Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) – 2020
This is a Group A service categorised under UPSC civil services. The controlling department is the Ministry of finance, and officers need to report to the Department of expenditure directly. The Controller General of Accounts heads this wing.
The essential requirement for any wing to function properly is the correct management of its financial resources. The ICAS officers do exactly that. They join hands and co-ordinate with the government of India in bringing about the best possible financial planning and management solutions. They help deliver financial processes with high-level co-ordination of assets and resource calibration plus management.
The ICAS officers report subordinately and work through the civil account’s organization. All the financial management solutions begin and take the stage at this unit, which is later on superseded to the higher up departments. Financial solutions under this service include co-coordinating with various payment services across different government units.
It also comprises collection and recording of tax payments, accounting services in respective government units, financial assessment, budgeting – estimation, allocation, and distribution of resources. They are also entitled to the task of carrying out internal audit operations in civil ministries to ease the load with other audit offices.
The eligibility conditions that hold good for all civil services are true for this service, as well. Candidates have to initially clear the UPSC Civil service exam consisting of prelims, followed by the mains and then the interview process. Selected candidates will be allocated this post according to merit order and ranking.
Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) – Training Offered to Probationary Officers
Unlike other civil services, this particular exam has an extensive 3-stage training process. Every part of the training is compulsory, and candidates are required to complete the training successfully before reporting as officers.
- The first stage of training is conducted at the National Institute of Financial Management, Faridabad. This stage is conducted for a duration of six months. The first phase is also inclusive of a foreign trip, through which students can get better exposure to financial planning and management solutions at offshore work locations.
- The second part of the training is carried out hands-on at the Institute of Government Accounts and Finance (INGAF).
- There are around 87 pay and accounts offices associated with the government in several of India. The third part of the training is concerned with providing relevant practical and on-job exposure at these offices.
The postings offered to various officers of the ICAS service span across government departments. Different grades and officers are posted in different units of government ministries as their requirement and role do not restrict them to function in one limited zonal space. Hence their role stretches equally across various corrigenda.
- Officers may initially be asked to report as assistant controller of accounts across ministries attached to the government of India.
- Upon promotion to senior roles, candidates would be appointed as deputy controller of accounts, to begin with.
- As officers climb the ladder of senior administration roles, they will be posted as Chief controller of accounts.
- A wing apart, in the additional secretaries grade corner, these officers can aspire for the role of additional controller general of accounts.
- In the topmost place of the posting pyramid, an officer will be placed as the controller general of accounts.
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Roles & Responsibilities of an Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) Officer
Financial management is the core operation of ICAS officers. They advise the government on all financial matters, including financial assessment, financial resource allocation, budgeting, cost accounting, etc. Governance and good management of public financial institutions are also part of their greater responsibilities. Thus, they take part in excellent public financial management activities. Some of their other roles are:
- Efficiency and co-ordination between the three pillars of financial management – budgeting, accounting, and seeking payments.
- Developing good financial infrastructure for the country in terms of credibility in financial asset management.
- Offering to the government agencies and the public, a highly specialised and intensive financial information system.
- Improving financial numbers and avoiding pitfalls and crunches by ensuring smooth audit processes. Taking care of corruption-free handling and transparent systems to execute the same.
- Making use of the latest technology, resources, and available tools to the maximum to render good financial management systems.
- Training future personnel for the role of ICAS officers.
- Laying down rules of reinforcement for standardisation in principles of accounting, receipts, and payments, pension, etc.
- Financial scheme monitoring and planning.
Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) – Grades and Pay Scales
- The pay scale of different ICAS officers is grade and rank dependent. Most of these officers hold dual responsibilities, in that they get appointed to the ICAS and IAAS offices.
- The main reason for this dual role and responsibility is their supervision coming from the CAG. CAG, who is the comptroller and auditor general of India, envisions tasks laid down to ICAS officers who can also be assigned under various departments of IAAS holdings.
- There has been a transformation in this aspect of late. IF we review the posts after the 7th pay commission, we can note that ICAS officers are solely given the responsibility of civil accounts, and the additional requirement of serving IA&AS tenures has been laid off.
- This is not just a better advantage for prospective ICAS offices, but a thing to ponder upon, because they will be assigned roles that they have specialised in and will seek promotions higher up the ladder on par with lucrative posts in their departments.
Below we list the pay according to the ranking of the ICAS officers.
|Rank of the ICAS officer||Pay Scale|
|Junior grade||Rs. 15,600-39,100 (Grade Pay can be Rs.5,400)|
|Senior grade||Rs. 15,600-39,100 (Grade Pay can be Rs.6,600)|
|Junior Administrative Grade role||Rs. 15,600-39,100 (Grade Pay can be Rs 7,600)|
|Selection Grade Junior Administrative Grade (NFSG) in a non functional role||Rs. 37,400-67,000 (Grade Pay can be Rs. 8,700)|
|Senior Administrative Grade role||Rs. 37,400-67,000 (Grade Pay can be Rs 10,000)|
|Principal Chief Controller of Accounts officer||Rs.67,000-79,000|
|Additional Controller General of Accounts officer||Rs.75,500-80,000|
Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) – Career Prospects
- The person holding the highest position in the office to the Department of Expenditure is the CGA or Controller General of Accounts.
- A team of ICAS officers further supports the CGA. These ICAS officers functioning at different levels and grades work for the CGA upon his instructions to disburse their duties in lieu of the ministry of finance standing instructions.
- The ICAS officers have a very lucrative career and perform these important tasks to lead the team to support the CAG. Their most important tasks are handling accounting measures and responsibilities n government agencies and departments, hard accounting tasks, accounting operations, and auditing. ICAS officers are commonly found with internal audit tasks in various civil ministries of the government.
- Some of the noteworthy career perks in the journey of an ICAS officer are – Principal chief controller of accounts, chief controller of accounts, and controller of accounts.
- These positions are occupied by the topmost personnel from the ICAS fraternity.
- Junior grade positions include principal accounts officers who hold various positions at pay and accounts offices.
- There are around 87 station posts that are holding the esteemed pay and accounts officers where hundreds of ICAS officers are discharging their revered duties in high esteem.
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