Indian Administrative Service (IAS Officer) Life, Duties, Roles and Responsibilities in 2021

Indian Administrative Service (IAS Officer) Life, Duties, Roles and Responsibilities in 2021

This article discusses the life, duties, roles and responsibilities of an IAS Officer.

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The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the administrative arm of the All India Services (AIS). The IAS is one of the three premier divisions of All India services along with the Indian Police Service (IPS) and the Indian Forest Service (IFS).

To eliminate unnecessary efforts like reading out of the syllabus, topics lead to a waste of time, so one needs to understand the questions and curriculum of IAS properly. To follow the UPSC exam pattern, one needs to understand the IAS and IPS syllabus. It will help you in eliminating wasteful efforts like reading unnecessary topics, and hence the strategy will keep you on track.

UPSC CSE released the official notification for the Civil Service Exam on 4th March 2021 along with the syllabus. The syllabus can be found at the UPSC official site –

There is usually a typical UPSC syllabus pattern for services such as the IAS, Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS), etc. The UPSC Prelims syllabus mainly focuses on general and societal awareness which is tested by objective-type (MCQ) questions. On the other hand, the UPSC Mains syllabus is much more comprehensive as this stage comprises of nine theory papers.

The CSE IAS is conducted in three phases, such as:

  • Phase 1: CSE Preliminary exam (Objective Type)
  • Phase 2: CSE Main Exam (Descriptive Type)
  • Phase 3: CSE Personal Interview (Personality Test)

Note- Questions that are not attempted will not carry negative marks.

The Life of an IAS Officer

Becoming an Indian Administrative Service officer is a dream of almost every single person in the country, considering it is one of the respected professions in our country. The life of IAS and IPS officers is filled with difficulties and challenges. Most candidates want to know about the roles and responsibility of an IAS officer’s life- details about their training and services, roles and responsibilities and their career path.

Candidates who successfully clear the UPSC CSE get to experience the life as an IAS officer as soon as they join after the exam. The life of an IAS/IPS officers is very disciplined, and they usually follow a routine, such as- it starts at dawn-

  • 6 am: Exercise/horse riding training for at least 60 mins
  • 7 to 9 am time for productive activities, and during this time they usually eat breakfast.
  • Afterwards: 8-10 hours of academic operation such as- lectures and other extracurricular activities.

They also focus on outdoor activities such as treks to the nearby rural areas to learn and to cope with adversity and understand the lifestyle of rural India are an integral part of the training. After graduating as an IAS officer, their schedule changes according to their allotted posts and ranks.

Roles and Responsibilities of an IAS Officer

IAS officers’ roles and responsibilities depend on the type of their rank and post. Three types of assignments an IAS Officer has to perform:

  • Field Work
  • State-Secretariat
  • Central-Secretariat

The field assignments are usually considered the toughest roles that an IAS officer has to function. The following are the essential functions of Civil Servants:

  • Handling affairs of the government of India, such as Implementation and policies formation.
  • Consultation with various departments
  • Management and disbursement of multiple funds
  • Supervision and the implementation of various schemes and policies of the Government of India.
  • Responding to emergencies such as natural disasters, major accidents and riots in their jurisdiction and coordinating relief activities.

Note- For more details about the IAS Post, visit – UPSC CSE Posts and Ranks

The specific roles that an IAS civil servant has to perform are as follows:

  • Field Assignments: The first thing an IAS officer has to perform are field assignments. Their functions vary/depends on their ranks and posts.
  • Sub-Divisional Functions: As a Sub Divisional Magistrate, an IAS officer has to maintain law and order; they also have to oversee developmental and administrative activities.
  • District-Level Functions: As a District Level Magistrate, they have to perform the same functions of an SDM.
  • Their field assignments usually end at the district level, and many officers move to different positions within the state.
  • State Secretariat Assignments: State Secretariats use their expertise to advise elected representatives while formulating policies and to make decisions regarding governmental processes.
  • Public Sector Undertakings: Many IAS officers also get posted to PSU cadres on the committee.
  • Central Secretariat Assignments: Secretarial level postings at the level of the Central government deal with policy review, formulation and implementation for different ministries.

Many officers are also appointed to international bodies such as the UN. There are provisions to depute IAS officers to private organisations for short tenures as well.

Note- For more details, visit-

IAS officer salary- As per the Central Pay Commission, the basic stipend of an IAS officer is of Rs 56100. There are 18 pay levels for IAS with the Cabinet Secretary of the Union getting the highest pay at Rs. 250000.

Note- For IAS complete syllabus, visit- UPSC CSE IAS Syllabus


In this article, we discussed about the IAS post and the roles/duties an IAS officer has to perform in India. 

Areas covered in this article

  • IAS profile overview
  • Exam pattern
  • Roles and Responsibilities of an IAS officer

Note 1: Paper-II of CSE Preliminary Examination is a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.

Note 2: The questions will be of multiple-choice, objective type.

Note 3: The candidate must appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim). A candidate gets disqualified if he/she does not appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination.

This post was last updated on September 28th, 2021 at 02:43 pm


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