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Home » Work

The Work


With the exception of the IPS all officers of the various civil services man exactly the same posts, and thus do the same type of work pertaining to their particular service. Moreover, Government of India stipulations as applicable to grades, levels of seniority and titles, are common to all services.

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Nature of Work

In all the branches of the civil services, much of the work is administrative in nature. It therefore involves a great deal of interaction with people at all levels. Officers must be able to get things done in accordance with the rules and regulations laid down by the Government. Many of these rules are framed in whole or part by officers of the service themselves. 

Responsible decision-making is another important aspect of this work, as a great many lives are usually affected by an officer's action. Most civil servants are also required to travel extensively, both during inspection tours of the areas under their jurisdiction in the country, or as in the IFS, the world. In general, the earlier years of an officer's career are spent in the districts and small towns. In the more senior grades, where the area of responsibility is wider, postings are usually to bigger cities, state capitals or at the Center. 

The All India Services-IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service-follow a cadre system. By this system, officers during their probationary period are allotted states or cadres, to which they remain affiliated throughout their careers. There are in all, twenty-one state cadres. Officers may sometimes on request be assigned to their home states, but this is not common practice.

Major Tasks Performed

All civil servants, at some stage in their careers, are required to perform certain administrative functions within the purview of their departments. These include:


Which is carried out by the highest echelons of the service. It involves making decisions-after having reviewed all possible alternatives and their consequences-on the course of action to be taken, as also the allocation of resources, towards the achievement of specified, time-bound national targets.


Means setting plans down on paper, in a manner in which they can be implemented and interpreting, clarifying and modifying them when necessary.


Of these policies and ensuring that rules and regulations are followed.


Of the allotment and utilization of funds by field staff to make certain that they are used for the purpose they are intended. Also, monitoring the progress of projects ranging from public works, to corporations and development schemes.


By visiting the scene of action and reporting and making recommendations.


That is accurate, at short notice, particularly in response to questions in Parliament.


As a nominee on the board of a public corporation or institution; at national or international fora; or in the case of the IFS, as a member of the diplomatic corps.

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