Study leave in Indian Railways

Granted to a Railway employee for:

1. Higher studies or undergoing training in professional and technical subjects having a direct and close connection with the sphere of his duties.
2. A study capable of widening one’s mind in manner likely to improve his abilities as a Railway employee.
3. Studies connected with the framework or background of public administration.
4. Advantageous to the Government from the point of view of public interest and related to his duties of Railway employee.
5. Not granted for academic/literary pursuits.
6. Should be liberally granted particularly to scientific, technical and administrative staff. For study outside India, permission of Finance Ministry should be obtained.
7.  Study leave out of India shall not be granted for the prosecution of studies in subjects for which adequate facilities exist in India or under any of the Schemes administered by the Department of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance or by the Ministry of Education.

Period of leave:-

  • Max period of 24 months in the entire service of a Railway employee and upto 12 months at a time.
  • Combined with other type of leave with leave salary (LAP/LHAP) excluding extra ordinary leave(ExL) leave can be permitted upto 36 months for a Railway employee doing PhD.

Leave salary during study leave. —(1) During study leave availed outside India a Railway  servant  shall  draw  leave  salary  equal  to  the  pay  (without  allowances  other  than  dearness allowance)that the Railway servant drew while on duty immediately before proceeding on such leave, in addition to the study allowance admissible in accordance with the provisions of rules 8 to 10 .

(2) (a)   During study leaves availed in India, a Railway servant shall draw leave salary equal
to the pay (without allowances other than dearness allowances) that the Railway servant drew while
on duty immediately before proceeding on such leave.

(b)  Payment  of  leave  salary  at  full  rate  under  clause  (a)  shall  be  subject  to  furnishing  of  a
certificate by the Railway servant to the effect that he is not in receipt of any scholarship, stipend or
remuneration in respect of any part-time employment.

(c )  The amount, if any received by a Railway servant during the period of study leave as
scholarship or stipend or remuneration in respect of any part time employment as envisaged in sub-
rule (2) of rule 8, shall be adjusted against the leave salary payable under this sub-rule subject to the
condition that the leave salary shall not be reduced to an amount less than that payable as leave salary
during half pay leave.

(d)  No study allowance shall be paid during study leave for courses of study in India.


  • The employee has to execute a bond specifying that he wont resign / retire for 3 years after the expiry of leave failing which he will have to refund all the leave salary and other expenses incurred by Railways.
  • Not granted to those with less than 5 years of service and due to retire within 3 years after the expiry of leave.
  • Study leave by Railway servants who resign / retire / quit service without returning to duty or quit service within a period of three years after return to duty / who fail to complete the course of study and are thus unable to furnish the certificate as required in the Study Leave Rules, shall be converted into regular leave standing at his credit on the date on which the study leave commenced.
  • Any regular leave taken in continuation of study leave being suitably adjusted for the purpose and the balance of the period of study leave, if any, which cannot be so converted, treated as extraordinary leave.
  • The balance of study leave thus converted into extraordinary leave due to deficiency in the leave account shall not be counted as qualifying service for pensionary benefits.
  • Period spent on study leave shall be counted for earning both Leave on Average Pay and also Leave on Half Average Pay from 04/01/2011[1](before 04/01/2011 – not for earning leave other than LHAP).

Service/ Seniority

  • Period will count as service for promotion.

Sanctioning authority

  • Gazetted Officers – Railway Board
  • Non-Gazetted Officers – GM


IES Objective Preparation

IES examination consists of 2 objective papers on second day.The syllabus is divided into two parts:- Objective paper 1 and Objective Paper 2. You should be thorough with the syllabus of both the papers.

Objective examinations are about speed and accuracy. They test your problem solving skills in very limited time. There are few points you should keep in mind while preparing for objective exam.

1. GATE:-GATE paper is largely similar to IES objective but GATE in more analytical than IES. However you need different strategies to handle these two paper. No. Of questions and their difficulty also vary. GATE is more innovative than IES. UPSC is not very innovative in engineering examinations. Objective exams are scoring but you must have conceptual clarity. GATE is held in January/February, so preparing for GATE definitely helps in IES objective exam. The bottom line is that you can prepare simultaneously for GATE and IES objective.

