IRTSE : Quick and Useful Insight

Indian Railway Traffic Service Exam (IRTSE) is a Central Civil Service under the administrative control of the Ministry of Railway, Government of India. This was rechristened on March 4 ,1967. Earlier it was named as “Officer of the Superior Revenue Establishment of the Traffic, Transportation and Commercial Department of Indian Railways.


IRTSE exam is conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for the recruitment in the Department of Indian Railways. The Transportation Operation and the Commercial Wings of the Indian Railways is managed by this service.



Every year, UPSC conducts the Civil Service Examination (CSE) for more than 24 services, such as IAS, IPS, IFS and IRTSE by shortlisting the most suitable candidate for the same. The selection process goes through several screening starting with preliminary exam, main examination and interview .Selection is a yearlong process which starts in the month of June and ends in April, and the final list comes in the month of May.



The UPSC generally releases the notification of the Civil Services Examinations notification in the month of February. Aspirants willing to appear for this All Indian Services along with other services can apply the online by visiting the official website of UPSC.

Notification Month
Civil Service Examination Advertisement February
IRTSE- Online Application Form February to March
IRTSE – Preliminary Admit Card 2nd Week of May
IRTSE – Preliminary Exam October
IRTSE – Preliminary Result November
IRTSE -Main Exam January
IRTSE -Main Result February
IRTSE -Interview March to April
IRTSE -Final Result May


Eligibility Criteria : IRTS




1. Nationality

  • Candidate must be a citizen of India
  • Candidate must be a citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan.
  • Candidate must be a Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962 for settling permanently in India.
  • Candidate must a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Burma, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Myanmar, Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, Vietnam, Zaire with the motive to settle permanently in India.


2. Educational Qualification

  • Candidate must hold any Bachelor’s degree from any of the recognized universities. There is no minimum percentage required in graduation.
  • Candidate who have appeared for the qualifying exam and are awaiting results are also eligible.
  • Candidate with professional and technical qualification by recognized universities or its equivalent are also eligible to apply .


3. Age Limit & Number of Attempts

A candidate should be a minimum of 21 years and maximum of 32 years to appear for the Civil Service Examination. The maximum age mentioned above is relaxable for the following candidates :

  1. Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) : 5 years
  2. Other Backward Classes(OBC) : 3 Years
  3. Defence Service Personnel : 3 years
  4. Ex-servicemen and ECOs/SSCOs who have served at least 5 years in Millitary Service as on 1st of August of the Notification Year : 5 years
  5. Blind, Deaf-mute and physically handicapped person : 10 Years.
Category Maximum Age Limit No of Attempts
General 32 Years 06
Other Backwards Castes (OBC) 35 Years 09
Economically Weaker Section(EWS) 32 Years 06
Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) 37 Years Till the age limit
Physically disabled candidates 42 Years For General and OBS candidates = 9

For SC/ST Candidates = Till age limit


IRTSE Officer: Roles & Responsibility

  • To coordinate the production and sale of the transportation output and manages the customer interface of railways.
  • To help in proper and easy transportation of the freight and passengers
  • To coordinate with various service department by looking after the assets of railways like track, wagons, engines, and signals.
  • The operational department function is to ensure safety and user friendly transportation of the passengers and freights.
  • The commercial department function is responsible for the revenue realization for various services offered by Indian Railways.
  • It is also responsible for sales, profit performance, pricing, promotion strategies to increase traffic.
  • It is also concerned with the provisioning of passenger amenities and redressal of customer complaints.


Career Graph of IRTS Officer

The highest position, an IRTS officer can desire for is the rank of Divisional Railway Manager (DRM). The following is the career path of an IRST Officer :

  • Foundational Training at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBNAA), Mussoorie, Uttarakhand.
  • IRTS probationers then go through the Centralized Training Institute (CTI)- Indian Railways Institute for Transportation Management (IRITM), Lucknow.
  • After this they visit to various institution to get better exposure.

Some of the institute are as follows :

  1. Operation & Commercial Training at Indian Railways Institute for Transport Management (IRITM), Lucknow.
  2. Railway Foundation Course at National Academy of Indian Railway (NAIR ), Vadodora.
  3. Operations Training at Zonal Railway Training Institute (ZRTI), Udaipur.
  4. Marketing Management and Transport Economics at Indian Institute of Management (IIM).
  5. Operation Research at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
  6. Tourism and Hospitality management Training at Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation(IRCTC).
  7. Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Training at Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) Academy, Ghaziabad.
  8. Accounts Training at Centralised Training Academy for Railway Accounts (C-TARA), Secunderabad.
  9. Secretariat Training at Institute for Institute of Secretariat Training and Management (ISTN), New Delhi.
  10. Ethical Governance Training at Initiatives of Change, Panchganj.
  11. Metro Rail Training at Delhi Metro Rail Corporation( DMRC), New Delhi.
  12. Military Logistic Training at Sena Bhavan, New Delhi.


