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How to Become an IAS Officer and related topics: Career Guide, Courses, After 12th, Qualification, Eligibility, Jobs, Benefits, Salary 2023

How to become and IAS officer

Becoming an IAS Officer stands as the ambition of countless aspirants across the nation. It ranks among India’s foremost bureaucratic positions. An IAS Officer undertakes a wide array of responsibilities, encompassing roles as a collector, commissioner, leader of public sector entities, chief secretary, and cabinet secretary. Serving both central and state governments, an IAS Officer plays a pivotal role in executing and supervising policies devised by these governments, while also furnishing valuable insights to enhance decision-making.

The fundamental prerequisites for embarking on the path to becoming an IAS Officer include clearing the 10+2 board examinations and completing graduation across diverse fields such as Science, Commerce, or Arts. Subsequently, candidates must successfully navigate the UPSC entrance examination, followed by participation in group discussions and personal interviews, all of which culminate in the attainment of the esteemed IAS Officer status.

Furthermore, several critical eligibility criteria necessitate fulfillment for aspiring IAS Officers. Candidates must be Indian citizens and attain a minimum age of 21 years. Aspirants are mandated to excel in the UPSC Civil Services examination, a comprehensive evaluation divided into three phases – prelims, mains, and interviews. Mastery of all three phases is requisite for achieving the distinction of an IAS Officer.

Eligibility Criteria for IAS Officer

To become an IAS Officer, specific qualification criteria need to be met, outlined below for your understanding.

  1. Aspiring candidates should possess an undergraduate degree from a recognized institution in any discipline or an equivalent qualification.
  2. Candidates who are in the final year of their degree or awaiting results can also apply for the UPSC Preliminary exams. However, they must provide evidence of their completed graduation when applying for the mains exams.
  3. Individuals with professional and technical qualifications acknowledged by the government are also eligible to apply.
  4. Medical students in their final year of courses such as MBBS, BHMS, BAMS, BDS, etc., who are yet to complete their internship, can also participate in the UPSC prelims exams.

To achieve the goal of becoming an IAS Officer, one must navigate and excel in the UPSC Civil Services Examination, orchestrated by the Union Public Service Commission. This comprehensive examination transpires through three annual stages.

Appear for UPSC Civil Services Exam

Stage 1: Preliminary Examination

The initial phase of the UPSC Civil Services Examination encompasses two papers, each worth 200 marks. These papers adopt an objective format and allow a maximum duration of 2 hours per paper. Visually impaired candidates receive an additional 20 minutes for each paper. The question paper is available in both English and Hindi, with the exception of English comprehension, where Hindi interpretation is unavailable.

Apply for UPSC Mains Exam

Once successfully clearing the prelims, the imperative step involves completing the UPSC DAF form to be eligible for the Mains exam. This process is obligatory for participation in the Mains exam. Applicants are mandated to fill out and upload the form on the official UPSC website.

Stage 2: Mains Examination

Subsequently, the second stage entails engaging in the Mains exam. This phase takes on a subjective nature and transpires across multiple stages. Successful progression through every paper within the Mains exam is crucial, with a total of nine papers to tackle. The attainment of a place in the merit list hinges upon clearing the Mains examination.

Stage 3: Personality Test or Interview

Conforming to the UPSC exam pattern, the interview forms the culminating stage. Conducted by the UPSC board, the interview gauges a candidate’s compatibility with a career in civil services and the associated responsibilities. During the interview, the interviewers task candidates with addressing inquiries of general relevance and subject them to an evaluation of their cognitive and social attributes. The Personality Test, overseen by the Commission, carries a weightage of 275 marks.

The interview panel comprises subject experts, psychologists, bureaucrats, educators, and the board chairperson. Evaluation is based on attributes including mental agility, analytical acumen, articulate expression, balanced judgment, diverse interests, profound insight, social cohesion skills, leadership potential, intellectual and ethical integrity.

