(Getting Started) Job Profile of an IAS Officer

Job Profile of an IAS Officer

Evolution of IAS

IAS (Indian Administrative Services), is the premier service of Government of India, was constituted in 1946. Prior to it, the IAS were known as the Indian Imperial Service (1893-1946). Since Independence, the civil services has been seen as the hallmark of governance of India. It is for their contribution to the Indian state that Sardar Vallabhai Patel referred to the ICS as the steel frame of the country. The civil services represents the essential spirit of our nation- unity in diversity.

The Constitution provides that without depriving the states of their right to form their own civil services, there shall be an All India Services recruited on an All-India basis with common qualifications, with uniform scale of pay and the members of which alone could be appointed to these strategic posts throughout the Union.

As on 1-01-2013, the sanctioned strength of IAS was 6217, comprising of 4313 posts to be filled by direct recruits (CSE) and 1904 posts to be filled by promotion/appointment of State Civil Services officers/Non-state civil service officers.

GS Foundation Course (PT+ MAINS) for IAS EXAM

सामान्य अध्ययन (GS) फ़ाउनडेशन कोर्स (Foundation Course) PT + Mains, HINDI Medium

Recruitment to the IAS

The induction of the IAS officers is done through three modes-

  1. through Civil Services Examination, conducted by UPSC every year;

  2. through promotion of State Civil Service officers to IAS; and,

  3. Through selection of non-state Civil Service officers.

Approximately, 66% (2/3rd) posts are meant for Direct Recruitment, while remaining 33% (1/3rd) posts are meant for promotion quota.


After selection, both-direct recruit as well as promotee IAS officers are imparted as probationary training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA). There also exist a provision for 'mandatory Mid Career Training' for IAS officers spread across the entire service span.

Allocation of Cadre

Direct recruit IAS officers are allocated to the state cadres, or Joint State cadres on the basis of their rank preference and availability of vacancy in their category-at their turn in terms of provisions of Cadre Allocation Policy of 2008 as amended from time to time. Officers recruited through other modes mentioned above remain on their state cadre.

Functions of IAS Officer

As per the records, an IAS is responsible for maintenance of law and order, revenue administration and general administration in the area under him/her. Further, his functions broadly include:

(i) Collection of revenue and function as Courts in revenue matters;

(ii) Maintenance of law and order;

(iii) Function as Executive Magistrate;

(iv) Function as Chief Development Officer (CDO)/District Development Commissioner;

(v) Supervision of implementation of policies of State Government and Central Government;

(vi) To travel to places to oversee implementation of policies;

(vii) Supervision of expenditure of public funds as per norms of financial propriety;

(viii) In the process of policy formulation and decision making, IAS officers at various levels like Joint Secretary, Deputy Secretary etc. make their contributions and the give final shape to policies;

(ix) 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;

Designation of an IAS officer

(i) SDO/SDM/Joint Collector/ Chief Development Officer (CDO)

(ii) District Magistrate/District Collector/Deputy Commissioner

(iii) Divisional Commissioner

(iv) Member Board of Revenue

(v) Chairman of Board of Revenue

More Prospects for the IAS

An IAS officers can be appointed in autonomous organizations; subordinate organizations; PSUs; UN Organizations; international organizations, like World Bank, Asian Development Bank, in various capacities. They also serve as Personal Secretaries to Ministers in Central Government. There is provision for deputation of IAS officers to private organizations also for a fixed tenure.

Career Progression of an IAS

Rules of Promotion

In his Career, an IAS officer is eligible for raise in salary and promotions. The promotion is given on the basis of the evaluation of the performance given in the Performance Appraisal Reports, Vigilance clearance and scrutiny of overall record of the officers concerned, as per the procedure. The scrutiny of promotion is done by a committee of senior civil servants.

Also, Promotions are dependent on the time period spent by an officer in a particular grade. There are specified number of years of service that are a pre-requisite, for being eligible for promotion. The logic behind the time-bound promotion is to attract and retain the best talent in the country.

Checking the Suitability for Promotion and Posting

For the purpose of posting, promotion and manning of posts held in the centre and state government, performance of each and every officer is captured through an instrument of Performance Appraisal, known as Performance Appraisal Report (PAR).

This report is initiated by the officer himself, listing out the various achievements and completion of activities with reference to targets assigned to him and mutually agreed upon. The report is written and commented by the next immediate officer and further reviewed by the officer higher in hierarchy than the Reporting Officer.

For the All India Services, there is one more authority who accepts the PAR reported and reviewed by the Reporting Officer and Reviewing Officer.

Laws and Regulations Governing the IAS

IAS Officers are regulated through different All India Services Rules, like-

  • All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968;

  • AIS (PAR) Rules, 2007;

  • AIS (DCRB) Rules, 1958;

  • AIS (Cadre) Rules, 1954;

  • AIS (Pay) Rules, 2007, etc.

These rules have been made under the powers conferred by the All India Services Act, 1951.

It is good to know about the career and other related details of the IAS, if you are preparing for the same. IASEXAMPORTAL hopes that this information would help the candidates get a clear idea about the profession that they are aspiring for.

We wish the candidates, All the Best!!



GS Foundation Course (PT+ MAINS) for IAS EXAM

सामान्य अध्ययन (GS) फ़ाउनडेशन कोर्स (Foundation Course) PT + Mains, HINDI Medium

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