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IAS Roles and Responsibilities: Training, Powers, Life, Functions

IAS Roles and Responsibilities

How to become an IAS Officer? It is a question that enter almost everyone’s head once in a life in our country. The job role of an IAS officer is so diverse and challenging that IAS salary is hardly a thing to motivate the aspirants. The duties of an IAS officer are so conscience-driven that if you are someone who is driven by acknowledgement and loves to lead any work, this job is definitely for you! In this article, we will discuss the IAS roles and responsibilities that will help you understand the IAS officer powers and limitations.


Life of an IAS Officer

IAS officer has the potential to bring about a positive change in the society, a change that society demands for development. Considering the important position that an IAS office holds, it is worth saying that the role of an IAS officer would be challenging yet satisfying, if not exciting.


IAS Training

After successfully competing the rigorous selection procedure, an IAS officer joins Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) for training.

Schedule at LBSNAA

Wake up – 5:30am

Morning exercise/horse riding training – 6 am – 7 am

Academic activities (lectures, sports, extra-curricular, etc) – 9:30am onwards: Generally, it involves 8-10 hours of activities.

After the activities, the officers are free to socialise and prepare for the next day. The training of IAS officers also includes Bharat Darshan (a study tour of India).


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IAS Facilities

Apart form the lucrative salary that an IAS officer gets, he/she also becomes eligible for various allowances like residence, electricity bills, transport facilities, study leaves, lifetime pension and many more such benefits.


Functions of an IAS Officer

An IAS officer’s core function involves:

To handle government affairs including policy framing, implementation, and feedback.

To consult with various departments and elected representatives and take collective steps towards development.

To manage allocated public funds for better implementation of various schemes.

To supervise the implementation of different government schemes and policies

To respond and coordinating relief operations in response to emergencies such as natural disasters, major accidents, and riots. For example, during COVID, the functions of an IAS officer grew exponentially.

Apart from the above, there are three types of roles and responsibilities of an IAS officer.

Field assessment: These are considered as the toughest and most challenging job if an IAS officer. After training, an IAS officer’s first job is usually a field job.

Functions at the Subdivision level: As a sub divisional officer, the responsibilities of an IAS officer mainly involve law and order maintenance, development and administrative management.

Functions at a District level: As a district officer, collector or deputy commissioner, an IAS performs the same functions as an SDM including overseeing the SDMs.

State Secretariat/Public Sector Undertakings: After field postings, IAS officers are generally posted at the State Secretariat. Their first-hand experience helps them in advising elected representatives to formulate policies and make decisions on government processes. Also, many officers are posted on deputation to PSU cadres and become part of the higher management of various enterprises in the public sector such as power discoms, industrial units, etc.

Central Secretariat: After state secretariat, an IAS officer generally includes secretarial level posts for different ministries at the central government level. Officers at this level generally deal with policy review, formulation, and implementation.


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Powers of an IAS officer

During the pre-independence era, a district collector was known as the ‘maai-baap’ of the district administration. Rightly so, the powers of an IAS officer have been codified through nearly 300 laws. These have been summarized in All India Service Manuals, which the Department of Personnel updates from time to time. Some of these laws are:

Code of Criminal Procedure (1973): Sections 107,108,109,110,133,144 and 176 lists the powers granted to the magistrates to maintain law and order.

Tenancy laws mentions about a collector’s income powers.

National Disaster Management Act lists the powers of Chief Secretaries and Magistrates in directing operations for disaster relief. In COVID, this Act was widely used.

Arms Act, Drug Licenses Act, Essential Commodities Act, etc. list the powers of IAS officers to enforce regulations in critical situations.

However, one should not think that these powers are unrestricted. An officers can exercise their powers under these laws, but they are bound to the IAS rules and regulations and therefore, are accountable to the legislatures of state and central government for their actions.

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