Every year lakhs of students join the bandwagon of being an IAS aspirant. Being an IAS officer is surely one of the most desirable and sought after career paths in governments sector. In addition to the monetary compensation and associated perks, being an IAS officer gives a candidate a chance to be part of the governmental machinery and work for betterment of people of India. This along has been enough of a motivation for several candidates who are aspiring to be an IAS officer.
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 rigours preparation and training.
However, clearing the civil services examination may not be the ultimate test that one might encounter in their dream of becoming an IAS officer. 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. Some of the key qualities that an IAS officer must have are given below:
As an IAS officer acts as government representative at whichever position they are deployed. Being part of the government, the IAS officer needs to show exceptional leadership skills and guide others towards a unified goal of development and betterment of people of India.
One of the key responsibilities entrusted to an IAS officer by the government, is to look after the day to day administrative affairs of their jurisdictional area. To fulfil this responsibility and be able to meet all administrative tasks by building a general consensus, the IAS officer needs to be an able administrator.
Decisive in Approach
Many a times, an IAS officer would find him /she in a tricky situation that needs to resolved quickly. To handle such circumstances, the officer needs to be a quick thinker and evaluate all available alternatives and possible consequences of each of them. On basis of this, a consensus based decision should be taken and implemented to solve the problem. Therefore, an IAS officer also needs to have a decisive approach to their working.
Knowledge is the most important resource on the earth, and it is very important for an IAS officer to be knowledgeable in all areas of operations that they handle. Being knowledgeable will help them not only implement the governmental policies very effectively, but also help them to understand any administrative problems and plug any underlying loopholes in government machinery to solve the problems.
Hard Working & Committed
If you find preparation for IAS a cumbersome task, then what awaits you ahead is even more challenging. An IAS officer is in charge of looking after their administrative area; this means lot of responsibilities from different domains like law enforcement, developmental programmes, administrative work and funds management. To manage and excel in all these, the officer needs to hardworking and committed to their work.
Corruption is the biggest problem in government machinery and despite several efforts from numerous governments no long lasting and effective solution has been found to this problem. Being responsible for administration, finance and law-order of a jurisdictional area, gives an IAS officer immense power to curb this problem. An officer with high sense of personal integrity and honesty can lead the charge against problems like corruption and put an end to this menace.
Good Communication Skills
As an able administrator, an IAS officer needs to posses good communication skills in verbal as well as written format. This will help the officer convey clear orders to its junior and avoid any confusion that may lead to administrative problems. Furthermore, an IAS officer will also need to meet high dignitaries and effective communications skills will come in handy here as well.
Out of the Box Thinking
The biggest challenge in being part of governmental machinery in a diverse country like India is that the problems in each area and field differ vastly and one solution may not work to solve them. Add to that the challenge of managing meagre funds that is to be allotted for solving different problems; the job becomes tougher. In such situation, out of box thinking will help the IAS officer devise solutions that are tailored to meet the specific problem in an efficient manner.
IAS officer should have exemplary work ethics, be it something as small as reaching office on time or avoiding misuse of governmental machinery for personal gain. Work ethics not only help the officer perform their duties more effectively, but also sets a precedent for juniors and other associated parties to follow.
This is the single most important quality that an IAS officer should possess. Keeping your country before one’s personal interest may sound very easy and idealistic, but when implemented will have a monumental impact on. The single most important task that IAS officers are entrusted with is to build an India for tomorrow; and being a patriot will guide all the actions of a person in a way that benefits the country.