Maharatna Companies - Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs)

The Government of India categorizes Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) under three different categories – Maharatna, Navratna, and Miniratna. These categorizations are based on different criteria. This article gives the eligibility criteria for the status; list of Maharatna companies, along with important information about the Maharatna companies.

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Maharatna Companies – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

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Candidates can get details about the civil services exam GS 3 paper, wherein economy-based questions are asked in the Mains examination. Aspirants must understand what is a Maharatna company, what are the criteria for a company to be classified as a Maharatna company, Maharatna company list, etc. for the IAS exam.

Get the list of Navratnas and Miniratnas from the links below:

List of Navratna Companies in India
List of Miniratna Companies in India

Maharatna Companies – Eligibility Criteria & Benefits of the Maharatna Status

PSUs in India are also categorised based on their special non-financial objectives and are registered under Section 8 of Companies Act, 2013 (erstwhile Section 25 of Companies Act, 1956). In 2010, the government established a higher Maharatna category. 

Eligibility Criteria for a Maharatna Company: 

  1. Must have a Navratna status
  2. Must be listed on Indian stock exchange with minimum prescribed public shareholding under Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regulations
  3. An average annual net profit after tax of more than Rs. 5,000 crore during the last 3 years
  4. Average annual Turnover of Rs. 25,000 crore for 3 years, or
  5. The average annual Net worth of Rs. 15,000 crore for 3 years
  6. Must bear global presence/international operations

Benefits for Investment: 

  1. Rs. 1,000 crore – Rs. 5,000 crore, or free to decide on investments up to 15% of their net worth in a project
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Maharatna Companies – List of 13 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE)

The below table gives the list of Maharatna Companies, important from the UPSC exam perspective:

Sl.No Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE – Maharatna Company)
1 NTPC Limited (NTPC)
2 Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC)
3 Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL)
4 Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL)
5 Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL)
6 Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL)
7 Coal India Limited (CIL)
8 GAIL India Limited (GAIL)
9 Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)
10 Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID)
11 Power Finance Corporation
12 Rural Electrification Corporation Limited
13 Oil India Ltd

Maharatna Companies – Brief Details of 13 Public Sector Enterprises

National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC)

In May 2010, NTPC was conferred Maharatna status by the Union Government of India. It was founded on 7 November 1975. NTPC operates from 70 locations in India, one location in Sri Lanka and 2 locations in Bangladesh. In India, NTPC Limited has 5 regional headquarters (HQ).

The services offered by NTPC Limited are given below

  1. Electricity generation and distribution
  2. Natural Gas Exploration, production, transportation and distribution

Get the list of thermal power plants in India in the linked article.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC)

  1.  On 14 August 1956, the Oil and Natural Gas Directorate was converted to the Oil and Natural Gas Commission by the Government of India. It is involved in exploring for and exploiting hydrocarbons in 26 sedimentary basins of India and owns and operates over 11,000 kilometres of pipelines in the country. 
  2. It got its status as Maharatna in 2010.
  3. ONGC is the largest crude oil and natural gas company in the country. 75 percent of India’s domestic production is met by ONGC.
  4. Out of the seven gas-producing basins in the country, it discovered six.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) – Subsidiaries

  1. ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) – It is the international arm of ONGC. It was rechristened on 15 June 1989.
  2. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) –  is an Indian state-owned oil and natural gas company with its headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  3. ONGC Mangalore Refinery Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) –  ONGC and MRPL operate ONGC Mangalore Petrochemicals Limited (OMPL). ONGC acquired MRPL in 2003. 

Download the notes of Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP) in the linked article.

Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL)

Steel Authority of India (SAIL) is an Indian state-owned steel-making company based in New Delhi, India. SAIL is the 20th largest steel producer in the world and the 3rd largest in India. SAIL operates and owns 5 integrated steel plants at Bhilai, Rourkela, Durgapur, Bokaro and Burnpur(Asansol) and 3 special steel plants at Salem, Durgapur and Bhadravathi.

Read about the Ministry of Steel, Petroleum and Natural Gas initiative – Mission Purvodaya in the linked article.

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL)

BHEL is engaged in the design, engineering, manufacturing, construction, testing, commissioning and servicing of a wide range of products, systems and services for the core sectors of the economy, viz. 

