics, machine elements, mechatronics, etc. Let us discuss these topics in detail below.

  • Engineering Mechanics: Stresses and strains-compound stresses and strains, bending moment and shear force diagrams, theory of bending stresses- slope and deflection-torsion, thin and thick cylinders, spheres, analysis of the system of forces, friction, centroid and center of gravity, dynamics, stresses and strains-compound stresses and strains, bending moment and shear force diagrams, theory of bending stress.
  • Engineering Materials: Alloys, phase diagrams, and basic crystallography ferrous and non-ferrous metals, nonmetallic materials, heat treatment nanomaterials: fundamentals, mechanical testing, and properties, corrosion control and prevention.
  • Mechanism and Machines: Free and forced vibration of undamped and damped SDOF systems, transmissibility ratio, vibration isolation, critical speed of shafts, gears – the geometry of tooth profiles, the law of gearing, involute profile, interference, helical, spiral, and worm gears, gear trains– simple, compound, and epicyclic, dynamic analysis – slider-crank mechanisms, turning moment computations, the balance of rotating and reciprocating masses.
  • Design of Machine Elements: Design for static and dynamic loads, failure theories, fatigue strength and the S-N diagram, principles of machine element design, including riveted, welded, and bolted joints, shafts, spur gears, rolling and sliding contact bearings, brakes, and clutches, and flywheels.
  • Manufacturing, Industrial, and Maintenance Engineering: CPM-PERT, metrology and inspection, computer-integrated manufacturing, FMS, production planning and control, inventory management, and operations research, reliability, failure analysis, machine vibration, data acquisition, fault detection, vibration monitoring, field balancing of rotors, noise monitoring, wear, and debris analysis, signature analysis.
  • Mechatronics & Robotics: I/O, architecture, and programming interfacing with computers, sensors, and actuators, pneumatic and hydraulic actuators, stepper motor, Piezoelectric accelerometer, Hall effect sensor, optical encoder, resolver, induction, pneumatic, and hydraulic actuators system of control physical system mathematical modeling, control signals, controllability, robotics, robot classification, and robot specification.

IES Electrical Engineering Syllabus

The important topics of the IES Electrical Engineering syllabus for both Prelims and Mains exams are mentioned below.

IES Electrical Engineering Syllabus Paper-1

The IES Electrical Engineering syllabus for paper-1 consists of topics like electrical materials, networks, dielectric capacitance, computer fundamentals, and a lot more. Further, let us discuss these topics in detail.

  • Engineering Mathematics: System of linear equations, matrix theory, eigenvalues & eigenvectors integral calculus, partial derivatives, maxima and minima, line, surface, and volume, initial and boundary value problems, complex variables, Fourier series, linear, nonlinear, and partial differential equations, initial and boundary value problems, Laurent's and Taylor's series.
  • Electrical Materials: Engineering, electrical materials, crystal structures, and defects, ceramic materials, insulating materials, magnetic materials- fundamentals, properties, and applications, ferrites, ferromagnetic materials, and components, solid-state physics fundamentals, conductors, photo-conductivity, nanomaterials, and superconductors.
  • Electric Circuits and Fields: Transient response of DC and AC networks, sinusoidal steady-state analysis, basic filter concepts, two-port networks, three-phase circuits, magnetically coupled circuits, gauss theorem, electric field, and potential due to point, line, plane, and spherical charge distributions, ampere's and biot-laws, savart's inductance, dielectrics, capacitance, maxwell's equations.
  • Electrical and Electronic Measurements: Measurement principles, accuracy, precision, and standards, Instrument transformers, digital voltmeters and multimeters, phase, time, and frequency measurement, Q-meters, oscilloscopes, potentiometric recorders, error analysis sensors, transducers, and data acquisition systems fundamentals.
  • Computer Fundamentals: Number systems, boolean algebra, arithmetic functions, basic architecture, Central Processing Unit, I/O, and memory organization, peripheral devices, data representation and programming, operating system fundamentals, and networking, virtual memory, and file systems, elements of programming language.
  • Basic Electronics Engineering: Semiconductor diodes and transistors- fundamentals and characteristics, oscillators and other circuits, feedback amplifiers, junction and field-effect transistors (BJT, FET, and MOSFETS), equivalent circuits and frequency response, oscillators and other circuits.

