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Job Profile of an IAS

The Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhai Patel referred to the Indian Civil Services as the steel frame of the country. This particular reference by the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister highlights the prominence and responsibilities involved around the Civil Services in preserving national unity and integrity.

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the premier service of Government of India with uniform standards of administration, neutrality and objectivity, non-political, secular and non-sectarian outlook.

Let us now know about the Job Profile of an IAS, which is the hallmark of governance in India, attracting the best and brightest for a dream career.

At present there are three modes of recruitment to IAS viz
  1. Through Civil Services Examination conducted by UPSC every year;
  2. Through promotion of State Civil Service officers to IAS; and
  3. Through selection of non-State Civil Service officers.
Approximately 66 1/3 percent posts are meant for Direct Recruitment and 33 percent posts are meant for Promotion quota.

Both Direct Recruit as well as Promoted IAS officers are imparted probationary training at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA). After completion of successful probation, they shall be confirmed IAS. There is provision for mandatory Mid Career Training for IAS officers spread across the entire service span.

Allocation of Cadre
The direct recruit lAS officers are allocated to State cadres/ Joint State Cadres on the basis of their rank, preference and availability of vacancy in their preferred category according to the provisions of Cadre Allocation Policy of 2008 as amended from time to time.

Functions of IAS officer
An IAS officer is responsible for maintenance of law and order, revenue administration and general administration in the area he is responsible for. His functions broadly include:
  • Collection of revenue and function as Courts in revenue matters;
  • Maintenance of law and order;
  • As Executive Magistrate;
  • As Chief Development Officer (CDO)/District Development Commissioner;
  • Supervision of implementation of policies of State Government and Central Government;
  • To travel to places to oversee implementation of policies;
  • Supervision of expenditure of public funds as per norms of financial propriety;
  • In the process of policy formulation and decision making, IAS officers at various levels like Joint Secretary, Deputy Secretary etc. make their contributions and the give final shape to policies;
  • To handle the daily affairs of the government, including framing and implementation of policy in consultation with the Minister-in-Charge of the concerned Ministry;

    Designations held by IAS officers during field posting
  • Sub Divisional Officer/Sub-Divisional Magistrate/Joint Collector/ Chief Development Officer (CDO)
  • District Magistrate/District Collector/Deputy Commissioner
  • Divisional Commissioner
  • Member Board of Revenue
  • Chairman Board of Revenue
Appointments to other Organizations and Bodies
Besides, IAS officers can be appointed in autonomous organizations/sub ordinate organizations/PSUs/UN Organizations/international organizations like World Bank, Asian Development Bank in various capacities. They also serve as Personal Secretaries to Ministers in Central Government.

Designations during Posting in Secretariat of State Government/ Central Government
An IAS Officer may hold various posts at different levels as under:





Under Secretary in
Government of India

Gets Senior Time Scale after completion of four years of service.


Deputy Secretary in
Government of India

Gets Junior Administrative Grade after completion of 9 years of service.


Director in
Government of India

Gets Selection Grade after completion of 13 years of service.


Joint Secretary to
Government of India / Secretary in State Government

Gets Super time Scale after completion of 16 years of service.


Additional Secretary
in Government of
India/ Principal
Secretary in State

Gets Higher Administrative Grade after
Completion of 25 years of service.


Secretary to
Government of India / Chief Secretary

Gets Apex Scale after completion of 30 years of service.


Cabinet Secretary

Apex Scale with fixed Salary

Promotion of an IAS Officer
The promotions of an IAS take place after evaluating the performance on the basis of performance appraisal reports, vigilance clearance and scrutiny of overall record of the officers done by a committee of senior civil servants constituted for the purpose. Promotions are dependent on the time period spent by an officer in a particular grade. Specified number of years of service is a pre-requisite to be eligible for promotion. These time-bound promotions have been envisaged to attract and retain the best talent in the country.
Published date : 23 Aug 2014 12:54PM

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