IAS officer !

The Indian Administrative Service (भारतीय प्रशासनिक सेवा) (abbreviated as IAS) is the administrative civil service of the Government of India. Indian Administrative Service officers hold key positions in the Union Government, State governments and Public Sector Undertakings. The Administrative Service is one of the three All India Services.

The Constituent Assembly of India intended that the bureaucracy should be able to speak freely, without fear of persecution or financial insecurity as an essential element in unifying the nation. The IAS officers are recruited by the Union government on the recommendation of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and posted under various State governments.The officers carry high respect and stature in the society coupled with the significant task of administering public offices, making it one of the most desirable jobs in india. While the respective State Governments have control over them they can not censure or take disciplinary action against IAS and other All India Services officers without consulting the Union Government(Central) and the UPSC.

IAS officer is such a person which cannot get relaxed  after getting the post infect he have to work  diligently after attaining this position of high prestige and responsibility. To handle his work in the democratic setup  where an IAS officers decision and their implementation effects the life of hundreds of people directly and indirectly on has to  be full of stamina, alertness of mind, adaptability to follow difficult time schedules along with good team spirit. This is such a career in which you are supposed to work with people of different thoughts and mindsets   so it is you who have to make your team to work hard for the society you have vowed to serve while joining this high profile career.

Functions of the civil servant

A civil servant is responsible for the law and order and general administration in the area under his work. Typically the functions of an IAS officer are as follows :

  • 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.
    • Implementation of policy requires supervision.
    • Implementation requires traveling to places where the policies are being implemented.
    • Implementation also includes expenditure of public funds which again requires personal supervision as the officers are answerable to the Parliament and State Legislature for any irregularities that may occur.
  • In the process of policy formulation and decision making, officers at various levels like joint secretary, deputy secretary make their contributions and the final shape to the policy is given or a final decision is taken with the concurrence of the minister concerned or the cabinet depending upon the gravity the issue.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is remembered as the "Patron Saint" of India's civil servants for establishing modern all-India services. In an unprecedented and unrepeated gesture, on the day after his death more than 1,500 officers of India's civil and police services congregated to mourn at Patel's residence in Delhi and pledged "complete loyalty and unremitting zeal" in India's service.

Eligibility : 

Educational Qualification

To be eligible for becoming an IAS officer the candidate must possess a degree from an Indian University or an equivalent qualification. Those in the final year of a degree course can also appear in the Preliminary Examination.


The candidate must have attained the age of 21 years on 1st August the year of examination and must not have attained 30 years of age on that date.

The upper age limit will be relaxed by 3 years for OBC candidates and 5 years for SC/ST candidates. 

The upper age limit is also relaxed in favor of certain categories of civil servants working under the Government of India and Defense Services Personnel.

Other Eligibility Conditions:

Since these services involves decision making at the upper end of Government hierarchy. So taking into account the sensitivity of the job the aspirants have to be eligible under certain specific conditions as given ahead.

For the IAS and the IPS, the candidate must be a citizen of India.
For the other services, a candidate must be either:
  • a citizen of India, or
  • a subject of Nepal, or
  • a subject of Bhutan, or
  • a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before January 1, 1962, with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
  • a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Process to become an IAS Officer

 To be an IAS officer one has to follow the below given steps:-

Step 1

As a first step the aspirant has to procure the  UPSC's Civil Services exam “Application Form” along with “Information Brochure” from any of the “Head Post Offices or Post Offices” spread throughout the country and sent the filled Application form to: 

The Secretary, 
Union Public Service Commission, 
Dholpur House, 
New Delhi - 110011.

Step 2

In the month of May or June the aspirants have to take the Indian Civil Services “Preliminary examinations” renamed as Civil Services Apptitue Test i.e CSAT Consisting of two papers. The papers are on:

Paper : Marks Time
1. General Knowledge  200 2 Hr.
2. Comprehension and logical reasoning 200 2 Hr.

Note: CSAT is just a qualifying exam for the Final exam and scores obtained in this exam are not added to make the final result. 

