An Indian Administrative Services Officer (IAS) is part of the Indian civil service or All India Services. Also included in this service are the Indian Police Services Officers and Indian Forestry Services Officer. Taking a civil service examination is a requirement of becoming an IAS Officer and it is an extremely rigorous test. Of the approximately 400,000 people a year that take the exam, only 80 to 100 are chosen for the All India Services. There are many levels of IAS Officers and all participate in planning, governance and development of India’s various civil departments.
Duties and Responsibilities
There are several levels of IAS Officers. The duties for each level are similar with increasing responsibility as level increases. These levels include: Junior Officers; Senior Scale (includes Under Secretary, District Magistrates, Directors of public enterprises and Directors of government departments); Selection Grade-Director; Senior Administrative Grade; and Secretary.
Duties Central to all Levels
There are duties central to all levels of IAS Officer. IAS Officers are involved in planning in their district, making decisions on action to be taken. Setting plans down on paper and modifying and/or clarifying them. Policy making is another duty of an IAS Officer. Once those policies have been made and clarified, it is the IAS Officer's responsibility to implement them, assuring rules and regulations are followed. IAS Officers must also supervise the progress of projects in a wide range, from the public to the corporate sectors. IAS officers must also monitor funds for these projects, assuring that the funds are used for the intended purposes. Additionally, IAS officers must assess projects, make recommendations and provide relevant information about projects, especially to parliament. Finally, IAS Officers will represent the government of India via boards of public corporations or institutions at national or international forums.
The Average Day of an IAS Officer
The average day of an IAS Officer looks very much like any bureaucrat’s day. A daily schedule might include checking mail, arriving at the office, meeting with superiors, chairing a meeting, lunch, file work, attending a meeting, answering letters/mail, file work continues, and finally call it a day unless there is an emergency.