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Roles and Duties of an IAS Officer

Update on 2024-04-15

Roles and Duties of an IAS Officer - Work of IAS Officer

Becoming an IAS Officer is the ambition of many young Indian candidates. Every year lakhs of IAS aspirants appear in the UPSC exam hoping that they would qualify for the exams and will get an opportunity to serve the nation by becoming an Indian Administrative Officer.

To make their career dream true, they study day and night to crack the UPSC exams. But before applying for the UPSC exam, the aspirants must understand the duties and responsibilities of an IAS officer.

Looking after administration work under the Government of India, ensuring law and order, managing government affairs, and maintaining overall departmental expenditure are the key responsibilities of an IAS officer.

To understand the roles and duties of an IAS Officer more clearly, please continue reading this article.

Duties of IAS Officer

An IAS officer is a civil servant and a representative of the Indian government who is responsible to implement the policies administered by the government. He/she is also responsible for maintaining the law and order in the state.

An IAS officer plays numerous roles, however, his/her duties vary according to his/her post. If you are wondering what the Life of an IAS Officer looks like, then you should definitely read this article.

IAS Officer Powers and Limitations

An IAS officer’s work depends on the type of assignments and posts allotted to them by the Government of India. Usually, there are three types of assignments assigned to an IAS officer which are Field Assignments, Public Sector Undertaking/State Secretariat, and Central Secretariat.

What can an IAS officer do for society?

Detailed Explanation of 3 Major Roles and Responsibility:

1. Field Assignments: After completing the training, the first posting of an IAS officer is usually a field assignment. In simpler words, Roles and Duties of an IAS Officer - The work of the IAS Officer's first task allotted to the officer after the training is called field assignment. In their first posting, they have to work in an environment of complexity and they have to face various hurdles to fulfill their duties during their assignment.

Completing the field assignments is one of the most challenging job roles of an IAS.

The following are the roles and responsibilities of an IAS during the field assignments:

  • Supervising the implementation of government schemes and policies.
  • Consulting and Advising the various government departments and elected leaders for efficiently running various functions and handling unfavorable situations in the state.
  • Providing immediate rescue support and assistance in case of any natural calamities, disasters, riots, or accidents.
  • Distributing and managing the government funds for the implementation of various government schemes & policies.
  • Managing government affairs which also includes framing, implementing, and reviewing government policies.

Designations of IAS During the Field Assignment: As already discussed, after completing the training from Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), the first posting of an IAS officer is mostly a field posting and for most, IAS officers, the field posting ends at the district level.

The following are designations on which an IAS is posted during the field posting:

  • Member Board of Revenue: A District collector, he/is responsible for the collection of land revenue, other government taxes, and dues that come under land revenue.
  • Chairman Board of Revenue: The Chairman Board of revenue supervises, manages, and controls all land records, settlement and revenue matters, and administrative and judicial revenue matters in the state.
  • Divisional Commissioner: A Divisional Commissioner acts as a supervisory head of all the state governments located in the division allotted to him. He/she supervises the revenue and development administration of his/her division.

SDO/SDM/Chief Development Officer/Joint Collector

  • SDM: A Sub-Divisional Magistrate is responsible for operating the preventive sections of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
  • SDO: An SDO is responsible for maintaining law and order within the division, he/she is also responsible for the efficient functioning of all council and council unions within the division and also mobilizes the citizens for community development.
  • Chief Development Officer: The Chief Development Office is someone who looks after various developmental schemes of poverty alleviation and infrastructure creation of central and state governments of India.
  • District Collector/District Magistrate/Deputy Commissioner: A District Collector is also known as District Magistrate and Deputy Commissioner, however, each of these post names has a different set of responsibilities.

(i) As District Collector, an IAS Officer is responsible for the:

  • Conducting revenue court
  • Arbitration of land acquisition and collection of land revenue
  • Issuing statutory certificates including ST/SC/OBC and EWC, Nationality, Domicile, Marriage Certificates, etc.
  • Takes decisions of the custodian of evacuee and migrant property
  • Inspecting the district offices, tehsils, and subdivisions
  • Collecting income tax dues, irrigation taxes, and excise duties

(ii) The duties of an IAS Officer when appointed as District Magistrate are as follows:

  • Maintaining the law and order in the district
  • Acting as coordinates of the police
  • Supervising the subordinate executive magistrate and conducting the inquiries
  • Conducting the hearing of criminal cases under the preventive section of the Criminal Procedure Code
  • Granting the arms and ammunition license under the Arms Act
  • Authorizing the parole order for inmates
  • Inspecting the police stations, juvenile centers, and prisons in his/her district
  • ordering for investigation in Child labor or bonded labor-related matters
  • Managing the crisis during times of riots or external aggression
  • Supervision of jails and certification of execution of capital sentences

(iii) Deputy Commissioner:  The deputy commissioner or district magistrate is the executive head of a district, an administrative sub-unit of a state.

