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Fill your cadre options wisely

P.S: This post is specifically directed to all those who are preparing for the civil services examination. And ALL the observations are PERSONAL.

Hi all,

Hope each of you is preparation well with full capacity. All the very best for the upcoming Prelims and Interview.

We are currently (the 2012 batch IAS) going through Bharat Darshan, the two month trip across various states of the country, as a part of our Phase-I IAS training. Since we are closely looking at the various district administration(s) and their setup, I was able to gather some perceptions about the type of bureaucracy that is in place in these states, from the point of view of choosing them for cadres.

It is sad that we have to fill our cadre choices well ahead during the submission of application when we don’t have any idea what they are all about, and when we (after being in training) start getting some idea about the cadres and how people ‘work’, its already late. Irony at its best.


But, what I realized and what’s important is that, we need to have as much information as possible about the working environment of the cadres before filling up our choices, as we have to work for the rest of the 30-40 years in that place. I had only considered the interview and how to support my choices of cadre , while I filled them up, how narrow my view was ! It must have been the same case with many of you reading this, and hence I would like to try and give little more information, only just a little about them, so that you can at least make an informed decision. I cannot comment on all the states either, as I have not seen them myself. This won’t be, at any level, sufficient, and one needs to really try and get more and more information before filling up the cadres. Please talk to your seniors , especially those on field, without any hesistation. My intention of writing this blog is to make you aware that there will be more things at work on the field and you have to consider all of these complex issues before choosing your optional.

If you want some action on the field, real good work to be done, I see Chattisgarh, Orissa, HP and Uttarakhand as very attractive. The political interference is comparatively less and all these states are very much dependent on administrative setup (with all their problems like insurgency etc). Don’t think they are not so good options to take, in fact, I am currently in Chattisgarh (Raipur) and am totally impressed with the system in place here. This state is one of those awesome places to work ! One another good point is that, one can become a DM within 3-5 years of your service, these states pull more people in the DM’ship faster.

UP is one state, many of you must have already known, where literally, the mai-baap stuff exists. So, those of you looking for some real power and prowess, this is the cadre. The DM is almost treated as King, even when we as Trainees came here, we were given more than just a royal treatment. But I hope such power mongerers are less, we need devoted people in this state, it needs huge amount of work to be done.

Andhra and Karnataka are talked about as the safe options, and very good to work. But it is a fact that it takes around 10 years (approximately) to become DM after joining the services! A long time indeed. So this needs to be considered.

The list goes on like this but I hope you go the point. Please do take care of getting the right kind of information, suiting your requirements.


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12 thoughts on “Fill your cadre options wisely

  1. Sir,
    Thanks for the wonderful article. It would be of great help if officers of your batch throw some light on the cadres in which they are posted for the benefit of the aspirants like you people did in penning down “Reading between lines…”.

    Many aspirants including me are unaware of the ground situations(and there is also no chance for us to know,unless you mentors help us!!). As you rightly said filling the options wisely needs input from you mentors.

    Hope we will get another awesome document like” Reading between the lines” regarding various cadres and their pros and cons.

    thank you

  2. Thank You Sir!!! For taking time out of your busy schedule and replying!!! And about the expenses,it was a silly confusion on my part so please ignore it. Wish u luck!!!!!

  3. Greetings!!!!
    Sir, I have also done my own research on cadres. I have found that one becomes DM in UP faster. 2009 batch officers have become DMs. What is your opinion in this regard???? Also please clarify whether the expenses made by probationer in State ATI are reimbursed later when joining the districts or they are to be incurred by probationers from their own pocket????
    Please Reply
    Thank You,

  4. Administrative culture.
    Work environment in general within the state.
    Space for personal n non-professional issues ..

  5. Sir, Other than (1) lack of political instability, and (2) pace of promotions, what kind of factors did you consider while deciding your cadre options in your DAF?

  6. Hello Mr.Nikhil,
    Great post and just the thing I was searching for. Congrats on joinin my home state! Sure U will do great with your level of commitment.:)
    Just wanted to ask you about what were your 1st five choices for states- Odisha mst have been your second or third or which number choice?! Is there scope of any negotiation or are we simply handed over the cadre & der is no chance to talk abt it?
    Waiting eagerly for your response. Thanks a lot!


  7. Yes, the time for becoming a DM does vary from cadre to cadre. I guess it is somewhere around 5-7 yrs, as you mentioned for Assam- Meghalaya cadre. I will try and get some inputs for other cadres, hopefully soon.

  8. Hi Nikhil,

    Thanks for the informative post.

    It would be great if you could share a senior’s experience (or your own observations) in AGMUT, or/and Assam-Meghalaya cadre. I am particularly interested in the career progression for AGMUT and in the working environment for Assam-Meghalaya cadres (Based on the data I have, it takes 5-7 years on an average to be DM in Assam-Meghalaya).

    Best wishes for your future endeavors (pun intended!) in Orissa as an IAS officer.


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