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Indian Defence Estates Service

The Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES) is an organized Group A Central Service under the Government of India in the Ministry of Defence. Recruitment to the Service is on the basis of the Civil Services Examination conducted annually by the UPSC. The Department came into existence on 16th December, 1926. The evolution of the IDES is closely intertwined with the recent history of our Nation. The Service was initially known as the Military Lands and Cantonments Service, and then Defence Lands and Cantonments Service. In 1985, the Service came to be formally known as the Indian Defence Estates Service. The recruitment to the Service, as provided under the Indian Defence Estates Service (Group ‘A’) Rules, 2013, is 75% by direct recruitment and 25% by promotion.


Functions of the Officers

The principal functions of the Defence Estates Organization include:-

a) Management of Defence Lands measuring about 17.57 lakhs acres;

b) Administration of 62 Cantonment Boards- the institutions of local self government- in as many cantonments notified under the Cantonments Act, 2006;

c) Develop Cantonments as modern townships including provision of quality school education for all children, health care for all residents, social care system for the aged, differently abled and disadvantaged sections of society;

d) Acquisition, Hiring, Requisitioning of immovable properties for defence purposes;

e) Regular survey of defence land;

f) Regular audit of defence land inter-alia to optimize its utilization;

g) Maintenance of accurate, digitized record of lands, including regular updation;

h) Maintenance of state of the art archives for holding old records including restoration and preservation of old/damaged paper records, and their conversion into more durable forms;

i) Prevent encroachments and unauthorized constructions from defence lands, including their removal, placed under its management;

j) Disposal of defence land;

k) Handling of litigation arising out of land acquisition for defence purposes;

l) Handling of litigation, regarding ownership of defence land;

m) Exercise of quasi-judicial functions conferred under special laws like the Cantonments Act, 2006, the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1971, the Arbitration Act, the Rent Control Act etc.

Recruitment and Career Prospects:

Recruitment to the Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES) is made through the civil service examination conducted by the UPSC. After completion of the induction training at National Institute of Defence Estates Management (NIDEM) located at New Delhi, Probationers are initially posted as Chief Executive Officers in Cantonments. The post involves carrying out executive functions of Civic Administration and Land Management. The post also carries an appointment house, suitable transport and other infrastructural support for discharge of executive duties.

Designation held by IDES Officers during Field Posting:

(i) Chief Executive Officer (in Cantonment Boards)

(ii) Defence Estates Officer

Designation in Director General and Directorate alongwith Pay Structure:




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