Becoming an IPS officer is a dream for many young aspirants who want to serve the nation and make a difference in society. The IPS is a prestigious and challenging career that offers immense opportunities for personal and professional growth. The IPS officers enjoy a high status and respect in society, as well as a handsome salary and perks. However, becoming an IPS officer is not an easy task. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, perseverance, and passion.
The only way to become an IPS officer is to clear the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE), which is one of the toughest exams in India. The UPSC CSE is conducted every year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which is the central recruiting agency for the civil services. The UPSC CSE is a three-stage exam that tests the candidates’ aptitude, knowledge, and personality. The candidates who clear all the three stages are allotted to various services and cadres based on their rank, preference, and availability of vacancies.
In this article, we will discuss how to become an IPS officer after 12th, what are the eligibility criteria, exam pattern and syllabus, preparation strategy, training and career progression, salary and perks, roles and responsibilities, and inspiring stories of renowned IPS officers. We will also answer some frequently asked questions related to the IPS examination and career.
Historical Background of IPS
The Indian Police Service was established in 1948 as a successor to the Indian Imperial Police (IIP), which was formed in 1861 by the British Raj. The IIP was responsible for policing the British Indian Empire and was headed by a Director General of Police (DGP). The IIP officers were mostly British nationals who were recruited through competitive examinations conducted in London. The IIP officers were known for their efficiency, discipline, and loyalty to the British Crown.
After India gained independence in 1947, the IIP was reformed and renamed as the Indian Police Service. The IPS was made one of the three All India Services under Article 312 of the Constitution of India. The IPS officers are recruited through the UPSC CSE along with other civil services. The IPS officers are appointed by the President of India on the recommendation of the UPSC. The IPS officers are governed by the All India Services Act, 1951 and the All India Services Rules.
The significance of IPS among the All India Services lies in its role in maintaining internal security and public order in a diverse and complex country like India. The IPS officers have to deal with various challenges such as terrorism, insurgency, communal violence, organized crime, cybercrime, human trafficking, drug trafficking, etc. The IPS officers also have to coordinate with various central and state agencies, civil society organizations, media, judiciary, etc. The IPS officers have to uphold the rule of law, protect human rights, ensure justice, and promote peace and harmony in society.
The eligibility criteria for appearing in the UPSC CSE are as follows:
- Nationality: A candidate must be either:
- A citizen of India
- A subject of Nepal
- A subject of Bhutan
- A Tibetan refugee who came over to India before January 1st 1962 with intention of permanently settling in India
- A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan Burma Sri Lanka East African countries of Kenya Uganda United Republic of Tanzania Zambia Malawi Zaire Ethiopia Vietnam with intention of permanently settling in India
- Educational Qualification: A candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree from any recognized university or equivalent qualification. Candidates who are appearing for their final year examination or awaiting their results are also eligible to apply but they have to produce proof of passing before joining the service.
- Age Limit: A candidate must have attained 21 years of age but not exceeded 32 years of age on August 1st of the year of examination. However there are relaxations in age limit for certain categories of candidates as follows:
- Up to 5 years for candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC) Scheduled Tribes (ST)
- Up to 3 years for candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBC)
- Up to 5 years for candidates who are domiciled in Jammu and Kashmir during the period from January 1st 1980 to December 31st 1989
- Up to 3 years for candidates who are Defence Services personnel disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof
- Up to 5 years for candidates who are ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service as on August 1st of the year of examination and have been released
- Up to 10 years for candidates who are blind deaf-mute and orthopedically handicapped
- Number of Attempts: A candidate can attempt the UPSC CSE a maximum number of times as follows:
- 6 times for candidates belonging to General category
- 9 times for candidates belonging to OBC category
- No limit for candidates belonging to SC/ST category
Physical and Medical Standards
Apart from the above eligibility criteria, a candidate must also meet the physical and medical standards prescribed by the UPSC for the IPS. The physical and medical standards are as follows:
- Height: The minimum height required for male candidates is 165 cm and for female candidates is 150 cm. However, there are relaxations in height for certain categories of candidates as follows:
- Up to 5 cm for candidates belonging to Gorkhas Garhwalis Kumaonis Dogras Marathas Sikkimies Nagaland Arunachal Pradesh Manipur Tripura Mizoram Meghalaya Assam Himachal Pradesh Kashmir and Leh & Ladakh regions of Jammu & Kashmir
- Up to 5 cm for candidates belonging to ST category
- Chest: The minimum chest girth fully expanded required for male candidates is 84 cm and for female candidates is 79 cm. The minimum expansion of chest after full inspiration should be 5 cm for both male and female candidates.