IES Electrical Engineering Syllabus Paper-2

The IES Electrical Engineering syllabus for paper-2 comprises topics such as converters, signal processing, electrical machines, etc. Let us discuss these topics in detail in the table mentioned below.


IES Electrical Engineering Syllabus

Analog & Digital Electronics

Basics of filter circuits and applications, simple active filters, A/D and D/A converters, interfaces and applications of microprocessors, fundamentals of linear integrated circuits, basics of analog communication modulation and demodulation, noise and band, transmitters and receivers, signal to noise ratio, digital communication fundamentals, sampling, quantizing, coding, frequency and time domain multiplexing, and power line carrier communication systems

Systems and Signal Processing

Signal representation in both continuous and discrete-time, linear, time-invariant, and causal systems, shifting and scaling procedures sampling theorem, Fourier series representation of continuous periodic signals, discrete Fourier transform, FFT, linear convolution, discrete cosine transform, FIR filter, IIR filter, bilinear transformation, Fourier and Laplace transforms, Z transforms, Discrete Fourier transform, FFT, linear convolution, discrete cosine transform, bilinear transformation.

Control Systems

Stability analysis, transient and frequency response analysis, state-space model, state transition matrix, controllability and observability, linear state variable feedback, PID and industrial controllers, Routh-Hurwitz criterion, Nyquist techniques, bode plots, root loci, lag, lead and lead-lag compensation.

Electrical Machines

Types of DC machines, windings, generator characteristics, armature reaction, commutation, motor starting, and speed control, starting and speed control of induction motors Synchronous machines: performance, regulation, parallel generator operation, motor starting, characteristics and applications, servo and stepper motors.

Power Systems

Performance of cables, insulation, corona, and radio interference, power factor correction, symmetrical components, fault analysis, protection system principles, solid-state relay basics, and digital protection, radial and ring-main distribution systems, circuit breakers, power system matrices, load flow analysis, voltage regulation, and cost-effective operation Swing curves, system stability ideas, and the equal area requirement, FACTS and HVDC transmission concepts, power system dynamics concepts.

Power Electronics & Drives

Static characteristics and principles of operation of semiconductor power diodes, transistors, thyristors, triacs, GTOs, MOSFETs, and IGBTs, triggering circuits, phase control rectifiers, bridge converters - fully controlled and half controlled, principles of choppers and inverters, DC-DC switched-mode converters, DC-AC switched-mode converters.

IES Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering Syllabus

The important topics of the IES Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering syllabus for both Prelims and Mains exam are mentioned below.

IES ECE Syllabus Paper-1

The IES Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering syllabus for paper-1 consists of various topics namely - Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Material Science, Network Theory, etc. Now, let us discuss these in detail.

  • Basic Electronics Engineering: Diodes for various applications, junction & field-effect transistors (BJTs, JFETs, MOSFETs), transistor amplifiers, oscillators, and other circuits, Bipolar, MOS, and CMOS ICs, basics of Integrated Circuits (ICs), linear integrated circuits, operational amplifiers, and their linear and non-linear applications, sources and detectors of light, fundamentals of optoelectronics and its applications.
  • Basic Electrical Engineering: Ohm's and Kirchoff's rules in DC circuits, mesh and nodal analysis, circuit theorems, induced EMF and its uses, electromagnetism, Faraday's and Lenz's laws, electromagnetism, efficiency, transformers, induction, and synchronous machines, hydroelectric, thermal, nuclear, wind, and solar power sources.
  • Materials Science: Ceramic materials-structures, composites, processes, and applications, crystal structure and flaws, electronics, constructions, properties, and applications of insulating laminates basics of magnetic materials, categorization, ferrites, Ferro/ paramagnetic materials, and components basics, preparation, purification, sintering, nanoparticles, and applications of nano-optical/magnetic/electronic materials.
  • Electronic Measurements and Instrumentation: Measurement principles, accuracy, precision, and standards, analog and digital measurement systems, measuring equipment for various uses, errors, statistical analysis, and curve fitting, static/dynamic properties of measurement systems, non-electrical quantity measurement systems, telemetry fundamentals, transducers and displays of various types, the basics of a data acquisition system.
  • Network Theory: Wye-Delta transformation, network graphs, and matrices, Time-domain study of RLC circuits using linear constant-coefficient differential equations, 26 Laplace transformations used to solve network problems, study of RLC circuits in the frequency domain, 2-port network parameters, including driving point and transfer functions, network state equations, steady-state sinusoidal analysis.
  • Analog and Digital Circuits: BJT and JFET amplifier circuits' biassing and stability, single-stage and multi-stage amplifier analysis and design, feedback and applications active filters, timers, multipliers, waveshapers, and A/D-D/A converters are just a few examples. Uses of Boolean Algebra Combinatorial/ sequential circuits, logic gates, digital IC families design, and applications of multiplexers, counters/ registers/ memories/ microprocessors.