The indicative hierarchy is given below (Top to Below) 

  • Divisional Railway Manager(DRM)/ Additional Divisional Railway Manager(ADRM)
  • Senior Divisional Operation Manager(Sr DOM)/ Senior Divisional Commercial Manager(Sr DCM)
  • Divisional Operation Manager (DOM)/ Divisional Commercial Manager (DCM)/ Advance Railway Manager(ARM)
  • Assistant Operation Manager(AOM)/ Assistant Commercial Manager( ACM)



UPSC conducts exam in three level as mentioned below.  The candidate has to clear all the 3 exam successfully to get the offer letter from Union Public Service Commission( UPSC)

  1. Preliminary Test
  2. Main Exam
  3. Interview.


Stage One-Preliminary Test (400 Marks) 

  • The Preliminary Exam consist of GS (General Studies) & CSAT( Civil Service Aptitude Test).
  • Both the papers are objective type (Multiple Choice Question)
  • The question papers are set in Hindi and English language.
  • Blind candidate gets an additional 20 minutes of time for both the paper.
  • Candidate appearing in the preliminary test must qualify the cut off score to get oneself eligible for the mains exam.
  • There is a negative marking associated with the question asked in the exam.
Paper Type Number of Questions Total Marks Negative Marking Duration
General Studies I Objective( MCQ) 100 200 Yes 2 Hours
General Studies II (CSAT) Objective( MCQ) 80 200 Yes 2 Hours


Stage Two-Main Examination (2025 Marks)

  • Candidates who qualify the preliminary test are called for the Main Exam.
  • Main exam consists of 9 papers.
  • Paper A & B are qualifying in nature (Highlighted below)
  • The candidate needs to obtain at least 25% in each of the Paper I to Paper VII to be given weightage to the Main Exam
  • Paper A is not compulsory for the candidate belonging to the State of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim as well as the candidate from hearing impairment provided the fact that they have been exempted from such  2nd or 3rd language courses from their board or university.
  • The language paper consists of the languages included in the 8th schedule of the Constitution.
  • All the paper is bilingual – Hindi & English except for the language papers.


The written exam consists of the following papers:

Paper Subject Type Duration Total Marks
Paper A One of the Indian Language Descriptive 3 Hours 300
Paper B English Descriptive 3 Hours 300
Paper I Essay Descriptive 3 Hours 250
Paper II General Studies I Descriptive 3 Hours 250
Paper III General Studies II Descriptive 3 Hours 250
Paper IV General Studies III Descriptive 3 Hours 250
Paper V General Studies IV Descriptive 3 Hours 250
Paper VI Optional I Descriptive 3 Hours 250
Paper VII Optional II Descriptive 3 Hours 250
Sub Total Marks 1750
Interview Marks 275
Grand Total Marks 2025


The subject which are covered in the General Studies in Main Exam are mentioned below 

General Studies I General Studies II General Studies III General Studies IV
Indian Heritage and Culture Governance Technology Ethics
History and Geography of the World Constitution Economic Development Integrity
Society Polity Bio-Diversity Aptitude
Social Justice Environment
International Relations Security and Disaster Management


The list of the Optional Paper VI and VII of the Main Exam is enumerated below

Agriculture Chemistry History Geography Mathematics
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Political Science and International Relations Mechanical Engineering Commerce and Accountancy Electrical Engineering
Anthropology Psychology Statistics Physics Economics
Botany Sociology Law Medical Science Geology
Zoology Philosophy Civil Engineering Public Administration Management
Literature can be opted from any of the following language : Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit,  Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.



Stage Three- Interview (275 Marks )

The candidate who qualify the mains exam are called for the interview process. This is the last and final stage of the recruitment cycle before the final results are declared. The maximum marks in the interview is 275 thus accruing the total marks in the merit list to be 2025. UPSC board takes the interview which consist of competent panelist, who would judge the candidature on following ground :

  • Mental Attentiveness
  • Critical power of assimilation
  • Clear and Logical Interpretation
  • Balance of Judgement
  • Ability of social solidarity and leadership
  • Intelligent curiosity


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