How to Become An IAS Officer

To become an IAS Officer, you will have to qualify the Union Public Service Commission Civil Services Exam (CSE). This exam itself recruits civil servants to India’s top 25 civil services like (IPA, IFS and IAS), Central Services (IRS, Railways, etc) and Group B services.So let’s know every thing about this post.

What is an IAS ?

IAS stands for Indian administrative service. It is the most prestigious post of the Indian civil service. Along with IFS (Indian Forest service)and IPS (Indian police service), IAS is one of the three arms of the All India Services . Members of these three services serve the Government of India as well as the individual states. IAS officers may also be deployed to various public sector undertakings.

At the beginning the IAS officer as SDM at sub divisional level , supervise law and order. Once they are selected as IAS or IFS officer serve as the centre of the state. An IFS Officer represents the Government of India at the international level in bilateral and multilateral negotiations.

At several levels of administration, IAS Officers play significant roles like conducting free, rational and smooth elections in India under the guidelines of Election commission of India and states

Eligibility Criteria for IAS

The minimum age for applying for the civil services examination is to be 21 . The maximum age was set according to the categories as described below.

In addition to the pre-existing reservation categories, the Union Public Services Commission added a new category of Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category in 2019 to provide reservation to the EWS candidates as mandated by the Government of India. The eligibility conditions for the EWS candidates have not been changed and are aligned with the general candidates’ eligibility conditions.

  1. Nationality: Candidate must be a citizen of India. Candidate must be person of Indian or a subject of Nepal / Bhutan . Origin who has migrated from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zaire, or Zambia with an intention of permanently settling in India.
  2. Educational Qualification: Candidate applying for the Civil Services 2020 exam is required to fulfil the following criteria:
    • Candidate must hold a Bachelor’s Degree from any of the recognized universities.
    • Candidates with professional and technical qualifications recognized by the Government or its equivalent are also eligible to apply.
    • Candidates who have passed the final year of MBBS or any Medical Examination but are yet to complete the internship can also appear for the Main Examination. However, they must submit a certificate from the concerned University that they have passed the final professional medical examination
  3. Age limits :
CategoryMaximum age limitNo. Of attempts allowed
General32 years6 attempts
Other backward castes (OBC)35 years ( 3 year relaxation)9 attempts
Economical weaker section (EWS)32 years6 attempts
Scheduled castes/ Scheduled tribes (SC/ST)37 years ( 5 year relaxation)Till the age limit
Physically disabled candidates (Blind, Deaf-Mute, Orthopedic)42 years ( 10 year relaxation)For the General and OBC Candidates= 09 attempts

For SC/ST Candidates = Unlimited till age limit

What should we do after 12th to prepare for IAS exam ?

  • You should read more about the civil services and get enrolled in a graduation course that involves History and polity.
  • While planning your graduation please keep the UPSC syllabus in mind so that you can master these subject well.
  • Start reading books on economics, public administration, and basic maths. If you want to you can study this subject as your main subjects.
  • Make a habit of reading the newspaper daily and keep yourself updated with the current happening in the country as well outside the country.
  • Search about IAS exam pattern and make a study plan.Be well versed with the syllabus and start taking notes.
  • Practise previous years IAS question papers.

Power of IAS officer

  • As per the Code of Criminal Procedure (1973) of the Indian Penal Code: Sections 107,108,109,110,133,144 and 176 lists out powers for maintaining law and order given to Magistrates.
  • Tenancy Laws define the powers of a collector regarding revenue.
  • National Disaster Management Act list out powers of Chief Secretaries and Magistrates while directing disaster relief operations.
  • Arms Act, Drug Licenses Act, Essential Commodities Act etc. list out IAS officers’ power to enforce regulations in different situations.

Salary of IAS officers

We have discussed in-depth the IAS salary in India, and also the pay scale/salary structure of IAS officers after the 7th Pay Commission recommendation.
The basic per month salary of an IAS officer starts at Rs.56,100(TA, DA, and HRA are extra) and can go on to reach Rs.2,500,00 for a Cabinet Secretary.

Salary Structure of IAS Officers and IAS Career Path – 7th Pay Commission

No. Of years required in serviceBasic payDistrict AdministrationState SecretariatCentral Secretariat
1-456,100Sub-divisional magistrateUndersecretaryAssistant secretary
5-867,700Additional district magistrateDeputy secretaryUndersecretary
9-1278,800District magistrateJoint secretaryDeputy secretary
13-161,18,500District magistrateSpecial secretary-cum-directorDirector
16-241,44,200Divisional commissionerSecretary-cum-commissionerJoint secretary
25-301,82,200Divisional commissionerPrincipal secretaryAdditional secretary
30-332,05,400No Equivalent RankAdditional chief secretaryNo Equivalent Rank
34-362,25,000No Equivalent RankChief secretarySecretary
37+years2,50,000No Equivalent RankNo Equivalent RankCabinet secretary of India

