all details about IAS officer

All about IAS (Indian Administrative Service)


IAS (Indian Administrative Service)

This Article Covers

1. Introduction
2. History of IAS
3. IAS Training
4. First appointment of an IAS Officer: Designations
5. IAS Cadre strength
6. IAS Cadre allocation
7. Salary of IAS Officers
8. IAS Appointment conditions
9. IAS Deputation Procedure


The IAS Officers handle affairs of the government. At the central level, this involves the framing and implementation of policy. They also represent the government in other countries and in International forums. They are even authorised to sign agreements on behalf of the government. At the district level, it is concerned with district affairs, including development functions. At the divisional level, the IAS officers look after law and order, general administration and development work. In IAS cadre you can be sub-magistrate, district magistrate, joint secretary, deputy secretary etc.




Prior to Independence, the Indian Civil Service (ICS) was the senior most amongst the Services of the Crown in India. Besides the ICS, there was also the Indian Police Service. After Independence, it was felt that though the ICS was a legacy of the imperial period, there was need for the All India Services for maintaining the unity, integrity and stability of the nation. Accordingly, a provision was made in Article 312 of the Constitution for creation of one or more All India Services common to the Union and State. The Indian Administrative Service and The Indian Police Service are deemed to be constituted by the Parliament in terms of Article 312 of the Constitution. After the promulgation of the Constitution, a new All India Service, namely, The Indian Forest Service, was created in 1966. A common unique feature of the All India Services is that the members of these services are recruited by the Centre, but their services are placed under various State cadres, and they have the liability to serve both under the State and under the Centre. This aspect of the All India Services strengthens the unitary character of the Indian federation.


Probation Period: Training Programme

Induction Training programme for IAS Probationers- AT A GLANCE


Induction Training Programme





Foundational Training: This training is imparted to probationers of the All India Services / the IAS / the IPS/ the IFS (Indian Forest Service) and the various Central Services (Group-A) of the Union. The training aims at imparting a basic understanding of the constitutional, political, socio-economic and legal framework of the country; and also fostering greater cooperation among the members of the different public services by building spirit-de-corps and cultivating an attitude of cooperation and inter-dependence.


15 Weeks




IAS Professional Training, Phase-I : The training aims to develop and hone the professional skills in handling a large range of responsibilities that an officer shoulders within the first ten years of service.

26 Weeks




District Training: This is the most significant part of the IAS Probationer’s training. During District Training, the officer trainees learn about the various facets of administration at the district level. They are required to do assignments for the Academy, based on field studies in the district. Here the probationer gets first-hand knowledge of the functioning of various facets of administration at the district level. See the Table-2 given below.

52 Weeks




IAS Professional Training, Phase-II : The IAS Training of Phase-II is designed to consolidate the learning and assignment of the district experiences gained over one year in the field with the technical constructs taught earlier.

6 Weeks


District Training Attachment of IAS Probationers








Attachment with Tehsil

1 week


Attachment with BDO

1 week


Attachment with Zilla Parishad

2 Days


Attachment with SDO

1 week


Attachment with Superintendent of Police

2 Days


Attachment with District Judge /CJM and other DLO’s

2 Days


Attachment with DRDA and Development Projects

1 week


Attachment with Police Station

2 Days


Attachment with Municipality

2 Days


Independent charge of BDO

4 weeks


Independent charge of Tehsildar

4 weeks


Settlement Training

1 week


Institutional Training at RIPA – Phase I

3 weeks


Institutional Training at RIPA – Phase II

4 weeks


Debriefing Sessions

3 Days


Independent charge Assistant Collector and Magistrate

28 Weeks


Appointment after probation: Designations

On completion of their two-year’s probation IAS Probationers will be appointed as a Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) (Also called Additional District Magistrate or Sub-Collector). As SDM they will look after law and order, general administration, revenue work and such developmental work as may be assigned to them. In the next three scales i.e. Senior Scale, Junior Administrative Grade and Selection, Grade they will serve as District Magistrate, Chief Development Officer, Director of a department, Managing Director of a Public Sector Unit or a Senior officer in the State Secretariat. In other words, they could be a District Magistrate in their fifth year of service and remain a DM till they are promoted to the Super Time Scale in the 17th year of their service. Following this there are promotions in scale to the ranks of In Principal Secretary and additional Chief Secretary. The highest post in the State is that of the Chief Secretary. See the table given below that shows the designations an IAS officer may get in his career.


