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UPSC: What does an IAS do?

UPSC: What does an IAS do?

The functions and responsibilities of an IAS officer change at different points of his/her career.

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) was formed in the year of 1946. It is one of the three All India Services (the other two are Indian Forest Services and Indian Police Services). The cadre controlling authority for IAS is Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pension, Department of Personnel & Training.

Cadre size: 5159 posts (direct recruitment – 66.67%, promotion 33.33%). The selected candidates' training ground is at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration.

Functions of IAS Officers:

The IAS handles affairs of government, which involves the framing and implementation of policy in consultation with the concerned Minister. Implementation of policies calls for supervision and also traveling to the places where the decisions taken are being implemented. Implementation entails disbursement of funds, which calls for personal supervision.

The officers are answerable to the Parliament and State Legislatures for any irregularities that may occur.

The functions and responsibilities of an IAS officer change at different points of his/her career.

All the beginning of their career IAS officers join the state administration at the sub-divisional level, as a sub-divisional magistrate, and look after law and order, general administration and development work in the area under their charge.

The post of the District Officer variously known as District Magistrate, district Collector or Deputy Commissioner is the most prestigious an identifiable post held by the members of the service.

At the district level, these officers are mainly concerned with district affairs, including implementation of developmental programs.

During the normal course of a career, the officers also serve in the State Secretariat or as Heads of Departments or in Public Sector Undertakings.

Officers may move from positions at the State, under deputation, to the Centre and back again.

At the top of the hierarchy of IAS officers at the Centre is the Cabinet Secretary followed by Secretary/Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, Director, Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary. These posts are filled according to seniority.

The main work of IAS officers at the Centre, involves formulation and implementation of policies pertaining to a particular area e.g., finance, commerce, etc.

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.

first published:July 04, 2012, 18:22 IST