Everyone has heard this saying. “Great cry little wool. “It means Naam bade or darshan chote… But here is opposite. The smaller the IAS name, the larger the post. “Indian Administrative Service” is one of the three arm of “ All India Services “along with “Indian Police Service (IPS)” and “Indian Forest Service (IFS)”.
What is IAS?
The Indian Administrative Service IAS is the elite public management cadre of Government of India (Central Government). IAS officers hold key positions in the Union Government, State governments, Public-sector Companies and other Statutory regulatory institutions such as the Central Bank (RBI), SEBI, and Election Commission. Once known as the Imperial Civil Service (ICS) under the British Raj, this service was one the top 5 highest paid jobs on earth in pre-World War II era – working for the British Crown. Post-independence it was restructured in 1947 as the IAS and the members of this Service enjoy unparalleled access to the highest offices of the largest democracy of the world.
The Indian Administrative Services, often abbreviated to I.A.S., is the administrative arm of the All India Services. Considered the premier civil service of India, the IAS is one of the three arms of the All India Services along with the Indian Police Service and the Indian Forest Service.
IAS Full Form?
The full form of IAS, is the indian administrative service. IAS was formerly known as the Imperial Civil Service (ICS) is the Civil Services Examination and one of the toughest competitive exams in India. It is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for the recruitment of officers for the All India Administrative Civil Service. IAS officer come directly from their state cadres and serve in the central government as joint secretaries.
What is IAS Salary in India?
Salary of IAS Officer and IAS Career Path – 7th Pay Commission: IAS Salary starts at Rs.56,100(TA, DA and HRA are extra) and maximum is Rs.2,500,00 for a month salary of Cabinet Secretary.
The new pay structure has dispensed with the system of ‘Pay Grades for Civil Services’ and introduced ‘Consolidated Pay Levels’ in the 7th Central Pay Commission. Now the IAS pay scale is decided only on the ‘Basic Pay’ along with TA, DA, and HRA.
IAS officer’s Salary & Salary of IAS in India:
|Pay Level||Basic Pay(INR)||Number of years required in service||Post|
|District Administration||State Secretariat||Central Secretariat|
|10||56100||1-4||Sub-Divisional Magistrate||Undersecretary||Assistant Secretary|
|11||67,700||5-8||Additional District Magistrate||Deputy Secretary||Undersecretary|
|12||78,800||9-12||District Magistrate||Joint Secretary||Deputy Secretary|
|13||1,18,500||13-16||District Magistrate||Special Secretary-cum-Director||Director|
|14||1,44,200||16-24||Divisional Commissioner||Secretary-cum-Commissioner||Joint Secretary|
|15||1,82,200||25-30||Divisional Commissioner||Principal Secretary||Additional Secretary|
|16||2,05,400||30-33||No Equivalent Rank||Additional Chief Secretary||No Equivalent Rank|
|17||2,25,000||34-36||No Equivalent Rank||Chief Secretary||Secretary|
|18||2,50,000||37+ years||No Equivalent Rank||No Equivalent Rank||Cabinet Secretary of India|
The salaries of all IAS officers start at the same level and then increase with their tenure and promotions.
The next table answers the question that what is the salary of an IAS officer per month at the entry-level and the monthly salary of IAS officer at the apex level:
|Level||Basic Pay||Total Salary|
|Entry-level (starting salary)||56100||56100 – 132000|
|Maximum Pay (cabinet secretary level)||250000||250000|
The old pay structure according to the 6th Central Pay Commission was as follows:
|Grade||Pay Scale||Grade Pay||Number of years required in service||Post|
|Junior or Lower Time Scale||15600 – 39100||5400||—||Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), SDO, or Sub-Collector (after 2 years of probation)|
|Senior Time Scale||15600 – 39100||6600||5||District Magistrate (DM) or Collector or a Joint Secretary of a Government Ministry|
|Junior Administrative||15600 – 39100||7600||9||Special Secretary or the Head of Various Government Departments|
|Selection Grade||37400 – 67000||8700||12 – 15||Secretary to a Ministry|
|Super Time Scale||37400 – 67000||8700||17 – 20||Principal Secretary of a Very Important Department of the Government|
|Above Super Time Scale||37400 – 67000||12000||Varies||Varies|
|Apex Scale||80000 (Fixed)||NA||Varies||Chief Secretary of States, Union Secretaries in charge of various ministries of Government of India|
|Cabinet Secretary Grade||90000 (Fixed)||NA||Varies||Cabinet Secretary of India|
There is a difference in the grade of pay of IAS officers from junior grade to above super time scale. At the Cabinet Secretary level, it is fixed. The Dearness Allowance (DA) for IAS officers is revised on a half-yearly basis depending on the inflation index. DA increases each year.
Youngsters should remember that the IAS pay scale in India should not be the only criterion for them to join the services. The civil service is an opportunity to serve the nation and make a positive impact on the lives of the people of the country. Your chief motivation should be the desire to work for the country and make life better for many people.
How to become an IAS Officer?
