Thursday, 16 June 2016

The making of a good IAS officer

The society takes it for granted that the world around has to run smoothly devoid of any hardships. It takes it upon itself to condemn and put to sword any mistake of the government officials. It takes it upon itself to demand a perfect world. But does it ever pause and retrospect on how hard it must be to run a whole district let alone a state. The Administrative officers appointed by the UPSC are selfless servants of the society who want nothing but fulfill to the best of their abilities all that is expected of them.

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."

PM Narendra Modi addressing IAS Probationers

This clearly sums up all the qualities that are expected of a civil servant. He should have a healthy nationalistic fervour. He should be secular and unbiased. He should be able to rescue the nation from the draconian snares of the diabolical devil that is corruption.

An IAS officer should have good leadership qualities. He should be able to lead the team he is assigned to reach the unreachable. He should be a true visionary and instill confidence in his men. An important quality to be possessed is the ability to assess problems in the most effective way possible. He should be diplomatic. But what a civil servant needs the most is, to be honest. Only a non-corrupt officer can come up with policies that will do the nation good in the long run. We may have seen the untimely demise of many honest officers but that shouldn’t act as a deterrent, to being honest.

An IAS officer should be perseverant and determined. A quote by Walt Disney comes to my mind; "When you wish upon a star, it makes no difference who you are, anything your heart desires will come to you". An IAS officer has the power to make things happen and definitely where there is a will there is a way. He should be friendly and have a good rapport among all the management levels. He should adhere to work ethics. This may include being on time to performing his duty honestly. An IAS officer should always strive to set a benchmark for his juniors to emulate through his exemplary conduct and true regard for the laws. It may be the very epitome of their careers that they may face a tough decision. But even in this scenario, they must have the audacity to put work above personal life.

By no means is the life of a civil servant easy. It requires the ability to think outside the box, to be brave and steadfast in the face of adversity, to be the ‘Man of Steel’. Moreover, he should have good communication and listening skills. Only when you can clearly put forth your idea can you hope to sway a gathering into your favour. An IAS officer will have to resolve political conflicts and come up with the decision to grant leave to the working class and all the tough decisions. A never say never attitude and positive approach, will always do good in the long run. Salute all those out there sweating it out for us because they deserve our respect and love because whether the weather be cold or whether the weather be hot, these individuals are doing all they can do, whether they like it or not.

Written by Joseph Thachil
Valar morghulis! Valar Dohaeris!

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