Monday, June 12, 2017

Ex-IAS V Ramani’s 10 Survival Tactics for IAS: Be humble, maintain paper trails and don’t sit in the office beyond 6 pm…

A WRITE-UP by former Maharashtra cadre IAS V Ramani on 10 survival tactics for IAS officers was the talking point in the corridors late last week. Ramani who quit IAS in 2010 to work in a UNICEF-supported nutrition programme in Maharashtra, elaborated how IAS officers need to downplay their achievements, be humble, insist on paper trails and due processes, remain out of a rat race in career, be always in good company, and yes, not to sit…
in the office beyond 6 pm! He aptly calls his post “The Ten Commandments – A Survival Kit for the IAS Officer”. Ramani then explained each survival tactic in details, also bringing some amount of humour to each serious advice.
For example, while insisting that IAS officers need to be seen only with good company, he writes: “Your subordinates draw conclusions from your apparent proximity to the high and mighty as does the public…In a district, do not be seen at card tables in the evening or develop a fondness for the bottle that cheers. News travels fast and you find that the value of your currency with the public has diminished rather rapidly”. He has then asked IAS officers not to advertise their superiority, and also not to add the “three magic initials to your nameplate and your letterhead”.
The former IAS officer further insists that the officers must develop technical and other expertise, giving his own example of getting bitten by technology early in his professional career. “Your education does not need to end on the day you join service. It is noteworthy that many officers acquire additional qualifications while in service. A law degree or a diploma in finance enables you to branch out into areas you never dreamt of while in service”, he adds. Then he insists that the IAS officers must aspire to develop other interests such as music, horticulture, vintage car repair and redesign, spirituality, astrology or any one of a million pursuits that “add richness to your post-IAS life”.
He also writes that staying in office beyond 6 PM is more damaging to one’s personal life than any other vice. “If your political or bureaucratic boss is determined to sit in office till 10 PM, you do not need to keep them company, especially in this electronically advanced age. Just sweetly tell them you are going home and they can call you on mobile or email you any document with a critical time-frame”, Ramani writes. 
Ramani is 60 years old and is a Tamil from Delhi. He did his post-graduation in economics before getting into IAS in 1980. His batch mates include NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, finance secretary Ashok Lavasa, just-retired DEA secretary Shaktikanta Das, just to name a few.
In his career as IAS, Ramani had served as the district magistrate in Parbhani district and divisional commissioner in Aurangabad. In mid-1990s, he also served in the union petroleum and natural gas ministry as a director.
To read his full article on IAS’ survival kit, log into vramani dot wordpress dot com


  1. True advice, Sir

    When bureaucrats are always being categorized into FIT,HIT and SHIT categories, this is the best piece of advice from an experienced IAS officer.

    Thank You, Sir.

  2. An apt advice,but how many will heed?