Life Of An IAS Officer: Work, Roles & Responsibilities, Power of IAS Officer

By Priya Gupta|Updated : September 28th, 2022

Experiencing the life of an IAS officer is often a great motivation for the aspirants preparing for the UPSC Exam. Becoming an IAS Officer is one of the highly reputed and sought-after professions in the country. Out of 24 Civil Service posts, IAS is the most popular one. The major work of IAS officer includes maintaining the administration work, ensuring law and order is in place, maintaining the overall expenditure, and supervising government affairs. However, the life of an IAS officer is not easy, it is filled with strict routines, everyday challenges, training, etc. To be at a level where you can bring a positive change in the lives of people and contribute to your best capabilities to the country is what every citizen wants. By becoming an Indian Administrative Service officer, one can actually work on these prospects by staying true to their profession.

Every year, the Union Public Service Commission conducts the prelims and mains exams followed by an Interview to recruit IAS officers. In this article, we are going to discuss the life of an IAS officer, their roles and responsibilities, power, and duties towards the Government, people, and the nation.

Table of Content

Daily Routine In IAS Officer Life

The daily routine in the life of an IAS Officer involves a foundation course and training phases before the posting. Every year, lakhs of eligible aspirants appear for the IAS exam conducted by UPSC but only a few make it to the final merit list and become IAS officers. After the final selection, they join Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) to complete the training by following a strict discipline of morning exercise and activities every day at 6 AM sharp.

Life Of An IAS Officer At LBSNAA

It is mandatory for the selected candidates to join the Lal Bahadur Shashtri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) which is located in Mussorie, Uttrakhandto get the necessary training as an IAS officer. This is the place where they meet and interact with their colleagues for the first time. The total duration of this training is 2 years which is divided into several phases such as the foundation course, phase 1 training, Bharat darshan, and so on. Check out the daily routine in the IAS Officer life at LBSNAA given here:

  • Foundation Course: It is a common course for all services including IAS, IPS, and IFS. All those who are getting recruited as Grade A officers are recommended to join a foundation course at LBSNAA which is of 3 months duration. After that, candidates belonging to different services get admitted to the respective academies for training and only IAS officers have to stay back and continue their training at LBSNAA.
  • Phase 1: During their 15 weeks of the training period, candidates get a Bharat Darshan tour where they get exposed to the rich cultural diversity of India. The training module includes Policymaking, soft skills, land management, national security, e-governance, project management, etc. The entire batch of IAS Officers gets divided into small groups for this tour.
  • District Training: The next phase is the 1-year long training at the district level where the IAS officers become a part of an administration in a specific district and study the policies, programmes, and all the administrative set-up of that area.
  • Phase 2: This includes sharing experiences of the phase 1 training by the officers with their colleagues. These discussion sessions are organised so that the IAS officers get a chance to articulate their thoughts and conflicts and come up with a mutual understanding and learn by sharing their thoughts and ideas. In the end, discussions are held with the subject matter experts to learn from their understanding and specialization.
  • Assistant Secretaryship: After the training period, for a few months, officers join their respective departments and work under the joint secretary.

Work Of IAS Officer

After becoming an IAS officer, there are various duties that an individual needs to perform. She/he needs to be in contact with various departments for the proper execution and supervision of work including government schemes, new projects and proposals in the allotted district, handling natural calamities, accidents, etc. The duties of IAS officer are as follows:

  • Maintaining Law and Order in the district
  • Administrative Work
  • Documentation including reviewing and checking the accuracy of the policy documents
  • Management of staff under her/him

Other Duties of IAS Officer

The IAS Officers have to manage and handle numerous tasks and duties for the welfare of the nation. Some of the other roles and responsibilities of IAS officers are as follows:

  • Sub-Divisional Functions - As a Sub Divisional Magistrate, they have to maintain law and order and take care of the administrative and developmental activities.
  • District-Level Functions- While doing the work as District Level Magistrate, they need to perform the similar duties of an SDM.
  • Public Sector Undertakings- Many IAS officers are also posted to Public Sectors Undertakings cadres on the committee.

Power Of IAS Officer

An IAS officer power is to formulate, implement, and supervise policies under the control of the Government. He/She is responsible for maintaining law and order in the district allocated to him. Apart from this, Drug Licenses Act, Arms Act, Essential Commodities Act, etc. list down IAS officer power to impose regulations in different situations. According to the Indian Penal Code of Criminal Procedure (1973), Sections 107 - 110, 133, 144, and 176 list powers for maintaining law and order given to IAS Officers.

Role Of IAS Officer

It is a dream of many young aspirants to become an IAS officer, but a position always comes with roles and responsibilities. There are three kinds of roles of an IAS officer which are Field Assignments, State Secretariat/Public Sector Undertakings, and Central Secretariat assignments. Among all the tasks, field assignments are considered as the most difficult tasks.

Life of an IAS Officer: Field Assignments

Generally, field assignments are the first task/role assigned to an IAS officer after posting. The designation of IAS officers at the time of field posting includes the following:

  • Chairman Board of Revenue
  • Member Board of Revenue
  • Divisional Commissioner
  • District Collector/District Magistrate/Deputy Commissioner
  • SDO/SDM/Joint Collector/ Chief Development Officer

The IAS roles and responsibilities related to field assignments are as follows:

  • Managing affairs of the Indian Government, including reviewing policies and farming.
  • Managing and handing out various funds of the central government for different schemes.
  • Providing assistance during major accidents, natural disasters, and riots.
  • Consulting with different departments and elected representatives for different functions.
  • Supervising the implementation of various government schemes and policies.

