Despite the surge in employment opportunities in the private sector, the aura around the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS) is intact and, in fact, has been growing in recent years. Every year, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) receives around 10 lakh applications for the Civil Services Examination (CSE) through which around 200-300 candidates are selected for IAS and IPS.
Now, the interesting question is – “How IAS and IPS continue to be the top most career choice for the Indian youth”? To answer this, Jagran Josh has put together some of the major attractions of these prestigious services. They are as follows.
Powers and Constitutional Protection
Compared to other officers in the All India Services, Central Services and State Services, IAS and IPS officers have enormous powers. Be it as a District Collector/Superintendent of Police of a District/Secretary to Government, they are the ‘real bosses’. IAS officers are generalists and they are eligible to lead any department; Be it education or health or finance or environment. In fact, as a District Collector, an IAS officer oversees the functioning of all the departments and the government agencies in the district.
Besides the enormous powers, IAS and IPS officers enjoy the protection of the Constitution. Though they function under a State Government, only the President of India has the power to dismiss them from the service. This allows them to work in an objective and efficient manner and without succumbing to political pressures.
Irrespective of the States they are serving, IAS and IPS officers have uniform pay scale throughout the country. The salary and allowances for IAS and IPS officers are always maintained at a satisfactory level to attract the brightest minds in the country.
Besides the salary and allowances, IAS and IPS officers, either working in the field offices or headquarters, are provided with spacious houses (e.g. collector’s bungalow), vehicles for transportation, body guards, etc.
Imagine, for a country of over 130 crore population, there are only around 5,000 IAS officers and 4,000 IPS officers. Due to the enormous discretionary powers coupled with an instrumental role in the policy making and policy implementation, social prestige of IAS and IPS officers is very high in the Indian society. Besides, the proximity to ministers and high-level politicians, businessmen and celebrities results in greater prestige to IAS and IPS officers.
Opportunities to serve people
IAS and IPS provide ample opportunities to serve the society. IAS officers play an important role in the design and implementation of welfare schemes that affect the common man the most. IPS officers keep the society safe and secure by upholding law and order, holding consultations with community leaders to restore peace in times of crisis and controlling criminal activities.
Another interesting facet of IAS and IPS is their lifestyle. By virtue of being in a respectable place in the government as well as in the society, they get enough opportunities to explore their areas of interest like sports, music, teaching, social service through NGOs’, etc. Many a times, they are chosen as chairpersons and members of important clubs, associations and organizations in the society. This gives them enough leverage to take an active role in the functioning of those organizations.
Career in & after
The unique feature of IAS and IPS is - the officers get opportunities to serve the country at the local level (District and State), national level and at the international level. Though IAS and IPS officers are allotted to a particular State, it is mandatory for them to serve the Union at frequent intervals. On deputation, while IAS officers are appointed to various departments and ministers at the Centre, IPS officers join the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) in various capacities.
At the international level, IAS officers represent India in the global intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations, World Bank Group, World Trade Organisation, etc. IPS officers are posted abroad in the units of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), which is India’s primary foreign intelligence agency.
There are abundant opportunities, within and outside the government, for retired IAS and IPS officers as well. Post retirement, IAS officers appointed to Constitutional bodies such as Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), Finance Commission, Election Commission, etc. Similarly, State Governments’ also appoint retired IAS officers to Public Service Commissions and public corporations.
There are many opportunities for retired IAS and IPS officers in the private sector also. In fact, many officers took Voluntary Retirement Service (VRS) in recent years, to join big private firms in leadership positions.
Pre-service and in-service training given to officers is also one of the major attractions of IAS and IPS. While IAS recruitees undergo training for two years at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) in Mussoorie, Uttrakhand, IPS recruitees are trained at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA) in Hyderabad. Apart from the academics, training in these world class facilities includes swimming, trekking, horse riding, rifle shooting, etc. At frequent intervals, IAS and IPS officers are also given in-service training in India and abroad.
Best wishes from Jagran Josh!