- Eyesight: The minimum distant vision required for both eyes is 6/6 or 6/9 without glasses. Candidates who wear spectacles must have good eye sight in each eye with or without glasses. The power of lenses should not exceed ±4.00D (including cylinder) for myopia or hypermetropia. Candidates must not suffer from color blindness or any other eye disease that may impair their vision.
- Other Conditions: Candidates must not have any of the following conditions that may affect their performance as an IPS officer:
- Knock-knee, flat foot, varicose veins or squint in eyes
- Impediment of speech
- Any other physical deformity or disability
- Chronic skin diseases
- Mental illness or instability
- Pregnancy at the time of medical examination
- Blood Pressure: Candidates must have normal blood pressure according to their age group. The acceptable limits of blood pressure are as follows:
|Age Group||Systolic (mm Hg)||Diastolic (mm Hg)|
|Above 35 years||155||105|
Candidates who do not meet the physical and medical standards will be declared unfit for the IPS service. However, they may appeal against the decision of the medical board within a specified time limit.
The Civil Services Examination (CSE)
The UPSC CSE is a three-stage exam that consists of the following phases:
- Preliminary Examination: This is the first stage of the UPSC CSE, which is also known as the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT). It is an objective type test that consists of two papers: General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II. Each paper carries 200 marks and has a duration of two hours. The questions are of multiple choice type with four options each. There is negative marking of one-third marks for each wrong answer. The syllabus and pattern of the Preliminary Examination are as follows:
|Paper||Syllabus||Number of Questions||Marks|
|General Studies Paper I||Current events of national and international importance; History of India and Indian National Movement; Indian and World Geography; Indian Polity and Governance; Economic and Social Development; Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change; General Science||100||200|
|General Studies Paper II||Comprehension; Interpersonal Skills including Communication Skills; Logical Reasoning and Analytical Ability; Decision Making and Problem Solving; General Mental Ability; Basic Numeracy; Data Interpretation||80||200|
The Preliminary Examination is only a screening test to select candidates for the Mains Examination. The marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination are not counted for the final ranking. However, candidates have to score a minimum of 33% marks in General Studies Paper II to qualify for the Mains Examination. The cut-off marks for General Studies Paper I vary every year depending on the number of candidates, vacancies, and difficulty level of the exam.
- Mains Examination: This is the second stage of the UPSC CSE, which is also known as the Civil Services (Main) Examination. It is a descriptive type test that consists of nine papers: four papers of General Studies, one paper of Essay, two papers of Optional Subject, one paper of Indian Language, and one paper of English. Each paper carries 250 marks and has a duration of three hours. The syllabus and pattern of the Mains Examination are as follows:
|Paper A||Indian Language (Qualifying)||300|
|Paper B||English (Qualifying)||300|
|Paper II||General Studies I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)||250|
|Paper III||General Studies II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations)||250|
|Paper IV||General Studies III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)||250|
|Paper V||General Studies IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)||250|
|Paper VI||Optional Subject Paper I||250|
|Paper VII||Optional Subject Paper II||250|
The Mains Examination is the most important stage of the UPSC CSE as it determines the final ranking of the candidates. The marks obtained in the Mains Examination are added to the marks obtained in the Interview to form the final merit list. However, candidates have to qualify in both Paper A and Paper B by scoring at least 25% marks in each paper. The marks obtained in these papers are not counted for the final ranking. The candidates have to choose one optional subject from a list of 26 subjects given by the UPSC. The optional subject should be related to the candidate’s interest, academic background, and future career goals. The optional subject plays a crucial role in deciding the rank and service allocation of the candidates.
- Interview: This is the third and final stage of the UPSC CSE, which is also known as the Personality Test. It is a face-to-face interaction between the candidates and a board of competent and unbiased observers. The interview carries 275 marks and has no fixed duration. The board assesses the candidates’ mental caliber, intellectual qualities, social traits, leadership skills, moral integrity, and suitability for the civil services. The board also tests the candidates’ knowledge on current affairs, general awareness, and their chosen optional subject. The interview is not a cross-examination but a conversation that aims to bring out the best in the candidates.
The Interview is the last hurdle in becoming an IPS officer. The marks obtained in the Interview are added to the marks obtained in the Mains Examination to form the final merit list. The final merit list determines the rank and service allocation of the candidates. The candidates who are allotted to the IPS service have to undergo rigorous training before joining their respective cadres.
The UPSC CSE is a highly competitive exam that requires a systematic and comprehensive preparation strategy. The preparation strategy should cover all aspects of the exam such as syllabus, pattern, books, resources, mock tests, revision, time management, etc. Here are some tips on how to prepare for each stage of the UPSC CSE:
- Preliminary Examination: The Preliminary Examination tests the candidates’ basic knowledge and aptitude on various subjects. The candidates should focus on developing a strong conceptual clarity and factual accuracy on these subjects. They should also practice solving multiple choice questions with speed and accuracy. They should refer to standard books and online resources for covering the syllabus. They should also read newspapers and magazines regularly to stay updated on current affairs. They should take mock tests periodically to assess their performance and identify their strengths and weaknesses. They should revise their notes and important topics before the exam.
