IAS Officer – Powers, Duties, Lifestyle, Life of an IAS Officer

By Balaji

Updated on: March 17th, 2023

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

  • 1. Who is an IAS Officer? (more)
  • 2. Daily Work of an IAS Officer (more)
  • 3. Life of an IAS Officer at LBSNAA (more)
  • 4. Power Of IAS Officer (more)
  • 5. Work of IAS Officer (more)
  • 6. Duty of IAS Officer (more)
  • 7. IAS Officer Career (more)
  • 8. Salary of an IAS Officer (more)
  • 9. Life of IAS Officer After Training (more)
  • 10. Life of an IAS Officer After Retirement (more)
  • 11. Dress Code of an IAS Officer (more)

Who is an IAS Officer?

The full form of IAS is Indian Administrative Services. The IAS Officer is endowed with numerous responsibilities for regulating the administration of the country. The major roles and responsibilities of an IAS officer account for the implementation of the laws on the Central and State levels. They pursue their training at LNBSNAA which prepares them for the upcoming roles and responsibilities. The life of an IAS Officer is considered to be very stressful.

They receive lucrative salary package and other benefits that further elevates the interest of the candidates to join the Civil Services. To become an IAS Officer the candidates have to crack one of the toughest exams which is the UPSC exam. It poses tough competition for the candidates as numerous aspirants take the exam in pursuit of landing their desired job. Get the complete details about the IAS Officer, and their lifestyle before preparing for the exam.

Daily Work of an IAS Officer

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. The IAS lifestyle and their personal life depend on them how can they manage their work, as there are no fixed hours of work and it can stretch to more hours.

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 Mussoorie, Uttrakhand to get the necessary training as an IAS officer. The details of the LBSNAA IAS training period have been elaborated herewith. 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 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, programs, and administrative setup of that area.
  • Phase 2: This includes sharing experiences of the phase 1 training by the officers with their colleagues. These discussion sessions are organized so that the IAS officers can 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.

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.

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 and handling natural calamities such as floods, earthquakes, accidents, etc. The work of an IAS Officer impacts and influences the IAS lifestyle. The duties of an 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.

Duty 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 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 to take 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.

Life of IAS Officer After 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 IAS training helps the selected candidates to develop the qualities of an IAS Officer.

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. After the training of the IAS Officers is completed they join their respective services under the joint secretary and pursue their duties. The training period molds the IAS Officer and prepares them for their upcoming roles and responsibilities.

Life of an IAS Officer After Retirement

Becoming an IAS Officer mandates the need for a proper and effective UPSC preparation strategy. It is difficult to crack the most sought-after exam, however, it is worth it as the IAS Officers receive numerous benefits even after retirement. They are enrolled in a lifetime pension facility. 10% of the salaries of the IAS Officers and a further 14% is added by the Government. The retired IAS Officers are liable to join other departments of the Government services as they are appointed by the Government for various departments such as tribunals, commissions, CAG etc.

Dress Code of an IAS Officer

There is no specific dress code for an IAS Officer for defence or IPS. Though they are expected to be dressed formally. When the IAS Officers are visiting the courtroom, it is essential to be dressed in formal attire. Informal clothing is not preferred in a courtroom. A tie and a coat are considered to be formal dresses for men. Formal Indian wear is considered an impeccable outfit for female IAS Officers.

There is a dress code to be followed by the candidates for the IAS interview. The aspirants are advised to wear clean, well-ironed formal attire. Try to wear clothes that are neither too tight nor too loose, this will help you look professional. The candidates should wear simple clothes. Women should avoid putting in makeup and wearing heels or flashy jewellery. The dress reflects the attitude of the candidates.

UPSC Notes
10 Tips to Clear UPSC Prelims Exam IAS Interview Questions
IAS Toppers Optional Subject How to Get Home Cadre in IAS?
How Many Hours to Study for IAS? Dos and Don’ts for UPSC IAS Prelims Exam
Our Apps Playstore
GradeStack Learning Pvt. Ltd.Windsor IT Park, Tower - A, 2nd Floor, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201303
Home Practice Test Series Premium