There’s no secret about the fact that the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is one of the most prominent services among the Civil Services of the nation. Hundreds of aspirants dream and appear for the tough UPSC examination but only a few make the cut.
Once accepted in the course, they undergo training for three years.
Freshly-recruited applicants are then trained at Mussoorie’s Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration and it begins with a foundation course and ends with the all-India educational tour known as ‘Bharat Darshan’.
Post-training, they are posted at cadre regions during probation and are posted as Sub-Divisional Magistrate and next as District Magistrates/District Collectors/Deputy Commissioners. They are then promoted to state-level administration/Public Sector Undertakings as Heads of Departments or bureaucrats in state secretariats.
Next, they are posted with the central government as Cabinet Secretary, Secretary, Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, Director, Deputy Secretary, and Under Secretary.
IAS officers are responsible for handling government affairs at numerous levels, which also involve the framing and implementation of policies. They also look after the disbursement of funds as they are answerable to the Parliament or State Legislatures.
An IAS officer's daily schedule is not fixed as the different days require different activities. They might attend meetings and conferences on one day, grievance sessions for citizens another day, and go for inspections for government programs later.
However, a typical day is pretty hectic for these officers owing to their responsibilities. Though the working hours might also differ for different levels, working hours for officers at the district level are from 9 am to 5 pm. However, the timings can extend up to 9 pm due to responsibilities.
Upon reaching the office, they go through daily reports from the staff and personally supervise each task. From meetings and inspections to fieldwork, their day is packed with work. They are usually the first responders for any emergencies in their area.
IAS officers cannot leave their posting location without prior approval because the number of weekly working hours can go up during emergencies or urgent works that may occur at any time.
They frequently visit different places where the policies need to be implemented.
They are also responsible for conducting several training sessions and programs for their department.
After assigning instructions to their subordinates, they go through several proposals and check them from administrative/accounts angles.
They are also responsible for coordinating heads from all government departments at the district level and get their inputs.
They also perform the duties of a central observer during Lok Sabha and assembly polls.
Clearly, the job of an IAS officer is no piece of cake!