Syllabus , Pattern of IAS exam

UPSC 2020 syllabus [UPSC Civil Services Prelims and Mains] has been released along with the official notification for the Civil Service Exam on 12th February 2020.
The Civil services exam is conducted in three phases:

Phase 1: Civil Services. (Preliminary) Examination (Objective Type)
Phase 2: Civil Services (Mains) Examination (Descriptive Type)
Phase 3: Personal Interview (Personality Test)

Phase 1: UPSC Prelims exam
The UPSC prelim exam is composed of two components.Broadly, the UPSC Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination consists of two papers of objective type, each of 200 marks (hence totaling 400 marks) and of two hours duration. To qualify for the Civil Services Mains, a candidate must attempt both the papers.

  • General studies
    This test is intended to test the general awareness of a candidate in a wide range of subjects that include: Indian Polity, Geography, History, Indian Economy, Science and Technology, Environment and Ecology, International Relations and associated UPSC current affairs.
    Paper : |
    Total marks : 200
    Duration : 2 hours (9:30am to 11:30am)
    Total no. Of questions : 100
    Marks per question : 2
    Negative marks : 0.66/question
    Syllabus :
    • Current events
    • History of India and Indian national movements
    • Indian and world geography
    • Indian polity and governance
    • Economic and social development
    • General science
  • CSAT ( civil services aptitude test)
    The CSAT intend to assess the aptitude of the candidate in solving ‘Reasoning and Analytical’ questions, apart from ‘Reading Comprehension’ and the occasionally asked ‘Decision Making’ questions.
    Paper : ||
    Total marks : 200
    Duration : 2 hours (2:30pm to 4:30pm)
    Total no. Of questions : 80
    Marks per question : 2.5
    Negative marks : 0.83/question
    Syllabus :
    • Comprehension
    • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
    • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
    • Decision making and problem solving
    • General mental ability
    • Basic numeracy and data interpretation.

The marks obtained in the Prelims will not be added up while arriving at the final rank list.The preliminary examination is only meant for screening a candidate for the subsequent stages of the exam.

Phase 2 : UPSC Mains exam

Only if you pass the prelims exam successfully, then you will be able to give the IAS mains paper.IAS Mains Exam is taken to know about their academic talent and to know their capabilities that how they can present themselves according to the requirements of the questions in the given time.
This exam consists of total 9 papers , out of which two are qualifying papers of 300 marks each.The two qualifying papers are:

  • Any Indian Language
  • English Language Paper

Pattern of the language paper

  • Essay – 100 marks
  • Reading comprehension – 60 marks
  • Precis Writing – 60 marks
  • Translation:
  • English to compulsory language (e.g. Hindi) – 20 marks
  • Compulsory language to English – 20 marks
  • Grammar and basic language usage – 40 marks

The rest of the seven papers can be written in any of the languages mentioned under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India or in English.

Paper : I
Subject :
Essay (in any medium as per candidate choice)
Marks : 250

Paper : II
Subject : General studies-I (Indian Heritage, Culture, History & Geography of the world)
Marks : 250

Paper : III
Subject :
General studies-II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations)
Marks : 250

Paper : VI
Subject :
General studies-III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)
Marks : 250

Paper : V
Subject :
General studies-IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)
Marks : 250

Paper : VI
Subject :
Optional Paper- Paper I
Marks : 250

Paper : VII
Subject :
Optional Paper- Paper II
Marks : 250

The UPSC Mains syllabus gives a list of Optional subject which include literature of different languages. The following is the list of the Mains Optional Subject :

  • Agriculture
  • Anthropology
  • Chemistry
  • Geography
  • History Political Science & International Relations
  • Commerce & Accountancy
  • Economics
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration Sociology
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Physics
  • Zoology
  • Medical Science
  • Animal Husbandry& Veterinary Science
  • Botany Civil Engineering
  • Geology
  • Law
  • Philosophy
  • Statistics

The 8&9 paper is of candidates Choice. These are the subject from which candidate can choose their desired subject.

Phase 3: IAS Interview/UPSC Personality Test (275 Marks)

Candidates who qualify the Mains exam will called for the Personality Test / Interview . Those candidates will be interviewed by the board member of UPSC. The objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for civil services.

The interview is more of a conversation to know the mental qualities and analytical ability of the candidate.The interview test will contain 275 marks and the written examination contains 1750 in total. This sums up to a Grand total of 2025 marks based on which the final merit list will prepared.

