During the East India Company period, the civil services were classified into three–covenanted, uncovenanted and special civil services. The covenanted civil service, or the Honourable East India Company's Civil Service (HEICCS), as it was called, largely comprised civil servants occupying the senior posts in the government. The uncovenanted civil service was introduced solely to facilitate the entry of Indians onto the lower rung of the administration. The special service comprised specialised departments, such as the Indian Forest Service, the Imperial Police and the Indian Political Service, whose ranks were drawn from either the covenanted civil service or the Indian Army. The Imperial Police included many Indian Army officers among its members, although after 1893 an annual exam was used to select its officers. In 1858 the HEICCS was replaced by the Indian Civil Service (ICS), which became the highest civil service in India between 1858 and 1947. The last appointments to the ICS were made in 1942.
There is no alternative to this administrative system... The Union will go, you will not have a united India if you do not have good All-India Service which has the independence to speak out its mind, which has [the] sense of security that you will standby[sic] your work... If you do not adopt this course, then do not follow the present Constitution. Substitute something else... these people are the instrument. Remove them and I see nothing but a picture of chaos all over the country.
In 1968, IFAS was merged with IAS. However Chief Ministers from Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram revival of IFAS.
There are three modes of recruitment into the Indian Administrative Service. IAS officers may enter the IAS by passing the Civil Services Examination, which is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Officers recruited this way are called direct recruits. Some IAS officers are also recruited from the state civil services, and, in rare cases, selected from non-state civil service. The ratio between direct recruits and promotees is fixed at 2:1. All IAS officers, regardless of the mode of entry, are appointed by the President of India.
Only about 180 candidates out of over 1million applicants, who apply through CSE, are successful, a success rate of less than 0.02percent.
Unlike candidates appointed to other civil services, a successful IAS candidate is rendered ineligible to retake CSE. From 1951 to 1978, an IAS candidate was required to submit two additional papers, as well as three optional papers (instead of two as with other civil services) to be eligible for the Indian Administrative Service or the Indian Foreign Service. The two additional papers were postgraduate level submissions, compared to the graduate level of the optional papers, and it was this distinction that resulted in a higher status for the IAS and IFS. The two postgraduate level submissions were later removed, but this has not changed the perceived higher status of the IAS and IFS. After the selection process, the successful candidates undergo training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand.
Cadre allocation policy
The central government announced a new cadre allocation policy for the All India Services in August 2017, touting it as a policy to ensure national integration of the bureaucracy and to ensure an All India character of the services. The existing twenty O sixcadres were to be divided into fivezones by the Department of Personnel and Training. Under the new policy, a candidate first selects their zones of preference, in descending order, then indicates a cadre preference from each preferred zone. The candidate indicates their second cadre preference for every preferred zone subsequently. The preference for the zones and cadres remains in the same order and no change is permitted.
Until 2008, there was no formal system that permitted the selection of a state cadre preferred by the candidate. If the candidate was not placed in a vacancy in their home state, they would be allocated to other states, which were selected from a roster in alphabetic order, starting from 'a', 'h', 'm' or 't', depending on the year. For example, if in a particular year the roster begins from 'a', then the first candidate on the roster will go to the Andhra Pradesh state cadre, the next one to Bihar, and then to Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and so on in alphabetical order. The next year the roster starts from 'h', for either Haryana or Himachal Pradesh (the two states alternate roster years). This system, practised since the mid-1980s, ensured that officers from different states were placed all over India.
The system of permanent state cadres resulted in wide disparities of professional exposure for officers when comparing those from developed versus less developed states. Changes in state cadres were only permitted on grounds of marriage to an All India Services officer of another state cadre or under other exceptional circumstances. The officers were allowed to go to their home state cadre on deputation for a limited period after which they would be required to return to their allocated cadre.
From 2008, IAS officers were assigned to state cadres at the beginning of their service. There was one cadre for each Indian state, except for twojoint cadres: Assam–Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh–Goa–Mizoram–Union Territories (AGMUT). The "insider-outsider ratio" (ratio of officers who were posted to their home states to those from other states) was maintained at 1:2, with one-third of the direct recruits being 'insiders' from the same state. The rest were posted as outsiders according to the state allocation roster in states other than their home states, as indicated by their preference.