2. SPEED:-In IES objective paper,there are 120 questions of 200 marks which are to be solved in 2 hour duration. So 1 question per minute should be the rate of solving question. Therefore you should practice objective questions using a watch and sticking to the time. Attempt at least 100 questions. Students are already scoring very good marks in objective papers.Try to maintain speed at the rate of 60 questions per hour. You can’t lower your speed than this else disaster is waiting for you. In one of the paper I could reach up to only 30 questions in one hour so in the next hour i went through 90 question. This is was very risky thing to do. If i had not maintained speed in last hour then you can well imagine the situation. So maintain a steady rate of 60 questions per hour.

3. INSURANCE:-Getting marks in subjective exam is very uncertain but you can be sure of getting every marks in objective exam if you attempt the questions correctly. So here lies the answer to all your worries. Score so well in objective papers that even if you get average marks in subjective exam ,you are pretty safe and still in the race. This is like insurance policy where you get assured returns. If your subjective exam also goes well then your are on the path of being a topper. Always dream of becoming a topper never a qualifier.

5. EXTENSIVE STUDY:-There is a difference between the study pattern when you prepare for objective examination. In subjective study more depth is required but objective papers require wider coverage of the topic. So you have to study extensively for objective and intensively for subjective. Cover almost every topic from far reaches of the books. Don’t leave anything, even study unconventional things.Observe the type of objective questions that are asked from that particular topic. Subjective exam requires practice but objective paper demand a good memory and analytical skills. The more you remember , the better it is. You will have to study from standard textbooks to prepare for objective exam because these demand wider coverage of topic.

Why Railways is the best option in IES

Following answer has been given on Quora By Sourabh Anand IES 2013 rank 3

If you’re looking for facilities –
1. Duty pass free (2nd AC)( you can go any where with your spouse and children)
2. Big bungalow with 3-4 servants
3. Power (i.e. Staff to Officer Ratio )- 500-600 people will be reporting you in first posting.
4. Dedicated vehicle for you (after 2-3 years)
5. Social status (of class-1 officer gazetted officer)
6. You can become DRM After 25 years and after GM 30 years
7. Very fast promotions.

If you’re looking for long-term –
1. Job satisfaction.
2. Genuine opportunity to serve the nation.
3. To be part of such a large system which people from outside wonders how it works.
4. There is no field of Engineering or Management which get untouched providing you an opportunity to excel in the field of your liking and competency
5. Respect in the society and friend circle.  You can help in getting emergency quota.
6. Support of very large fraternity and network of Railway man ready to support you and your family in adverse situation.
7. You and your family feel homely and safe  in any part of the country in Railway area.
8. You have an opportunity for higher studies like a post graduation/PhD in India or abroad.
9. Even though you are tied with one organization for the entire 30-38 years of active career still you can find your boss and place of posting changing almost every two years.

Detailed Answer

Let’s compare Railways Services for Electronics Engineers (IRSSE) to the core service of ECE i.e ITS (Indian Telecommunication Services) in order to get an idea why Railways are preferred –

1. Locations: IRSSE training is at IRISET, Hyderabad. After training, posting for IRSSE is mostly in divisional HQs. Yes, some divisions are in small places (cities & at the very least, district HQs). Zonal HQs are mostly located in big cities.

2.Nature of job: Most key posts in DoT are manned by the IAS and CSS. ITS officers will handle all the technical work, but most administrative posts will be held by the IAS (Even the Secy  and Joint Secy DoT are from IAS). IRSSE has its fair share of Admin posts as well, as there is no IAS to throw a spanner in the works. Post of Member Signaling hasn’t been sanctioned yet, but Addl Member post has been upgraded to Special Secretary GoI status. Also, deputation opportunities are aplenty for the IRSSE. In railway PSUs, even 1994 or ’95 batch officers are being posted as GMs.

3.Working days: ITS has 5 working days. IRSSE has 6 (and it is 24X7 work). But then, even the IAS/IPS work 6 days a week, and are on duty 24*7! It only indicates the greater responsibility and powers held by them. Same holds true for IRSSE. And this is mostly in divisions, where you are dealing with direct train ops. If that’s too hectic, you have the option of joining Zonal HQs, where most of the work is administrative in nature and 5-day weeks are a reality.

