Indian Administrative Service (IAS)

How to Become an IAS Officer?

To become an IAS officer, you must clear the civil services exam conducted by the UPSC. This is one of the toughest exams in India, although not impossible to crack. The civil services exam has three stages, each stage eliminating candidates who do not clear it.

The examination process usually starts in February, details of which are provided in the IAS Notification.

Starting with about 5 lakh candidates in the first round, only about 700 – 1000 are left at the end of the final game, which is the interview. Among those, only about a hundred can get the post of the IAS!

Tips to start your IAS preparation can be found in the linked article.

What is the main work of an IAS officer?

  • The IAS officer performs several varied tasks depending on his/her posting and department.
  • Much of the work involves an administrative charge of a district/area/department, policy formulation, policy implementation, heading PSUs, etc.
  • An IAS officer can also be sent on missions abroad or assigned to a department directly under the central government.
  • There are provisions to depute IAS officers to private organizations for short tenures as well.

IAS officers’ functional roles depend on the type of assignment they get. There are three types of tasks given to them:

  1. Field
  2. State Secretariat/Public Sector Undertakings
  3. Central Secretariat

IAS Officer Power

Powers and Responsibilities of an IAS Officer: An IAS Officer as a civil servant is responsible for the law and order and general administration in the area under his work. Generally, the functions of an IAS officer are as follows:

  • The tasks and responsibilities of IAS officers change at various points in their careers.
  • At the beginning of the trade, an IAS Officer joins the state administration at the sub-divisional level. As a sub-divisional magistrate, he looks after general administration and development work and law and order in the areas under his/her control.
  • The District Officer, variously known as District Magistrate, District Collector, or Deputy Commissioner, is the most esteemed and distinguishable post held by the service members.
  • At the district level, IAS officers are mainly delegated with district affairs, including implementing developmental schemes.
  • During the ordinary course of their career, the officers also oblige in the State Secretariat or Head of Departments or Public Sector Undertakings.
  • To take care of daily affairs of the government, including forming and implementing policy after consulting the minister of the concerned ministry.
  • Supervision of the implemented policies.
  • We are traveling to places where the policies are being implemented.
  • Responsible for personal care for the expenditure of public funds on the implementation of policies as the IAS officers are accountable to the Parliament and State Legislature for any indiscretions that may happen.
  • IAS officers at various levels like a joint secretary, deputy secretary make their contributions in the process of policy formulation and decision-making, and the final shape of the policy is given, or a final decision is taken with the agreement of the minister concerned or the cabinet depending upon the significance the issue.

Laws related to IAS Officer power:

  • Code of Criminal Procedure (1973): Sections 107, 108, 109, 110, 133, 144, and 176 list powers for maintaining law and order given to Magistrates.
  • Tenancy Laws define the powers of a collector regarding revenue.
  • National Disaster Management Act lists out powers of Chief Secretaries and Magistrates while directing disaster relief operations.
  • Arms Act, Drug Licences Act, Essential Commodities Act, etc., list out IAS officers’ power to enforce regulations in different situations.

These are the primary laws that deal with the powers of IAS, though there are close to 300 laws that define them on a case-to-case basis. These rules are also provided in an abridged form in All India Service Manuals, updated from time to time by the Department of Personnel and Training.

The service manuals also list out the IAS conduct rules. All civil servants are answerable to state and central legislatures.

The IAS Strategy Articles will help boost your confidence to aim for the life of an IAS officer.

What is the salary of an IAS officer?

After the 7th Pay Commission’s implementation, civil servants in India get a good take-home pay package.

An IAS officer’s basic per month salary starts at Rs.56,100(TA, DA, and HRA are extra) and can reach Rs.2,500,00 for a Cabinet Secretary.

Apart from the decent monthly income, they also get amenities such as reasonable accommodation, official vehicles, household staff, subsidized electricity, water, etc. To learn more about the IAS officer salary, check the linked article.

Life of an IAS Officer

The IAS is a perfect opportunity for people who wish to impact the lives of their fellow citizens positively. Bringing electricity to the homes of the poor, giving health and sanitation facilities to those who don’t have access, making roads to connect remote places can all be just a day in your life as an IAS officer.

Moreover, an IAS officer hobnobs with the who’s who of society. At the apex level, you could even be having tea with the prime minister regularly! For more on the life of an IAS officer, click here.

IAS Officer Training

Candidates who successfully clear the UPSC IAS Exam get the first taste of life as an IAS officer as soon as they join the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) for initial training.

The day-to-day life of an IAS officer during training is very disciplined and starts at 6 am sharp.

The following is the schedule usually followed at LBSNAA:

  • 6 am: Morning exercise/horse riding training for 60 minutes
  • 7 am to 9 am: Free time for morning activities
  • 9:30 am onwards: 8-10 hours of academic activity, including lectures, sports, and extracurricular activities.

Officer trainees are left free before and after dinner to socialize and prepare for the next day. Outdoor activities such as treks to nearby rural areas to learn to cope with adversity and understand the lifestyle of rural India are an integral part of the training.

The training of IAS officers also includes Bharat Darshan (a study tour of India). Read more on the IAS Officer Training here.

Once a trainee graduates as an IAS officer, their schedule changes according to their allotted post.

A typical day for an officer posted in the field would begin at 9 am and would involve:

Going through various daily reports.

Supervising various daily tasks of the department or district.

  • I was visiting different areas to review the implementation of developmental activities and meetings.

These activities can stretch into the late evening and usually end by about 9 pm.

During emergencies such as natural disasters, riots, etc., an IAS officer might put in continuous work coordinating response and relief teams well beyond regular duty hours. (source. byjus)