2. State Secretariat Assignments: After completing the tenure in the field posting, the IAS officers get posted in the State Secretariat and will have to work with the state government.

They have to use their experience and field expertise to give needful advice and consultation to the elected state representative to make policies and decisions that can help in the betterment of the state and society.

Many IAS Officers also get posted in Public Service Undertaking Cadres on deputation period and get an opportunity to work in higher management departments of PSUs like industrial units, power stations, and many others.

3. Central Secretariat Assignments: IAS Officers also get posted at the secretariat level in the Central Government of India. During the central secretariat assignment, an IAS looks after inspecting, reviewing, formulating, and implementing policies for different ministries of India.

There are chances that as an IAS you will be allotted international assignments and deputed to international bodies such as the United Nations.

IAS Designations During State or Central Secretariat Postings

As we discussed earlier, the roles and duties of an IAS officer depend on his/her post and designation. An IAS officer is capable of doing so much good for the welfare of society.

He/she can serve as an eminent member of the Government of India to fulfill his/her purpose of serving the nation. During the State and Central Secretariat postings, The candidate gets an opportunity to make bigger decisions while being an integral part of the system.

Below we have briefed the roles and duties of an IAS officer during the state or central postings:

  • Cabinet Secretary: The Cabinet Secretary is one of the most powerful posts of an IAS officer, the Cabinet Secretary is a senior-most civil servant who also acts as head of the cabinet secretariat. He remains in direct touch with the Prime Minister and advises the PM on various matters. He advises and assists the President, PM, and his cabinet as per provisions of the Constitution.
  • Joint Secretary in the Indian Government/ Secretary in State Government: The Joint Secretary of India acts as the chief advisor to the ministers, policymakers, and administrative affairs. Also, they act as the administrative heads of the ministry of any particular department of the ministry.
  • Deputy Secretary /Under Secretary for the Indian Government: The Deputy Secretary holds the charge of a Secretariat Division and is responsible for the disposal of Government business dealt with in the Division under his charge.
  • Secretary to the Indian Government/ Chief Secretary: An IAS officer appointed to the post of Chief Secretary ensures the coordination between various departments within the ministry. Basically, a Chief Secretary is the chairman of coordination committees and is responsible for resolving interdepartmental disputes and also acts as an advisor to the secretaries to smoothen the interdepartmental functions.
  • Director in Government of India: The Director in Government of India is an officer who acts on the behalf of the Secretary of India. His duty is to hold the charge of a Secretariat Division and handle the government business within the division under his order. He/she also needs to use his/her diplomacy and discretion while taking orders from the Joint Secretary on cases that hold special significance for the government.

IAS Officer Salary

Undoubtedly, the career of an IAS officer is full of responsibilities, challenges, and hurdles but becoming an IAS officer also means a life full of pride, honor, and respect. Apart from the social respect and responsibilities, the title also brings a rewarding Salary and benefits with it.

The work of an IAS officer is enormously difficult and sometimes one has to make sacrifices with his/her social life in order to fulfill his/her duties, therefore the salary offered to them is lucrative.

An IAS officer gets a minimum salary of Rs 50,000 and it can go up to Rs 2,50,000 depending on his/her designation. Below we have tabulated the rank-wise salary of an IAS Officer after the 7th Pay Commission:

IAS Officers- Rank-wise Salary After 7th Pay Commission


Pay Scale

Grade Pay

Years of Service Required

Junior Scale

Rs 50,000 - Rs 1,50,000

Rs 16,500


Senior Time Scale

Rs 50,000 - Rs 1,50,001

Rs 20,000

5 years

Junior Administrative Grade

Rs 50,000 - Rs 1,50,002

Rs 23,000

9 years

Selection Grade

Rs 1,00,000 - Rs 2,00,000

Rs 26,000

12 years to 15 years

Super Time Scale

Rs 1,00,000 - Rs 2,00,000

Rs 30,000

17 years to 20 years

Above Super Time Scale

Rs 1,00,000 - Rs 2,00,000

Rs 30,000


Apex Scale

Rs 2,25,000 (Fixed)


Varies (around 30 years)

Cabinet Secretary Grade

Rs 2,50,000 (Fixed)



IAS Officer Salary: Pay Levels and Post-Wise

Pay Level

Basic Pay

Name of the Post

Pay level 10
(1 year-4 year)

Rs 56,100

Sub-divisional Magistrate in District Administration

Assistant Secretary in Central Secretariat

Undersecretary in State Secretariat

Pay level 11
(5 years to 8 years)