IES ECE Syllabus Paper-2

The IES Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering syllabus for paper-2 consist of various important topics such as fiber optics, electromagnetics, control systems, advanced communications, etc. Let us discuss these further.

  • Analog and Digital Communication Systems: AM, FM, transmitters/receivers, theory/ practice/ standards, SNR comparison, basics of digital communication: sampling, quantization, coding, PCM, DPCM, and audio/video multiplexing, ASK, FSK, and PSK, Multiple access: TDMA, FDMA, and CDMA, Fiber optics, theory, and practice/ standards in optical communication.
  • Control Systems: Signal and system classification, signal and system theory applications, system realization, transforms and their applications Routh-Hurwitz criteria, root loci, and Nyquist/ bode plots, open and closed-loop feedback systems, stability analysis, steady-state, transient, and frequency response analysis, control system design, compensators, lead/lag compensation features, PID and industrial controllers.
  • Computer Organization and Architecture: Basic architecture, CPU, I/O organization, memory organization, peripheral devices, and trends. issues with the hardware or software, programming & data representation basics, methods, properties, and applications of operating systems, memory management, virtual memory, file systems, databases- types, features, and designs, controlling transactions and concurrency typical instances of programming language elements.
  • Electro Magnetics: Basic ideas in vector calculus, maxwell's equations, gauss' and stokes' theorems, propagation of waves across various mediums, transmission lines: kinds, basics, smith's chart, impedance matching/transformation, s-parameters, pulse excitation, and applications basics, rectangular types, modes, cut-off frequency, dispersion, and dielectric types of waveguides, antennas: radiation pattern, monopoles/ dipoles, gain, active/ passive arrays, theory, and application.
  • Advanced Electronics: Processing, lithography, interconnects, packaging, and testing, VLSI design: principles, MUX/ROM/PLA-based design, Moore & mealy circuit design, pipeline concepts & functions, design for testability, examples, DSP: discrete-time signals/systems, applications, digital filters: FIR/ IIR types, design, speech/audio/radar signal processing applications, microprocessors & microcontrollers, basics, interrupts, DMA.
  • Advanced Communication: Principles, techniques, technology, OSI model and security, streaming/ scheduling of basic packet multiplexed streams, types of cellular networks, analysis, and protocols (TCP/TCPIP), satellite and microwave communication- LOS systems of the terrestrial/space variety, block schematics, connection computations, and system design, satellites for communication, orbits, properties, systems, and applications, block schematics.


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  • The IES syllabus 2022 includes two papers: Paper-1 consists of questions based on General Studies & Engineering Aptitude which is common for all and Paper-2 consists of questions based on the stream selected in the application form. 

  • The IES syllabus for General Studies and Engineering Aptitude consists of:

    • Current issues of national and international importance.
    • Logical reasoning and Analytical ability
    • Basics of Energy and Environment
    • Ethics and values in the Engineering profession.
  • Yes. the IES syllabus 2022 covers the complete Engineering syllabus while the syllabus of GATE exam covers only the topics required for higher studies.

  • The recommended books covering a complete section of General Studies and Engineering Aptitude of the IES syllabus are:

    • General Studies and Engineering Aptitude- G.K. Publications
    • General Studies and Engineering Aptitude- R. K. Jain
    • Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning- R. S. Aggarwal
  • The UPSC IES syllabus can be prepared efficiently only when one knows the syllabus, pattern, and the number of vacancies. Candidates should evaluate how much time they have in their hands to prepare for the exam and their strengths & weaknesses by going through previous years' question papers.

  • Yes. The competition of the UPSC IES syllabus is tougher than the GATE syllabus because it includes the complete engineering syllabus. For the IES examination, the competition ratio is much higher than the GATE exam.

  • The most important topics in the IES Mechanical Engineering syllabus are- Thermodynamics, IC engines, Refrigeration, and Air conditioning, Engineering Mechanics, Manufacturing, Industrial and Maintenance Engineering, and Mechatronics & Robotics.

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