IAS Officer


A question that most youngsters and students often hear is “What do you want to be in life?” Apart from the usual responses like Doctor, Engineer or Army Officer, a lot of “I want to be an IAS Officer” is heard. The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is a highly prestigious career option for talented people in India. It is one of the All India Services along with others such as Police Services, Defence and Emergency Services. The Indian Administrative Service officers serve as the permanent bureaucracy of the Executive Branch of the Government of India. The executive decisions taken by elected bodies of the government are implemented by the Indian Administrative Service and allied services.

Due to the range of responsibilities handled by an IAS officer and also due to the high level of expertise that they have to maintain throughout their careers, the government provides the IAS officers with a lot of discretionary powers as well as privileges. Apart from this, they enjoy a high social position due to the services they perform for the society. IAS officers are able to use their powers and privileges to bring positive impact on a lot of people’s lives.

How to Become an IAS Officer?

To become an IAS officer, aspirants must write and clear the UPSC Civil Services Exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission every year. The UPSC Exam is considered to be tough to crack. This is mainly because of the fact that the exam is conducted over the course of a year in multiple stages, making it harder to maintain concentration while preparing for the exam. In addition to this, the UPSC Syllabus is vast and the competition is intense at every stage. However, the exam is not unassailable. If you fulfil the UPSC Eligibility conditions, with the right strategy and guidance you can crack the IAS Exam. But you must remember that at least a year of dedicated preparation is a must before attempting the IAS Exam.

The UPSC Civil Services Exam is conducted in three stages:

  1. UPSC Prelims
  2. UPSC Mains
  3. UPSC Personality Test

The Prelims Exam consists of two objective type papers, both of which are conducted in one day. The Mains Exam consists of nine descriptive papers, spread over five days. The final stage is the Personality Test, which is a panel interview in which the candidate faces the UPSC Board.

Although on an average, about five lakh candidates appear for the prelims exam, only about a thousand make it to the final merit list. Among them about a hundred are allotted to the Indian Administrative Service. There are various other services like IPS, IRS, IFS, etc. which are allotted based on rank in the merit list and preference of the candidate, all subject to the number of vacancies in the category that the candidate belongs to. In order to get allotted to IAS, a higher rank is required as many of the candidates put this as their first preference.

The Lifestyle of an IAS Officer

An IAS Officer handles a wide range of responsibilities. Starting from the general administration of a district, an IAS Officer’s career takes them to policy making, implementation of government policies, heading various public service organisations, managing certain public sector undertakings, implementation of developmental policies and advising the government in various matters. The topmost position that an IAS officer can attain is that of the Cabinet Secretary. The Cabinet Secretary is one of the senior advisors to the Prime Minister of India and acts as the chief coordinator of the government. The salaries and hierarchies of an IAS officer’s career depend on the rank and years of experience.

IAS Officers typically get government accommodation while in service. The size and space available in the government accomodation depends on the marital status of the officer, as well as rank, place of posting and security requirements.

Security arrangements are made by the government for all IAS officers, the level of security provided to an IAS officer is based on their current posting, requirements based on their activities related to service as well as the threat assessment provided by the officers themselves in consultation with the security forces.

Apart from these facilities, the government also provides personal transportation and a host of other facilities to IAS officers. IAS officers are eligible to go for higher studies while in service and will be reimbursed for the same by the government. Medical facilities are also extended to them and their families during and after service.

So, if you question yourself, “Can I become an IAS Officer?” the answer is “YES”! All you need is dedication, determination, discipline and consistency. Do you have what it takes be an IAS Officer and Serve the country? If your answer is Yes, then start preparing now for the Mother of All Examinations.

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IAS Officer Powers and Responsibilities