Functions and Service Hierarchy of an IAS Officers

The most preferred service in India is Indian Administrative Service that is one of the most desirable jobs in India. The IAS Officers deal with the significant task of administering public offices as well as carry high respect and stature in the society.

The two cliched quote for an IAS Officers are:

“Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people”- Henry Clay

“With great power comes great responsibility”- Benjamin Parker

For an IAS officer these two quotes stands true as they have to look after administrative functions and implement developmental policies as well as personal supervision regarding the policy for the central government. The powers of an IAS officer are in proportion to responsibilities adhered to them. Therefore in their career as an IAS officer grows the responsibilities and powers required to fulfill them also grow accordingly.

Must Read: Career Path of IAS Officers

Functions of an IAS Officers:

For maintenance of law and order, revenue administration and general administration in the area IAS officer is responsible for that. Functions of an IAS officers broadly include:

  • By consulting the concerned Minister the IAS Officers handle affairs of government, which involve the framing and implementation of policy.
  • IAS Officers supervise the implementation of policies introduced and also go for supervision where policies are supposed to be implemented. He also travels consistently to the places where the decisions taken are being implemented to check whether everything is being done smoothly.
  • Implementation entails disbursement of funds, which calls for personal supervision regarding the status of implementation of the policy.
  • IAS officer ensures that the public fund is being utilised properly. In case of any irregularities occur the IAS officers are answerable to the Parliament and State Legislatures.
  • At different points of his/her career the functions and responsibilities of an IAS officer changes .
  • IAS officers join the state administration at the sub-divisional level, as a sub-divisional magistrate at the beginning of their career. They have to look after law and order, general administration and development work in the area allotted under their developmental.

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  • The most prestigious and identifiable post held by the members of the service is the post of the District Officer variously known as District Magistrate, district Collector or Deputy Commissioner. At the district level, responsibilities of IAS officers are mainly concerned with district affairs, which include implementation of developmental programs and supervision of developmental work.
  • The officers also serve in the State Secretariat or as Heads of Departments or in Public Sector Undertakings during the normal course of a career.
  •  Under deputation, IAS Officers may move from positions at the State, to the Centre and back again.
  • The apex 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.
  • The Centre, involves formulation and implementation of policies pertaining to a particular area or ministries like finance, commerce, defense etc. are the main responsibility of an IAS officers.
  • IAS officers at various levels like joint secretary, deputy secretary make their contributions in the process of policy formulation and decision making, but the final shape to the policy is given by the minister concerned or the cabinet with the concurrence of the issue depending upon the gravity.

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Service Hierarchy of an IAS Officers

 Grade Pay scales Designation in field Designation in
State Government
Designations in
Government of India
Junior Time Scale Rs 15,600-39,100 Grade Pay Rs 5,400 Sub-Divisional Magistrate Under Secretary
Senior Time Scale Rs 15,600-39,100 Grade Pay Rs 6,600 Additional District Magistrate Deputy Secretary Under Secretary
Junior Administrative Grade Rs 15,600-39,100 Grade Pay Rs 7,600 Sr. Deputy Accountant General Joint Secretary Deputy Secretary
Selection Grade Rs 37,400-67,000 Grade Pay Rs 8,700 District Magistrate / Collector Additional Secretary Director
Super-Time Scale Rs 37,400-67,000 Grade Pay Rs 10,000 Divisional Commissioner Secretary Joint Secretary
Above Super-Time Scale  – Financial/Special Commissioner
(Some States)
Principal Secretary, Chief Secretary Additional Secretary, Secretary, Cabinet Secretary

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6 COMMENTS

  1. In the Junior Administrative Grade (Rs 15,600-39,100 Grade Pay Rs 7,600) it is wrongly mentioned as Sr. Deputy Accountant General in the field. At the State level and the GOI level Joint Secretary and Deputy Secretary designations are correct.

    At the field level an IAS is posted as ADM or Deputy Development Commissioner-cum-CEO, Zila Parishad or Settlement Officer or District Magistrate in the Junior Administrative Grade.

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