Responsibilities of an IAS officer
The typical functions performed by an IAS officer are:
To handle the administration and daily proceedings of the government, including the formulation and implementation of policy in consultation with the minister-in-charge of a specific ministry or department.
In 2015 it was announced that a new designation of assistant secretary at the Central Secretariat had been created to enable new IAS officers to be posted to Delhi for a three-month assignment as part of their training regime. IAS officers were previously only permitted to go on a deputation once assigned to the Central Secretariat after nine years of service in their home cadre. It was observed that the experience of central functions was severely lacking among these deputations, resulting in this change in their training. As part of the new system, IAS assistant secretaries are supposed to work on projects—a new policy in their respective areas—and present it to their respective ministries; of all projects, 36 are selected to be presented before all secretaries of the Government of India; consequently, 16 are selected to be before the Cabinet Secretary and a final eight are selected for presentation before the Prime Minister.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Alternate designations and nomenclature can differs from state to state.
↑ Alternate designations – District collector, district officer,deputy commissioner.
↑ Alternate designations – Chief development officer, district development officer, project director of DRDA, DUDA, IRDP etc., additional district collector, joint collector, additional deputy commissioner, CEO of zila parishad.
IAS officers can also be deputed to private organisations for a fixed tenure under Rule 6(2)(ii) of the Indian Administrative Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954.
Assessment of suitability for promotion and posting
The performance of IAS officers is assessed through a performance appraisal report. The reports are reviewed to judge the suitability of an officer before a promotion or a posting in the union or state governments. The report is compiled annually and is initiated by the officers themselves, designated as the reporting officer, who list their achievements, completion of assigned activities and targets for the year. The report is then modified and commented on by the reviewing officer, usually the superior of the reporting officer. All the Reports are forwarded by the reviewing officer to the accepting authority, who conducts a final review of the report.
Major concerns and reforms
Shortage of officers
It was reported in 2017 that there is a shortage of about 1,700IAS officers in the country. Despite this, the government has stated that annual recruitment of IAS officers will not increase, to avoid impacting the career progression of existing officers and the overall structure of the service.
Media personalities, some retired IAS officers and a few academics have argued in favour of lateral entry into the IAS to inject fresh blood into the service. They argue that it would help refresh the bureaucracy, offer competitiveness and bring in alternate perspectives. A counter-argument has been put forward that a lateral entry process could be manipulated due to corruption and cronyism. It is further argued that lateral entry would not lead to improvements in managerial performance or accountability, and while it may create synergy between the government and big businesses, it could also compromise the integrity of government. It has also been argued that it could weaken the bureaucracy instead. The union government has frequently ruled out lateral entry into the IAS.
The IAS is hamstrung by political interference, outdated personnel procedures, and a mixed record on policy implementation, and it is in need of urgent reform. The Indian government should reshape recruitment and promotion processes, improve performance-based assessment of individual officers, and adopt safeguards that promote accountability while protecting bureaucrats from political meddling.
Several think tanks and media outlets have argued that the IAS is hamstrung by political influence within the service. It has been reported that many local political leaders have been seen to have interfered with IAS officers. Politicians have also exerted pressure on IAS officers by repeatedly transferring them, suspending them, beating them, and, in some extreme cases, killing them.
In 2017 it was reported by the Department of Personnel and Training, part of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, that, since 2014, one IAS officer was prematurely retired from service, ten IAS officers had been deemed to have resigned, five had their pensions cut, and a further eight IAS officers suffered a cut in remuneration.
During year 2020–21, 581 corruption charges were filed against IAS officers. Further, a total of 753 complaints were received against the IAS officers in 2019-20 and 643 in 2018–19.
Abandonment of service
In June 2015, The Telegraph reported that twelve IAS officers had gone missing, and had not reported to either the union or the state government for their allocated cadre. It was believed that they were working in foreign countries for companies such as Microsoft for more lucrative pay.The Asian Age later reported that the services of three of the twelve officers were likely to be terminated due to "prolonged absence from service".
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