Indian Defence Estate Service (IDES)

By Durga Prashanna Mishra|Updated : September 6th, 2022

IDES full form is Indian Defence Estate Service. IDES officers are recruited through the Civil Services Examination conducted by the UPSC. A cadre of IDES officers works for the Defence Estates Organization (DEO), an organization responsible for managing the country's cantonments and defence land. IDES is one of the options of the service for candidates who have cleared the Civil services examination. This article will provide all the information related to the IDES structure, pay scale, recruitment, and the facilities after recruitment.

If you are a UPSC aspirant preparing hard for the examination, it is crucial to know every service in detail so you can decide where you want to invest your future. After cracking the civil services examination, candidates get to choose in which capacity they want to serve the nation and to do so, you should be aware of the aspects in which you would love to serve the nation and in which service you can give your best.

Table of Content

What is Indian Defence Estate Service (IDES)?

Among the many services under the Directorate General of Defence Estate in the Ministry of Defense, the Indian Defense Estate Service is one of the group's "A" services.

  • The crucial responsibility of the officers under this service is to manage and administer the defence and cantonment lands in the country.
  • The IDES Department was formed on 16th December 1926.
  • From 1926 to 1983, it was known as the Military Lands and Cantonments Service and then as the Defence Lands and Cantonments Service.
  • The Indian Defence Estates Service was formally renamed in 1985. Currently, 75% of IDES employees are recruited through recruitment and 25% through promotion.

Structure Of IDES

IDES is a three-tiered structure with-

  1. Directorate General is located in the Delhi Cantonment. IDES members work works in the capacity of officers of the directorate general.
  2. The Directorate General instructs the Ministry of Defence and Services Headquarters on all the defence land and cantonment matters. It oversees the execution of the Cantonments Act 2006, including its rules and regulations, all government policies, and administrative instructions. The Directorate General also deals with the land and building requirements of the citizens of the cantonment area through acquisitions, requisitions, or Hiring.
  3. Tier 2 includes six directorates at the regional headquarters supervising the field offices under jurisdiction.
  4. In the final tier of the IDES structure, there are 62 cantonments, each of which is headed by a Chief Executive Officer and 37 Defense estate Circles, and four Assistant Defense Estate offices headed by Defense estate officers, all located at the cutting edge of administration.
  5. Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) are responsible for the day-to-day administration of the cantonment. The Defence Estates Officer (DEO) is an agent of the Central Government.
  6. It is the National Institute of Defence Estates Management (NIDEM) that conducts training for the department. It provides induction training to probationers and in-service training to officers. It is headed by the Director (SAG).

Cantonment Boards

  • Cantonment Board operates under the control of the ministry of defence. It looks into the municipal administration of cantonment areas that include military and civil populations. India currently has 62 cantonment boards. The state government does not create them; they are created and administered by the central government.

Roles and Responsibilities of IDES officer

The roles and responsibilities of IDES officers are as follows:

  • Managing defence lands of about 17 lakh acres.
  • Administering the 62 Cantonment Boards.
  • To work for the development of cantonments and to ensure health care and quality education, making sure there is a proper system for the care of elders, differently abled and unprivileged groups of society.
  • Performing a regular survey of defence lands.
  • Talent accession, Hiring and requisitioning of the immovable properties for defence purposes.
  • To optimize utilization of defence lands, conduct regular audits.
  • Updating and maintaining accurate and digitized records of cantonment land.
  • Preventing encroachments and unauthorized constructions.
  • Disposing of the defence land.
  • Also works by advising the Defense Ministry on issues regarding Cantonments and defence land.
  • Administering the execution of the Cantonments Act 2006.
  • Looking after the litigation regarding defence lands arising out of ownership and land acquisition.

IDES Recruitment and Training

The IDES UPSC posts are filled through the UPSC Exam. Around 75% of the vacancies are filled by direct recruitment, and the remaining 25% are filled by promotion. National Institute of Defense Estates Management (NIDEM), located in New Delhi, facilitates the six months training program for recruited candidates.

Eligibility Requirement Of Being An IDES Officer

Below we have mentioned the eligibility criteria to become an IDES officer

  1. The aspirants will need a graduation degree to appear for the civil service examination.
  2. Graduation in any discipline will be accepted.
  3. The aspirants should have attained the minimum age of 21 years and maximum age of 30 years as of 1st August of the year of examination.
  4. Post cracking the UPSC civil service examination, the candidates will need to undergo training for the period which may be specified.

Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES) Officer Salary

The salary of the IDES officer depends on their ranks. Below candidates can check out the pay band, and grade pay for each post.




Junior time scale



Senior time scale



Junior administrative grade(ordinary)



Junior administrative grade(selection)



Senior administrative grade



Higher administrative grade


Add. Secretary level

Director general defence estates

80000/- (fixed)

Secretary level

Indian Defence Estate Service Facilities

IDES officers get many privileges immediately after six months of their academy training. The receive facilities like government vehicles, household help, and a house are provided to IDES officers quite early in their service compared to the other services. No other service officers get this kind of facility after 6 months of joining the service.

Life of an IDES officer Trainee

After cracking the examinations, officers join the training program at LBSNAA, thereafter they go for six months training program in NIDEM- National Institute of Defence Estates Management in New Delhi. After this stage of the training, program officers are given the post of CEO/DEO. And when the probation ends, officers are called back to NIDEM for "end of probation training."

The main emphasis of training is more on attaining field exposure and job understanding rather than what they have learned in a prior academic curriculum. The exposure of these officers to the initial posting locations will assist them in gaining the basal platform for a much more prosperous IDES career in the near future.

Here are the few key areas on which the training at NIDEM will be focused-

  1. Legislative laws
  2. Accounting laws
  3. Civil Engineering principles
  4. Electoral rules
  5. VIP protocols and much more

Skills Required For Cracking IDES UPSC

Every profession demands a certain set of skills to complete the responsibilities offered by that position. It is most justifiable that these honourable positions go to those capable and deserving and have successfully proved it. Below are the few mentioned sets of skills that are required by the aspirants willing to make a career in defence services-

  1. Leadership skills
  2. Decision-making skills
  3. Out-of-the-box thinking
  4. Bravery and resilience
  5. Patience in life
  6. Calmness and wisdom
  7. Optimistic attitude
  8. The quality to adjust everywhere.
Other Important UPSC Notes
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas YojanaProject 75
Stockholm ConventionGlobal Warming
Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)Article 28 of the Indian Constitution
Forest Rights Act 2006UN Environment Programme
List of High Courts in IndiaKeshvananda Bharti Case
Red Sanders in IndiaMonetary Policy


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FAQs on Indian Defence Estate Service (IDES)

  • IDES full form is Indian Defence Estate Service. The IDES officers are responsible to manage and administer the defence and cantonment lands in the country.

  • IDES Officers are appointed via the Civil Services Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

  • Probationers receive their induction training at New Delhi's National Institute of Defence Estates Management (NIDEM). They then take up the position of Chief Executive Officer in a cantonment.

  • In order to become an IDES officer, aspirants must have a graduation degree.

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