Need for IAS to reinvent itself

The role of IAS becomes significant not only because it occupies the centre of the administration, but also because IAS is at centre of the callousness, venality and corruption that define our governance as well.

IAS must regain its moral stature. There must be introspection on where and how the service lost its ethical moorings and what should be done to reverse the degradation.

The service has to focus on reinventing both its character and its personality.

Need for IAS to reinvent

Chanaging the character

  • It will happen only by each and every IAS officer internalising the ethos of the honour code and conforming to it no matter the provocation or the temptation to infringe it.
  • It means championing change, pursuing public good with passion and professionalism, acting without fear or favour, accepting challenges, no matter how daunting, and letting actions and results speak for themselves.
  • It means reviving the old esprit de corps where officers stand up for each other in order to uphold public good. It means shunning ostentation, luxury and frills.

Changing the personality

  • On the personality front, the IAS must adopt and adhere to a code of conduct of work ethics and behaviour. This means diligence and application, punctuality, disciplined work habits, willingness to learn, accepting responsibility for mistakes with humility, going to meetings well prepared, communicating clearly and effectively and being courteous and humble.
  • It also means being properly attired and well groomed.

Changing administrative norms

  • They should delegate the authority to the subordinate officials and to the local levels as they cannot have the sufficient knowledge of intricacies of development.
  • Values like empathy, courage, emotional intelligence should be imbibed.


Once the IAS begins on this mission of reinventing itself, its effects will ripple through the system, galvanising change across the administrative hierarchy. It will soon find that it is well on its way to bringing out a transformation from “chalta hai” to “badal sakta hai” in the larger society.

Question for Answer Writing

Q: Why do you think there is a need for IAS to reinvent itself? What kind of attitudinal changes should IAS incorporate? Justify.

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