The (IAS) is one of the three all India Services of the Government of India; other two All India Services being the Indian Police Service (IPS) and the Indian Forest Service (IFS).

Position of responsibilities

The IAS is the key administrative service of the Central Government as well as in the States. During the British period this bureaucratic structure was known as 'Steel frame' of India for its role in influencing and implementing government policies and decisions. Those dealing with the State consistently hold the view that the power and influence of the IAS in the Indian polity has been truly immense. IAS officers hold all key strategic posts across the country. The career path of IAS officers is well defined and about 60 to 90 (as of 2006 and 2007) officers are inducted every year from about 300,000 applicants.


The induction training schedule lasts for two years and is well known for its stringency and academic rigour.


The precursor of the Indian Administrative Service was the Indian Civil Service (ICS) of the British Raj. ICS officers, known as 'Collectors', were generally held in high regard because of their reputation for being incorruptible and good administrators. There have been critics as well. For example, M. V. Kamath said that the ICS was neither Indian, nor civil etc.

After independence

Upon independence, the new Republic of India accepted the then serving Indian Civil Service officers who chose to stay on rather than leave for England, and renamed the service the Indian Administrative Service.

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