What is the career path of an IAS officer?

A civil servant begins his career in the state with 2 years on probation. This period is spent at training schools, Secretariat, field offices or -Magistrate and has to look after the law and order and general administration including developmental work in the area under his charge.

After the probation and 2 years of services as a junior scale officer, the officer is put in the senior scale. Then he may function as District Magistrate, Managing Director of a Public Enterprise or Director of a Department. Senior Time Scale comprises the Senior grade, Junior Administrative Grade and the Selection Grade. Selection Grade is given on promotion after 13 years of regular service and officers are then assigned as Secretaries/Special Secretaries to the State Government. The next promotion within the State is that of a Commissioner & Secretary. This promotion also entitles them to the Super Time Scale.

Then after 25 years of regular service, an IAS officer may be promoted to 18 above super time scale who is designated as Principal Secretaries/Financial Commissioners in some states. Each state has many Secretaries/Principal Secretaries and only one Chief Secretary. Some appointments of Secretaries are considered more prestigious than others, e.g., the Finance Secretary, Development Commissioners, Home Secretary and hence they enjoy the salary of a Principal Secretary. Chief Secretary in the State is the top ranking civil servant and may be assisted by Additional Chief Secretaries.

In the District, the senior most person is the Collector or Deputy Commissioner or District Magistrate. The DM/Collector/DC handles the affairs of the District including development functions. He inspects specific projects, disputed sites and looks into the problems of people on the spot also. At the divisional level, the Divisional Commissioner is in charge of his division. His role is to oversee law and order and general administration and developmental work.