IAS Full Form – Indian Administrative Service

Indian AdministratIon Service - IAS

The full form of IAS is Indian Administrative Service, it is one of the most esteemed and prestigious civil services of the Government of India. An IAS officer is responsible for the maintenance of law and order and other administrative services in the area under him. IAS was established in 1946 prior to that Indian Imperial Services (1883-1946) were intact.

The IAS officers are recruited through the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission), UPSC exams are considered as one of the toughest exams in India and it is not at all easy to crack these examinations because it requires a lot of hard work and patience.

How to become an IAS officer?

In case if you are wondering how to become an IAS officer here is the step by step guide on how to become an IAS officer.

1. Research about the examination:-

 Your journey of becoming an IAS officer starts at the moment you think that you want to become an IAS officer and after that, you need to find out details and information about the examination.

2. Start preparing for preliminary exams:-

After researching the examination you will get a better idea of whether you want to join civil services or not, in case you want to join you need to start preparing for the prelims exams because it is always good to start early as you will have a better edge than others, for that you need to figure out whether you want to join a coaching or self-preparation is enough for you.

3. Time for main examinations:-

 Once you have cleared the prelims exams the next step is to start preparing for the main examinations as these exams are in the written form you need to really work hard on it.

4. The final round is an interview and personality assessment:-

The last step of the selection process is an interview and personality test, in this round you are judged on the basis of your knowledge, your communication skills, how you present yourself and your views on a particular topic etc.

5. Training Period:-

If you are thinking that clearing the UPSC exams is the final step and you have become an IAS officer, then be clear that the real game begins from here as you have to face many unforeseen challenges.

Eligibility Criteria to become an IAS officer

There are certain eligibility criteria stated by UPSC in order to be eligible to appear for the UPSC exams.


  •  In the case of Indian Administrative Services and Indian Police Services, a candidate must be a citizen of India.
  • For the other services apart from the above two,  a candidate should be:
  • A citizen of India
  • A citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan
  • A Tibetan refugee who settled in India before January 1, 1962.
  • A candidate must be a  person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with the motive of permanently settling in India.

Educational Qualification:-

All the candidates must fulfill at least one of the following required qualifications:-

  • An authorized bachelors degree from a central, state or a deemed university.
  • A degree received over correspondence or distance education.
  • A degree received from an open university.
  • Candidates appearing or appeared for the final year examination and are awaiting results are also eligible to apply.
  • Candidates who have passed the final year of MBBS but have not completed their internship can also apply.
  • Candidates who hold a professional and technical bachelor’s degree recognized by Govt of India can also apply.

Age Limit:-

  • Candidates who are minimum of 21 years and maximum of 32 years are eligible to apply (in case of General Category).
  • The upper age limit is relaxed for candidates belonging to SC, ST, and OBC by 5 years in case of SC, ST and 3 years in case of OBC.
  • For defence service personnel, the upper age limit is relaxed by 3 years.
  •  Up to a maximum of 10 years of relaxation for dumb, deaf and orthopedically handicapped students.
  • For Domiciles of Jammu and Kashmir from January 1, 1980, to December 31, 1989, the limit is 32 years.

Maximum number of attempts:-

The maximum number of attempts for appearing in UPSC exams are as follows:-

  • 6 attempts for general category candidates  
  • 9 attempts for OBC candidate candidates till the age of 35 years
  • Unlimited attempts for SC/ST candidates till the age of 37 years.

Duties and Functions of IAS officer

The duties and responsibilities of an IAS officer are not only limited to a specified role, they keep on changing throughout their career.

  • An IAS officer is responsible for maintaining law and order of his respective area.
  • Performing functions as Executive Magistrate.
  • Supervising the policies implemented by state and central government.
  • Travelling to places where the policies are being implemented.
  • Handling day to day activities of government that includes constructing and implementation of policies.
  • Allocation of funds and expenditure for the implementation of policies and for government infrastructure.

IAS Officer Salary

The initial salary of an entry-level officer is fixed at 56,100 as per the recommendations of the 7th pay commission and other allowances like house rent allowance, dearness allowance, travel allowance will be extra.

The break-up of UPSC IAS salary after 7th pay commission is given below:-

Position Grade Pay Scale Grade Pay
Sub-divisional magistrate(SDM) and Sub Collector (after completing 2 years probation) Junior or Lower time scale(LTS) 15600-39100 5400
District Magistrate or a collector or a secretary to the government ministry Senior Time Scale 15600-39100 6600
Special Secretary(ss)or the head of Government department(HOD) Junior Administrative 15600-39100 7600
Secretary to a ministry Selection Grade 37400-67000 8700
Principal Secretary of the Government of Department Super time scale 37400-67000 8700
Chief secretary of union secretaries in different ministries of Govt of India Apex Scale 80000(Fixed) Not Applicable
Cabinet Secretary of India Cabinet Secretary Grade 90000(Fixed) Not Applicable

IAS Syllabus

Prelims Exam:-

Paper-I.  General Studies Syllabus:-

  • Indian national movements
  • India polity
  • Basic economics
  • Indian Geography
  • Current affairs and events

Paper-II. Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT):-

  • Analytical reasoning
  • Logical reasoning
  • Basic mathematics
  • Interpersonal skills

Mains Examination:-

Paper 1 -Indian Language (Qualifying):-

  • One of the Indian languages to be selected by the candidate included in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution. The languages that are included in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution are:-
  1.     Assamese            
  2.      Bengali
  3.      Bodo
  4.      Dogri
  5.      Gujrati
  6.      Hindi
  7.     Kannada
  8.     Kashmiri
  9.     Konkani
  10. Maithili
  11. Malayalam
  12. Meitei
  13. Marathi
  14. Nepali
  15. Odia
  16. Punjabi
  17. Sanskrit
  18. Santali
  19. Sindhi
  20. Tamil
  21. Telugu
  22. Urdu

Paper 2 – English Language (Qualifying):-

  • English comprehension
  • Precis Writing
  • Vocabulary test and usage
  • Short essays

Paper 3- Essay Writing:-

  • Candidates have to write essays on multiple topics.

Paper 4- General Studies I.

  • Indian history (modern and ancient)
  • History and Geography of the world
  • Indian culture and heritage
  • Features of Indian society
  • Indian national movements
  • Indian diversity
  • Globalization

Paper 5- General Studies II.

  • Indian Constitution (feature, evolution, amendments etc)
  • Governance policies and rules
  • Indian polity
  • Issues faced across the world and their solutions
  • Departmental structure of government
  • Welfare and social schemes formulated by the government

Paper 6- General Studies III:- 

  • Economy of India
  • Technological developments
  • Disaster management
  • Biodiversity
  • Environmental studies
  • Indian reforms
  • Infrastructural development
  • Indian achievements in science and technology
  • Security changes and development

Paper 7- General Studies IV:-

  • Ethics and human interface
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers

Paper 8 &9 – Optional subject:-

Candidates are required to select their optional subject from the following list:-

  1. Agriculture
  2. Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  3. Anthropology
  4. Botany
  5. Chemistry
  6. Civil Engineering
  7. Commerce and Accountancy
  8. Economics
  9.  Electrical Engineering
  10. Geography
  11.  Geology
  12. Indian History
  13. Law
  14. Management
  15. Mathematics
  16. Mechanical Engineering
  17. Medical Science
  18. Philosophy
  19. Physics
  20. Political Science and International Relations
  21. Psychology
  22. Public Administration
  23. Sociology
  24. Statistics
  25. Zoology