How to Become a District Magistrate in India | Eligibility Criteria, Skillset, Career Path and Salary

How to Become a District Magistrate in India: If You are aiming for a government job, then it is better to aim for the best. In India, a district magistrate is someone who controls a whole district. You can lead the way and will be able to develop an entire district. Just imagine yourself as a district magistrate; doesn’t that feel great? It has to be. Approximately in India, there are a total of 700 district magistrates. You can be one of them. As a district magistrate, you will also get several facilities such as personal bodyguards, a government vehicle to go from one place to another, and many others. All you need is to follow the right path and have a few specific characteristics to become a district magistrate in India. In this article, we will discuss almost everything that you need to know to become a district magistrate in India. So, read on to explore every minute detail about the career of a district magistrate.

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What is the Job of a District Magistrate?

Many aspirants are still not aware of the job profile of a district magistrate in India. Well, not to worry, we are here to answer all your queries. DM is the abbreviated form of the district magistrate. The first thing that you need to know is every single district magistrate is an IAS officer. As the name suggests, a district magistrate will be in charge of the general administration of a particular district of India. A DM is also known as the district collector. Several lower-ranked officers will also help a DM to conduct everything smoothly in a state. These officials are SDOs, BDOs, and others. In short, it can be said that the job of a DM is to maintain law and order in the district which they are controlling. Now let’s discuss other responsibilities of a district magistrate in India.

  • They will work as a supervisor of the police department of that district.
  • The DM also needs to play the role of an arbitrator to settle disputes.
  • A district magistrate will be given the authority to collect the land revenue under their jurisdiction.
  • District magistrate’s permission is required in case of land acquisition.
  • A DM will also maintain tax revenue.
  • Public safety is the responsibility of a DM, and in a criminal case, they can make a decision.
  • They need to report directly to the Government of India.
  • The district magistrate will decide the budget for the development of a district.
  • Leave of government officials who work under the district magistrate will be granted by the DM.

Career Paths That You Can Choose to Become a District Magistrate in India

The question that might be coming to your mind might be how to become a DM in India? Well, the answer is simple. You need to clear the entrance examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). In the said examination, you need to secure a rank within the top 100. This will ensure your post in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). As previously mentioned, you need to be an IAS officer to become a district magistrate. After 8 to 10 years, you can become a district magistrate (DM) when you get one or two promotions. This is the only way by which you can become a district magistrate in India.

The UPSC examination is conducted into three phases, and they are –

  1. Preliminary Phase
  2. UPSC Mains
  3. Personal Interview

Preliminary Stage: In the preliminary stage, a candidate needs to answer multiple-choice objective questions. The questions will be based on General Studies. The question paper will be further divided into two parts, and both these parts will hold 200 marks each. Time duration is 2 hours for each of the papers. Other than that, the UPSC main examination is also divided into several subcategories.

UPSC Mains: If a candidate manages to qualify for the Prelims examination, then they will be considered eligible for the UPSC mains examination. Here a candidate needs to write an essay on a topic. Two hundred fifty marks are allotted for this essay. The candidate also needs to choose an optional subject.

Personal Interview: Finally, when a candidate manages to clear both prelims and mains, then they need to go through a personal interview. In some cases, instead of a personal interview, a group discussion is conducted by the governing body. Several skills of the interviewee are checked in this round.

Eligibility Criteria That a District Magistrate Needs to Match

To become a district magistrate, you need to match a few requirements. The most important eligibility criteria include nationality, educational qualification, age of the candidate, and a few others. In the following section, we are going to discuss them all in detail.

  • Nationality: The candidate needs to be a permanent citizen of India.
  • Educational Qualification: To sit in the UPSC examination, a candidate needs to complete a bachelor’s degree in any field of their choosing from a recognized university in India or abroad. Candidates who have completed the bachelor’s degree from distance education can also appear in the UPSC examination. Even a final year graduation student can also apply for the examination. Other than that, aspirants with a technical or professional degree can fill up the UPSC examination form. Educational criteria of the UPSC examination also says that candidates who have passed any of the CWA, ICAI, or ICSI examination are also eligible.
  • Age Limit: A person can become a district magistrate at the minimum age of 21. The age limit for a general category student is 21 to 32 years. No age relaxation is available for the candidates of this category. A candidate who belongs to either SC or ST category can give the examination up to 35, and the minimum age limit is also 21. Five years of relaxation is given to candidates who belong to this category. Candidates from Other Backward Castes (OBC) have an age limit of 21 to 37. They have a relaxation of 3 years. A general candidate can appear in the examination 6 times. SC and ST candidates get unlimited chances to clear the entrance examination. Finally, an OBC candidate can give the examination 9 times. Other than that, an Ex-serviceman has a maximum age limit of 37 years. A disabled person can sit in the examination up to the age of 42. Defense service personnel’s maximum age limit is 35.

Skills That You Need to Have to Become a District Magistrate in India

As we have discussed earlier, in the interview round, various skills of a candidate will be checked.

  • Mental Stability: The interviewers will check whether the candidate is mentally stable or not during the interview.
  • Personality Test: To be in such a powerful position, a district magistrate needs to have a dynamic personality. The interviewers will check several sides of an aspirant’s character.
  • Presence of Mind: The interviewers will monitor how a candidate will behave under pressure situations. This needs to be done because the presence of mind is required to tackle difficult situations that an IAS officer needs to face in the workplace.
  • Basic Knowledge: Knowledge of the candidate on various subjects will also be checked. Questions will be asked by the interviewers on current affairs and general topics.

Salary That You Can Expect as a District Magistrate in India

A new pay structure has been introduced recently, and a district magistrate will be paid according to that. This is the 7th pay commission of India, and not only district magistrates but all other IAS officers will also be paid according to the pay grades. After almost 10 years of becoming an IAS officer, a person can become a district magistrate in India. In the beginning, a district magistrate is paid 56100 INR monthly, which means 673200 per annum. This is only the salary other than that DA, TA, and HRA are also included. With experience, you will get a promotion and the salary will also increase. You will experience a salary hike with an increasing number of promotions. The basic salary that we have mentioned here is of a sub-divisional magistrate’s, but after service of almost 12 years, a DM will get a monthly salary of 78800 INR, which will increase up to 118500 INR. Other than this, several allowances such as Dearness Allowance (DA), House rent allowance (HRA), Travelling allowance (TA), and The government will also pay medical allowance.

Moreover, the government will pay a district magistrate’s electricity, gas, water, and phone bills. If that is not the case, they will get a subsidy over these bills. The government of India will also pay for the stay of a DM in both a business and a nonbusiness trip. After retirement, a district magistrate will also get a lifetime pension.

Final Words on How to Become a District Magistrate in India

We have discussed every single detail that you need to know to become a district magistrate in India. I hope this information has proven to be useful for you. So, what are you waiting for? If you are eligible, concentrate on becoming a district magistrate and building a better future for yourself.

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