4. Reputation: Reputation is more or less the same I suppose.

5.Facilities: Now comes the good part. Railway Officers’ Enclaves are the envy of all services (including IAS/IPS!). All divisions and HQ have good officers’ clubs, which have swimming pools, pool tables, AC gyms, mini theaters etc. Parties are held every 2 weeks or so. Most divisions and zonal hqrs (yes, even the big metros) have bungalows for officers in SAG and above. JAG and SG officers don’t get bungalows only in a handful of cities, but you get large apartments (3 or 4BHK, >2000sqft) in prime locations in cities. ITS and other central services have to make-do with the ramshackle CPWD quarters under the CGPRA (which are mostly occupied). You will get HRA, but that is mostly insufficient to get good accommodation. Also, you will have lots of servant under you in IRSSE (not less than 2 or 3). You can never dream of free servants in ITS. And to mention of rail passes, officers in SAG and above also get saloons (2 BR, with kitchen and attendant) for official travel within the zone! SAG officers will have to share one, and HAG officers get individual ones.
Also, during training you will get pretty good rooms at IRISET, Hyderabad and RSC, Baroda. Both institutes have excellent clubs for officers.

6.Future prospects: It is a well-known fact that the ITS has become top-heavy with severe stagnation in JAG and above. ITS association’s demand for cadre review has also been shot-down many times by the IAS. 1987 batch of IRSSE already empaneled as Joint Secretary to Govt of India, as compared to 1982 batch of ITS.2000 batch of ITS is yet to get JAG, as compared to 2008 batch of IRSSE already in JAG on ad hoc basis. Promotions in railways are definitely faster than ITS. You can paint the rest of the picture yourself.

JAG = Junior Administrative Grade
SG = Selection Grade
SAG = Senior Administrative Grade
HAG = Higher Administrative Grade

Experiences of Alind Shekhar (2010 batch IES officer) about Railway Services (It was posted in 2012 on Orkut)

(Although it does not directly answer the question, it tells you a lot about facilities provided by Railways. So, I think it’s worth reading.)

“I worked in NTPC for more than a year, and I’m in railways for the last 7 months.

My salary in NTPC was 46k in hand. Right now my salary here is approx 30k in hand. After posting it will be around 40-42k in hand.
But still I do not regret joining railways due to the following reasons –

1) Staff : Officer ratio matters a lot when u talk of power. In NTPC, it must have been around 1:5 or 1:10. We were more officers than staff and this is generally the case when NTPC is recruiting 700-800 engineers every year.
In railways this ratio is around 800:1 in your first posting.

2) In NTPC, there were more than 30 guys at my rank in my plant. In railway I will be the only one in my sub-division (maybe a traffic officer as well if posting is in goods traffic dominating area). Thats a huge difference!

3) In NTPC, I didn’t have any authority of my own. The contractors will always go to the manager/DGM for petite matters and I used to feel humiliated as to what my role in the company was.
This is not the case in railway. You get to decide what is to be done in your jurisdiction. Sr DENs are virtually non-approachable to contractors. And this gives you the power!! There goes a saying that”AEN ke section me patta bhi usse puchche bina nahi hilta” [Roughly translates to – In the section of AEN (Assistant Engineer), he is final authority] I think this explains a lot.

4)There is not much difference in responsibility in PSU with the promotion. In NTPC manager level guy was doing almost the same thing as I was. Apart from signing of some documents. And both of us had to report to DGM directly. It is not so in railways. Responsibility and power increases with every promotion.

5) Salary wise comparison shouldn’t be there. As IAS/IPS get the same salary as IES guys. So virtually you are comparing PSU and IAS on salary grounds!

6)DRMs and GM are authorized to use beacon. This is for those who are fascinated by it. But of course, everybody can’t reach there and it takes 25yrs to become DRM. But there is no chance in PSU.

7) A railway SAG officer (18-22yrs) becomes GM when he is on deputation in a PSU. It will take you much longer in a PSU in ntpc it was minimum 26-27 yrs and that too there was no surety just like DRM post in railway. But in railway you will get SAG 100% before 22-23yrs.

8) Housing facilities have much difference. To know the actual difference you can visit any railway colony and ask for the bungalows there. You will get the difference. AEN bungalow in first posting can be up to 3 acres in area at some locations. Generally it is around1.5-2 acres!
My father recently got a bungalow in coal India ltd at DGM level after working for 23 yrs! compare this.

