How to Become an IPS Officer?

IPS Officer

With great powers come great responsibilities. Not everyone gets a chance to serve and work for their country at the grassroots level. Becoming a civil servant especially an IPS (Indian Police Services) officer is something millions of Indians dream of becoming but being one takes an immense amount of time, money, energy, and dedication of an individual. Considered to be on the top of the list of the best jobs in India, IPS is not as easy as it seems to be. Donning the responsibilities of maintaining the law and order in society and safeguarding the citizens to ensure harmony, the job of an IPS is challenging as well as demanding. If you are one such aspirant who wants to bring change to society through this coveted career, then we are here to help you with a complete guide on how to become an IPS Officer

Who is an IPS Officer?

IPS (Indian Police Service) is a branch of the All India Service and is not a protection authority but grants officers to take higher-level positions in the state police mechanism and the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). The IPS, established in 1948, serves for the subsistence of civil peace and order. The organization controlling authorization for the IPS is the Ministry of Home Affairs. The IPS exam is a component of the Civil Services Examination (CSE) administered by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) every year. IPS officers are designated based on either Civil Service Examination or advanced from the state cadre officers.

How to Become an IPS Officer: Step-wise Guide

Every year, UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) conducts the All-India Civil Services Examination, one of the toughest exams in India, wherein lakhs of aspirants try their luck and only a handful of them succeed. Given below is a complete step-wise guide on how to become a successful IPS officer.

Step 1: Apply for Civil Services Examination

The first and foremost step taken towards becoming an IPS Officer is to apply for the civil services examination by filling the application form released by the Union Public Services Commission every year. The aspiring candidates are advised to check the newspapers daily or the official website of UPSC in order to be aware of any such recruitment advertisements.

Step 2: Clear All the Stages of Civil Services Examination 

Exam  Civil Service Examination 
Exam level National 
Organization body  Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Exam type  Offline 
Number of services  24
Number of attempts  6
Number of vacancies  800 (approx.)
Expected registrations  8 lakhs (approx.)

The Civil Services Examination comprises of 3 stages- 

  • Preliminary Examination
  • Mains Examination
  • Interview Stage

The first exam taken by the candidates is the preliminary exam, which is objective in nature. Once the candidate clears the exam, they go to the next level and prepare for the mains examination, which is a subjective test. Upon qualifying for the main exam, the candidate is then eligible to appear for the interview or personality test round wherein the basic general knowledge, mental ability, subject knowledge, and critical thinking skills of the candidate are evaluated. 

Step 3: Undergo Physical Training 

Once the candidate clears all the three competitive exams of the Civil Services Examination, including prelims, mains, and interviews, the top rankers are then admitted as IPS probationers and are sent to Sardar Vallabhai Patel Police Academy for a year. At this time, probationers go through rigorous physical training and are taught all aspects of policing and administration. Subsequent to successful training, the IPS Officers are then posted as per the requirements of the state and the central government in policy and investigative organizations.

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Eligibility for Becoming an IPS Officer 

Serving as an IPS Officer is not everyone’s cup of tea. The candidates are required to satisfy certain eligibility parameters to prove themselves worthy of working as civil servants. The eligibility criteria of an IPS Officer depends on 5 main pointers:

  • Education Qualification 
  • IPS Age Limit 
  • Physical Requirements
  • Medical Qualifications
  • Nationality Requirements

Education Qualification 

The educational requirements for taking the UPSC Exam are mentioned below:

  • One should have received their diploma.
  • Any of the universities approved by the University Grants Commission should conduct the graduation (UGC).
  • If you are in your last year of graduation, you are qualified to apply for the position.
  • The student’s stream will not be taken into account.
  • If you have passed the final level of any professional course offered by authoritative bodies such as ICAI, ICSI, CMA, and so on, you are qualified to apply for the CSE preliminary test.

