IAS Officer – Roles and Responsibilities

An IAS officer posses the ability, opportunity and freedom to innovate and improve the life of an ordinary man. The power to do good is the only power when time is of the essence: the responsibility is to be responsive, when the nation calls.

  • The IAS is responsible to handle affairs of government, which involves the framing and implementation of policy in collaboration with the concerned Minister.
  • Implementation of policies require supervision and also traveling to the locations where the decisions taken are being implemented.
  • Implementation entails spending of funds, which calls for personal supervision.
  • For any irregularities, the officers are answerable to the Parliament and State Legislatures.
  • The roles and responsibilities of an IAS officer change at different points of their career.
  • At the beginning of their journey, IAS officers join the state administration at the sub-divisional level, as a sub-divisional magistrate, and guide law and order, general administration and development work in the area under their charge.
  • The post of the District Officer commonly known as District Magistrate, district Collector or Deputy Commissioner is the most reputable and identifiable post held by the members.
  • At the district level, officers are mainly concerned with district affairs, including operation of developmental programs.
  • During the normal course of their journey, the officers also deal in the State Secretariat or as Heads of Departments or in Public Sector Undertakings.
  • Officers may shift from positions at the State, under delegation to the Centre and back again.
  • 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.
  • At the Centre, the main work of IAS officers involves formulation and implementation of policies related to a particular area like finance, commerce, etc.
  • In the procedure 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 and a final decision is taken with the synchronism of the minister concerned or the cabinet depending upon the seriousness of the issue.

An IAS officer has immense authority and holds a large number of important portfolios during their bureaucratic career.It is not uncommon for a seasoned bureaucrat to have been the secretary of many Departments during his service. Also the process of terminating(not suspending) an IAS officer is very bulky and difficult which enable IAS to have job security and get involved in policy entrepreneurship. With their intelligence and resources at their command they are virtually uncrowned Kings in their domain and can make excellent socio economic impact. There are many civil service officials who make the news too by their innovative thinking or lateral, out of box thinking. To mention about the Kozhikode Collector Prashant who with participation of public cleaned up 14 acres pond to free from slush etc for exchange of plate full of Biryani! With engagement of youth he also tried to emphasize the water conservation ground water level maintenance.

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