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.

78 Replies to “Why Railways is the best option in IES”

  1. Hi Amit Sir! ..Congratulations on becoming IES officer! I have started preparing for IES exam in Electrical stream. Shall EEE guys also get same benefits as ECE guy getting? for example
    u said in first posting 500 people will report you…is it same case for EEE guys in Railways?
    Thanks for your time Sir…

    1. Thanks Meghana,
      It is a true fact that an officer in Railways gets large number of subordinate staff for reporting. Civil engineering is the biggest engineering department so an IRSE officer will have large number of people reporting to him than an IRSSE(your dept.). IRSSE is also a very prestigious service in Railway. AS far as facilities are concerned , it is more or less same for every officer in railways. Once you enter railways,it is a different world altogether and you are endowed with those privileges which is luxury for common masses.

  2. This was really helpful…had looked hard everywhere on the web to find this…thanks saurabh anand and alind shekhar for these answers.

    1. After Supreme court judgment , RED beacon with or without flasher can be used by only few constitutional posts.
      However state govt. issue notification from time to time for use of beacon lights on official vehicles.
      So, the possibility of getting any beacon is there in IES only after DRM or GM level.
      Even MPs and MLA are not allowed to use red beacon now.
      DM also can’t use red beacon , at most he is allowed yellow beacon.
      Important point is that no any IAS officer allow to use siren/flasher. sirens are fitted on their vehicle only for escorting VVIPs.

      Let me tell you, do your work honestly and beacon will not a matter of concern. It has been associated with babu raj and officialdom, and has negative image in eyes of people.

  3. Sir,
    Thank you for such a great post.. All the IES aspirants might have found it very informative.. I am a civil grad too looking to clear IES 2016 .. kindly give some preparation advice.. It would be invaluable to me..

  4. Hello Amit Sir,
    first of all i congratulate you for the achievement …
    and i deeply aspire to become an IES officer Sir..right now iam in the second year of my ELECTRONICS AND COMMUNICATION ENGINEERING…i have the leadership qualities required for the post of an IES.
    but will an electronics department student have a better future in this field Sir??

    1. Yes..why not. There are enough opportunities in electronic engg in govt sector. But you should also be aware of nature and functioning of govt jobs. IES provides many leadership challenges which is not available in pvt jobs.

  5. hi amit….congrats for your new journey…..actually I have opted ITS as first preference for IES-2014…..Bt after reading this I am feeling a bit low….I am thinking that I should have gone with IRSSE which is my second preference….can u just elaborate some positive points of ITS……it will be very helpful for me morally….:)…..I hope u understand …thanks….

    1. Don’t be discouraged after reading this because it represents only one side of the story. Stick to your original decision. There are many drawbacks of railways as well. I will ask ITS people to write about their services here. Till then ,best of luck

    2. Hey fighter_12,
      I’m just one more guy preparing for IES-2015. I don’t have much of information regarding future prospects.
      But as for your concern, I’ve come across this.


      @ Amit Singh Sir, if you got better details, please share. Coz I’m preparing alone. And cant afford coaching classes.

      And thanks to you as yours blog is the one of the resource aggregator for me and many others.

  6. Thank you very much sir this post helps me alot to clear my view regarding to my future. It really help me in strengthen my dream…:-) thanku very much sir

  7. Sir wat about MES(army) engineers?
    Is there any difference in facilities given to Railways nd MES engineers?

    Are MES engineers provided with black ambassadors?(i know these things should not matter but a black ambassador really looks awesome)

  8. Is there any difference in facilities given to MES and railway officers who join after clearing IES exam?
    Are civilian officers who r serving army treated inferiors by armymen?

  9. hello Amit sir, thanks for this valuable post. surely the facilities in IR are numerous.
    I have a doubt . is the area given above (1.5 -3 hecatre ) correct.?
    as 1.5hectare = 15000 m2 = 1,60,000 sq ft.and 3hectare =3,20,000sq ft ….. that is almost equal to Rashtrapati bhavan (2lakh sqfeet)…..
    The area of AEN bungalow canNot be more than area of President’s house.

    1. Thanks for pointing out the mistake.
      The unit of area is acres not hectares. I have corrected it in the blog. The are for houses of AEN can go upto 8 acres in far-off places , including garden and lawn. However in cities and town it is around 1-2 acres. Servant quarters are also built in the compound only.

  10. will there be any restriction in IES (w.r.t civil engineering) if the person is suffering from color vision?? what are the departments restricted?