Position in the
Government Of India


Equivalent Position
in the state Government














(Constitutional Authority – ranked 11th in the Table of Precedence)

1. Figures in brackets indicate minimum years in the IAS to achieve said designation though not the only criteria.

2. As discernable, it takes a longer time to achieve equivalent positions at the Centre due to lack of vacancies and slower rate of promotions.


IAS : Cadre Strength


The Department of Personnel and Training is the cadre controlling authority for officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). Authorized Cadre strength of the Indian Administrative Service of all the States as on 1st January, 2009 was 5,671 and the number of officers in position as on 1st January, 2008 was 4,572. The present system of recruitment of the IAS is possible in any of the three ways:

  1. By open competition;
  2. By promotion from a State Civil Service, and
  3. By promotion of State officials (other than State Civil Service).

The annual recruitment, which is at present nearly 80-90, is so fixed as to provide for: (a) the maintenance element for meeting death, retirements and other casualties in the direct recruitment quota; (b) A growth element to meet the anticipated extension of the quota; (c) An element to reduce the present gap.


Cadre Allocation
After being selected for the IAS, candidates are allocated to “cadres.” There is one cadre in each Indian state, except for three joint cadres: 1) Assam–Meghalaya, 2) Manipur–Tripura, and 3) Arunachal Pradesh–Goa–Misogamy–Union Territories (AGMUT).

Cadre allocation of All India Service (AIS) officers
Currently the cadre allocation of AIS officers who come as direct recruits is made in two parts. The insiders (that is, those who belong to a particular State) are allotted on the basis of merit-cum-option, while the outsiders are allotted States according to alphabetical order, irrespective of their position in the merit list and the choices indicated by them. The procedure is opaque and often there are charges of manipulation by influential probationers. The allotment of States is communicated after a long time; by then the probationer does not even have the option of re-appearing or moving over to a different service. This procedure is sought to be justified on the ground that it distributes talent randomly over all the States. However, it also leaves bright people, high in the merit list, stuck in a particularly remote area, with a sense of injustice which does not bode well for the all India Character of the AIS.

The “insider-outsider ratio” (ratio of officers who are posted in their home states) is maintained as 1:2. Till 2008 there was no choice for any state cadre and the candidates, if not placed in the insider vacancy of their home states, were allotted to different states in alphabetic order of the roster, beginning with the letters A,H,M,T for that particular year. For example if in a particular year the roster begins from ‘A’, which means the first candidate in the roster will go to the Andhra Pradesh state cadre of IAS, the next one to Bihar, and subsequently to Chattisgarh, Gujarat and so on in alphabetical order. The next year the roster starts from ‘H’, for either Haryana or Himachal Pradesh.( if it has started from Haryana in the previous occasion when it all started from ‘H’, then this time it would start from Himachal Pradesh). This highly intricate system has on one hand ensured that officers from different states are placed all over India, it has also resulted in wide disparities in the kind of professional exposure for officers, when we compare officers in small and big & also developed and backward state, since the system ensures that the officers are permanently placed to one state cadre.

Marriage: the only way to change the cadre
The All-India Services follow a cadre system wherein the officers are allotted various states (cadres) during their probationary period, to which they remain affiliated throughout their career. Getting married to another member of the All-India Services with a ‘better’ cadre is the only way to change one’s state allotment by joining the spouse’s cadre: this is called cadre-based marriage. They represent 15% of the marriages on which information was given. The career of an IAS can indeed vary considerably according to the state cadre to which one has been assigned, where the officer has to stay most of his or her professional life.


Some of them are posted very far from their home state or in ‘inhospitable’ places, and they are therefore ready to do anything to get a ‘better’ cadre. One young lady officer posted in the North-East explains her marriage plans: ‘My parents wanted me to marry within the caste, but now a cadre-based marriage is the only option for me. No well-settled man from my community would leave everything and go with me to the North-East. Life is difficult there, even for me. To be transferred, I have no choice but to marry an officer from the All-India services. I still have to find somebody with a good posting who would accept to take me out of my cadre, but he might be neither from my caste nor from my state’.