Step 3

Those candidates who are declared qualified in the “Civil Services Apptitude Test" are supposed to take the final exam (normally held in the month of October) having following papers

1 Essay type Indian Language Qualifying Paper
(300 marks)
1 English Qualifying Paper (300 marks)
1 General Essay type paper (200 marks)
2 General Studies papers (300 marks each)
4 Optional subjects papers (300 marks each)

Step 4

Once you are through the final stage is the interview. The aspirants are grilled in the interview to test their personality and mental ability. Then the final list of the successful candidates is prepared and the candidates who have secured very good rank out of 400-450(approx.) selected candidates are admitted to National Academy of Administration at Mussoorie (now renamed as Lal Bahadur Sastri National Academy Of Administration, LBSNAA) to impart training to IAS probationers. After completion of their training in various fields of administrative importance they are posted as per requirements of the Central and State Governments. 

Being All India Services the new  IAS incumbant's  services are alloted to various state  cadre under Cadre System. The Cadre system is  alloted  on  a basis of lottery and the topper of each state may get a chance to get their home state if he had applied for one. 

IAS Officer Salary
 The IAS or the Indian Administrative Services officers are suppose to handles affairs of the government at the various level in its capacity. At the central level, this involves the framing and implementation of policy of the apex government. At the district level, it is concerned with affairs of the district concerned, including development functions. At the divisional level, the IAS officers look after law and order, general administration and development work of the division they are handling. Members of the Indian Administrative Service hold various administrative posts like District Collector, Heads of Departments, and Heads of Public Enterprises at the state level etc. They can also be posted on deputation to the Central Government to various posts.


The Government of India has fixed salary grades for Civil Servants. Although keep on changing with new pay commission presently the range of salaries various levels is as follows:

Junior Scale

Pay Band: Rs 15600-39100 Grade Pay Rs 5400
Once you start out as a new IAS recruit this is what your salary will be. Of course the pay mentioned here is just the basic pay. You can add relevant HRA, DA and other allowances to get a complete picture of the IAS renumeration. Usually IAS officers get very comfortable official accommodation for which they have to pay only a token rent. Imagine living in 5-6 bedroom house with gardens and paying just 500-600 rent!
Also as an IAS officer you will get official vehicles to move about that saves on transportation costs. And now the seemingly small basic IAS salary doesn't look so small after all. Does it?

Senior Scales

(i) Senior Time Scale

Pay Band: Rs 15600-39100 Grade Pay Rs 6600
An IAS Officer is promoted to the Senior Time Scale usually after 7-9 years of service.

(ii) Junior Administrative Grade

Pay Band: Rs 15600-39100 Grade Pay Rs 7600
At this level you're generally a Deputy Secretary in the State Secretariat or the Municipal Commissioner in the field. 

(iii) Selection Grade

Pay Band: Rs 37400-67000 Grade Pay Rs 8700
As a Selection Grade IAS Officer you will be the Joint Secretary in the State Government or a Deputy Secretary in the Central Government. As the Joint Secretary you might be given independent charge of some Wing in a Department.

Super Time Scale

Pay Band: Rs 37400-67000 Grade Pay Rs 10000
The Super Time Scale is one of awe and power. At this level of the IAS hierarchy you will most probably be the Secretary of some state government department or you could be posted at the Centre in the position of Joint Secretary. For reference sake, it takes about 20 years to reach the Super Time Scale and become eligible for the above IAS salary.

Above Super Time Scale

There are three Pay Bands in this scale.
  • Rs 37400-67000. Grade Pay of Rs 12000.
  • The Apex Pay Scale of Rs 80000 (fixed). No Grade Pay.
  • Cabinet Secretary Grade of Rs 90000 (fixed). No Grade Pay.
Not all IAS officers are fortunate enough to enjoy this Pay Scale. The IAS officers in the Super Time Scale include Senior Secretaries, Chief Secretaries, Secretaries in the Central Government and the Cabinet Secretary, the highest position an IAS officer can aspire for in life.

Perks, Benefits and Facilities enjoyed by IAS Officers

Most of us are anxious to know what are the perks of being an IAS, right? So let's check them out.

  • Rent free accommodation
or accommodation at very low rent. Yes if you are the Collector in some district you will have a king-sized house to live in with gardens, house helps, maybe even fountains and more. You will enjoy all of these at very low rent of about Rs 1500-2000. Unbelievable, right?
  • Vehicles for official and personal use
Strictly speaking, you cannot use official vehicles for personal use but this rule is hardly observed by any IAS officer. Most of them use their official vehicles for personal use as well. After all there's no harm in going to the market or to your friend's place in your official car.
  • Free electricity
What's the electricity rate in your area? It's 5 Rs per unit in Delhi. Imagine living in a huge house with tens of electrical appliances and light bulbs running but having to pay nothing for electric bills. IAS officers enjoy this facility as well.
  • Perks of PSU's
IAS officers looking after the affairs of public sector companies enjoy all the benefits that regular PSU employees are entitled to in addition to benefits meant for IAS officers only. This is called having your cake and eating it too.

