Difference Between PCS and IAS Officer

After completing their education, students are confused about what to do. Some try to find a suitable job in the private sector whereas others go for higher studies. A few students even take the risk to give a break to their education and devote their complete energy and devotion to the preparation of civil services through UPSC or State PCSs.

Every year, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and the State Public Service Commissions (PCS) of Indian states receive lakhs of applications from government job aspirants. With each year, the number of applicants is rising. Here in this article, we are going to discuss the major differences between the officers selected for IAS and PCS services.

Difference Between PCS and IAS Officer

  • On the Basis of Selection Process

IAS: It is popularly known as the Indian Administrative Services. Candidates are selected on the basis of their performance in the examination which is organized by the Union Public Service Commission. It is the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), established by the central government, which handles all the complaints or disputes related to recruitment and other service related matters of public servants.

PCS: It is popularly known as Provincial Civil Services. Candidates are selected on the basis of examination which is conducted by the State Public Service Commission (SPSC). The State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) is appointed up by the central government on specific requests of concerned state governments. The SAT has the jurisdiction to deal with all the complaints or disputes related to recruitment and all other service related matters of state government employees.

  • On the Basis of Exam Pattern and Syllabus

IAS: It is conducted in three stages i.e. Preliminary, Mains and Interview. The questions asked in the exams are based upon concepts and facts. Questions are asked from compulsory qualifying aptitude test (CSAT) and reasoning. The exam also consists of a regional-based language test.

PCS: It is also conducted in three stages i.e. Preliminary, Mains and Interview. The questions asked are conceptual and factual. The question can be asked from the CSAT. Few states even conduct regional language test to select the suitable candidates.

  • On the Basis of Appointment

IAS: The President of India appoints an IAS officer but they work under the supervision of the respective state governments.

PCS: The State Governor appoints a PCS Officer and they also work under the supervision of the respective state governments.

  • On the Basis of Termination

IAS: The Centre Government (especially the President) have the rights to terminate an IAS officer.

PCS: The State Government and Governor have the complete rights to transfer, suspend and terminate PCS Officers.

  • On the Basis of Salary and Pay Scale

IAS: Their pay package, compensation, other benefits are met by the Central Government. They have a uniform pay scale throughout the country for the post. The Department of Personnel and Training under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions is the main body in India. IAS is considered a higher level government post. Therefore, the posts are generally high paying. The basic monthly package of an IAS officer starts at Rs. 56,100 (exclusive of TA, DA, and HRA) and can go up to Rs. 2,50,000 for the post of Cabinet Secretary.

PCS: Their compensations and benefits are completely in the hands of the state government. Their compensation scale may fluctuate as per the state they are employed for. The Department of Personnel or General Administration Department is the state department that handles the classification of services, pay, cadre management, and training of the state civil servants. As per the 7th Pay Commission, Rs. 56,100-1,32,000 (Pay Level 10) is an entry-level salary for a PCS officer.

A. IAS Salary after 7th Pay Commission

7th Pay Commission
Grade Pay Scale Grade Pay Years of Service Required Post
Junior Scale 50,000 – 1,50,000 16,500 1-4 years Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), SDO, or Sub-Collector (after 2 years probation)
Senior Time Scale 50,000 – 1,50,001 20,000 5-8 years District Magistrate (DM) or Collector or a Joint Secretary of a Government Ministry
Junior Administrative Grade 50,000 – 1,50,002 23,000 9-12 years Special Secretary or the Head of Various Government Departments
Selection Grade 1,00,000 – 2,00,000 26,000 12 to 15 years Secretary to a Ministry
Super Time Scale 1,00,000 – 2,00,000 30,000 17 to 20 years Principal Secretary of a Very Important Department of the Government
Above Super Time Scale 1,00,000 – 2,00,000 30,000 varies varies
Apex Scale 2,25,000 (Fixed) NA varies Chief Secretary of States, Union Secretaries in charge of various ministries of Government of India
Cabinet Secretary Grade 2,50,000 (Fixed) NA varies Cabinet Secretary of India

B. PCS Salary

The Salary of PCS Officers varies from state to state and is not close to the salary of an IAS Officer. For example, the RAS Officer has the accompanying Salary Structure.

Pay Band:        PB-3 (15600-39100)
Grade Pay:       5400
Basic Salary:    15600

  • On the Basis of Promotion and Post

IAS:  An IAS officer may begin his vocation from SDM [Independent office] and can reach up to the Secretary to the Government of India. In the wake of joining the administration, it might take around 5-7 years for an IAS officer to end up a District Collector. They have a well-known tenure system and all promotions are dealt with timely.

PCS:  A PCS officer begins his profession depending upon the state service rules. A PCS officer’s advancement procedure is slower than the IAS officers they work with. A State PCS Officer could take as much as 15-17 years to achieve the post as high as the IAS and he may likewise resign before that. Albeit, the All-India Services Act of 1951 indicates that senior posts not surpassing thirty-three and 33% in the IAS, IPS, and IFoS administrations are required to be filled in by promotions of officers utilized in the state administrations.

  • On the Basis of other Aspects

IAS: IAS officers serve the central government on deputation in various offices abroad as per direction. IAS officers are eligible for inter-cadre transfers and can be appointed on deputation in different states as and when the need arises.

PCS: PCS officers are appointed on deputation in various departments but they remain within the state.

Albeit both the Indian Administrative Services and the Provincial Civil Services were made under a common agenda of standardizing smooth authoritative administration in the country but a difference in service rules and regulations exists state-wise.

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