Rs 67,700

Additional district magistrate in District Administration

Deputy Secretary in State Secretariat

Under-Secretary in Central Secretariat

Pay level 12
(9 years to 12 years)

Rs 78,800

Deputy Secretary in Central Secretariat

District magistrate in District Administration

Joint Secretary in State Secretariat

Pay level 13
(13 years to 16 years)

Rs 1,18,500

Director in Central Secretariat

District magistrate in District Administration

Special secretary-cum-director  in State Secretariat

Pay level 14
(16 years to 24 years)

Rs 1,44,200

Divisional commissioner in District Administration

Joint Secretary in Central Secretariat

Secretary-cum-commissioner in State Secretariat

Pay level 15
(25 years to 30 years)

Rs 1,82,200

Divisional commissioner in District Administration

Additional secretary in Central Secretariat

Principal Secretary in State Secretariat

Pay level 16
(30 years to 33 years)

Rs 2,05,400

Additional Chief Secretary in State Secretariat

Pay level 17
(34 years-36 years)

Rs 2,25,000

Secretary in Central Secretariat
Chief Secretary in State Secretariat

Pay level 18
(37+ years)

Rs 2,50,000

Cabinet Secretary of India

Facilities and Benefits Provided to IAS Officer

Apart from the good income, an IAS officer also enjoys certain benefits and facilities which are provided by the government of India. Some of these facilities and benefits provided to an IAS officer are as follows:

  • Accommodation provided by the Government
  • Subsidy Facility
  • Reimbursement of Mobile, telephone, and internet bills
  • Household helpers such as gardeners, cooks, etc.
  • Government vehicle and transport facilities for all the state and district-level officers
  • Free stay in government hotels and bungalows while on duty
  • Security and other staff
  • Monthly pension after retirement
  • Study leave of at least 2 to 4 years and study cost funded by the government if the officer chooses to study at a reputed foreign university
Frequently Asked Questions
Q 1. What is the duration of IAS training?

Ans. IAS officers initially are provided training for two years at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration.

Q 2. What is the lifestyle of an IAS officer??

Ans. An IAS Officer generally leads a very disciplined lifestyle. They are provided with all the perks and benefits such as accommodation, helpers, security, transportation, etc.

Their role in the administrative part of society holds a lot of importance and they are responsible for handling government affairs at numerous levels.

Q 3. What are the working hours of an IAS Officer?

Ans. There is no fixed number of hours for which an IAS Officer has to work. However, the official timings are said to be from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., but it may vary based on their role and responsibilities, designation, and need of the hour.

Q 4. Which is the highest post in IAS?

Ans. Cabinet Secretary (Central) and Chief Secretary (State) are among the highest post for IAS officers.

Q 5. Is the life of an IAS officer luxurious?

Ans. It is the perks and benefits provided to an IAS officer along with the salary that makes it extremely popular and attracts candidates to apply for the post. But on the professional front, the work is challenging and stressful at times, as the employee is directly answerable to the state or central government authorities.

Q 6. Do IAS trainees get salaries?

Ans. The total amount earned by IAS trainees at LBSNAA is INR 56,000. After deducting mess charges and other necessities, the stipend earned by IAS trainees varies from INR 35,000 to INR 40,000 every month.

Q 7. How is life after becoming an IAS Officer?

Ans. If candidates think that the journey to crack the civil services exam is tough, they should know what is more in store for them. The real work begins after joining the services as an IAS Officer is expected to perform a lot of responsibilities and continuously adhere to the government guidelines. Tough, at the personal front a lot of perks are available, it is the professional front that is challenging.

Q 8. What is the daily work of an IAS officer?

Ans. IAS officer duties and responsibilities include managing government affairs including policy framing, implementation, and review. Consulting with various departments and elected representatives. Managing allocated public funds for various schemes

Q 9. What powers does IAS Officer have?

Ans. Some of the powers of an IAS include managing government affairs and infrastructure, implementing and supervising government policies’ formulation process, etc. Also, IAS officers can give the 1st order in case of any disaster (natural/ manmade) and for managing the disaster.

Signing Off:

The duties and responsibilities of an IAS Officer are quite challenging, however, it can offer you a lot more than anyone can expect. The life of an IAS Officer is more challenging yet more interesting than any other career in the government sector.

However Contrary to the common opinion, IAS is not just for anyone who is good at academics. It is specifically meant for those who are in love with the idea of serving the nation and want to bring change in society for good.

If you are impressed with the work of an IAS Officer and want to make it your career goal, then you should read our article on how to become an IAS officer & Highest Marks in IAS Interview Round - Tricks to Crack the IAS Interview Round

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