A day in a life of an IAS Officer
Becoming an IAS officer is one of the most desirable and sought after career paths in the public sector. It gives a candidate a chance to be part of the bureaucracy and work for the people. Every year lacs of aspirants apply for UPSC. In 2015 around 9 lac applied while only 1078 candidates could qualify the mains. New IAS, IFS, IPS, IRS, and other central officers are trained after their recruitment and allotted their regions.
So what does it take to be an IAS officer?
Step 1: UPSC every year conducts the civil services examination that screens candidates for selection in the IAS, IPS and other central services. Being one of the toughest examinations of India, Civil Services Examination requires rigorous preparation and training. Civil Service Examinations are conducted in three steps – Prelims, Mains and Interview. Prelims test the basic understanding and aptitude of the candidate through quantitative reasoning and logic and knowledge on world affairs. Mains is an in-depth test on a particular subject chosen by the candidate. Based on the results of Mains and Interviews ranks are allotted.
Step 2: Selected candidates are called in for an interview which is conducted by a panel of officers. Prepare by reading the news, history of India, foreign policy, economic conditions, geography of India, and more. You will need to be up to date with your general knowledge.
Step 3: Being part of the government machinery requires much more than academic qualifications and intelligence. Aspirants preparing to become IAS officers must possess certain qualities that are above the normal qualification criteria put down by the UPSC. An IAS officer is the representative of the government at whichever position they are deployed. Hence, an IAS officer needs to show exceptional leadership skills and guide others towards a unified goal of development and betterment of people. One of the key responsibilities of an IAS officer is to look after the day to day administrative affairs of their jurisdictional area.
IAS officers with good work ethic set a precedent for their associates. A typical officer arrives at work by 10am and is done by 5pm. There is no work required on the weekends. Perks include government housing and other services over and about your salary. There are a lot of coaching centres that provide long and short courses. If you wish to study on your own, there is a lot of study material online. Take advice from people who have given the paper or your fellow aspirants and get started with your applications!