IAS Officer Duties in State Secretariat Assignments

At the time of posting in the State Secretariat assignments, IAS officers are expected to use their experience and knowledge in providing guidance to the elected representatives in formulating policies. Along with that, many people also get a chance to get posted in Public Sector Undertakings and be a part of their higher management.

IAS Officer Role in Central Secretariat Assignments

This is the highest level of posting for any IAS officer. They get a chance to look after policy formulation, reviews, and implementation for different ministries of the Central Government. The designations for IAS officers at State or Central Secretariat postings are as follows:

  • Deputy Secretary for the Indian Government.
  • Director in Government of India
  • Secretary in State Government/Joint Secretary in the Central Government
  • Principal Secretary in State Government/Additional Secretary to the Central Government
  • Chief Secretary to the State Government/Secretary to the Indian Government.
  • Cabinet Secretary

IAS Officer Career

The IAS Officers lead an illustrious career, the hard work, and efforts poured in during the preparation are all worth it. The initial phase of their careers embarks with training at LBSNAA. The highly reputed job profile of an IAS Officer attracts and fascinates a multitude of aspirants toward taking the most-sought after exam. The life of an IAS Officer after cracking the exam is full of responsibilities and taking up higher roles. The career progression of an IAS Officer is mentioned here-

  • Phase I Training at LBSNAA
  • District Level Training
  • Phase 2 Training At LBSNAA
  • Serving as Assistant Secretary for three years
  • Joint Magistrate/ Sub Collector/ SDM
  • Municipal Commissioner, DDO/ CDO
  • Director at State Secretariats/ Joint Secretary
  • Principal/ Additional Secretary at State Secretariat or Central Secretariat
  • Chief Secretary
  • Cabinet Secretary

Salary Of An IAS Officer

The highly lucrative salary package received by the Officers adds a feather to the hat of the Officers. It surges the fascination with the job profile. The IAS Officers draw a handsome salary of ₹56100 initially. During the training period, they receive their salary equivalent to ₹33,000–35,000. In the upcoming years their salary witnesses a surge. Along with a handsome salary package they are also entitled to numerous perks and allowances such as security, study leaves, job security, post-retirement pension facilities etc. The IAS Officer salary is in accordance with the 7th pay commission.

IAS Officer Training

Above, we discussed the schedule of the training period which includes various phases like the Pan India Study Tour, Phase 1 and 2 training, District training, etc. Now, it is time to understand how the life of an IAS officer is affected by the training and what happens after the training is over.

The training at LBSNAA starts every day at 6 AM with morning exercises and activities. The IAS Officer training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration follows the given routine:

  • 6 AM: Morning exercise/horse riding training for 60 minutes
  • 7 to 9 AM: Free time for morning activities
  • 9:30 AM onwards: Academic activities for 8-10 hours including lectures, sports and extracurricular activities.

Before and after dinner, trainees get the leisure time to interact with others and socialize.

A typical schedule for an IAS officer after the posting starts at 9 AM in the field (workplace). The day would involve going through the reports, reviewing policies at the field level, supervising multiple tasks, visiting people, attending meetings, etc. These everyday tasks usually end up at around 9 PM which can easily stretch in the case of emergencies, natural disasters, riots, major accidents, etc.

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FAQs on IAS Officer Life

  • During the training period at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, the day in the life of an IAS officer starts at 6 AM with morning exercises and activities including horse riding. There are multiple phases involved in this 2-year training programme which includes the Bharat Darshan tour, Phase 1 and 2 training sessions, District training, etc.

  • The primary duty of an IAS officer is to manage the administrative affairs in the allotted district. It involves working on government policies and programmes, managing a team of officers under her/him, monitoring the progress of the ongoing developments in the area, etc.

  • There are no fixed working hours for an IAS officer. Officially, the timings are 9 A.M. to 5 P.M, but considering the amount of daily work, the day usually ends at 9 PM. The working hours depend on the amount of work, ongoing events, roles and responsibilities, and the need of the hour.

  • If you want to get a highly prestigious government job and serve society, then IAS is the right choice for you. But before making any final decision, it is important for you to read this article word by word and understand the life of an IAS officer including their roles and responsibilities, duties, training, etc.

  • The lifestyle of an IAS officer is all around the work. It has been observed that they get less time for family or friends. Their day usually starts at 9 AM with no fixed working hours. On the other hand, the IAS salary and other allowances are very lucrative which makes this job even more demanding.

  • It is needless to say that becoming an IAS officer is one of the highly desirable and demanding careers in India as it offers a prestigious status to the individual. The personal life of an IAS officer depends on how they manage their work and family. Usually, there are no fixed working hours. Officers need to be available according to their role and responsibilities, the need of the hour, and designation.

  • The work and duties of an IAS officer include policy framing, implementation, and review. Apart from that, they consult with various departments and elected representatives. They also manage the public funds for various policies.

  • Those Candidates who clear the IAS Exam with good ranks get recruited as IAS officers and get an opportunity to be part of this prestigious service. The role of an IAS officer differs on the basis of the kinds of assignments allotted to him/her. It mainly includes three kinds of assignments, namely - Field, State Secretariat/Public Sector Undertakings, and Central Secretariat.

  • The highly lucrative IAS Officer salary received by the Officers surges the attraction and fascination of aspirants. They receive the salary in accordance with the 7th pay commission. The IAS Officers receive  ₹56100 initially. Along with a lucrative salary package they are also entitled to numerous perks and allowances such as study leaves, job security, and post-retirement pension facilities.

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