A question youngsters and students often hear is, “What do you want to be in life?” Apart from the usual responses of doctor and engineer, one also hears a lot of ‘I want to be an IAS officer’ in this country. The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is a highly prestigious career option for talented people in India. It is one of the civil services and people who do get into this service enjoy a high status and power-position in society. They also acquire legitimate power in that they can use their official position to bring about a lot of positive changes in people’s lives.
How to become an IAS officer?
To become an IAS officer, aspirants have to take the civil services exams which are conducted by the UPSC yearly. The UPSC exam is considered a tough nut to crack. This is chiefly because of the fact that the exam is in there stages coupled with the vast UPSC exam syllabus, not to mention the intense competition you will face at every stage. However, the exam is not unassailable. If you fulfil the UPSC eligibility conditions, with the right strategy and experienced guiding hands, you can crack the IAS exam. But you must remember that at least a year of preparation is a must before you can attempt the IAS exam.
The three stages: UPSC Prelims, UPSC Mains, UPSC Personality Test
The prelims exam consists of two papers both of which are objective in nature. The mains exam comprises of nine descriptive papers. Finally, the personality test is actually a panel interview where you will be interviewed by the UPSC panel.
Although on an average, about 5 lakh people take the prelims exam, only about 800 – 900 make the cut after the final round of the personality test. And, among them, only about a 100 can secure the IAS. There are various other services like the IPS, IFS, IRS, ICAS, IDES, etc. that you may be allotted to depending on your rank, preference given and vacancies for each services in your category. In order to get the IAS, you need a high rank.
Lifestyle of an IAS officer
The lifestyle of an IAS officer is enviable. The salary and the perquisites make the IAS quite an attractive proposition. But, as clichéd as it sounds, with great power comes great responsibility! The functions of an IAS officer vary throughout his/her career. Starting from the general administration of a district, it can encompass policy-making, implementation of governmental policies at various levels, heading various departments and PSUs, implementation of developmental schemes, and advising government on various matters. The topmost position an IAS officer can aspire to is that of the Cabinet Secretary. The Cabinet Secretary is one of the senior advisors to the Prime Minister of the country and he reports directly to the PM. He acts as the chief coordinator of the central government. The salaries and hierarchies of an IAS officer’s career depend on the rank and years of experience.
So, do you think you have it in you to become an IAS officer? Do you have the grit and dedication to start the IAS preparation journey that will leave you a changed person? If so, start now!