Man Of Steel: Qualities Of An IAS Officer

IAS Officer Qualities you Must Have – Man of Steel -UPSC every year conducts the civil services examination that screens candidates for selection in the IAS, IPS, IFS and other Central services. Every year lakhs of students appear for this examination and only a few hundred get through all the levels.

IAS is one of the most coveted positions one of the toughest examinations in India. Civil Services Examination requires rigorous preparation and training.

IAS Officer Qualities you Must Have - Man of Steel

The story however doesn’t end at clearing the examination and getting appointed as an IAS officer. This indeed is a big achievement but working as a part of the governmental machinery and working for the society Here are the must have qualities of an IAS officer:

IAS Officer Qualities you Must Have – Man of Steel

  1. Leadership: It’s rightly said “With great power comes great responsibility”.

Leadership is an influential process. The leader can shape, regulate, control and change the attitudes, behaviour and performance of a group of people. There exists a particular relationship between the leader and his group which is characterised by interpersonal and social interaction.When you are appointed as an IAS officer you are expected to act as a government representative at whichever position you are deployed.Being an IAS officer is not just a job, rather a service to bring about a positive change in the society and work towards the betterment of one’s fellow citizens. Being a part of the government, the IAS officer needs to show exceptional leadership skills and guide others towards a unified goal of development and betterment of people of India.

  1. Intelligence: “Intelligence is what you use when you do not know what to do” – Jean Piaget.

A good memory and intelligence are the prerequisites not only for cracking the exam but also for

Performing your duties as an administrator.

  1. Ethics: “In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so.”- Immanuel Kant.

An IAS officer is in charge of looking after their administrative area; this means a lot of responsibilities like law enforcement, developmental programmes, administrative work and funds management. An IAS officer should have exemplary work ethics, be it something as small as reaching office on time or avoiding misuse of government funds for personal gain. Work ethics not only help the officer perform their duties effectively, but also sets an example for future candidates.

Ethics aims at defining terms like right and wrong ,good and bad. Being ethical is not the    same as doing what is acceptable by the society because the standards of behavior in the society can deviate from what is ethical. The administrator should ensure that the highest standards of quality are maintained in the administrative decisions and actions and not compromise on account of convenience or complacency.


  1. Decisiveness:IAS Officer Qualities you Must Have – Man of Steel

Decisiveness is the most important characteristic of effective leadership along with authenticity, humility,strategic acumen and vision. An IAS officer will often find himself in tricky situations which need to be resolved quickly where he might have to take firm decisions. Being a quick thinker and being able to evaluate all alternatives is what is expected out of an IAS officer.

  1. Selflessness:IAS Officer Qualities you Must Have – Man of Steel

An IAS officer should always keep in mind the interest of the country. Personal gains should never be placed above the national interest. IAS officers are entrusted with the idea of building India for tomorrow and it becomes their national as well moral duty to take care of their fellow citizens.

  1. Determination:IAS Officer Qualities you Must Have – Man of Steel

“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.”- Tommy Lasorda. An administrator is expected to have resilience and stand for what is right for the society even if it is hard to achieve.

  1. Honesty:IAS Officer Qualities you Must Have – Man of Steel

Being responsible for administration, finance and law-order of a jurisdictional area, gives an IAS officer immense power to curb the problem of corruption which has been a long standing problem in our country. Only a person with a high sense of personal integrity and honesty can lead the change against problems like corruption and put an end to the menace.

  1. Integrity:

“To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” – Douglas Adams. Civil servants must follow certain rules and regulations to produce the best outcome. That is the reason why UPSC has come up with an added topic in the syllabus “Ethics, integrity and aptitude”

An IAS officer should always hold himself morally responsible for his actions and should be   willing to be held accountable.

  1. Compassion:IAS Officer Qualities you Must Have – Man of Steel

An IAS officer dedicates most of his life for the betterment of the society. He must have societal values and deep empathy for people’s hardships. He must work relentlessly to make their life easier. . For IAS officers work is considered not as a burden but an opportunity to serve and constructively contribute to the society.Public is not to be underestimated as fools.

  1. Generosity:IAS Officer Qualities you Must Have – Man of Steel

“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” – Calvin Coolidge.

The administrator is expected to give to the society more than he takes. A lot of great IAS officers are still remembered by their people for the great service and an open heart.

An IAS officer according to former UPSC Chairman Surendra  Nath, should be

  • “Firstly, an officer must be a gentleman.
  • He should possess good character qualities.
  • He should have the courage of conviction, intellectual and moral capabilities, leadership qualities and capable of taking the right decisions at the right time.
  • He should have in-depth professional knowledge, self-confidence, good communication skills, analytical in his thinking, flexible and not rigid, must be able to inspire and motivate his colleagues and his subordinates.
  • There should be a balance of judgement in decision making.”
  • This clearly sums up all the qualities that are expected in a civil servant.

I would also like to point out that the life of an IAS officer is not easy as the society can be brutally idealistic at times expecting a smooth sail when the government official might be braving the storm. It demands a perfect world. Being an IAS officer requires the ability to think outside the box, to be brave and steadfast in the face of adversity, to be the ‘Man of Steel’.

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