A Note About the IAS Salary

Any direct comparison between the IAS salaries and compensation offered in the Private sector will be unfair to say the least as IAS officers receive many perks, facilities and other benefits that are hard to quantify. For instance as already stated above IAS officers get rent free accommodotion or accommodation with only a token rent, official vehicle, house help, free electricity and other such facilities that drain the pockets of private executives.
Also as an IAS officer if you are heading some PSU then you are entitled to the same benefits as other employees of the PSU. This is an added bonus of the IAS.

Note:- The above scales only provide an idea of the pay scales. Different branches of the service have different scales of pay. Even personnel of same branches may have different pay according to their area of posting and responsibility they are holding at a particular time. 

In addition to the salary civil servants receive various types of allowances such as Dearness Allowance, City compensatory Allowance, Leave Travel Allowance, Medical and subsidized housing.

Duties and Responsibilities of an IAS Officer 

Being on the highest level of administrative services in both the State and Central Government  the various  level of IAS officers have  almost similar duties with increasing responsibility as level increases from a Junior Officers to a much Senior of the level of  Under Secretary, District Magistrates, Directors of public enterprises and Directors of government departments to  the Secretary. Their duties involves

  1. Planning in their district, making decisions on action to be taken. 
    Making plans on drawing board  and modifying them as and when required.
  2. It is the IAS Officer's responsibility to implement the policies made in best possible way and ensure rules and regulations are followed.
  3. IAS Officers must also supervise the progress of projects in a wide range, from the public to the corporate sectors.
  4. IAS officers  is also responsible to monitor funds allocation and proper utilization for various projects, assuring that the funds are used for the intended purposes.
  5. IAS officers must assess projects, make recommendations and provide relevant information about projects, especially to parliament as and when called for.
  6. Besides all these routine responsibilities IAS Officers will represent the government of India via boards of public corporations or institutions at national or international forums.

IAS officer Career prospects

Hierarchy in the Indian Administrative Services at the Central level.

Designation Time in Service
Under Secretary 4 years
Deputy Secretary 9 Years
Director 12 Years
Joint Secretary 20 Years
Additional Secretary 30 Years
Secretary 34 Years

Cabinet Secretary (TOP MOST POST)- This is the apex of the administrative setup in India.

Hierarchy of the Indian Administrative Services at the State level.

Designation Time in the Service
Deputy Secretary/ Additional District Magistrate Entry Level of the Services
Joint Secretary/District Magistrate/Deputy Commissioner 6 Years
Special Secretary 9 Years
Secretary 16 years
Principal Secretary/ Financial Commissioners 24 years
Cheif Secretary(TOP MOST POST) 30 Year

  1. There is no equivalent post of Cabinet Secretary in the State Administration. 
  2. The time span given above is the time period to reach to the designation given against it. But surely this is not the only criteria to reach at a particular designation. 
  3. To reach at an equivalent position in the Central administration takes longer then in the State administration because there are lesser vacancies at the central level then at the state level.

Source : UPSC, wiki


  1. Very informative .. Thanks..

  2. This really inspires & re-inspires anyone who have the BURNING DESIRE to become an IAS Officer!...It greatly motivates the aspirant to work with full sincerity, keeping aside all his momentary problems, temptations & compulsions. Jai Hind!

  3. great knowledge..........thanks

  4. really motivating..
    provided me the motivation to crak the exm at any cost ..!!!!!!!

  5. very inmormative and motivating -v.sai teja reddy,nandyal

  6. Can people be posted in PSU even in entry level?

  7. osman faizan ali.3 November 2012 at 12:54

    really was so motive to go on with ..
    how wisely u took it out was interesting
    and the eyes was stunt that for getting full knowledge

    thank u v much sir.

  8. after reading this i inspired a lot..now i also want to became the topper of UPSC i.e.IAS OFFICER

  9. Kya hindi medium wale bhi success ho sakte hain?