Best IAS Officers in India

Every year about 180 IAS officers are recruited into the civil service by the Government. Almost every aspirant professes a dream to serve the country and her people through the office of the Indian Administrative Service if selected. But only a few among the scores of IAS officers are able to produce a massive impact on the lives of people. This article presents the stories of the top IAS officers in India.

Top IAS Officers in India

Armstrong Pame

Armstrong Pame

  • Known as the ‘Miracle Man’, this IAS officer from Manipur, is famous for single-handedly being responsible for building a road in the Tamenglong district of Manipur, where he had been posted as the Sub-divisional Magistrate.
  • This road was built with 100% local population support and without any help from the government machinery.
  • This changed the life of the residents in the region, connectivity and accessibility helping people get basic services like healthcare and educational facilities.

You can read more about this inspiring IAS officer here.

Santha Sheela Nair

Santha Sheela Nair

  • An IAS officer of the 1973 batch, Nair is known as an administrator par excellence.
  • She was recently appointed (post-retirement) the Officer on Special Duty at the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s office before she quit.
  • She had retired in July 2010.
  • Various positions she has held include Vice-Chairperson of the Tamil Nadu State Planning Commission (2011 – 16), Secretary (Steel and Drinking Water Supply, centre), Secretary in the Tamil Nadu government (Rural Development, Municipal Administration and Water Supply).
  • Nair is credited with saving Chennai city from a water crisis in the early 2000s when she made rainwater harvesting compulsory with special tanks and pipes for the same in each household.
  • It is said that people in villages where she worked named their daughters Santha in her honour.

Aruna Sundararajan

Aruna Sundararajan

  • This Kerala cadre IAS officer was described by Forbes magazine as ‘an IAS officer who thinks like a businesswoman’.
  • As IT secretary she played a significant role in the development of e-governance in Kerala.
  • She also headed the Kudumbashree project, today which is a shining example of women’s empowerment, creating sustainable employment prospects for working class women.

Durga Shakti Nagpal

Durga Shakti Nagpal

  • This lady officer had secured an impressive rank of 20 in the 2009 UPSC civil services exam.
  • Having started her career in the Punjab cadre, even as a trainee IAS officer, she exposed a land scam in Mohali.
  • She moved to the UP cadre in 2011 as the SDM of Sadar, Noida. Here, she took on the sand mafia involved in illegal sand mining of the Yamuna and Hindon river banks.
  • She was suspended by the state government on flimsy grounds because of her brave fight against the sand mafia.
  • There was a lot of public backlash against the government who revoked the suspension later.
  • Nagpal is currently the OSD (Officer on Special Duty) to the Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister of India.

Smita Sabharwal

Smita Sabharwal

  • Smita Sabharwal is also known as the ‘People’s Officer’.
  • She is India’s first lady IAS officer to be appointed to a Chief Minister’s Office.
  • Smita Sabharwal served as the District Collector of Karimnagar district in Andhra Pradesh, where her work brought her laurels.
  • While serving as the Municipal Commissioner at Warangal, she introduced “Fund your City” scheme where a large number of public utilities like Foot over bridges, Traffic Junctions, Parks, Bus-stops, were constructed with Public-Private Partnership.

Read more about Smita Sabharwal IAS here.

Krishna Gopal Tiwari

Krishna Gopal Tiwari

  • This IAS officer sets a model and provides motivation to thousands of the country’s differently-abled.
  • Krishna Gopal Tiwari is India’s first visually challenged collector and now the District Collector of Umaria in Madhya Pradesh.

Rajni Sekhri Sibal

Rajni Sekhri Sibal

  • This Haryana cadre 1986 batch officer is currently the Secretary of the Department of Fisheries of the GOI.
  • As Director, Primary Education in the state, Sibal withstood pressure from the government and exposed the JBT recruitment scam.
  • In this scam, the teachers’ selection lists were changed to give jobs to those candidates who had paid bribes.
  • When asked to be a party to this fraud, Sibal locked and sealed the almirah containing the original list with thick cotton bandages in the presence of her junior officers.
  • She also asked them to sign the bandages in different places and take photographs for proof.
  • She was transferred but in the CBI investigation later on, the Chief Minister of Haryana was also found guilty.

U. Sagayam

U. Sagayam

  • U Sagayam, a civil servant from Tamil Nadu has been transferred about 20 times in the 20 years of his service.
  • He is distinguished for his fight against corruption.
  • He was also the first IAS officer to make his assets public.
  • His investigation on illegitimate stone-mining in Madurai led to charges against many politicians and businessmen. He also seized over 5,000 subsidized gas cylinders that were intended for domestic use but illegally used by restaurants.
  • He raised his voice against vote-buying also.
  • Many people came out and objected to the government’s decision when he was transferred to the post of MD of Co-optex from the post of Madurai Collector.

Ashok Khemka

Ashok Khemka

  • Khemka is known for his role in exposing the land scam involving a relative of one of India’s powerful politicians.
  • He always stood against corruption and exposed wrong-doings in the departments he has worked.
  • He has therefore been transferred 45 times in 23 years.
  • An IIT graduate, Khemka is a 1991 batch IAS officer.
  • He has received death threats and also faced chargesheets against him for his unwavering stand against corruption in high places.

D Subbarao

D Subbarao

  • A 1972 IAS officer of the Andhra Pradesh cadre, Subbarao was the 22nd Governor of the RBI.
  • As RBI Governor, he brought about reforms for financial inclusion, financial literacy and organised village outreach programmes.
  • He even expounded a theory on the New Trilemma of Central Bankers, called the ‘Holy Trinity’ as against the ‘Impossible Trinity’ of Robert Mundell and Marcus Fleming.
  • Not only is Subbarao an accomplished economist, he is also a Physics post-graduate which he had obtained at IIT Kanpur prior to his successful attempt at the civil services exam.
  • He was the first person to review Stephen Hawking’s celebrated book, ‘A Brief History of Time’.
  • Dr Subbarao received a Ph.D. in economics from the Andhra University in 1998 for his thesis, ‘Fiscal Reforms at the Sub-national Level’.

The next table gives a link to the top officers in India in various services.

Do you want to see your name in a list like above? What are waiting for? Kickstart your UPSC 2020 preparation right now!

If you wish to read more civil services success stories, check out our Get Inspired segment.

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