9)There are other add ons. Like authority to use  the national emblem. Even on your visiting card. There is same format for this for IAS/IPS guys as well. So you get value anywhere by showing this. For eg, I don’t have to pay any toll taxes on any toll bridge of roadways. I have tried it most where and succeeded. Only exception was gurgaon toll bridge!! These small things make you feel powerful.

So, I feel that railways is much better than any PSU.
I have not worked else where so can’t compare other services with PSU.

My Medical Examination

After the deceleration of results, all the selected candidates are asked to appear for medical examination. The medical is conducted by railway board for all the departments. The centres are allocated based on your preference in interview form. I am going to write my experience of medical examination.

My medical was scheduled on 24th April 2014 at Gorakhpur. My friend Goutam Rahul Roy who had got 42 rank had his medical on 23rd April 2014 at the same centre. So we decided to plan our journey together. We booked tickets for Gorakhpur and boarded the train on 21 April 2014.

Our journey started on a very fine note. It is typical in railway journeys that we talk to our fellow passengers to pass the time. A person in our compartment started asking about us . We told them about ourselves that we have been selected for Railways through IES. They were extremely happy to hear this and enquired more about us. One of our fellow passenger was section engineer in railways (group B post). He helped us a lot in guiding for our future journey. He called an official at Gorakhpur railway station to book a room for two of us in railway lodge. We were pleasantly surprised , in fact we were hoping to book a hotel there. He even drew a map for us and bid us goodbye.

After reaching railway guest house , we told them our reference and they happily admitted us there. All the group D staff were very happy to receive us . They said ” Saheb ayee hai”. We were not expecting this kind of treatment . All the people were very curious to meet us They told us everything about that place  and helped us in all our requirements. First day went quite well…In evening we went out to take look around that place.

Goutam and Myself at railway guest house at Gorakhpur Railway Station


On they day of medical examination, I set off early to the designated hospital which was nearby where we were staying without eating anything. We first filled out some forms and then got segregated in  two groups.  First test was x-ray test which was over very quickly. Second test was eyes test which included colour blindness test and eyesight test. Third test was urine test.Fourth test was quite interesting, it included physical fitness test. It include height ,weight ,chest expansion , blood pressure test. In the end there was gender test , so u have to get completely naked in front of doctor, sometimes there may be more than one doctor. This was most embarrassing part of test , however you have to go through it. Already it was evening time at the end of these test . An assistant came and called out names of the person who can leave . This was an indication that everything was OK for them whose names have been called. So my name was there, hence I left immediately.

I would like to tell few things about behaviour of lower staff there. They always called as ‘Saheb’ which is reminiscent of British Raj when railway and administration officials where placed at the top of hierarchy. The hangover is still there,it is not going to fade away easily. Some officers like to be called as such…. Once I was passing by a caretaker ,he was sitting on bench while I stood there and enquired about few things. This was noticed was his senior that he was sitting while I was standing. He didn’t do it intentionality but he got reprimanded  for that. This left me speechless. I got a glimpse of life that was to come in railways. It will ultimately depend on me about how I am going to get respect from my juniors. He told he that when you will come here as an officer you too will become like most of them. I replied in negative and assured him that i will be always kind and respectful to my juniors. We should stop this practice of insulting our juniors. We will have to shed this ‘ Saheb’ tag through good behavior.(That person called me when i reached Delhi and asked me when I was coming there as an officer.)

We met one more candidate…Aditya Tripathi who had got 46 AIR. We spent good times together,all three of us. We went to Gorakhnath temple and sought blessing for our medical results. He was a lively person but he worried too much about medical results.Our evenings used to be quire lively. He left a day early for his destination. Next day we boarded the train for Delhi. As usual our fellow passengers showed respect and praised us. They too took our phone numbers and were very happy to meet borth of us. By the time we reached Delhi,we were quite satisfied with our journey.

image      Temple Pond where we spent our evenings

In retrospect I can say that I got a glimpse of life that was to come. I know that IES officers are shown lots of respect in society but challenges are also immense. Trailer was good, full movie is yet to be released.

Thank you