To become an IAS Officer, you will have to qualify in the Civil Services Examination (CSE) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). To appear for the Civil Services Examination, you must have a bachelor’s degree in any subject. After the completion of your graduation, you can start preparing for UPSC CSE. A post-graduation isn’t necessary to appear in this examination as the preparation of this examination is entirely different and is hardly depended on your educational qualification.
The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for the recruitment of various Civil Services of the Government of India. Generally, the recruitment process for the UPSC Indian Administrative Service comprises of three levels including Preliminary Examination, Mains Examination, and Interview.
The Preliminary Exam consists of two objective type paper i.e. General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper-II which is also called CSAT (Civil Service Aptitude Test). The Main Examination consists of nine papers of the descriptive type followed by a Personal Interview or Personality Test.
The Civil Services Preliminary Examination comprises two compulsory papers of 200 marks each:
1. General Studies Paper I
· Current events of national and international importance.
· History of India and Indian National Movement.
· Indian and World Geography
· Indian Polity and Governance
· Economic and Social Development
· General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change
· General Science, Art, and Culture
2. General Studies Paper-II- CSAT
· Interpersonal skills
· Communication skills
· Logical reasoning and analytical ability
· Decision-making and problem solving
· General mental ability
· Basic Numerical Ability& Data interpretation
Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the most important civil service in India. It is considered to be the premier most service among the various other Central and State Government services. IAS is the administrative branch of the three All India Services – IAS, Indian Foreign Services (IFS), and Indian Police Services (IPS).
IAS officers are recruited by the Central Government of India but depending upon their choice and other factors, they might be engaged with one or more State Governments or with the Central Government. They also might be engaged with Public Sector Undertakings (companies owned and managed by the Central/State Government) and other organizations in which the Central or a State Government has an interest.
When posted in the district administration of a State Government, IAS Officers are primarily responsible for implementing the various projects and plans of the Central Government and the State Government as well as for maintaining the overall law and order situations in the district. They work as and preside over as court officials in various matters related to tax collection, general administration, civil administration, and criminal activities.
A division comprises of a few districts. IAS Officers in charge of divisional administration lead and manage the work of a few districts under a division.
When posted with the various directorates, departments, and Ministries of a State or the Central Government, IAS Officers are responsible for the formulation of Government policies, formulating plans, planning various projects, schemes, and programs as well as implementation of the policies, plans, projects, and programs.
For example, projects and schemes like Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna, etc. are all planned by IAS Officers of different Ministries of the Central Government of India.
IAS Officers supervise and manage the day-to-day functions of a State Government or the Central Government. Although they report to Political leadership consisting of a State’s Ministers, Chief Minister or the Ministers and the Prime Minister of India, IAS Officers are the primary face of the Government administration to the common public of the country.
IAS Officers are responsible for taking most of the important day-to-day functional decisions in the running of the Central Government and the State Governments as well as many of the strategic decisions which are important to give a direction to how a Government functions for the benefits of the public. A Minister may make key decisions with the aid of IAS Officers and/or political advisors, but most of the functional and strategic decision making is left to the IAS Officers. Thus, IAS Officers are central to bureaucratic governance.
Many IAS Officers work as Executive Director/ Managing Director/ in a similar position of different Public Sector Undertakings (PSU). PSUs are companies controlled by the Government of India or State Governments. A few examples of PSUs are – Coal India Limited, ONGC Limited, Oil India Limited, MMTC, etc. Their primary role in these positions is to provide executive leadership to the business of the PSUs. They ensure that the PSUs achieve their goals, make profits, and provide a dividend to the Governments.
Apart from PSUs, IAS Officers are often posted in the leadership positions in various Government organizations such as municipal corporations, metropolitan and city development corporations, export promotion councils, trade development bureaus, and even in Government-owned educational and healthcare organizations. In this case, also, IAS Officers’ role is to ensure that the organizations function efficiently and achieve their goals
After completing the 2-year training program at LBSNAA (which includes 1-year of District level training) as an IAS Officer on probation and then a 3-months training as an Assistant Secretary, you will be allocated a State Cadre and then you will be placed as a Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) or Sub-Collector at a district of your State Cadre.
After your initial years in district administration, you may find placement at various State Government/ Central Government organizations such as:
Depending upon your rank and role in district administration, with a State Government or with the Central Government, some of the key roles and responsibilities that you will handle as an IAS Officers are: