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Indian Administrative Service The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the administrative civil service of the executive branch of the Government of the Republic of India. The officers of the IAS play a major role in managing the bureaucracy of both the Union Government (Central Government) and the state governments, with its officers holding strategic posts across the country. It is one of the three All India Services.[1]

Independence of the Civil Service The Constituent Assembly of India intended that the bureaucracy should be able to speak out freely, without fear of persecution or financial insecurity as an essential element in unifying the nation. The IAS officers are recruited by the Union government on the recommendation of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and posted under various State governments. While the respective State Governments have control over them they can not censure or take disciplinary action against IAS and other All India Services officers without consulting the Union Government(Central) and the UPSC. This independence has been sometimes severely criticized by many quarters of civil society.

The Setting Entry and Examination

The Civil Services Examination is used for recruitment for many Indian administrative bodies. Civil Service Exam is conducted by Union Public Service Commission. It has three stages Preliminary Exam, a Main exam, and an interview - and is known for being extremely challenging. Recently the preliminary exam pattern has been changed. There used to be 23 optional subjects along with a general studies paper. Now there will be no optional subjects in the preliminary examination. Instead there will be a second paper which will be common for all candidates. It will check the administrative aptitude of candidates-hence its name - the Civil Service Aptitude Test [CSAT].It comprises of Aptitude, General Mathematics,Comprehensive English, etc. Entry into the IAS is considered to be very difficult; most applicants rank the Indian Administrative Service as their top choices because of the high prestige, salary, and benefits that come with such positions. For example, in the 2005 batch, of the 425 selected candidates, 398 indicated IAS as their first preference, 18 chose IRS and just nine chose IPS. But when it came to second preference, 200 candidates had marked IPS as their choice, while only 195 had marked IRS as their second choice. Repeated attempts are allowed up to four times for General Merit candidates, seven times for OBC candidates. There is no bar on the number of attempts for SC/ST candidates. The upper age limit to attempt the examination is 35 for SC/ST and 30 years for the General Merit Candidate. The candidate should not be older than 30 years of age as on 1 August of that year. The minimum age is 21 years.


About 850 candidates are finally selected each year out of the nearly 300,000, but only a rank i.e. top 50 guarantees an IAS or IFS selection—an acceptance rate of 0.001 percent, which makes it the most competitive exam in the world. llocation and Placement

After being selected for the IAS, candidates are allocated to "cadres." There is one cadre in each Indian state, except for three joint cadres: Assam–Meghalaya, Manipur–Tripura, and Arunachal Pradesh–Goa–Mizoram–Union Territories (AGMUT). The "insider-outsider ratio" (ratio of officers who are posted in their home states) is maintained as 1:2. as 'insiders'. The rest are posted as 'outsiders' according to the 'roster' in states other than their home states. Till 2008 there was no choice for any state cadre and the candidates, if not placed in the insider vacancy of their home states, were allotted to different states in alphabetic order of the roster, beginning with the letters A,H,M,T for that particular year. For example if in a particular year the roster begins from 'A', which means the first candidate in the roster will go to the Andhra Pradesh state cadre of IAS, the next one to Bihar, and subsequently to Chattisgarh, Gujarat and so on in alphabetical order. The next year the roster starts from 'H', for either Haryana or Himachal Pradesh.( if it has started from Haryana in the previous occasion when it all started from 'H', then this time it would start from Himachal Pradesh). This highly intricate system has on one hand ensured that officers from different states are placed all over India, it has also resulted in wide disparities in the kind of professional exposure for officers, when we compare officers in small and big & also developed and backward state, since the system ensures that the officers are permanently placed to one state cadre. The only way the allotted state cadre can be changed is by marriage to an officer of another state cadre of IAS/IPS/IFS. One can even go to his home state cadre on deputation for a limited period, after which one has to invariably return to the cadre allotted to him or her. The centralizing effect of these measures was considered extremely important by the system's framers, but has received increasing criticism over the years. In his keynote address at the 50th anniversary of the Service in Mussoorie, former Cabinet Secretary Nirmal Mukarji argued that separate central, state and local bureaucracies should eventually replace the IAS as an aid to efficiency.[2] There are also concerns that without such reform, the IAS will be unable to "move from a command and control strategy to a more interactive, interdependent system".[3] Functions of the civil servant

A civil servant is responsible for the law and order and general administration in the area under his work. Typically the functions of an IAS officer are as follows [4] : 

To handle the daily affairs of the government, including framing and implementation of policy in consultation with the minister-in-charge of the concerned ministry.[4] o Implementation of policy requires supervision. o Implementation requires traveling to places where the policies are being implemented.


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Implementation also includes expenditure of public funds which again requires personal supervision as the officers are answerable to the Parliament and State Legislature for any irregularities that may occur. In the process of policy formulation and decision making, officers at various levels like joint secretary, deputy secretary make their contributions and the final shape to the policy is given or a final decision is taken with the concurrence of the minister concerned or the cabinet depending upon the gravity the issue.[4]

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is remembered as the "Patron Saint" of India's civil servants for establishing modern all-India services. In an unprecedented and unrepeated gesture, on the day after his death more than 1,500 officers of India's civil and police services congregated to mourn at Patel's residence in Delhi and pledged "complete loyalty and unremitting zeal" in India's service.[5]

Designations Most IAS officers start their careers in the state administration at the sub-divisional level as a sub divisional magistrate. They are entrusted with the law and order situation of the city along with general administration and development work of the areas under their charge. The post of District Officer is also known as District Magistrate, District Collector or Deputy Commissioner. Since it is the most identifiable position in the IAS services, it is also the post which most people identify with IAS. At the top of the hierarchy of IAS officers at the Centre is the Cabinet Secretary followed by Secretary/Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, Director, Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary. These posts are filled according to seniority.[6] The details on the amount of salaries can be found in the recommendations and associated documents of the Sixth Pay Commission report.[7]

View for Change Challenges

Transparency International, a global watchdog body, ranked India at a low 73 out of the 102 countries in its Corruption Perception Index, later in the 2008 survey, it ranked 85th in a 128 country list. The World Economic Forum on the other hand, ranked India 44 among 49 countries surveyed.[8] A 2009 survey of the leading economies of Asia, revealed Indian bureaucracy to be not just least efficient out of Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, China, Philippines and Indonesia; further it was also found that working with the India's civil servants was a "slow and painful" process.[9] This ranking, done by 1,274 expatriates working in 12 North and South Asian nations, ranked Asian bureaucracies in the following order: Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, China, Philippines, Indonesia and India. Read more in : The Times of India Survey Indian bureaucracy ranked worst in Asia By the 1990s, the economic liberalization of the Indian economy and the end of the license raj, gradually opened up the economic skies and the end to the regulatory regime which flourished


during previous era, loosened its hold over the resources. Though this brought to surface the practices of kickbacks, both during disinvestment and offering government contracts, and while setting up of industries by foreign businesses were soon employing same corrupt practices used by Indian businesses for decades.[10] Over the years, several reasons have been cited by various scholars regarding the sustained existence of corrupt practices within the Indian bureaucratic system,[11] also known as babudom colloquially, leading among them is its nexus with political corruption,[12] lack of accountability and low regulatory controls. Others have suggested a rigid bureaucracy with a exclusivist process of decision making in a overly-centralized government as the reason its pervasiveness despite the passing years. In fact surveys have found it to be most resistant to transformation in its ways of functioning, even after repeated efforts by successive governments.[13] Some experts believe that a fall out of the existing corruption and red tapism can be detrimental to the Indian economy in the long run, as foreign investors in a rapidly global, economies of the world still view entering into India as a challenge and plagued as it remains both with political and bureaucratic corruption as well systematic inefficiency which leads to long turn around period as project delays cause cost escalations in volatile market economies.[14] Also in the recent years, several corrupt economies of Asia have faced setbacks, after the wave of economic upturn faded, this makes the urgency of corrective measures more than evident, they make it an imperative.[15][16] The need for change and reformation Main article: Civil service reform in developing countries Main article: Civil Service reform in India

As on March 31, 2010 a total number of 84 IAS officers were facing trial on criminal charges in Central Bureau of Investigation cases.[17] The extent of corruption is high in the IAS like in a house raid in 2010 illegal assets of over 3,000,000,000 (US$66,900,000) was amassed by 1979batch IAS officers of Madhya Pradesh cadre husband-wife duo in Madhya Pradesh.[18][19] In an another instance in May 2011 a 1988-batch IAS officer of Chhattisgarh cadre was found with illegal assets of 2,530,000,000 (US$56,419,000).[20][21] Some eminent people of India have called for reformation and even elimination of the IAS. Founder of Infosys Technologies N. R. Narayana Murthy states that today's bureaucrats are trapped in a colonial mindset and feel they are the masters and there is no need to show fairness and transparency. Murthy feels that bureaucrats are completely out of touch with the dynamics of the current world. He considers to abolish the system of generalised administrators under the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and replace it with specialists under a new Indian Management Service.[22] Father of White Revolution Dr. Verghese Kurien insists on abolishing the IAS. He asks for how long could the country depend on them to frame the policy of the country. He states that IAS officers are greedy people who are always looking at what post to grab.[23]


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