IAS Officer: a Hero - a Whipping boy - a Villain

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh *

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the administrative arm of the All India Services. Considered the premier Civil Service of India, the IAS is one of the three arms of All India Services along with the Indian Police Service (IPS) and the Indian Forest Service (IFoS). Members of these three services serve the Government of India as well as the individual status. IAS officers may also be deployed to various public sector undertakings.

As with other countries following Westminster Parliamentary system of government, the IAS is a part of the permanent bureaucracy of the nation and is an inseparable part of the executive of the Government of India. As such, the bureaucracy remains politically neutral and guarantees administrative continuity to the ruling party or coalition. Upon confirmation of service, an IAS officer serves a probationary period as a sub- divisional magistrate.

Completion of this probation is followed by an executive administrative role in a district as a district magistrate and collector which last several years, as long as sixteen years in some states. After this tenure, an officer may be promoted to head a whole state division, as a divisional Commissioner. On attaining the higher scale of the pay matrix, IAS officers may lead government department or ministries.

In these roles, IAS officers represent the country at the International level in bilateral and multilateral negotiations. If serving on deputation, they may be employed in intergovernmental organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank or the United Nations or its agencies.IAS officers are also involved in the conduct of election in India as mandated by the Election Commission of India.

The modern Indian Administrative Service was created under Article 312(2) in part XIV of the Constitution of India and the All India Services Act, 1952.

The typical functions performed by an IAS officer are:

To collect revenue and function as court officials in matters of revenue and crime(for the revenue courts and criminal Courts of executive magistrate),to maintain law and order ,to implement Union and State Government policies at the grassroots level when posted to field positions, i.e as Sub- Divisional magistrates, additional magistrates, district magistrates and divisional Commissioners and to act as an agent of the government in the field, i.e to act as an intermediary between the public and government.

o To handle the administration and daily proceedings of the government including the formulation and implementation of policy in consultation with the ministers- in charge of a specific ministry or department

o To contribute to policy formulation and to make a final decision in certain matters with the agreement of the minister concern or the Council of ministers(depending upon the weights of the matter),when posted at the higher level in the Government of India as a Joint Secretary,additional secretary,Special Secretary or Secretary equivalent, Secretary and cabinet Secretary and in state Government as Secretary, PrincipalSecretary, additional chief Secretary or special Chief secretary and Chief Secretary.

Upon retirement, high ranking IAS officers have occupied Constitutional posts such as the Chief Election Commissioner of India, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and Chairperson of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).They have also become members of administrative tribunals such as the National Green Tribunal and the Central Administrative Tribunal as well as Chief of regulators including Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, the Securities and Exchange Board of India and the Reserve Bank of India.

If a serving IAS officer is appointed to a Constitutional post such as Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Chief Election Commissioner of India or Chairperson of UPSC or as head of a Statutory authority, such as the National Human Rights Commission, the National Commission for Women or the Central Information Commission, he/she is deemed to have retired from service.

IAS officers can also be deputed to private Organizations for a fixed tenure under Rule 6(2) (ii) of the Indian Administrative service (Cadre) Rules, 1954. If IAS officers execute the services rendered on them in public interest sincerely and honestly, they are the savior of people. However the IAS is the hamstrung of political interference. Outdated personnel procedure and a mixed record on policy implementation and it is therefore need of urgent reform.

The Indian Government should reshape recruitment and promotion process, improve performance- based assessment of individual’s officers and adopt safeguards that promote accountability while protecting bureaucrats from political meddling.Several think tanks and media outlets have argued that IAS is hamstrung by political influence within the service. It has been reported that many local political leaders have been seen to have interfered with IAS officer.

Politicians have also exerted pressure on IAS officers by repeatedly transferring them, suspending them, beating them and in some extreme cases, killing them.A deputy Commissioner of one hill district was removed as DC of the same district and transferred to some other department for exposing the boundary dispute between India (Manipur) and Myanmar (Burma) which was a public issue in Manipur, known as boundary pillar no 81 issue.