To become an IAS Officer you have to Clear UPSC Civil Services Examination. IAS Exam consists of Preliminary exam, Mains exam and Personality Test (Interview). The IAS Preliminary exam consist of two papers – General Studies and CSAT paper.
IAS Exam Syllabus & Pattern
To become an IAS officer, you need to qualify the Union Public Service Commission Civil Services Exam (CSE). The exam itself is conducted as a means to recruit civil servants to one of the 25 services that comprise of the All India Services, Central Government Services (IRS, Railways, etc) and Group B services.
The exam is considered to be among the toughest in the country, if not in the world. Among the lakhs of candidates who apply for the exam, only a thousand some manage to break it into the Indian bureaucracy. The success rate of the UPSC Civil Service Exam (CSE) is thus less than 1%.
The exam itself is structured into three parts – the Preliminary exam (Civil Services Aptitude Test – CSAT), Main Exam and finally the Interview.
The table below shows the statistics of the number of candidates going in between 2013 and 2015, compared to the number that finally qualified (Source).
|Year||Applications||Number appearing for Preliminary|
Candidates, finally selected, were only of the order of a thousand. Staggeringly steep, the competition requires some serious preparation, often for years. You can apply online on the UPSC website. The instructions are also available on the UPSC website, or at various Post Offices across the country.
The application deadline is usually around February/March. The table below lays out the format and syllabus for the three stages of the CSE.
|Preliminary- Paper I||May/June||General Studies: Current Topics, History, Geography, Politics, etc||200||2 Hrs|
|Preliminary- Paper II||May/June||Comprehension and Analytical Ability||200||2 Hrs|
Preliminary Exam Paper I is counted for merit rank while Paper II is simply qualifying by nature. The results are announced after, upon which qualified candidates appear for the CSE Main Examination in October.
|Paper A||Indian Language from among languages in Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. Not compulsory for candidates from Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim||300|
|Paper II – IV||General Studies: Indian Heritage, History, Geography, Politics, International Relations, Technology, Economy, Environment, Ethics, Aptitude, etc.||250 x 4|
|Paper VI – VII||Optional Subject||250 x 2|
Qualifying candidates are shortlisted for a Personality Interview for 275 marks.
Preparatory Material and Sample Questions
The market is teeming with IAS preparatory material and books. While it is humanly impossible to cover all, there are certain well-known books that are useful in making a headway towards qualifying the exam.
Some of the books and associated topics include NCERT preparatory books for UPSC exam, India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra, Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh, Essays for Civil Services by Pulkit Khare, India Year Book for current affairs, Pax Indica by Shashi Tharoor, and more.
The details of syllabus coverage are shared in the Appendix of the UPSC Examination Notice (page: 124-196).
Here’s a snippet of the type of questions to be expected at the Civil Services Main examination (as gathered from 2017 UPSC CSE).
General Studies Paper I
- Clarify how mid-eighteenth century India was beset with the spectre of a fragmented polity (150 words)
- How does the Juno Mission of NASA help to understand the origin and evolution of the Earth? (150 words)
General Studies Paper II
- Simultaneous election to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies will limit the amount of time and money spent in electioneering but it will reduce the government’s accountability the people. (Discuss in 150 words)
- Examine the scope of Fundamental Rights in the light of the latest judgement of the Supreme Court on Right to Privacy (250 words)
General Studies Paper III
- India has achieved remarkable successes in unmanned space missions including the Chandrayaan and Mars Orbitter Mission, but has not ventured into manned space missions. What are the main obstacles to launching a manned space mission, both in terms of technology and logistics? (150 words)
- How do subsidies affect the cropping pattern, crop diversity and economy of farmers? What is the significance of crop insurance, minimum support price and food processing for small and marginal farmers? (250 words)
General Studies Paper IV
- Increased national wealth did not result in equitable distribution of its benefits. It has created only some “enclaves of modernity and prosperity for a small minority at the cost of the majority”. Justify (150 words)
- You are the head of Human Resources. A worker has died and the family is demanding compensation. Investigation has revealed that the worker was drunk at the time of accident and the company is refusing to pay compensation. The workers have gone on strike and the company Chairman wants your recommendation to manage the crisis. What will be your recommendation? Discuss merits and demerits of each. (250 words)
- Write a 600-word essay on one of the following – “Recent Economic Reforms in India”, “Threats to the Environment”, “Uses and Abuses of Social Networking “, and “Caring for the Aged”.
- Sentence reconstruction, sentence formation, passage comprehension and analysis, and more.
Clearly, the road to success is filled with extreme hard work, tremendous dedication, and almost super-human reasoning, memorizing, and analytical abilities. Becoming an IAS officer thus entails almost miraculous capabilities garnering them the nickname of being heaven-born. But maybe it has also got to do with the fact that they shoulder the responsibility of making our society better for all of us.
So, if you think you have it in you, give it a shot (or about as much as 5 more!) and maybe you will get a chance to become the next Magistrate Madam cutting the ribbon to a new hospital you championed in your district.