Full Form of IAS – History of the IAS – Functions of an IAS officer

Full Form of IAS :

Indian Administrative Service

IAS Full Form is Indian Administrative Service. It is one of the leading administrative civil services in India. Officers with IAS, hold strategic and key positions in public-sector undertakings, states, as well as Union Governments. An IAS officer can be appointed as commissioner, collector, chief secretary, public sector head, the cabinet secretary, and more. With extensive challenges and experience, an IAS officer has the power to bring a positive change in the society.

To become an IAS officer one has to clear the IAS or otherwise known as UPSC – Civil Service Exam, which comprises of 3 steps – The Preliminary exam; Main Exam; and the Interview. It is quite a challenge and requires the right approach and attitude to acquire an IAS, as there is extreme competition among the best brains in the country. Each year more than 600,000 candidates take this exam out of which only 200 – 250 would be recruited.

Full Form of IAS - History of the IAS - Functions of an IAS officer
Full Form of IAS – History of the IAS – Functions of an IAS officer

IAS Full Form – Important Information

In India, administrative services enjoy unmatched, prestigious reputation in the society largely because of the benefits appended to the services, which are something that every person would want. Also, because India is relatively poor and many people cannot afford the minimum quantity of daily commodities, securing a well established, stable job is important.

Administrative services in India offer such job, along with great repute and value in society. These twin advantages are not generally present in other jobs and hence, administrative services see the enormous number of participation from every section of the society.

Considering the high value enjoyed by administrative services, we shall begin with Indian Administrative Service (IAS), joining which is the dream of almost every Indian. It is the prestigious administrative civil service of the Indian government that places officers in crucial administrative positions in the Central government, state governments, and many public sector undertakings.

These positions are considered strategic in respect of the administrative functioning of governmental bodies. It is a respectable bureaucracy that enjoys much-desired permanence and intellectual brilliance. IAS is an indistinguishable part of the Executive organ of the government of India.

Indian Administrative Services (IAS) is one of the three All India services (the other ones being Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFS)) in which officers recruited by both Central Government and the State governments. IAS officers are often deputed abroad to conduct foreign affairs on behalf of the Union government.

Some of the international organizations IAS officers often work with are the World Bank, United Nations and its various organs and agencies, and other intergovernmental organizations. The recruitment process begins with an all-India entrance exam known as the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which is considered to be one of the toughest exams in the country. IAS has a long, rich history and a successful present and all of its must be briefly looked into for better appreciation. Some of the important facts about IAS are:

History of the IAS:

History of IAS is long, dating back in the colonial era. British had realized the lack of a uniform administrative system in their colonial empire and decided to implement administrative policies, administrating major issues of the empire. To fill up the administrative positions, it needed well educated, intelligent, and hard working persons to provide their service to the British administration. Although many historians claim ulterior motives behind the implementation of the administration, these services provided a proper, uniform governance framework to the colonial rule.

The Imperial Civil Service was the premier civil service in the British period, particularly between 1858 and 1947. Divided into two categories namely Covenanted and Uncovenanted, the former was reserved for British civil officers only who would be placed in higher positions in the administrative services and the latter was for the Indian civil officers, who will be placed in the lower thread in the administrative services.

When the Partition of India happened accompanied by the departure of the British from India, the Imperial Civil Service was divided into that of India and Pakistan, wherein the part of the India was named Indian Administrative Service and the Pakistani part was named the Civil Service of Pakistan.

Recruitment process involved in IAS:

The recruitment process in IAS is considered to be one of the toughest processes in the country. In respect of competitiveness, quality of examination, research and training programs, IAS excels in all of that and that is what that makes IAS one of the most beloved services in the country because it has edged out its own class.

The first step towards IAS begins with the all India level entrance examination famously known as Civil Services Examination conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). UPSC is the country’s central authority that undertakes the organization of Civil Services Examination, Engineering Services Examination, Combined Defence Services Examination, National Defence Academy Examination, Indian Economic Service Examination, Naval Academy Examination, Indian Statistical Service Examination, etc.

