Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Indian Administrative Service

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Covid-19
Formerly known as  ICS
Country  India

Formed  1893(As Imperial Civil Service)
Staff College  Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, (Uttarakhand)
Cadre Controlling Authority  Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension, Department of Personnel and Training
Legal personality  Governmental: Government service

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) (Hindi: भारतीय प्रशासनिक सेवा) is the All India administrative civil service. IAS officers hold key and strategic positions in the Union Government, States governments and public-sector undertakings. Like in various countries (for example UK) following a Parliamentary system, IAS as the permanent bureaucracy in India forms an inseparable part of the executive branch of the Government of India, thus providing continuity and neutrality to the administration. Unlike candidates selected for other civil services, a person once appointed to the Indian Administrative Service or Indian Foreign Service (IFS) becomes ineligible to reappear in Civil Services Examination, conducted by the Union Public Service Commission, because, prior to 1972 a person to be eligible for IAS/IFS had to appear for an extra exam but even after the UPSC civil services exam was made common, the status quo is maintained which keeps changing with time.

Contents

Along with the Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service, the IAS is one of the three All India Services — its cadre can be employed by both the Union Government and the individual States. Upon confirming to service after probation as Sub-Divisional Magistrate, an IAS officer is given administrative command of entire district administration in the district as District collector after four years of service. On attaining the upper levels of Super Time Scale to Apex Scale, they can go on to head whole departments and subsequently entire Ministries of Governments of India and its states. IAS officers represent Government of India at the international level in bilateral and multilateral negotiations. On deputations they work at Intergovernmental organisations like World Bank and United Nations or its Agencies. IAS officers at various levels of administration play vital roles in conducting free, fair and smooth elections in India under the direction of Election Commission of India and states.

History

The erstwhile Imperial Civil Service was the highest civil service of the British Empire in British India during British rule in the period between 1858 and 1947. Civil servants were divided into two categories - covenanted and uncovenanted. The covenanted civil service consisted of only white British civil servants occupying the higher posts in the government. The uncovenanted civil service was solely introduced to facilitate the entry of Indians at the lower rung of the administration.

With the passing of the Government of India Act 1919, the Imperial Services headed by the Secretary of State for India, were split into two – All India Services and Central Services.

At the time of the partition of India and the departure of the British in 1947, the Imperial Civil Service was divided between the new Dominions of India and Pakistan. The part which went to India was named the Indian Administrative Service, while the part that went to Pakistan was named the "Civil Service of Pakistan".

Recruitment

IAS officers are recruited from Civil Services Examination. They are also promoted from State Civil Services and selected from non-state civil service.

Allocation and placement

After getting selected, candidates undergo training at LBSNAA, Mussoorie for IAS. 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 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 Chhattisgarh, 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 and 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 centralising 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. 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."

Functions of the civil servant/officer

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:

  • 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 which requires supervision and proper enforcement at ground realities.
  • In the process of policy formulation and decision making, when posted at central or state secretariat as Joint Secretary,Principal Secretary,Additional Secretary,Chief Secretary,Secretary and Cabinet Secretary at higher level contribute to the final shape of the policy and/or take a final decision with the concurrence of the minister concerned or the cabinet (depending on the gravity of the issue).
  • To implement government policies at grass-root level when posted at field work i.e. as SDM, ADM, DM and Divisional Commissioner and act as intermediate between public and government by good execution and deliverance skills.
  • 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. Since early 20th-century, Indian civil servants are colloquially called "babus", while Indian bureaucracy is called "babudom", as in the "rule of babus", especially in the Indian media.

    Major concerns and reforms

    In 2015, it was reported that as many as 100 IAS officers have been in the list of corrupt bureaucrats and have come under the CBI scanner for alleged involvement in corruption cases. Recently, several Chief Secretaries and Principal Secretaries were arrested in graft cases and laundering.

    In recent years, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has dismissed few IAS officers for non performance. In 2016, it was reported that Government of India has decided to empower common man to seek prosecution of corrupt IAS officers. Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions (DOPT) has accepted to receive requests from private persons seeking sanction for prosecutor in respect of IAS officers without any proper proposal and supporting documents.

    References

    Indian Administrative Service Wikipedia


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