This makes bureaucrats’ officers’ scapegoats. While hearing T.S.R Subramanian vs Union of India, the Supreme Court of India ruled that IAS officers and other civil servants- were not required to act on oral instruction given by politicians as they” Undermined credibility.

In spite of all these, IAS officers have also involved in corruption and crimes for which many convicted of crimes. In 2015, it was reported by the Government of India that a hundred IAS officers had come under scrutiny by the CBI for alleged corruption. In 2017 Government records showed that 379 IAS officers had deliberately failed to submit details of their immovable assets (IPR). Since 2007, a number of Chief Secretaries and Principal Secretaries have been arrested in cases of graft or money laundering.

IAS officers have been found amassing disproportionate assets and wealth varying from Rs.200 crore (equivalent to Rs 254 crore or USD 37 million in 2018) to Rs 350 crore (equivalent to Rs 587 crore or USD 85 million in 2018).

A retired IAS officer who was the Deputy Commissioner of one hill district of Manipur was arrested by Imphal West district Police in the night of 24th June , 2019 in connection with the misappropriation of compensation of villagers for the expansion of NH- 102, Imphal Moreh road and remanded to police custody for eight days by Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Chandel.

The bail pleaof the said (Retd) IAS officer was rejected on 2nd July by Special Judge (PC) Imphal West and remanded up to 5th July in judicial custody for further investigation. Which are the destroying acts of IAS officers. In 2016, it was reported that the Government would provide the means to prosecute corrupt IAS officers with the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, agreeing to receive request from private citizens seeking punitive measures against IAS officers even without supporting documentation.

In 2007, a CBI special Court in Delhi sentenced a former Union coal Secretary and two other IAS officers to two years in prison for their involvement in the coal allocation scam.

In 2017, it was reported by the Department of Personnel and Training, part of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions that since 2014, one IAS officers was prematurely retired from service, ten IAS officers had been deemed to have resigned, five had their pensions cut and a further eight IAS officers suffered a cut in remuneration.

In 2018 the Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Jitendra Singh, informed the Lok Sabha that disciplinary proceedings were underway against 36 IAS officers. Few days back Modi Govt sacks another 22 senior officials in latest crackdown on corruption charges. Sometimes news of missing IAS officers has also come out.

In 2015, “The Telegraph” reported that 12 IAS officers had gone missing and has not reported to either the Union or the State Government for their allocated cadre. It was believed that they were working in foreign countries for companies such as Microsoft for more lucrative pay. The Asian Age, later reported that the services of three of the 12 officers were likely to be terminated due to prolonged absence from service.

However, some of the notable IAS officers whose names are worth mentioning are:
Naresh Chandra (1956 batch IAS of Rajasthan); T.N Seshan (1955 batch of Tamil Nadu);NarinderNath Vohra ( 1959 batch of Punjab); Vinod Rai (1972 batch of Kerala ); DuvvuriSubbrao ( 1972 batch of Andhra Pradesh); YogendraNarain (1965 batch of Uttar Pradesh).

Their contribution in public service and Nation building were incredible and will remain forever, at the same time they are therole model of the new IAS officers.

* Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh wrote this article for Imphal Times
The writer is a Faculty at NIELIT Imphal and can be reached at sjugeshwor7(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on September 10, 2019.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Chothe Achui Lin festival #1
  • Chengpi, Kentaliu, Atomacha :: eMing
  • Lady E-Rickshaw driver inspires women..
  • M Shanker: Indian Achievers Award 2019
  • Softly Coo the Wild Pigeons :: Poem
  • Discussion on Manipur Merger Agreement
  • Irabot, one & only leader of oppressed mass
  • Start-up Manipur as a potential launch pad
  • Culture Students Foundation Day : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Territorial Integration, Flag or Constitution
  • Book published on Irabot Day: Download
  • In love with the night :: Poem
  • Maverick mind of Ram - Dedicated to Bar
  • Smoking- silent killer for your backbone
  • Revisiting Sept. 21 (1948 & 1949)
  • Where All The Flowers Gone? #1: Gallery
  • BCIM Corridor & China New Transportation
  • Alzheimer's Awareness Month
  • Cry of a Dying River - 93 :: Poem
  • Rally & Youth's Voice on Climate Change
  • Guwahati to Bangkok : Direct Flight
  • Stringent traffic rules in place
  • Time for immediate solution to climate crisis
  • Traditional Dress of Hmar : Gallery
  • Licypriya @UNESCO Forum, Angola: Gallery
  • World Ozone Day and Langban Tarpan
  • Protection of Land in Tamenglong: Meeting
  • Licypriya Kangujam at UNESCO : Report
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • ADBU Community Computer Education
  • Film- Hugo screening [Upd]
  • Being on the transit route of drugs
  • On the demand for ST status...
  • 46th AMWJU Foundation Day : Gallery
  • Machengluang cleared Tamei road
  • Scrapping of Constitution Article, 35 & 370
  • Her Kitchen :: Poem
  • Career in journalism
  • BMSA Freshers' Meet : Thanks Giving
  • Mass Awareness for PMJAY & CMHT
  • Need for JAC & school to act reasonably
  • Traffic Challans & other challenges
  • Hinduism in Manipur #3
  • An interaction with Dr. O.K. Singh #2
  • Loneliness :: Poem
  • Let Road Users have their say ..
  • RIST Talk: Binary Recurrence Sequences
  • Racial profiling & criminalization of people
  • ZPO rejects its dissolution
  • 10 houses torched in inter-village dispute
  • Heikru Hidongba #2 : Gallery
  • Attitude to life and family
  • Breaking the glass ceiling
  • 28th NAMA Convention at Chicago
  • Inpui Naga Karing Ngei 2018 : Book
  • Dr. Md. Hamidur Rahaman : AMP Award
  • World Patient Safety Day
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Peace talk reportedly at final stage
  • Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy) #11
  • 48th Foundation Day of RIMS : Gallery
  • Tarpon: Annual offerings to the dead
  • Licypriya : Climate change in Angola
  • World Ozone Day 2019
  • iKON 4th anniversary : Indian iKONIC
  • Gratitude to Dk. Korungthang
  • Xavier Board Higher Education Conference
  • Confusing announcement: ban on plastics
  • Nongpok Sanjenbam village #1: Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #4: Gallery
  • Ways of seeing Atiyagi Maya
  • National Lok Adalat at Lamphel Court
  • Take Me Home :: Poem
  • Money Lending business in Nagaland
  • Ambeshori : Gold at Jr Women Natl Boxing
  • Crime against nature deserve punishment
  • Khamba Thoibi Museum #1 : Gallery
  • Time- Is it an illusion? Certainly not
  • Can there really be peace without justice
  • Enrollment Program for PMJAY & CMHT
  • Heavy traffic fines, Harekrishna krishna
  • Jenil Khuman : Heroes of India award
  • Cracking the whip on driving by minors
  • ST demand: Is this a consensus decision..
  • Mukna - indigenous game : Gallery
  • An interaction with Dr. O.K. Singh #1
  • Cry of a Dying River - 92 :: Poem
  • Missing person : Dongminlian at Tirupati
  • Google Earth for ground & aerial survey
  • Mary Kom 1st woman athlete for Vibhushan
  • Delivering a point maturely
  • There should be a toll free grievance cell