Tips to prepare for IAS exam

Choosing a career like IAS is not so easy. You have to study a lot to clear the examination of UPSC-IAS. For this I have some important tips which will help you to utilise your time and learn more. Here are those tips :

  1. Plan a strategy for IAS Mains exam
    Before starting for the preparation of examination, you have to make a timetable.In that time table, you will divide your 24 hours in such a way that you have time for studies, sports and sleep. So that you can be active everyday every time.
  2. Go through the Mains exam syllabus
    The very first step for the IAS examination is to go through it’s syllabus.Take as much information as you can about the IAS syllabus.
  3. Go through previous years question papers
    Go through the last 5 years question paper.From that you will know what kind of questions will come in the paper, how much time will be given and how to do it.
  4. Choose your reading material
    Search on net , ask to your mentor or any person who knows about the UPSC exam, this will help you to find the best material for your study. You can go through from some YouTube videos which will help you to know more about the examination pattern , about the questions and how to attempt it.
  5. Read current affairs daily
    As you know the syllabus of the prelims general studies exam . It consists of the current affairs for the general knowledge. Beware of the current affairs. Reading the newspaper daily will also be helpful in telling you about current affairs.
  6. Selective study in high scoring topics
    When you get to know about your syllabus you will also get to know about the topics which contain maximum marks. Practice those topics and search as much as you can about those topics.
  7. Make your own notes
    Do remember one thing , you have to make your notes by your own hands. It will help you to remember all the things that you have learnt or you have studied.
  8. Practice writing answers
    as you all know practice makes a man perfect. So, Practice writing your answers, it will increase your speed as well as your mental ability to remember things.
  9. Mind your handwriting
    Make sure your handwriting should be good. It will be a plus point for you. The person who is checking or reading the answer sheet will get attracted to your answers and will check carefully.
  10. Do Exercise daily
    Doing exercise is also a very important thing.Because in the last phase you have a interview test. They will check your mental qualities and analytical ability. Exercising keeps the mind healthy and vigorous.

General responsibilities of an IAS officer

Every IAS officer are given some General responsibilities which are following:

  • They have to manage the governmental affairs and infrastructure.
  • They have to supervise the implementation process of governmental policies.
  • They have to ensure that there are zero irregularities in fund management , as that officer will be answerable to the Parliament and the legislature for the funds that are allotted to them.

Responsibility of the IAS officer as per their post

At Sub-Divisional Level : They are posted on Sub-Divisional level at the beginning of their journey. In this , They have to maintain law & order and general administrative and development of work in the area allocated to them.

  • At District Level : The IAS officer is deployed as District Collector or Deputy Commissioner. The responsibility of the IAS officer at District Level remain same as of Sub-Divisional Level.
  • At State Level : Here, they can be post as a bureaucrat in state secretariat or head of departments. At this stage they can use experience in Policy formation and the give advice to the elected executive for the policy decision.
  • Central Level : At This Level, the officer can be represented as Cabinet Secretary, Secretary, Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, Director, Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary. The main responsibility of the IAS officer at the central level is to overview the implementation of government policies in few sectors such as finance , defence or commerce.

Best IAS Coaching in India details

1.Vajiram and Ravi IAS Coaching India Delhi.
In India Vajiram and Ravi IAS coaching centre is one of the best civil services coaching institute. The institute offers IAS courses, csat exam preparation, IAS mains & optional coaching.In India Vajiram and Ravi IAS coaching centre is one the oldest institute for for IAS Exam preparation. It has only one center in Rajendr Nagar-Delhi India.

  1. Plutus IAS Coaching in Delhi – Best IAS Coaching in Delhi, India.
    In India Plutus, IAS coaching institute is very famous and hold 2 rank in the list of Top IAS Coaching in India.
    Plutus IAS coaching center has delivered magnificent results consistently, around 2600 plus Candidate has been selected and are serving as Civil Servants for the Nation FROM Plutus Academy.
    In India, the Plutus IAS coaching center has its branches across all India in Different cities and States. All of its branches have highly qualified and expert faculties.
  2. Shankar IAS Academy in Chennai- Best IAS Coaching in Chennai.
    In India Shankar IAS Academy in Chennai is one of the famous institutes for IAS exam coaching. The institute offers civil services coaching, CSAT exam preparation, IAS interview guidance, IPS, IFS coaching.
  3. Analog IAS Institute: India’s best UPSC Coaching & Top IAS Academy in India
    Analog IAS coaching center in India is one of the best coachings for Civil Services Exam preparation. In India, the Analog IAS coaching center is having its institute at different places. In Complete North India and South India, Analog IAS coaching is Giving good selection in the civil services examination. Analog IAS coaching In India definitely, hold a good rank in the list of top civil services IAS Institute.
  4. Rau’s IAS Study Circle
    The pioneer institute in IAS coaching was incepted in 1953 by Dr. S. Rau. It is the best IAS coaching in Delhi from the time of its establishment. Rau’s imparts extensive coaching and assistance for prelims, mains and interview.

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