The final selection determines the ultimate ranking by considering the scores obtained from the Mains examination and interview.

Selection and Training Process for IAS Officers

Upon successfully navigating all exam stages, aspiring IAS Officers embark on a comprehensive training and selection journey. Here’s an in-depth exploration of the process:

Initial Training Phase

  1. Fresh recruits commence their journey as Officer Trainees for a duration of 2 years.
  2. The primary focus during this period is on personality enhancement and technical skill development, equipping candidates for their subsequent roles.
  3. The four-month foundation course held at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) is a pivotal component of this phase.
  4. Officer Trainees are categorized according to their designated services and are directed to specific training locations.
  5. The specialized training of IAS Officers takes place at LBSNAA and encompasses Bharat Darshan (a tour of India) as well as district-based training.

Training at LBSNAA

  1. The four-month course at LBSNAA aims to foster collaboration and coordination among various services.
  2. Post the induction program, participants embark on Bharat Darshan, a journey to experience India’s diverse culture and heritage. This includes interactions with dignitaries, including the Hon’ble President of India, and a week-long engagement at the Lok Sabha Secretariat.
  3. Following the Bharat Darshan experience, candidates are assigned to districts for a year to comprehend the administrative structure and dynamics at a grassroots level.

Perquisites of Being an IAS Officer

Beyond wielding authority and earning a substantial salary, IAS Officers enjoy a range of additional benefits and privileges. Some of these perks encompass:

  1. Government-provided accommodation with subsidies.
  2. Personal security detail, including personnel such as gunmen and support staff like cooks, helpers, and gardeners.
  3. Reimbursement of medical expenses.
  4. Coverage of charges for mobile phones, telephones, and internet services.
  5. Exemption from toll charges for government vehicles.
  6. Gratis accommodation at government hotels during official duty stays.
  7. Complimentary transport during duty hours.
  8. Post-retirement monthly pension alongside benefits like Provident Fund and gratuity.
  9. Access to government vehicles along with assigned drivers.

This encapsulates the selection process, training phases, and advantages that come with being an IAS Officer.

Compensation of an IAS Officer

The remuneration of IAS Officers is determined by the prevailing pay commission. The initial pay for an entry-level IAS Officer stands at INR 56,100, excluding additional allowances and benefits. The overall earnings of an IAS Officer encompass fundamental pay, dearness allowance, travel allowance, house rent allowance, and more.

When these benefits are amalgamated, an IAS Officer’s entitlement reaches INR 1,32,000. Over time and with each promotion, an IAS Officer’s salary undergoes incremental increments per month. Factoring in the 9% dearness allowance (DA), the IAS monthly remuneration computes to INR 2,50,000 plus the DA of 9%, summing up to INR 32.7 lakh per annum.

Furthermore, there exist multiple allowances and components supplementary to the core salary. House Rent Allowance (HRA) is disbursed at rates of 24%, 16%, and 8% in accordance with the norms of the 7th pay commission. This allocation is contingent on city categorizations:

  • Class X: Comprising 8 major cities (Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune) – Eligible for 24% HRA.
  • Class Y: Encompassing around 100 towns with populations exceeding 5 lakhs – Eligible for 16% HRA.
  • Class Z: Pertaining to rural areas – Eligible for 8% HRA.

The ensuing table outlines the monthly earnings of an IAS Officer contingent on their respective post/designation for your reference.

DesignationAverage Salary (INR)
Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) & SDO56,100 – 1,50,000
Sub-Collector (2 years after probation)56,100 – 1,50,000
District Magistrate (DM)56,100 – 1,50,000
Secretary (Minister)1,50,000 – 2,50,000
Chief Secretary (States)2,50,000
Union Secretary (Ministries of Government)3,00,000
Cabinet Secretary of India3,50,000

Read Also : Reasons to choose IAS as your dream career

Become an IAS Officer and related topics, Become an IAS Officer and related topics, Become an IAS Officer and related topics, Become an IAS Officer and related topics

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