  • Hiyang Tanaba @Lamlai #1: Gallery
  • Shrinking safe spaces
  • Child sexual abuse (CSA)
  • Demands: Flag for Naga & ST for Meitei
  • Proud of our scientists & ISRO
  • Daanveer Dutta Karna : 2nd best play
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Significance of Sept 11 to TSE
  • Climate Crisis, People, and the State
  • Ibudhou Marongkhong Haraoba #3: Gallery
  • Conundrum for Manipur govt over CAB
  • Violence against medical fraternity
  • Thongkhatabam Ankita : Governor's Award
  • The Enchantress :: Poem
  • Sunyata & Kenosis: Search of Ultimate Truth
  • Lim divide continues to run deep
  • Of nationalism, patriotism & against nature
  • Heikru Hidongba #1 : Gallery
  • Komrem Students Day @B'lore : Gallery
  • Protective Thinking: Village Nationalist #1
  • Haipou Jadonang: A Social reformer #3
  • Ungracious :: Poem
  • IAS Officer: Hero- Whipping boy- Villain
  • Petition CM to revoke breach order in Edn-S
  • Stand against illegal immigrants
  • September and Hijam Irabot
  • Impact of Christianity among Vaiphei #3
  • Kakching WW II Memorial Run : Gallery
  • Framework Agreement: Divide the state
  • Training Program for Remand Advocates
  • Hunt for North East designers & models
  • Kakching World War II Memorial Run: Report
  • Common Admission Test for IIMs
  • No school bags day for young students
  • GoI backtracking on Framework Agreement
  • Trekking to Dzukou #3 : Gallery
  • English as a Lingua Franca for NE
  • A Good Place to Spend the Night : Poem
  • The idea of Manipur
  • Vacancies at Hadron Techs, Imphal
  • 8th Convocation of Assam Don Bosco held
  • Yogurt based DIY packs to try
  • Big Bang Edge Test
  • Bhabananda was right; it was not only him ..
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #3: Gallery
  • Judicial administration under Bhagyachandra
  • Reena Bhavsar(Pebam ningon): Mrs India
  • Sick Education System should be blamed ...
  • Foundation Day of Physics Dept, MU
  • 26th World Congress of Political Science
  • DBC, Maram bags SBSI National award
  • Regulate pay of Pvt school teachers
  • Chingda Satpi Engellei #1 : eRang
  • The Endurers : a growing tribe
  • Swachh in Manipur
  • Khongoinaba & Kanglei Chanura Kanba
  • The ten in between :: Poem
  • Happy for no reason
  • Convocation: Assam Don Bosco University
  • Sounding the alert at the entry points:
  • Victims of greed
  • Folk Dance @Retreat ceremony #2: Gallery
  • Call for Papers : NACETER 2019 at Aizawl
  • Celebrating Teachers' Day 2019
  • Draft Bill on violence against healthcare
  • From the heart - Transcending fears
  • Her Richness :: Poem
  • Licypriya: Peace Prize : Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang: A Social reformer #2
  • Licypriya : World Children Peace Prize
  • Manipur Tourism: Best cultural Award at TTF
  • Hinduism in Manipur # 2
  • Khelen Thokchom Media Fellowship
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Maibi Jagoi : Gallery
  • Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy) #10
  • September Calendar for Year 2019 : Tools
  • Freshers Meet/Musical Night at Bangalore
  • Remembering the past famine...
  • Stalls- Hathei Phanit, Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang: Gallery
  • Chinglensana Kangujam : Arjuna Award
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #1: Gallery
  • Manipur Independence Day : Gallery
  • Kariang nuna sip eh :: Poem
  • Impact of Christianity among Vaiphei #2
  • Introspecting renewed Hydropower push #1
  • Jhulon @ Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Khangkhui Cave, Ukhrul #5 : Gallery
  • N'Jang-Ngi Thangal fest : Gallery
  • Jhulon @ Nabadwip, WB : Gallery
  • Heikat-Leikat [13 Aug] #2 : Gallery
  • Babysana: Student - Aug 10 #2: Gallery
  • Patriots' Day @ Pune : Gallery
  • Folklore of Hao communities #3
  • Aliyah #2 (Film Scenes) :: eRang
  • Babysana's last rites performed: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #3: Gallery
  • Tolloi, Ukhrul :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download