IPS Age Limit 

The candidate must be at least 21 years old before August 1 of the year in which they take the Civil Services Exam. The age restriction for Defence Service Personnel might be lowered. The age restriction for an IPS officer is shown in the table below:

Category Age Limit Number of attempts
General 32 years 7
OBC 35 years 9
SC/ST 37 years No limit

Note the following points on age relaxations:

  • Candidates who are physically handicapped can take 9 tries in the General and OBC categories, and there is no limit for those who are SC/ST. Residents of Jammu and Kashmir can request a maximum age concession of five years.
  • Commissioned officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have served in the military for a minimum of 5 years are eligible for maximum age relaxation of up to 5 years.
  • The physically impaired with blindness, deafness, orthopedics, or muteness get an age relaxation of up to 10 years.

Physical Requirements

Even after passing the preliminary exam, only those who pass the IPS officer physical exam are qualified for the Personal Interview. The physical criteria for IPS officers, including IPS height and weight, are shown below:

  • In the general category, the minimum height for IPS for males is 165cm, while in the other category, it is 160cm.
  • The minimum height necessary for IPS is 150 cm for women in the general category and 145 cm for women in the other categories.
  • Men’s chests should be at least 84 cm and extendable up to 5 cm, while women’s chests should be at least 79 cm and expandable up to 5 cm.
  • If the candidate squints, they are automatically rejected.
  • For improved eyesight, the distant vision should be 6/6 or 6/9.
  • Spectacles/lenses are permitted.
  • Binocular vision and exceptional colour vision are necessary.

Medical Qualifications

IPS medical test is the additional requirement required during the journey of becoming an IPS officer. It includes the following:

  1. Blood Pressure (High)
Age Limit  Blood Pressure (High)
23 123
24 124
25 122
28 124
30 125
32 126
34 127
  1. Nasal: While speaking, the candidate should not stammer.
  2. Ear: Good hearing and a normal ear cavity; hearing impairment at 1000-4000 Hz should not exceed 30 dB.
  3. Women should not be pregnant at the time of the Medical Test.
  4. A high standard for the Colorblind test. There must not be inborn night blindness. The vision must be stereoscopic.

Nationality Requirements

If the candidate meets any of the following requirements, they are deemed qualified for the position:

  • To apply for IPS, all you need is a graduation degree from any recognized university, and you must be an Indian citizen. If so, you, too, have the potential to become an IPS officer.
  • A Nepalese or Bhutanese subject
  • If you are an immigrant from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, or East African nations such as Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Zaire, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, or Vietnam.

For more information on eligibility criteria for becoming an IPS Officer, visit the official web link by clicking here.

IPS Officer Job Prospects

  • An IPS officer’s duties are not confined to the state or central levels, and they are part of Group A of civil services that assure the preservation of law and order across the country. IPS officials at the state level can advance from the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) to the position of Director-General of Police (DGP), which is the most prestigious job for an IPS officer at the state level.
  • The IPS officials will also serve as Superintendent of Police, Inspector General of Police, Assistant Director-General of Police, and so on at the state level.
  • On a national scale, one can serve the country by joining civil, military, or paramilitary groups. The Central Bureau of Investigation, Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Intelligence Bureau, and Research and Analysis Wing are a few examples. 
  • The IAS and IPS officers work together to achieve the same goal.

Must Read: IPS Lakshay Pandey’s Tips for Scoring Perfect Marks in UPSC

Courtesy: Josh Talks

IPS Exam 2021

There are two recruitment conventions to the IPS (Indian Police Service):

  1. The advance of State Police Service Officers
  2. Civil Services Exam administered by the Union Public Service Commission

The UPSC administers the Civil Services Examination, for which around 5-8 lakh candidates give the exam each year. IPS exam also helps in recruiting officers for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS), Indian Audit and Accounts Service(IAAS), etc.

The following table will walk you through the important dates of the IPS Civil Services Exam 2021:

IPS Civil Services (Preliminary) Date of Notification 4th March 2021 
Commencement of online registrations  4th March 2021 
End of online registrations  24th March 2021 
Admit card  September 2021 
Date of Civil Services Preliminary Examination 10th October 2021 
Date of IAS Civil Services Main Examination 7th January 2022 to 16th January 2022

IPS Syllabus

The IPS Syllabus is divided into two levels:

  1. Preliminary Examination (Objective Type) for the selection of applicants for Main Examination
  2. Main Examination (Written) for selecting the applicants for multiple services and positions.

