10 Years in IAS – How fulfilling is the administrative service?


In  bid to understand the system better, a small questionnaire was framed and sent across with a request to keep the tone as real as one can.
What came back is an honest truth and grounded admission of his years in service. Nothing less was expected of an officer whose preparation day stories have been an inspiration to all!
Here is Govind Jaiswal for you –

1) How fulfilling have these 10 years been? Any professional achievement – big or small that you would like to share? 

A- The past 10 years went about understanding ‘The system’, its complexities. Dealing with people, their aspirations, I believe, makes this service the most tricky due to the inherent never ending complexities in human wish list, needs. Some genuine, some not so. But the satisfaction that you brought positive change in someone’s life is other worldly. Some times your hard work will get recognition and most of times it won’t. But its OK, no grudges. The main focus should be improvement of other people’s lives.
I have experienced work life in one of the most difficult areas of India, in a district named Zunheboto, Nagaland. Tried bringing change, ease of life for the tribals there. The hardships of these people are unimaginable. Lateron I worked in Vet Department ,Delhi. Highlight was making all applications online, ease of access. Recently transferred from Sport department of Goa to Fisheries department. Worked towards bringing professional attitude in sports management( not very surprised on our medal tally in Rio after the experience there), as the poor performance at the international level can only be turned around by making amends at grassroots level. I could continue there for only 5 months, reason you can guess.

2) I know it has been quite many years and your heart warming story of preparation continues to inspire many. But tell us, how did you get to mature in the service. What were some of the reality calls, difficult instances which you had to tackle.

A- This service is so amazing in nature that you will be matured as you go about. You have to deal with public, the best management practices in the world you will get to learn in IAS. From the very start you have to tackle lakhs of people.

I think conducting elections in nagaland was the most difficult and amazing time of my service as no one could help you there but only your reputation and moral courage.

3) Do you see any change, in the nature of civil servants being selected by upsc compared to your time? Is it for better?

A- I  think every generation has more exposure compared to its previous one as it is required to tackle situation in present technological regime. We have to trust UPSC, their knowledge in the game of selection.

4) How different is the service from what a general aspirant believes it is?

A- Most  aspirants thinks that after entering in service your life will be very easy and you will  get all comforts. But its not like that. There is lot of pressure and complex situations which you can not imagine. Another myth about facilities, in Nagaland I was not having even a single helper to assist me at home. Lived in rented house for more than 4 years.

5) Any work related instances where the stuff you studied during IAS preparation came very handy. How you utilised it?   

A- Study material always help you as in Civil services exam you have to analyse the subject. So in routine File system your analyzing power helps you a lot. This is what I observed so far.

6) Qualities” which you believe separates officers from the rest. Kindly relate some experiences.

A- Qualities are very individual specific, but I think an officer should be very courageous and bold for taking decision. You will face enormous pressure once you take stand for any good cause. So you need to learn standing for issues you believe in.

7) How big a change can a lone IAS officer really bring? How receptive is the system towards individual efforts?

A- Not only changes in system, but its otherwise too, brings lot of changes in your personal life. Now, any system, either government or your own family, you just think of trying to do something new & it will try to resist you as its very comfortable to follow the traditional way. But you have to go ahead for it, as you have been tasked with the responsibility to mould society as per new and changing system.

8) Now that its been 10 years since you joined the service, is it worth the pain, the struggle?

A- Its worth the struggle, if you are ready for the next Bigger struggle. If you are fantasized just by the Red Beacon, please do not join the service.

9) Words of advice for the late starters or for any future could be aspirant?

A-Don’t worry if you are a late starter, or haven’t started yet. Only thing I can say is, If you’re late, run faster than others.

Good Luck.

 [Edited]
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