How a PCS Officer becomes An IAS Officer?

PCS Officer: Despite the sturdy opportunities in the private sector, the demand for administrative services is rising day by day. The increased number of applications received for the IAS and PCS posts is evidence of this.

IAS being a more prestigious post, it is quite obvious that most of the PCS officers look forward to getting promoted to the IAS rank. However, promotion from PCS to IAS  is quite a lengthy process.

For IAS, the exam leads in three phases. The candidates have to clear Preliminary, Mains, and Interview. The UPSC exam also comprises of a compulsory qualifying aptitude test that helps in evaluating the reasoning skills of the applicant. PCS exam is somewhat similar to UPSC. The exam is conducted in three rounds but they emphasize more factual than conceptual abilities. They may or may not have to appear for CSAT exam.

Can the PCS officer become an IAS officer?

PCS Officer becomes An IAS Officer?

IAS officers are delegated by the President of India but they work underneath the State Government. The state government has all the right to suspend and Transfer them whereas the Union Government especially The President Of India has the right to terminate them.

IAS officers are subjected to get uniform salaries all over the country irrespective of state whereas PCS officers get paid according to the State Government. An IAS officer can get transfer wherever across the country but a PCS officer gets transferred in the same state but in different departments. The difference between IAS and PCS is in the decisional powers, responsibility, and facilities enjoyed.

The PCS officers had to go through various promotions to get promoted as an IAS officer. If you are under UPPCS, then the starting post will be of SDM that is level-10, and it will take five promotions to be an IAS officer. They have to get promoted to level 11, level 12, level 13, level 13A and level 14. The promotion process is quite slow and it takes 15-20 years to get promoted as an IAS officer. Those who do not get promoted as IAS officer after getting promoted to level 14 are given pay level 15 and are known as ‘Superseded’.

Every state has its own procedure of promotion. The officers under certain state governments take a longer time to get promoted in comparison to other states. In some states like Tamilnadu, it takes a shorter time to get promoted whereas in states like Bihar it can take up to 20 years to reach Level 14. In Bihar, if a PCS officer gets promoted to the rank of Joint Secretary, then he is eligible to get promoted as an IAS officer. Due to a lack of recommendation, if he is not promoted to IAS rank then he will get a post correspondent to DM. Nonetheless, the post of DM is subjected to an IAS officer.

The Procedure of Promotion as an IAS Officer

The State Government with the discussion of the central government provides a list of PCS officers to get promotions as IAS officers. The list should not exceed the vacancies as on the first day of January of the year the meeting is held.  In accordance with Rule 9 of the recruitment rules, there are only specified and limited positions for recruitment.

There will be no committee meeting held if there is no categorical vacancy on the first day of January for the officers of state in accordance with Rule 9 of the Recruitment Rules.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • There are certain criteria to appoint a PCS for IAS promotion. The committee looks after these criteria before proposing an officer’s name.
  • The administrator should not have any charge sheet filed against him during the time of service
  • The committee should not refer to any officer of the state government, whose age is above 54 on the first day of January the meeting is held.
  • If an officer has expressed his unwillingness for the appointment earlier will not be included in the new list.
  • The committee will thoroughly go through the service record of the officers before listing them.

Selection Process:

The members of the selection committee categorize the officers as Outstanding, Very good, Good, and Unfit. They assess the officer’s off and on record documents. The committee members thoroughly check their service records for their success and failure. The list is prepared including the obligatory number of names first from the officers categorized as outstanding and then from the categories of Very good and Good. The names of the senior officers will always be proposed first in the list.

If an officer whose name is proposed in the list has any departmental and criminal proceedings pending against him, he will be treated as provisional. Further, it is stated that if an officer’s name was marked provisional should be a part of inclusion in the next year list only if the officer is found fit for the service.

After providing the list, the state government has to forward it to the Commission referring Regulation 5. With the list, the State Government has to send the record of the officers mentioned in the list of IAS officers and superseded officers. The state government has to send a copy of the list and documents to the central government and the central government needs to send their feedback on the list prepared.

The appointment of the officers who are willing to join the services is carried out by the central government. The central government has all the rights to not appoint any names included in the list in the concern of public welfare.


Both the Indian Administrative Service and Provincial Civil Services were established for smooth and hassle-free governance. Both the services help in initializing a safe and better society for the civilians. Although the power and duty of an IAS officer and PCS officer differ, they always work for public welfare and acquire a very respected place in society.