Conditions of Appointment in IAS

(a) Appointments will be made on probation for a period of two years which may be extended subject to certain conditions. Successful candidates will be required to undergo prescribed training at such place and in such manner and pass such examinations during the period of probation as the Central Government may determine.

(b) If in the opinion of Government, the work or conduct of a probationer is unsatisfactory or shows that he is unlikely to become efficient, Government may discharge him forthwith, or as the case may be, revert him to the permanent post, on which he holds a lien or would hold a lien had it not been suspended under the rules applicable to him prior to his appointment to the service.

(e) On satisfactory completion of his period of probation Government may confirm the officer in the service or if his work or conduct has, in the opinion of Government, been unsatisfactory, government may either discharge him from the service or may extend his period of probation for such further period, subject to certain conditions as Government may think fit.

(d) An officer belonging to the Indian Administrative Service will be liable to serve anywhere in India or abroad either under the Central Government or under a State Government.


Salary of an IAS Officer


IAS salary structure consists of four Pay Scales: Junior Scale, Senior Scales, Super Time Scale, and Above Super Time Scale. Each of the pay scale further consists of different pay bands.
1. Junior Scale: Pay Band: Rs 15600-39100 plus Grade Pay Rs 5400

2. Senior Scales

(i) Senior Time Scale : Pay Band: Rs 15600-39100 plus Grade Pay Rs 6600
(ii) Junior Administrative Grade: Pay Band: Rs 15600-39100 plus Grade Pay Rs 7600
(iii) Selection Grade: Pay Band: Rs 37400-67000 plus Grade Pay Rs 8700

3. Super Time Scale Pay Band: Rs 37400-67000 plus Grade Pay Rs 10000
4. Above Super Time Scale

  • Rs 37400-67000. Plus Grade Pay of Rs 12000.
  • The Apex Pay Scale of Rs 80000 (fixed). No Grade Pay.
  • Cabinet Secretary Grade of Rs 90000 (fixed). No Grade Pay.


Perks, Benefits and Facilities enjoyed by IAS Officers

  • Rent free accommodation or accommodation at very low rent.
  • Vehicles
  • Free electricity
  • Perks of PSU’s: IAS officers looking after the affairs of public sector companies enjoy all the benefits that regular PSU employees are entitled to in addition to benefits meant for IAS officers only.
  • Provident Fund: Officers of the Indian Administrative Service are governed by the All India Service (PF) Rules, 1955) as amended from time to time.
  • Leave: Officers of the Indian Administrative Service are governed by the All India Service (Leave (Rules, 1955) as amended from time to time.
  • Medical Attendance: Officers of the Indian Administrative Service are entitled to medical attendance benefits admissible under the All India Service Medical Attendance Rules, 1954, as amended from time to time.
  • Retirement Benefit: Officers of the Indian Administrative Service appointed on the basis of competitive examination are governed by the All India Service (Death-cum-Retirement Benefits) Rules, 1958 as amended from time to time.


The Procedure for Deputation


A list of those officers selected by the state Government, from among those willing to proceed on deputation, is forwarded to the Union Government and the Department of the personnel of the Union Government, in its turn, scrutinizes this offer list and picks an officer, on the basis of his record of service, confidential rolls, his aptitude and work experience and circulates a panel of names among the various Ministries. In their turn, the Ministries pick from the panel an officer for the post under its administrative control. An officer on the offer list may or may not be picked. Even after being picked by a Ministry, there is a process observed by the Department of Personnel for securing the approval of the Appointments Committee of the Union Cabinet (ACC). After the approval ACC is secured and the selection is communicated to the State Government, the State Government issues an order placing the services of an All India Service officer at the disposal of the Union Government, for appointment to a specific post.

The period of this appointment described as the ‘tenure’ varies from three to five years in the case of middle level and senior officers. Officers deputed to the Centre are expected to return to the State and serve a cooling off period before they can return to the Central post.


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