Can I become an IAS officer?
The IAS provides an exciting opportunity full of challenges. There are a very few jobs which provide such challenges, a mix of policymaking opportunity and opportunity to act as a key player in the national growth process. One has to be proud of one’s work and be dedicated to get full satisfaction from these challenges. These challenges, however, require qualities which the individual has to develop.
The IAS officer has to live up to certain norms of behavior which, in the long run, can bring them immense success, but might be painful in the short run. Acting in accordance with laws and rules or pointing out their implications can sometimes be termed as risk-aversing behavior. There can be others who may try to get short-run advantages by using their closeness to political masters. In the long-run, however, people who have acted in accordance with norms and delivered
Results are generally able to come up and be recognized. Such civil servants are well-respected by peer groups, subordinates, the people and even the political parties across the spectrum. Listed below are the qualities of a successful IAS Officer:
- High personal integrity: Maintain high personal integrity. The strength of IAS is people’s faith in their integrity and honesty. This will give you strength to get your way with the political executives who respect such honest officers. Even in corrupt regimes, such officers are respected
- Be fair: Be fair in administering law, policies and other administrative decisions. Make positive efforts to ensure that your decisions appear fair and transparent in people’s eyes.
- Develop analytical ability: You should be able to fully assess and understand issues that concern your governing area.
- Deliver results: Your goal should be to work as an effective field officer. Decisions arrived at, after thorough understanding of the issues, are more likely to be implementable and deliver expected results.
- Be innovative: Use innovation and adopt best practices. Be open minded and receptive to new ideas. Delivery of public services, if done efficiently, leads to consumer satisfaction, optimum use of financial resources, economic betterment and low corruption.
- Don’t hesitate to take decisions.
- Accept full responsibility for your actions: Learn to delegate authority but ensure effective leadership.
- Be sensitive to the needs of the people: be sensitive to the needs of the people, especially marginalised groups, women, SC/ST and minorities.
- While advising Ministers and working as an IAS officer analyse all the reasonable policy options which can be considered on the issue
- Do not criticise Government policies in public discussions.
- Develop interpersonal skills: It is important that you have good relations with people from different sectors to enable you to access them when needed. It increases your effectiveness while handling difficult issues in your field.
- Adapt to information technology: Information technology can help reduce delays, ensure efficient delivery of public services and cut down corruption.
- Be focused: Put forward your point of view concisely and in a focused manner.
- Develop the ability to listen to different points of view.
- Develop the ability to integrate and form a unanimous viewpoint consistent with the policy objective planned.
- Make a well-informed judgement of the ground realities and policies which will actually work.
- Accept the challenges
- In face of grave provocation, stand by your principles and convictions
- Identify key target areas which you must achieve.