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Everything About IAS

Everything About IAS

The full form of IAS is the Indian Administrative Service. There is immense respect that the position of IAS commands in Indian society. It is the job that almost everyone in India dreams of or has for once dreamt of.

Indian Administrative Service is one of the three All India Services along with IPS and IFoS. It was a British innovation. It was regularized as IAS by Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel after independence. Every year, UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) conducts a written exam for candidates to provide them opportunity to bag their dream jobs and embark upon a carrier to serve the nation and its people in their full capacity without any ill – will.


As to become a doctor you need have a MBBS degree, similarly IAS has got its own eligibility criteria. Some of them are:

  • • Age: - Candidate shall not be less than 21 years and not more than 32 years on 1st of August of the year of the exam. However there are relaxations in case of reserved categories.
  • • Nationality:- One must be Indian citizen to apply for Indian Administrative Services.
  • • Number of attempts: - General category candidates along with EWS category candidates are allowed 6 attempts at the exam while OBC candidates are allowed 9 attempts and SCs/STs are allowed to attempt as many times until they reach the upper limit of age as per their category (Information available in detailed notification of UPSC).


To make the position accessible to all in every respect, IAS requires a graduation degree in any discipline from any recognized central, state or private university. One only needs to secure passing marks i.e. 33% in their undergraduation.
A candidate presently in the final year of college can also apply provided he/she can present the detailed mark sheet while filling the detailed application form. Thus, the most average of students or best of them, both have equal opportunity to make their IAS dream a reality.

Exam Scheme:

The exam is conducted in 3 stages which aptly checks the character traits and skills of candidates extensively.
Stage 1:- or The Preliminary Exam. It consists of two papers:
Paper 1 → General studies
Paper 2 → CSAT

This stage primarily checks the factual and conceptual knowledge of candidates. The questions are asked in MCQ format. It is qualifying in nature, one has to clear a certain cutoff in Paper1 and score 33% in PaperII to qualify.

Stage 2:- It is called The Mains. It consists of 9 papers of which 7 are for ranking purpose while 2 are of qualifying nature.
The 2 Qualifying papers are:
• English (compulsory)
• Any other Indian language

Rest 7 papers are:
• Essay
• General studies 1
• General studies 2
• General studies 3
• General studies 4 (Ethics and integrity)
• Optional 1
• Optional 2

This stage checks the writing skills, thought process, time management and many other skills of candidates extensively. One can find the details about General studies paper in official notification. Optional Papers are the subject which one himself/herself chooses as per his/her choice. The optional is touted as make or break for aspirants of Indian civil services. So, it is highly recommended to choose the optional subjects very carefully.

➣ Stage 3:- It is called The Personality Test or Interview. In this stage, mains qualified aspirants are called in for a face to face interaction with a board comprising of members of the UPSC and senior government officials. The stage assesses the overall personality of the candidate.

The whole process is of 2075 marks and to achieve IAS dream, one has to be on good part of 1000.


Indian administrative service or simply put IAS officers are the most malleable and versatile breed of officers working in India. Their job basically depends upon the assignments given to them.
They can be deployed in field as Commissioner or Collector or in magisterial capacities. They can be deployed in secretariats as secretaries, managers etc.

Lures and challenges:

The position is full of challenges, excitement and fun. District Magistrate, Commissioner, Collector are the most powerful offices in a district. As the common saying goes “District administration is the tortoise on whose back the elephant of central governance lays”, IAS officers thus indirectly run the whole country. Moreover after retirement perks are also alluring.
As lucrative the job is, it can also get challenging. Frequent transfers, erratic working hours take a toll on personal life. It is not easy to be a face of government in public when government itself is performing poorly. But what is life without some risks and this job is worth it.

How to begin?

It is the most basic question that comes to our mind when we are on starting line. The answer is simple: - begin with what you have neglected till now “the basics”. First go through the syllabus twice. Prepare a timetable, work hard and study smart. Pick up the NCERTs from class 6- 12 and go through them extensively. They will provide you with stable base. Later you can build upon this by reading advanced books. List of advanced books can be found on internet easily. Test series are very helpful to release exam pressure and anxiety. Moreover, they help you to identify your weaknesses.


After reading the above brief, we get the main concern of what is IAS, more specifically full form of IAS. We got to know what their job is and what needs to be done to become one. Although the acceptance rate of exam is around 0.01%, but the opportunities this service provides and the potential that the post of an IAS officer has is immeasurable and worth to aspire for. As it is said “Be the change you want to see in the world”, here is your opportunity, grab it and add a new chapter in the book of glory of this great country.