  1. Power and transmission industry
  2. Transportation, 
  3. Renewable energy
  4. Oil & Gas
  5. Defence

BHEL supplies electric locomotives to the Indian Railways and defence equipment such as the Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) naval guns manufactured in partnership with the Ordnance Factory Board and simulators to the Indian Armed Forces.

Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL)

  1. Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) is the largest commercial oil company in India.
  2. Indian Oil has ventured into alternative energy and globalisation of downstream operations. It has subsidiaries in Sri Lanka, Mauritius, the UAE, Singapore, Sweden, the USA and the Netherlands.

Indian Oil Corporation Limited’s (IOCL) business interests overlap the entire hydrocarbon value chain, including 

  1. Refining
  2. Pipeline transportation
  3. Marketing of petroleum products
  4. Exploration and production of crude oil, natural gas and petrochemicals

Coal India Limited (CIL)

  1. In April 2011, CIL was conferred the Maharatna status by the Union Government of India.
  2. Coal India Limited was established in 1975.
  3. The Headquarters of Coal India Limited is located in Kolkata, West Bengal.
  4. CIL is the largest coal-producing company in the world. 

Read: RSTV-Big Picture: Commercial Mining of Coal

Coal India Limited – Subsidiaries

  1. Western Coalfields Limited (WCL)
  2. Central Coalfields Limited (CCL)
  3. Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL)
  4. South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL)
  5. Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL)
  6. Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL)
  7. Central Coalfields Limited (CCL)
  8. Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL)
  9. Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI)

Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL)

  1. GAIL was conferred with the Maharatna status on 1 Feb 2013, by the Government of India.
  2. GAIL is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
  3. GAIL is the largest state-owned natural gas processing and distribution company in India.
  4. GAIL was established in August 1984.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)

  1. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) received Maharatna status in 2017.
  2. BPCL is India’s 2nd largest fuel retailer.

Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID)

  1. POWERGRID is an Indian state-owned Maharatna company headquartered in Gurugram, India.
  2. Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID) was incorporated on 23 October 1989 under the Companies Act, 1956.

Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID) is involved in the following business:

  1. Electric Power Distribution
  2. Electric Power Transmission
  3. Energy Trading

Read in detail about POWERGRID in the linked article.

Power Finance Corporation

Power Finance Corporation (PFC) is a non-banking financial corporation incorporated in 1986. The company’s vision is to be the leading institutional partner for the power and allied infrastructure sectors in India and overseas across the value chain. It is considered the financial backbone of the Indian power sector.

Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC)

REC is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Power, Government of India, and is registered with RBI as a Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC), Public Financial Institution (PFI) and Infrastructure Financing Company (IFC). REC provides long-term loans and other financing products to State, Centre and Private Companies for the creation of infrastructure assets in the country. It was incorporated in 1969.

Oil India Ltd (OIL)

OIL is a state-owned enterprise of the Government of India, under the administrative control of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and is the second-largest national oil and gas company in India. Founded in 1959, OIL is engaged in the business of exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas, transportation of crude oil and production of liquid petroleum gas.


Maharatna Companies – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

Furthermore, aspirants must also carefully review the CSE syllabus and exam pattern for a better understanding of the examination and accordingly chalk out the preparation strategy.

Learn from the success stories of previous year IAS Toppers and accordingly prepare for the upcoming civil services exam.

Frequently Asked Questions on Maharatna Companies in India


Q 1. How many Maharatna Companies are there in India?

Ans. There are a total of 10 Maharatna Companies in India. These include NTPC, ONGC, SAIL, BHEL, IOCL, HPCL, CIL, GAIL, BPCL and Power Grid Corporation of India.

Q 2. How are Maharatna Companies classified?

Ans. A PSU in India with a Navratna status; listed on the Indian Stock Exchange; with an average net profit of more than Rs. 5,000 crore in the past three years after paying tax; average annual turnover of Rs. 25,000 crore for 3 years and an average annual net worth of Rs. 15,000 crore for 3 years, is eligible to become a Maharatna Company.

Relevant Links:

Currency Manipulation Watchlist List of Important Articles in Indian Constitution
Important Economic Terms for UPSC Union Budget 2024
Public Sector Undertakings – A Complete Overview Committee on Public Undertakings


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