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Are you born to govern?

education Updated: Jun 27, 2011 12:15 IST

The lowdown
IAS is one of the three All-India Services (the other two being the IPS and IFS) constituted by an Act of Parliament. IAS involves delivering good governance to society, with the administrators co-ordinating departmental works to ensure holistic development of the state/region they are serving. Only the cream of Indian students usually enter the IAS, as the first 100 successful candidates from the Civil Services exams are chosen for this service

Clock Work
Sample an average working day of an IAS officer:
9am: Check mail
10am: Reach office
11am: Meeting with minister on important issues
12pm: Chair another meeting
1.30pm: Lunch
2.30pm: Continue with the file work
3.30pm: Attend meeting chaired by senior officer
4.30pm: Answer mail/letters
5.30pm: File work continues
7pm: Call it a day, unless anything urgent comes up

The payoff
At entry level the basic pay is Rs 21,000 plus allowances. At middle level it is Rs 35,000 to Rs 45,000 basic pay plus allowances. At senior level it is Rs 50,000 to Rs 90,000 basic pay plus allowances

. An inquisitive mind
. Incisive analytical ability to quickly weigh the pros and cons of an issue
. Ability to sift through data to focus on the essential
. Clarity of approach, coupled with the talent of planning by balancing present and future needs
. Dedication and ability to work hard
. Being a people’s person is an added advantage

Getting there
There are three stages in the competitive examination that one has to clear before becoming an IAS officer. The candidate needs to clear the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), Mains and Interview. This three-stage annual competitive selection process, conducted by the Union Public Service Commission, requires a candidate to have at least a bachelors degree in any subject. A masters degree does help, but is not necessary to ace the examination and interview. The recruitment process is extremely challenging, testing everything from a candidate’s ability to handle numbers to his/her knowledge and understanding of current affairs. Also, from this year onwards stress is being laid on gauging the aptitude of the candidate.

Institutes and URLs
. Abhimanu IAS Study Group,
. Vajiram & Ravi Institute for Civil Services Examination
. Sriram’s IAS Academy
. Rau’s IAS Study Circle
. Chanakya IAS Academy
. JTS Institute
. Disha IAS coaching

Pros and cons
. The variety of experience one gets as a member of the IAS is stimulating
. Immense satisfaction derived from the fact that you work for the people
. Prestige and considerable perquisites come with the job
. Frequent transfers and the remoteness of the places, one is transferred to, may prove to be disheartening
. Political interference and even misdemeanour by netas can get very distressing at times
. A very responsible job, one just can not afford to make goof ups
. A highly respected profession

IAS provides a great opportunity of affecting positively the lives of maximum number of people, specially those on the margins Shah Faesal, IAS, J&K cadre