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Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES): Exam, Eligibility, Functions, Training and Payscales – Important Points in 2021

The Indian Defence Estates Service is a Civil Service in the GoI. Its body Controlling Authority is the Ministry of Defence. An aspiring IDES Officer will go through the Civil Services Examination (CSE) conducted every year by Union Public Service Commission provides a gateway for entry into this Service.  

The Indian Defence Estates Service is a Central Service under the GoI in the Ministry of Defence. Recruitment to the Service is based on the Civil Services Examination (CSE) conducted by the UPSC. The Department of IDES came into the picture on 16th December 1926. The evolution of the Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES) is firmly twisted with the recent history of our country.   

The IDES Service was initially known as the Military Land and Cantonment Service, and then Defence Land and Cantonment Service. In 1985, the IDES Service came to be formally known as the Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES). The recruitment to the IDES Service, as provided under the Indian Defence Estates Service (Group ‘A’) Rules, 2013, is 75% by recruitment/CSE and 25% by promotion. 

Human Resources

The Defence Estates Organisation (DEO) functions under the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The total power of the Organization is 18,251 approximately. The breakup of this workforce is as follows: – 

a) The Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES) comprising of 189 – Group ‘A’ officers including 01 posts at the Secretary level, 07 posts at the HAG (Addl. Secretary) level and 19 posts at the SAG (Joint Secretary) level;

b) Cantonment Executive Officer (CEO) Group ‘B’, Assistant Defence Estates Officers, Senior Private Secretary and Private Secretary.

c) Technical, Clerical and Support staff totalling 984, engaged with the function of land management; and

d) Officials are counting approximately 17,000 workings in Cantonment Boards involved in the civic administration of the Cantonment.

The Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES) team, though small, is committed to providing responsive and liable administration. The Vision of the Organization is a nation, which embodies the spirit of developmental administration, reads as follows: -“The Vision is to develop Cantonments which offers a healthy environment and urban living to its residents, and civilians; to establish a system of land management that vigorously secures defence land and ensures its maximum utilization, and to maximize the satisfaction of the public that comes in contact with it.” 

 Note- For latest update/notification from UPSC, visit this link.

Functions of an IDES Officer

The functions of the Defence Estates Organization (DEO) includes: 

  1. Management of Defence Lands measuring is about 17 lakh acres.
  2. Administration of 62 Cantonment Boards- the institutions of local self-government- in as many cantonments notified under the Cantonments Act, 2006;
  3. Develop Cantonments as modern townships including the provision of school education for children, health care for residents, social care system for the aged people, differently-abled and disadvantaged sections of society;
  4. Talent Acquisition, Hiring, Requisitioning of immovable properties for defence purposes;
  5. A regular survey of defence land;
  6. Periodic audit of defence land inter-alia to optimize its utilization;
  7. Maintenance of accurate, digitized record of properties, including regular updating;
  8. Support of state of the art archives for holding old records including restoration and preservation of old/damaged paper records.
  9. Disposal of defence land; 
  10. Handling of litigation arising out of the land acquisition for defence purposes.
  11. Handling of litigation, regarding ownership of the defence land.

Recruitment to IDES

The recruitment to Indian Defence Estates Service(IDES), as provided under the Indian Defence Estates Service, is 75% by direct recruitment / CSE and 25% by promotion. 

 Note- For more Grade A services of UPSC- Visit- IRS and ITS 

Training of an IDES Officer

Both Direct Recruits (DRs) as well as promote Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES) officers are covey professional training in Delhi. The IDES officers are confirmed to the Service after successful completion of the probation period/training period. 

Besides, there is provision for training of Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES) officers across their entire service period. The IDES officers are also sent to other training institutes for attending specific courses. 

Designations of an IDES Officer during Field Postings

(i) Chief Executive Officer (in Cantonment Boards) 
(ii) Defence Estates Officer 

Appointment of an IDES Officer in other Organisation/ Bodies

The Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES) officers can be appointed on deputation to Central Government (CG), State Governments (SG), PSUs and under Central Staffing Scheme. 

Promotion of an IDES Officer

In this profile, an IDES officer rises in salary and promotions based on Performance Appraisal Reports, vigilance clearance and scrutiny of an overall record of the officer concerned by a committee of senior civil servants, Ministry of Defence and UPSC. The apex post in the Organization is of Director General Defence Estates, which is a Secretary level post in Government of India. 

 Note- Visit UPSC Posts and Ranks to understand the profile in-depth.  

Scale of Pay of Various Posts

Total: 189 Posts 

No.No. of PostsPay Band and Grade Pay
1Director General Defence Estates – 1Rs. 80,000/- (Fixed)- Secretary Level Post 
2Higher Administrative Grade- 7Rs. 67,000 – 79,000-Addl. Secretary Level Posts
3Senior Administrative Grade- 19Rs. 37,400 – 67,000 [PB-4]- Rs 10,000/-
4Junior Administrative Grade (Selection Grade)- 65Rs. 37,400 – 67,000 [PB-4]- Rs 8,700/-
5Junior Administrative Grade (Ordinary Grade)Rs. 15600 – 39100 [PB-3]- Rs 7,600/-
6Senior Time Scale – 41Rs. 15600 – 39100 [PB-3]- Rs 6,600/-
7Junior Time Scale- 56Rs. 15600 – 39100 [PB-3]- Rs 5,400/-


The Indian Defence Estates Service is an organized Group A service under the Government of India in the Ministry of Defence. Recruitment to the Service is based on the Civil Services Examination conducted annually by the Union Public Service Commission.  

The evolution of this IDES is firmly twisted with the history of our country. At first, the Service was known as the Military Lands and Cantonments Service (ML&CS), and then afterwards, it’s known as Defence Lands and Cantonments Service (DL&CS). In 1985, the Service formally started to be known as the Indian Defence Estates Service. 

Topics covered in this article 

Note- To understand more about the exam/profile- visit the UPSC official website- 

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