Open In App

Difference Between IAS and PCS Officer

Last Updated : 21 Nov, 2023
Like Article

There are two types of civil service in India; the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Provincial Civil Service (PCS), with the latter being an executive branch service in Uttar Pradesh. The role of an IAS is administrative. Collector, Commissioner, Head of Public Sector Unit, Chief Secretary, Cabinet Secretary, etc., are all examples of positions held by these individuals. Check out that article if you want to know everything there is to know about what an IAS Officer does.

In contrast, the Uttar Pradesh Civil Service (PCS) is the state’s administrative arm of the executive branch. It also serves as the state’s entry point for the Indian Administrative Service.

More such comparison analysis similar to that of IAS and PCS Officers is vital from the perspective of the IAS Exam. In addition to giving applicants an edge when crafting descriptive replies, such tabulated differences help them better grasp the word or issue.

IAS Officer vs PCS Officer – Key Differences

Differences between an IAS and a PCS Officer regarding their primary responsibilities, hiring process, remuneration, etc., are enumerated below.

IAS Officer

PCS Officer

Full Form

Indian Administrative Service is the full form of IAS.

Full From

PCS stands for Provincial Civil Service in its entire form.

Age Limit

Candidates for the IAS must be at least 21 years old and no older than 32 years old as of the exam date.

Age Limit

One must be at least 21 years old to take the PCS Exam. However, State agencies have varying maximum age requirements.

An IAS Officer can be hired in one of three ways:

  • First, by taking the Civil Service Exam
  • IAS officials are promoted from within the State Civil Service.
  • Third, by appointing people outside of the State Civil Service,
  • About two-thirds are hired this way, while the rest fill out the promotion quota.

There are two ways to become a PSC Officer:

  • By participating in the recruitment process for the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission (UPPSC PCS Exam).
  • Promotions to the position of PCS Officer from the Uttar Pradesh Lower Provincial Civil Service
  • Direct examinations account for most Officer hires, with promotions accounting for the rest.

Description of Duties:

  • Upholding the peace and maintaining order
  • Revenue collection and adjudication related to revenue issues
  • To check in on local policy implementation via travel
  • Contribute to multiple tiers of the policymaking and decision-making process.
  • To oversee the government’s day-to-day operations in tandem with the relevant minister

Description of Duties:

  • To gather land revenue and serve as tribunals for revenue and criminal cases.
  • Upholding peace and order and putting Union and State Government policy into practice locally
  • To manage the government’s everyday operations and administration, including the creation and execution of policies

Designations held by IAS Officers:

• SDO/SDM/Joint Collector/ Chief Development Officer (CDO)

• District Magistrate/District Collector/Deputy Commissioner

• Divisional Commissioner

• Member Board of Revenue

• Chairman Board of Revenue

Designations held by PCS Officers:

• Deputy Collector

• Sub-Divisional Magistrate

• Additional City Magistrate

• City Magistrate

• Additional District Magistrate

• Additional divisional commissioner

Salary of IAS:

An IAS officer’s base pay is Rs. 56,100 monthly (TA, DA, and HRA additional), and a cabinet secretary’s pay can reach Rs. 2,50,000.

Regardless of how they are recruited, the IAS Officer is appointed by the President of India.

Salary of PCS:

The entry-level wage for a PCS officer is Rs. 56100-132000 (Pay Level 10), according to the 7th Pay Commission.

Regardless of the recruitment method, the Uttar Pradesh Governor appoints the PCS Officer.


An IAS Officer can be transferred anywhere in the country at the discretion of the elected State or District head.


Since PCS Officers are only hired to administer the business of a single state, any transfers they receive must be within that state.


An IAS Officer’s employment can be terminated only by the country’s President.


State governments have the power to transfer and fire PCS officials.

Examination Authority

The IAS exams are managed by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).

Examination Authority

The State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) is in charge of coordinating and administering PCS examinations.

Exactly who is an IAS Officer?

An IAS Officer, also known as a District Collector, is a highly esteemed government officer granted administrative control of an entire district. They also act as the government’s representatives in foreign discussions, both bilateral and multilateral.

Role of an IAS

Here we discuss about the role of an IAS in brief. For more to know the Role of Civil Services in Democracy

  • The IAS officer assists the government by formulating and enforcing policy with the relevant minister.
  • They carry out directives, request oversight, and travel to operational hubs.
  • If there are any problems with the IAS, they must answer to parliament and the state legislatures.
  • An IAS official can hold important positions such as District official (District Magistrate), Deputy Collector, or Deputy Commissioner.
  • The IAS Officer serves as a sub-divisional magistrate in the State Administration and is responsible for maintaining law and order and doing general administrative and development tasks in their assigned region.
  • An IAS officer’s primary responsibility is to help carry out and develop government policy at the national level.

Appointment of IAS

The President of India technically appoints Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers, but they serve the state government of the cadre to which they are assigned.

Promotion and Posts

To know more about the various posts under UPSC and their salary

  • The Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
  • An IAS officer starts from SDM and can rise as high as the Secretary to the Government of India.
  • An IAS official may have to wait as long as seven years after joining to reach the position of District Collector.

Who is a PCS Officer?

Provincial Civil Service (PCS) officers hold prestigious positions within government and are selected for their candidature by state public service commissions. The PCS exam for a certain state must be passed.

PCS Officers are responsible for various duties at the sub-district, district, division, and state levels, including revenue management and law and order enforcement. A PCS Officer can apply for one of 677 available positions, such as deputy collector, home guard, treasury officer, assistant sugar commissioner, district probation officer, etc.

Role of a PCS Officer

Candidates have to take various tests for different positions. A PCS officer’s primary role is to ensure that the government’s plans and programmes are carried out and that any ongoing issues are addressed.

They work at the block level; that is, they ensure that the policies and plans of the Central and State governments are executed, and it is their job to promote awareness within the populace and facilitate or function as a government facilitator. Through teaching and raising people’s consciousness, they help the masses rise. In a nutshell, they look after the responsibilities and general well-being of the State they have been assigned.

Appointment of PCS:

Since the Governor appoints PCS officers, the state has complete authority over them.

Promotion and Posts

  • PCS, or Provincial Civil Service
  • The standards for state service govern where a PCS officer’s career begins. Compared to the IAS, the promotion process for a PCS is more drawn out.

Various Possibilities of IAS and PCS Officers

On delegation from the federal government, IAS officers work at foreign embassies, consulates, and other diplomatic posts. Officers in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) can be transferred across cadres and sent to other states on deputation if necessary.

  • Deputised PCS officers may be assigned to serve in any of the state’s agencies.
  • There is a disparity in service norms and regulations from state to state, even though both the Indian Administrative Services and the Provincial Civil Services were established to institute efficient administrative governance in the country.
  • The gap between IAS and PCS is enormous. The differences lie in the authority to make decisions, the privileges and resources provided, the duties and responsibilities, and other factors outside this article’s scope.
  • This clarifies the distinction between an IAS and a PCS Officer.
  • Achieving the same success level as their IAS equivalent would take anything from 15 to 17 years.


The functions of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Civil Service (PCS) are similar but distinct in many ways. When carrying out government policy, IAS officials are in charge at the national level, whereas PCS officers are at the state and local levels. The struggle to become an IAS officer is fierce, but the rivalry for a PCS officer position is lower. As a result, PCS officers have brighter employment prospects than their IAS counterparts. If you want to work for the Indian government, you should know the distinction between these two ranks of officials.

Like Article
Suggest improvement
Share your thoughts in the comments

Similar Reads