What is the work of an IAS officer?

Q.What is the work of an IAS officer?

The (IAS) is one of the three All India Services of the Government of India; other two services being the Indian Police Service (IPS) and the Indian Forest Service (IFS). The IAS is the key administrative service of the Government, both in the Central Government as well as in the States. Owing to the system of allotment of permanent State cadres, this Service has lost some of its All India character. During the British period this bureaucratic structure was known as 'Steel frame' of India for its role in influencing and implementing government policies and decisions. However, now as a result of the growth in public representative institutions and democratic decentralization, both in policy-making, planning and actual implementation, the role of IAS is now restricted to policy execution and office bearing, although some feel that the IAS has re-invented itself as a "facilitator", in an economic scenario where the overall role of the State has rapidly diminished. Nevertheless, those dealing with the State consistently hold the view that the power and influence of the IAS in the Indian polity should never be under-estimated.

The precursor of the Indian Administrative Service was the Indian Civil Service(ICS) of the British Raj. ICS officers, known as 'Collectors', were generally held in high regard because of their reputation for being incorruptible and good administrators. However, some of the "nationalist" critics have opined that the ICS was neither Indian, nor Civil and nor a Service.

Upon independence, the new Republic of India accepted the then serving Indian Civil Service officers who chose to stay on rather than leave for the United Kingdom and renamed the service the Indian Administrative Service.

Officers in the IAS join in the Junior Time Scale. After 4 years of service they are promoted to the Senior Time Scale which is equivalent to an Under Secretary of Govt of India, after 9 years they are promoted to the Junior Administrative Grade when they can be placed as Deputy Secretaries to Govt of India. After completing 13 years of service, they are granted the Selection Grade when they can be placed as Directors in Govt of India. The ranks after that are - Joint Secretary (GOI), Additional Secretary (GOI) and Secretary (GOI) which is the highest rank carrying the basic pay of Rs 26,000. Then there is the Cabinet Secretary (only one in India) who carries a basic pay of Rs 30,000. The State Governments however have a kind of a leverage to post these officers. Normally when an IAS officer joins the State, he is placed as a Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM). Ideally he is to be made in charge of a District after completing 9 years of service and entering the Junior Administrative Grade but in certain States, even younger IAS officers are made in charge of Districts (Known as District Magistrates (DM), Deputy Commissioners (DCs) or Collectors).