IPS Syllabus for Prelims:

Syllabus of Paper I (General Studies – I) 1. Current events of national and international importance
2. History of India and The Indian National Movement
3. Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World
4. Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
5. General Science 
6. Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
7. General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change
Syllabus for Paper II (CSAT/General Studies – II) 1. Comprehension
2. Interpersonal skills including communication skills
3. Logical reasoning and analytical ability
Decision-making and problem-solving
4. General mental ability
5. Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level) and data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level) 

IPS Mains Syllabus 2021

Paper A – Modern Indian Languages – 300 Marks Comprehension of given passages
Precise Writing
Usage and Vocabulary
Short Essay
Translation from English to the Indian language and vice-versa 
Paper B – English – 300 Marks Comprehension of given passages
Precise Writing
Usage and Vocabulary
Short Essay 

Roles and Responsibilities of an IPS Officer

The Indian Police Service (IPS) comes beneath the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The roles and duties of the IPS officers are:

  • Border function and responsibilities: Counter-terrorism, Border policing
  • Preserving civil peace and order: Crime restriction, The examination, apprehension, and compilation of intelligence
  • Anti-smuggling and narcotic trafficking, VIP safety
  • Railway patrolling, addressing economic offences: Frauds in civic life
  • Disaster control: Biodiversity and security/implementation of environmental laws
  • High-level posts in the Indian Intelligence Agencies: CBI, R&AW, IB, CID
  • Enforcement of socio-economic legislation
  • Leading and commanding the Indian Federal Law Enforcement Agencies: Civil and Armed Police Forces in all the union territories and states; CAPF – Central Armed Police Forces
  • Serve as HoDs in policymaking in the Ministries and Departments of Central and State Governments, Public sector undertakings (PSUs) both at the center and states
  • Interact and coordinate closely with Other All India Services; The Indian Army. and Armed Forces in general
Courtesy: Josh Talks

Salary of an IPS Officer

The IPS officers in India get a starting monthly salary of INR 56,100. The average salary in IPS as per the ranks of IPS officers are:

Designation or IPS rank in State Police/Central Police Force Salary as per 7th Pay Commission in INR (per month)
Director-General of Police 2,25,000.00
Additional Director General of Police 2,05,400.00
Inspector-General of Police 1,44,200.00
Deputy Inspector General of Police 1,31,100.00
Senior Superintendent of Police 78,800.00
Additional Superintendent of Police 67,700.00
Deputy Superintendent of Police 56,100.00


What to study to become an IPS officer?

You can pursue any field of study that interests you for your graduation. It might be in the Arts, Business, Science, or anything else. However, courses that are part of the UPSC syllabus are most suited to your needs such as:
Political Science

What is the salary of an IPS officer?

The majority of aspirants may be asking what the pay of an IPS officer is. The salary of IPS officers has increased following the 7th pay commission. The majority of new hires are paid INR 70,000 per month. ASPs, SPs, and ACPs earn around INR 1,09,203 per month. DIGs, IGs, and DGPs earn around INR 2,12,650 per month.

What is IPS officer power?

In India, IPS officers are senior police officials. IPS officers keep the public order, prevent crime, investigate, gather intelligence, protect VIPs, and combat terrorism and a variety of other crimes.

How long is IPS training?

Phase I training (Basic Course – 11 months): at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA), Hyderabad.

District Practical Training (6 months): at the relevant cadre. 

Phase II training (one month): Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA), Hyderabad.

Do IPS officers get holidays?

Each government officer is also entitled to up to 5 years of unpaid Extraordinary Leave for personal reasons, in addition to 20 days of Half Pay Leave and 30 days of Earned Leave every year, as well as a 5-day work week and several gazetted holidays.

Who earns more IAS or IPS?

IAS salaries can range from Rs 56,100 to Rs 2,50,000 per month. It also differs according to seniority. The pay of an IAS officer is higher than that of an IPS officer.

We hope that we have provided you with all the information you need regarding the job profile of an IPS Officer. We believe that dedication and hard work is the key to success and nothing is impossible in this world. Especially in your career journey, a mentor can guide you in making the best use of your abilities and skills to shine in your chosen field. Sign up for a 30-minute free career counselling session with our experienced mentors at Leverage Edu and we will help you realize your potential by equipping you with the necessary guidance you need to sail towards your chosen career. 

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