Indian Defence Estates Service

The Indian Defence Estates Service (abbreviated as IDES) (Hindi: भारतीय रक्षा सम्पदा सेवा) is Civil Service in the Government of India. Its Cadre Controlling Authority (CCA) is the Ministry of Defence. Civil Services Examination conducted every year by Union Public Service Commission provides a gateway for entry into this service. The Service traces its origin to 16 December 1926 and has been constantly evolving since then. The service was initially known as the Military Lands and Cantonment Service (1926-1983), and then Defence Lands and Cantonment Service (1983-1985). In 1985, it was renamed as the Indian Defence Estates Service. The service is governed by the Indian Defence Estates Service (Group A) Rules, 2013, where 75% intake is by direct recruitment and 25% by promotion.[2]

Indian Defence Estates Service
Service Overview
Abbreviation IDES
Formerly known as Defence Lands and Cantonment Service (1983-1985)
Military Lands and Cantonment Service (1926-1983)
Formed 1926
(As Military Lands and Cantonment Service)
Country  India
Staff College National Institute of Defence Estates Management, New Delhi
Cadre Controlling Authority Ministry of Defence
Legal personality Governmental: Government service
Duties Cantonment Administration
Defence Land Management
Managing court cases related to defence land
Cadre Strength 189 members (2016)[1]
Selection Union Public Service Commission's (UPSC) Civil Services Examination
Service Chief
Directorate General of Defence Estates(India)

Deepa Bajwa, IDES

Head of the Civil Services
Cabinet Secretary : Rajiv Gauba, IAS

Organisation Structure

The officers manning the Directorate General are members of the IDES. The Director General of Defence Estates is the highest-ranking officer of the service, who also heads the Directorate General, located at Raksha Sampada Bhawan in Delhi Cantonment, New Delhi. Under DGDE are 5 officers, 4 of which are Additional Director General (ADG) of Defence Estates and one Senior Additional Director General (SADG) of Defence Estates. The ADGs are in-charge of their respective divisions i.e. Cantonments & Co-ord., Acquisition and Hiring, Administration, and Lands. All the ADGs belong to Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) while the SADG belongs to Higher Administrative Grade (HAG). National Institute of Defence Estates Management (NIDEM) is an autonomous body directly reporting to DGDE. It is headed by a Director who also belongs to SAG. The Ministry of Defence is provided advice on matters related to Defence Lands and Cantonments by DGDE. The Cantonments Act, 2006, its rules and regulations etc. are implemented under supervision of DGDE. The land and building requirement of Ministry of Defence is fulfilled by the Directorate General through acquisitions, requisition or hiring.[3]

The next level in organisation structure includes the 6 Directorates as regional headquarters. They supervise the field offices coming under their jurisdiction. The 6 Directorates, are co-located with the 6 Indian Army Commands[4] i.e. Northern Command at Jammu, Central Command at Lucknow, Western Command at Chandigarh, Eastern Command at Kolkata, and the Southwestern Command established in 2006 at Jaipur. Principal Directors (PDs) head the respective Commands. PDs are Higher Administrative Grade (HAG) officers.[3]

In the field, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) head 62 Cantonment Boards, and Defence Estates Officers (DEOs) head 37 Defence Estates Circles and 4 Assistant Defence Estates Offices. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is overall incharge of all the matters related to administration of Cantonments as provided by Cantonments Act, 2006.[5] The Defence Estates Officers (DEOs) are responsible for management of Defence Lands.[6][7] Both CEOs and DEOs are IDES officers.[8]


Recruitment to the Indian Defence Estates Service is done through an extremely competitive examination called the "Civil Services Examination", organised by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The number of vacancies vary every year. Every year Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India, elucidates the number of vacancies after consulting the cadre controlling authority i.e. Ministry of Defence.


National Institute of Defence Estates Management[9] is located in New Delhi, on Ulan Batar Road near Domestic Airport in Delhi Cantonment. It is an apex institution providing training to future IDES officers. It Also, it imparts training to lower staff through various courses spanning through entire year. NIDEM is headed by a Director, who is an SAG level officer. Presently the post is held by Mr. C. Ravindra who took over the charge from Mr. Harish Prasad. The Director of NIDEM is assisted in his functioning by a Joint Director, who is an JAG level officer. Presently, the post is held by Mr. Puspendra Singh. NIDEM is an autonomous body directly reporting to the Director General of Defence Estates.

Allocation and placement

After being selected in the UPSC exam, candidates undergo training at National Institute of Defence Estates Management at New Delhi.[10] Recently the Probationers of 2015 Batch were sent to Institute of Secretarial Training and Management for a week long course.

Various Designations of IDES officers
Serial numberPost in DirectoratePost in Directorate GeneralTime ScalePay BandGrade Pay
01---Director GeneralSecretary level post80000/- (fixed)---
02Principal DirectorSenior Additional Director GeneralHigher Administrative Grade67000-79000---
03DirectorAdditional Director GeneralSenior Administrative Grade37400-6700010000
04Joint DirectorDeputy Director GeneralJunior Administrative Grade (Selection)37400-670008700
05Joint DirectorDeputy Director GeneralJunior Administrative Grade (Ordinary)37400-670007600
06Deputy DirectorAssistant Director GeneralSenior Time scale15600-391006600
07Assistant DirectorDeputy Assistant Director GeneralJunior Time Scale15600-391005400

Appointment of IDES officers in other Organisations/Bodies

Currently officers are posted in Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Cabinet Secretariat of India, Ministry of Home Affairs (India) etc.


Archival Unit and Resource Centre[11] is the latest addition to the IT based facilities used by DGDE. It is based on cutting edge technology, meant to aid the process of record retrieval and preservation, digitisation of records, publishing survey reports etc. Old records pertaining to Cantonment Board meeting, Survey of Defence lands etc. are sent to AU&RC for being preserved. It is a 5-stage process that helps in keeping records even more than 150 years old in good condition. Currently, AU&RC is functioning at an efficiency of 200 pages a day, which is commendable. It is worth mentioning that the entire staff is manned by re-employed persons. AU&RC is directly supervised by DGDE.


  1. "2016 Total Cadre strength of IDES as in March 2016" (PDF). Directorate General of Defence Estates (India), Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  2. Indian Defence Estates Service Rules,2013. Government of India. 2013.
  3. "Ofiicial website of DGDE of India".
  4. "Various Directorates in DGDE".
  5. "Cantonments Act, 2006" (PDF). prsindia.
  6. "CLA Rules, 1937" (PDF). DGDE.
  7. "Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013" (PDF). India code. Government of India.
  8. "DGDE Website". Retrieved August 2016. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  9. "Archival Unit and Resource Centre". DGDE official site. Directorate General of Defence Estates.
  10. "NIDEM".
  11. "AURC".
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