A Brief on Indian Administrative Services

Civil Services Exam or Indian Administrative Services acts as the inner strength of Indian government system that runs the local administration of different states. The job profile comprises of a wide variety of jobs in diverse departments with highly competitive and challenging area. However, in contrast with private sector, the job of civil services is highly rewarding and offers job security. Along with the power, comes kudos for these top-jobs that offers a definite reason for everyone to join the same. One of the reasons that make this profession a lucrative one is that it offers facilities like good salary, allowances such as healthcare, housing, conveyance etc.

Indian Administrative Service (IAS) was founded in the year 1946 and is one of the three All India Services, with the other two being Indian Forest Services and Indian Police Services. The cadre size of IAS is 5159 posts (direct recruitment – 66.67%, promotion 33.33%) and the cadre controlling authority is Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension, Department of Personnel and Training. Those who get selected have their training ground at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration.

All India Services is designed logically with two folds- the officers will have a national perspective for encouraging unity and integrity as well as the courage of conviction to face the assaults of illogical politicians and will be able to protect public interest without fear of persecution. Although IAS, IPS and IFS are All India Services, but to a large extent they are treated as State Service as the officers have to spend a maximum period of their careers in the states allotted to them. Talking of functions that IAS officers have to perform; IAS officers handle government affairs that involve framing and execution of policy in discussion with the concerned Minister like supervise and even travel to different places where discussions are taking place.

Execution of such policies entails disbursement of funds, which calls for personal supervision. The officers are answerable to the Parliament and State Legislatures for any irregularities that may take place. Additionally, the functions and responsibilities of the IAS officers change at different points of their careers. During the beginning of their careers as an IAS officer, they join the state administration at the sub-divisional level, as a sub-divisional magistrate and ensure that processes like law and order, general administration and development work in the arena under their supervision are carried out smoothly.

The post of District officer or District Magistrate, district collector or Deputy Commissioner is the most prestigious and renowned posts held by the members of the service. At the district level, these officers are concerned with district affairs that include implementation of developmental programs. As a part of regular course of their careers, officers serve in the State Secretariat or as Heads of Departments or in Public Sector Undertakings.

Officers move from positions at the state, under depuration to centre and back again. At the top of hierarchy of IAS officers at the centre is the cabinet secretary followed by Secretary/Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, Director, Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary and these posts are filled according to rank. The main work of IAS officers at Centre includes formulation and implementation of policies pertaining to a particular arena such as finance, commerce etc. While formulation of policy and making decision, officers at various levels like joint secretary, deputy secretary contribute in offering final shape to the policy with the concurrence of concerned minister or cabinet as per the importance of the issue.