Civil Services Examination is one of the most attended examinations of the country, as the records of the year 2015 state that approximately 1,000,000 candidates sat for the examination out of which only 170 will be recruited in the administrative services. These selected candidates will occupy various positions, whose vacancies often vary in number.

Allocation and placement process in IAS:

After having being selected in the UPSC examination, the candidates are sent to train at LBSNAA, Mussoorie for IAS. LBSNAA, which stands for Lal Bahadur Shastra National Academy of Administration, is a training and research facility in the field of public policy making and public administration in India. It functions under the aegis of the government of India.

Every Indian State will have one cadre for its own but there are three joint cadres as well. These joint cadres include Manipur-Tripura, Assam-Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-UnionTerritories (ADMUT). There is an insider-outsider ratio, which talks about the number of civil servants posted in their hometowns, that is reserved at 1:2 and such officers are marked as ‘insiders’. The remaining IAS officers are posted in places other than their hometowns. Before the year 2008, the IAS officers had no choice, if not allotted their hometowns, and they were allotted places in an alphabetical order.

Many have criticized the allotment process of the IAS officers, particularly because it is considered an obstacle in nurturing of the IAS officers. Criticism focuses on the necessity to ensure autonomy in the functioning of the IAS officers, improve their strategic capabilities, and administrating skills.

Designations in IAS:

Generally, the fresh recruits in IAS begin their careers in the state administration as a sub-divisional magistrate, entrusted with the task of regulating and maintaining law and order along with regular administrative work in the areas of their control. Popular known as ‘babus’, these civil servants, even as fresh recruits, exercise immense administrative control.

The designation structure of the IAS varies, as one moves in the upper rung. An IAS officer in the Cabinet Secretary Grade holds the position of the Cabinet Secretary of India; an Apex Scale IAS officer holds the position of Chief Secretary of States and in various Union ministries.

A Junior Administrative scale IAS officer holds positions of District Magistrate, Deputy Commissioner of a District or Special Secretary in the State government, etc,; a Super Time Scale IAS officer holds the position of a Divisional Commissioner in a division or Secretary in the states or Joint Secretary in the Union government, etc.

The salaries of the IAS officers will, therefore, vary with designations and seniority. Moreover, benefits other than monetary benefits are attached with various designations and these benefits will vary, for example, grade pay is not same for every IAS officer.

There are a number of positions that IAS officers hold in the government of India like Under Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Director, Joint Secretary of a Union Ministry, Additional Secretary of a Union Ministry, Secretary of a Union Ministry, and Cabinet Secretary of India.

As far as posts in the state government are concerned, some of them are that of District Magistrate in a small district, Principal Secretary of State Department, Chief Secretary of State Department, Divisional Commissioner, etc.

Functions of an IAS officer:

An IAS officer holds a venerable position in the society and he is considered an epitome of intellect and hard work. The social bliss attached to an IAS official cannot be compromised with because failure in the proper discharge of functions would bring great disrepute to not only the officer but also the position he holds. It is, therefore, an obligation upon an IAS official to sincerely discharge his administrative responsibilities for which he has worked too hard.

The general functions of an IAS officer to maintain law and order in the area he is put in charge of and to carry out related administrative and managerial tasks. However, the functions of an IAS officer have more dimensions than it seems. Typical functions of an IAS officer are enumerated below:

  • To carry out management of the general matters of the government. For this purpose, he would act in consultation with the ministries concerned. Thus, an IAS officer has to remain uniformly connected with the government before implementing an administrative policy in the area of charge.
  • An IAS officer cannot always function from its office for the implementation of administrative policies. An IAS officer has to undertake routine supervision of the area, traveling to areas when the policies are planned to be implemented, overseeing utilization of public funds directed in the name of the implementation of policies in the area and chalking out new policies after due inspection, etc.
  • IAS officers head premier academic institutions in the area of charge and all management policies of those institutes are undertaken only under his supervision and authority.
  • An IAS officer is answerable to the ministries of the government in case any mismanagement or failure of administration occurs in the area of charge. Thus, an IAS officer is given effective control over the area in order to prevent any such mismanagement and failure.