#CareerBytes: Career path of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer
The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the most prestigious and sought-after service among the Civil Services of the country. Every year, lakhs of aspirants appear for the tough UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) to become an IAS officer but only a few manage to make the cut. Here's all you want to know about the career path of an IAS officer.
The Civil Services Exam and selection procedure
To become an IAS Officer, one must clear the UPSC Civil Services Examination. Those who are accepted to the Indian Administrative Service, undergo training for three years before being confirmed in IAS. Newly-recruited candidates are trained at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Uttarakhand's Mussoorie; the training begins with "Foundation Course" and ends with the all-India educational tour called "Bharat Darshan".
Candidates are posted at cadre regions for two years
In the career path of becoming an IAS officer, after the training, comes the probation period when candidates are posted at their cadre regions for two years. During the probation, the candidates are attached to various departments of the government to learn how things work. They also have to appear for an examination at the end of probation period.
Officers are posted at district sub-divisions and district level
The IAS officers begin their career by receiving training with their home cadres after which they get their first posting. At the initial stage, they are posted as a Sub-Divisional Magistrate in charge of a district sub-division. Next, at the District level, officers appointed as District Magistrates or District Collectors or Deputy Commissioners supervise policy formulation, implementation, developmental works of the concerned district.
Officers are promoted to State-administration/PSUs and next to central government
After their District-level role, IAS officers are promoted to State-level administration as Heads of Departments or bureaucrats in state secretariats. Many officers are posted at administrative posts in Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) too. Next, at the top of the hierarchy of IAS, officers are posted with the central government as Cabinet Secretary, Secretary, Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, Director, Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary.
The basic duties of an IAS officer
IAS officers are entrusted with the task of handling government affairs at various levels, which involve the framing and implementation of policies, in consultation with concerned ministries. They have to undertake supervision of the implementation process and travel to important sites and places. IAS officers also have to look after the disbursement of funds. The officers are answerable to the Parliament or State Legislatures.