      1. what are the department he is eligible for in ese if one is suffering from color vision??(wrt civil engg)

  11. Many Congratulations to you sir.
    I just wanted to ask you, which coaching institute would you prefer for the preparations of IES?
    I am very confused as there are many I have heard about.
    Make it clear to me, Please?

    1. Actually I can’t recommended any coaching institute because a lot has changed since I did my coaching. At my time only made easy was the name but now there are many players in the market. So do your own market research and then decide.

  12. hello amit sir, I am B.tech 3rd year student in electrical & electronics engineering and preparing for GATE/IES/PSU 2016 from made easy Noida, after my graduation which exam will be better for me IAS or IES. My choice is to being an IAS officer , should I give my exam from electrical engineering or any art subject.

  13. Sir, Do we get benefit of SC/ST category at the time of zone allocation? I am from ST category and I am in one of the last rank to get IRSME? Does it mean that I will get north east? OR is reservation is there in zone allocation also? … Please help!

  14. hello sir, this time railways has put the preference list on their website on April 28 2015 and asked for any discrepancy clarification by 8 may 2015. last year that had asked for clarification by 30 august 2014. I don’t know when did they put preference list on their website. I just want to ask that how much time will they take now to upload medical status? since they are doing work on faster pace and medical were completed before result in January only! what can be the reason for earlier finishing allotment procedure?

    1. They are doing things fast this year. So allotment may also come sooner than expected. After allotments , it is upto the respective department that when they call you for joining. And I think joining in various departments will happen as per their usual academic calendar. So, railway joining will take place in December as usual.

  15. Sir , I’m Utpal Sarkar presently in Coal India. I m preparing for IES 2016.I will be 27 yrs in 2016.Is it a good choice to leave PSU at this age??Please do reply.

  16. Hi Amit Sir,
    I am 2006 passed out in ece stream. My category is OBC. I am now working in IT industry. I am not getting time for preparation. I am thinking to leave the job & prepare for IES. My age is 31 yrs now. I will get two attempts. Will my age factor impact negative effect in interview? Also do I need to take coaching or self sturdy with all available studu materials is better . is it possible to convert in single attemp? Please provide your advice, sir.

    1. Your age will not be a negative factor in the interview. But be prepared to justify your late entry in the IES. What had you done till now should also be well prepared.
      If you want to clear ies in first attempt then coaching would be useful. So join a good coaching institute and start preparing.

  17. Amit Sir….will u please add me the brief details of EME/IDSE/IOFS?Which one is good?This blog is very helpful.thank u very much.

  18. amit sir ….my eye sight is -4.5 right eye and -3.25 left eye…am i eligible for technical posts of ies? It is given that -4.00 is the limit for eye sight with or without glasses .what does it(with or without glasses ) means??Please help me

  19. Sir
    How you feel now after being an officer?? How you were motivated during your preparation. Please give some advice
    Thank you

  20. hello amit sir , I m from civil branch 4th yr student . I reads your blog daily nd its very helpfull for me I reads it again nd again its very motivated for me . sir my aim is irse approx. 10 mnth I have . would u please suggest me some website from where I can Improve my vocabulary as well as apptitute and usefull for ies …. thanks

  21. hello amit sir,
    i have been reading your blog since my final year and this is really inspirational and knowledgeable to get the information about the services.
    like other aspirants i also have some doubts about services like which department i go in IES n all but your blog made it very clear. i think this will really helpful for any aspirants.
    it really made my goals clear. and i also want to thank Deepak and Ravinder for giving their prestigious time in writing articles about the preparations required in IES.

    thank you guys for your timely articles because these are really helpful and motivational.

  22. HI PLease let me know if colour vision is an issue in IRSSignal ENgineers or IRStores Service? Those having defect in color vision are barred in those services? currently am wrking in ISRO and I am having some defect though dont have issue in detecting colors…

  23. hello sir can u tell me what difference b/w mes and idse…..many people filled mes and other idse …..is its depends on rank……please comment

  24. please tell me what kind of accommodation did you get at the entry level in NTPC ? wast it 2-3 BHK or just a hostel….. and does everyone get accommodation at NTPC ?

  25. I am working in a central government organization as scientist B with grade pay 5400.If clear IES in my first attempt,I will join at the age of 27 years.Moreover,I will lose 3 years of my service in my current organization.Is it a good idea to join in IES (railways for that matter) at the age of 27?

  26. sir, congrates & thanks for useful posts…. i am in 3rd yr (mechanical) . i am rarely participates in extracircular activities , does it affects the interview or selection??

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