If being an IAS officer is an aspirants dream then IAS training is expressed as living the first incident in the dream coming true. IAS training is often described as exhilarating, exciting and fulfilling. During IAS training, officers have a deep sense of accomplishment and self-actualisation.
Reading about the details of training that the IAS officers go through can indeed energise the student's preparation. So, here we provide you with an insight into the life after becoming an IAS officer.
The first thing you hear after qualifying the IAS exam is about the enriching life during training in Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA). Let’s get to know the details on the training in LBSNAA.
Phase 1 of IAS Training
In the first phase, rigorous training to the officer trainee of the Indian administrative services is imparted in a wide range of subjects to enable them to handle varied assignments that they would typically hold in the first decade of their service. It consists of district training, but before that, it consists of two basic modules as follows:
1. The winter study tour:
- The officer trainees travel across the country to experience its rich cultural diversity.
- A weeklong attachment with the Bureau of Parliamentary Studies, which exposes them to the functioning of the Parliamentary system in India.
- The Officer Trainees (OTs) also call on important dignitaries such as the President of India, the Vice-President of India, the Prime Minister of India and others during this attachment.
2. The academic module: It is a theme- based module and covers various subjects such as:
- IAS in perspective/Role of the IAS in policy making national security/ law and order, agriculture /land management and administration, rural development /decentralization and panchayati raj urban management/infrastructure and public-private partnership e-governance/office management/administration.
- Skills such as soft skills (leadership, organizational behaviour and interpersonal skills), projects management, engineering skills and ICIT financial management and project appraisal social sector/weaker section & minorities are specially taken care of.
3. District Training
- IAS trainees go through one year of district training which is like a drill to enable them to see, study and live the paradox that is the quintessential India- with its unfathomable diversity, myriad challenges and opportunities.
- District training also gives a wide range of opportunity to study the administrative set-up, interact with people, their representatives and officials in order to understand the paradigm of development as well as the effectiveness of strategies.
Phase 2 of IAS Training
- In the second phase, the officer trainees are provided with a platform to share individual learning experiences gained in the field and enables them to articulate the strengths and weaknesses of our administration and governance.
- This phase emphasises in the interactive learning method and it is supplemented with special sessions with distinguished experts from within and outside the Government.
- The penultimate phase of training serves as a vibrant learning ground before the Officer Trainees (OTs) launch their career in public service.
A typical day for an Officer Trainee at the LBANAA Academy
A typical day of an IAS officer trainee (OT) at the academy starts at 6 am with morning exercise drill for 60 minutes and then the riding schedule operates simultaneously. The IAS officer trainee classroom sessions which consist of 5 to 6 academic sessions of 55 minutes each on all working days commence at 9 am.
Evening hours are mostly dedicated to the sports, riding and cultural activities which are mostly less about learning and more of a having leisure time. The rest of the evening and night time is spent in interacting with the fellow trainees and preparing for the next day academic sessions.
The Academy places a strong emphasis on outdoor events as part of its dynamic training curriculum. All weekends and notified holidays are usually reserved for extra-curricular activities such as community services, adventure sports, rock climbing, paragliding, river rafting, short treks, etc. The importance of physical and mental fitness in leading a life of health, vitality and peace needs no reiteration. It is all the more critical for those who have a hectic and often tension-filled career.
IAS officers under training are strongly encouraged to lead a rich, varied and vibrant campus life extending much beyond the confines of lecture halls. Some examples of such experiences are as follows:
- Trainees are sent on treks to the greater Himalayas where they learn to cope with conditions of adversity, bad weather, insufficient accommodation and limited access to food items.
- Visit and stay in backward villages to understand and appreciate the realities of rural life is integral to induction level programmes.
- Officer Trainees (OTs) are encouraged to take up extra-curricular modules and cultivate in-depth interest and proficiency in any hobby of choice.
- To achieve this, they are encouraged to participate in the activities of various clubs and societies in order to express their creative potential.
Recent Trends in IAS Training
The Kiran Aggarwal Committee constituted by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has recommended that the total training period for IAS officers be brought down from two years to one-and-a-half years. The step was suggested in view of the strong feedback received from recent batches of IAS officers about the relative sub-optimal effectiveness of attachments in the district and the relatively higher utility of independent charges for on-the-job learning.
If we assume the rising median age of IAS officer trainees (around 28 years), the training duration reduction seems a little valid as many enter service with significant work experience and less potential years of service. Moreover, the scope of training has widened over the years as a structured mid-career training programme and short-term refresher courses can be availed by the offers after four years of service. And lastly, the reduction in training or probation period would be welcomed by state governments given the general shortage of junior-level IAS officers.