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Job profile or career progress of an IAS officer


The civil service is considered as a hallmark of governance in India. The Constitution provides that there shall be an All India service (Article 312) recruited on an All- India basis with common qualifications, with the uniform scale of pay and the members of which alone could be appointed to these strategic posts throughout the Union. The civil services, therefore, represent the steel frame of our nation – unity in diversity.

At present, there are three modes of recruitment to IAS:

• Through the Civil Services Examination conducted by UPSC every year;
• Through promotion of State Civil Service officers to IAS; and
• Through the selection of non – Civil Service officers ie Lateral Entry.

Roughly 66 (1/3%) posts are meant for Direct Recruitment and 33 (1/3%) posts are meant for promotion quota from the state Civil Services.
Direct recruit IAS officers are allocated to State cadres/ Joint State Cadres on the basis of their rank, preference and availability of vacancy.

First Year: Training

The newly recruited IAS trainees are called to LBSNAA (Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration) for training.

This is the beginning of the “100-day foundation course,” the first part of the two-year training. The foundation course is common for all civil servants from various disciplines.

Soon after the completion of Foundation Course,  the IAS Officer Trainees graduate to   Phase-I training. This Course imparts rigorous training to the Officer Trainees of the Indian Administrative Service in a wide range of subjects to enable them to handle varied assignments that they would hold in the first ten years of their service. Emphasis is on understanding of public systems and their management.  Starting in December, it runs up to May of the next year and comprises of Academic instruction (12 weeks); Winter Study Tour (7 weeks) and 1 week of Block Leave.

At the end of the IAS Professional Course Phase I, an Officer Trainee is able to:

1. Acquire a pan-India perspective of emerging socio-economic and politico-legal trends, an understanding of the emerging role of the IAS and its shared administrative responsibilities with other services.

2. Acquire knowledge and skills needed to discharge administrative responsibilities in the first decade of their career in the following areas:

i. Law and legal instruments

ii. Administrative rules, procedures and programme guidelines

iii. Modern management tools, and

iv. Economic analysis

3. Demonstrate proficiency in the regional language of the allotted State to better appreciate its administrative and cultural ethos.

4. Acquire an understanding on the cultural and socio-economic background of the State they are allotted.

5. Demonstrate effective written/ oral communication skills both in interpersonal and organizational context.

6. Exhibit right values and attitudes.

7. Maintain physical fitness.

8. Adhere to the spirit of ‘Sheelam Param Bhushanam’.

The training ends with a long, all-India educational tour called “Bharat darn.” During this tour, the officer trainees see various parts of the country and also how the army, navy, and air force work.

Second Year: Probation

After training, the IAS officers are sent to their cadre regions on probation for a couple of years. IAS cadres are the regions where an officer is allocated. There are total of 24 cadres, like AGMUT, West Bengal, UP, Rajasthan, etc.

During the probation period, the officer will be attached to various government departments to learn how the government machinery works. The officer will have to keep a probationer’s diary to record what he/she has learned. The probation period ends with an examination.

  • Junior Time Scale—The newly recruited IAS officer starts at the Junior Time Scale salary. After completion of the probation period, the junior officer is posted as a SDO / SDM (Sub-divisional Officer / Magistrate) at the Sub-division level of a district. The SDM is the administrative head of a sub-division containing 7/8 blocks.
SDO In Siliguri, Legacy IAS
PC: Google
  • Senior Time Scale—After four years of service, the IAS officer is promoted to Senior Time Scale . He is given various types of posts like that of the Additional District Magistrate (ADM), CEO, Zilla Parishad or Chief Development Officer at this stage.
Chief Development Office Uttarakhand, Legacy IAS
  • Junior Administrative Grade— An IAS is promoted to this scale after 9 years of service.

    After serving 2/3 years as the ADM, the officer is selected as the District Magistrate / Collector of a district. The collector looks after the development and law and order of the district. The post has wide visibility, power and status.

    Some of the officers are posted as a Joint Secretary of a ministry of the state. The Joint Secretary is a very important position to hold. If an officer goes to central deputation then he is given director post of a department.
  • Selection Grade—The officer again gets two extra increments before being promoted to the next higher scale of pay, Selection Grade after 12 years of service. He or She may remain a DM in the district or can become a Special Secretary of a Government department.
  • Super Time Scale—An IAS gets Super Time Scale after 16 years of service. He /She will get the post of an Additional Secretary or Secretary of a department of a State Government. He may also become a divisional commissioner in field posting. In the Central Government, an officer of that seniority can get the post of the Joint Secretary of a ministry of the Government of India.
  • Higher Administrative Grade— An officer should have an experience of 25 years to go to this position.

    In states, an IAS of this grade can become a Principle Secretary of a department. If the officer works in the Government of India, then the rank will be of an Additional Secretary.
  • Apex Scale—An officer with a minimum experience of 30 years can get the Apex scale. The Secretaries of various departments of the Central Government gets this scale. The Chief Secretary of a state also gets this scale.
  • Cabinet Secretary Scale—The Cabinet Secretary is the highest position of a government employee in India. There is always only one Cabinet Secretary in the Central Government.

IAS Salary Structure

Pay LevelBasic PayYears of ServicePosts
10INR 56,1001-4ASP/SDM/ Asst. Commissioner
11INR 67,7005-8ADM/Deputy Secretary/ Undersecretary
12INR 78,8009-12DM/ Joint Secretary/ Deputy Secretary
13INR 1,18,50013-16DM/ Special Secretary cum director/ Director
14INR 1,44,20016-24Divisional Commissioner/ Secretary Cum Commissioner/ Joint Secretary
15INR 1,82,20025-30Divisional Commissioner/ Principal Secretary/ Additional Secretary
16INR 2,05,40030-33Additional Chief Secretary
17INR 2,25,00034-36Chief Secretary
18INR 2,50,00037+ yearsCabinet Secretary of India

The total Salary of an IAS Officer thus comprises of Basic Pay + DA (Dearness Allowances) + TA (Transport Allowances) + HRA (House Rent Allowance).

Thank you!

December 2023