Designations and Posts held by an IAS Officer

    Designations and Posts held by an IAS Officer

  • IAS officers head practically all departments in the Government of India, including at the district and ministry levels.
  • IAS officers are appointed as Secretaries to the Government of India rather than to specific ministries.
  • IAS positions include Director of a specialized agency, Chief Secretary to the State Government, Secretary in State Departments, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Election Commissioner, and others.
  • The IAS officers are the top managers who work wherever to ensure that government policies and choices are effective.
  • All candidates are interested in learning about the job profile of India’s most coveted post, the IAS. The Ministry of Personnel publishes the job profile for the IAS office.

Background:IAS Officer

·  In 1946, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) was established.

·  There had previously been Indian Imperial Services (1893 – 1946), which was recruited through the Federal Public Service Commission.

· The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) was established as an All India Service through a common recruiting exam called the Civil Services Exam.

· For these All-India Services, the service conditions, pay, and other perks are uniform across the country.

· The intriguing fact is that the Union government fixed the salaries of IAS officers, and the states had to pay them out of their own funds.

Appointment of IAS Officers to other Organisations/Bodies

  • A member of the IAS can be assigned to national and international institutions, bodies, and organizations.
  • Public Sector Units (PSUs), banks, and other national organizations like as NITI AAYOG are among the national institutions.
  • The IAS officer might be appointed in numerous capacities in international organizations such as the United Nations, World Bank, and Asian Development Bank.
  • In addition to the foregoing, an IAS officer can be deputed to a private organisation for a set period of time.

Designations held by an IAS officer

  • The IAS officials’ designation varies from state to state. This is due to the fact that the nomenclature of the state administrative apparatus varies from state to state.
  • However, the major tasks of IAS officials across the country remain mostly unchanged. The designations/posts held by IAS officers in their depicted careers are listed here.
  • An IAS officer symbolizes dedication, leading change and development with integrity. They are pillars of the public administration, champions of social justice, and architects of nation-building. Their decisions shape the future, their service touches lives, and their commitment sets the standard for the aspirants who dream to follow.
    For those interested in civil services, explore IAS coaching in Delhi.

  • IAS officers’ designations when on assignment in the field:
    • Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO)
    • Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM)
    • Joint Collector/ Chief Development Officer (CDO)
    • District Magistrate (DM)/District Collector/Deputy Commissioner
    • Divisional Commissioner
    • Member Board of Revenue

There are now three forms of IAS recruitment

  • Through the Civil Services Examination, which is held annually by UPSC; • Through the elevation of State Civil Service personnel to IAS; and • Through the selection of non-State Civil Service officers.
  • Approximately 66 (1/3 percent) of the positions are for Direct Recruitment, while the remaining 33 (1/3 percent) are for promotion quota.
  • Direct recruit IAS officials are assigned to State cadres/Joint State Cadres based on their rank, preference, and vacancy availability.
  • The table below illustrates the positions held by an IAA official under the State Government and the Central Government in terms of grade and years of service.
GradePosition held under the State Government Or Central Government
Junior Time Scale (Initial Year)  Sub-Divisional Magistrate in a sub-division of a district/Section Officer in state secretariat (Entry) /Assistant Director to Government of India.
Senior Time Scale (4th year)  Additional District Magistrate/Additional Collector/Additional Deputy Commissioner of a District or Under Secretary in the State Government.  
Junior Administrative Grade (6th year)  District Magistrate/Collector/Deputy Commissioner of a District or Additional Secretary in the State government or Joint Director/Deputy Secretary to the Government of India.  
Selection Grade (10th year)  District Magistrate/Collector/Deputy Commissioner of a District or Special Secretary in the State government or Director in the Government of India.  
Super Time Scale (17th year)  Divisional Commissioner in a division or Secretary in the State government or Joint Secretary to Government of India.  
Above Super Time Scale (24th year)  Principal Secretary in the State Government or Additional Secretary to the Government of India.  
Apex Scale (31st year)  Chief Secretary of States or Secretary to Government of India.  
Cabinet Secretary Grade (35th year)Cabinet Secretary of India (Only one post).


The following are the designations carried by IAS officers while on assignment in the field:

1) Chief Development Officer/SDO/SDM/Joint Collector (CDO)

2) Deputy Commissioner/District Magistrate/District Collector

3) Commissioner for Divisions

4) Member of the Revenue Advisory Board

5) Revenue Commissioner

  • Aside from the positions stated above, a lAS officer can be appointed in numerous roles in
    • autonomous organizations
    • subordinate organizations
    • PSUs
    • UN Organizations/international organisations such as the World Bank and Asian development banks.
  • They might also work as Personal Secretaries to Central Government Ministers.
  • There is also provision for deputation of lAS officers to private organisations for a set period of time.

Frequently Asked Questions related to IAS

Q1 Which ranks can be held by IAS?

Ans. Below given are the ranks that an IAS officer will hold during his tenure: Cabinet Secretary ranks at the top, Secretary/Additional Secretary , Joint Secretary, Director, Under Secretary, Junior Scale Officers.

Q2 What is highest post in IAS?

Ans The position of a cabinet secretary is the highest position an IAS officer can hold. To give you an insight into how important is the role of cabinet secretary, the cabinet secretariat comes directly under the prime minister of India.

Q3 What is lowest post in IAS?

Ans The lowest post of the IAS officer is the IAS trainee or IAS probationer given to them during the training period.

Q4 Does every IAS become DM?

Ans To become a DM the candidate must first qualify for the UPSC-CSE exam and become an IAS officer. After serving as an IAS officer for 6 years, including 2 years of the training period, a candidate is eligible to become a DM. To become a DM the candidate has to be at the top of the rank list of IAS Officers.

Q5 Is collector and IAS officer same?

Ans The District Collector is the highest Officer of Revenue administration in the district. A district magistrate, often abbreviated to DM, is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer who is the senior-most executive magistrate and chief in charge of the general administration of a district in India.

Q6 Which is higher IAS or IFS?

Ans IAS is preferred choice by above 95 % of the candidates (in their DAF) as compared to IPS or IFS. IAS officers play far more important role in policy formation of the Central and State Governments than other officers. 

Q7 Is IAS or IRS better?

Ans An IAS is the administrative head of almost all the departments in the Central and State Governments. The facilities and perks an IAS officer gets are superior to that of an IRS officer’s. The IAS provides faster promotions compared to the IRS.

You Can Read Also:

Rural Development Schemes in India
India History and Timeline
 Preamble of Indian Constitution