- Mains Examination: The Mains Examination tests the candidates’ analytical and writing skills on various subjects. The candidates should focus on developing a deep understanding and critical thinking on these subjects. They should also practice writing descriptive answers with clarity and coherence. They should refer to advanced books and online resources for covering the syllabus. They should also read newspapers and magazines regularly to stay updated on current affairs. They should take mock tests periodically to assess their performance and improve their writing skills. They should revise their notes and important topics before the exam.
- Interview: The Interview tests the candidates’ personality and suitability for the civil services. The candidates should focus on developing a positive attitude and confidence on themselves. They should also prepare well on their biodata, hobbies, optional subject, and current affairs. They should refer to online resources and videos for getting an idea of the interview process and the expected questions. They should also take mock interviews with experts and peers to improve their communication skills and body language. They should be honest, humble, and polite during the interview.
IPS Training and Career Progression
After clearing the UPSC CSE and getting selected for the IPS service, the candidates have to undergo a rigorous training process before joining their respective cadres. The training process consists of the following stages:
- Foundation Course: This is a common course for all the civil services at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) in Mussoorie. The duration of this course is about three months. The course aims to impart basic knowledge and skills on various subjects such as administration, law, management, economics, sociology, etc. The course also aims to foster a sense of camaraderie and esprit de corps among the civil servants.
- Professional Course: This is a specialized course for the IPS service at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA) in Hyderabad. The duration of this course is about 11 months. The course aims to impart professional knowledge and skills on various subjects such as police science, criminal law, forensic science, public order, internal security, etc. The course also aims to develop physical fitness, leadership qualities, and ethical values among the IPS officers.
- Practical Training: This is a field training for the IPS service at various police stations, districts, ranges, and zones across the country. The duration of this training is about 15 months. The training aims to provide practical exposure and experience on various aspects of policing such as crime prevention, crime investigation, law enforcement, public safety, etc. The training also aims to familiarize the IPS officers with the local culture, language, and administration of their allotted cadres.
- Bharat Darshan Tour: This is a study tour for the IPS service across various states and union territories of India. The duration of this tour is about two months. The tour aims to provide a holistic view of the diversity and unity of India. The tour also aims to enhance the cultural awareness and national integration among the IPS officers.
- Exposure to Defence Forces: This is an attachment with the defence forces for the IPS service at various military academies and establishments. The duration of this attachment is about one month. The attachment aims to provide an insight into the functioning and ethos of the defence forces. The attachment also aims to foster a spirit of cooperation and coordination between the civil and military authorities.
- Passing Out Parade: This is a ceremonial event for the IPS service at the SVPNPA in Hyderabad. The event marks the completion of the training process and the induction of the IPS officers into their respective cadres. The event also involves taking oath of allegiance to the Constitution of India and receiving medals and awards for outstanding performance during the training.
The IPS officers have a bright and challenging career progression in their respective cadres. They start their career as Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) or Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) at the sub-divisional level. They then get promoted to higher ranks such as Superintendent of Police (SP) or Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) at the district level, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) or Joint Commissioner of Police (JCP) at the range level, Inspector General of Police (IG) or Additional Commissioner of Police (ACP) at the zone level, Additional Director General of Police (ADG) or Special Commissioner of Police (SCP) at the state level, and Director General of Police (DGP) or Commissioner of Police (CP) at the national level. They also get deputed to various central and state agencies, such as the Intelligence Bureau, the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Research and Analysis Wing, the National Investigation Agency, the Border Security Force, the Central Reserve Police Force, and so on. They also get opportunities for foreign assignments and international bodies, such as the United Nations, the Interpol, the Commonwealth, etc. They also get awarded with various medals and honors for their exemplary service and bravery.
Salary and Perks
The salary and perks of the IPS officers are based on their ranks and pay scales. The pay scales are revised periodically by the government as per the recommendations of the pay commissions. The current pay scales of the IPS officers are based on the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC), which came into effect from January 1st 2016. The salary and perks of the IPS officers are as follows:
- Salary: The salary of the IPS officers consists of three components: basic pay, grade pay, and allowances. The basic pay is the fixed amount that is paid to the IPS officers according to their ranks and pay scales. The grade pay is the additional amount that is paid to the IPS officers according to their seniority and level of responsibility. The allowances are the extra amount that is paid to the IPS officers to compensate for various expenses such as housing, transport, travel, medical, etc. The salary of the IPS officers varies from rank to rank and from state to state. However, an approximate range of the salary of the IPS officers is as follows:
|Rank||Pay Scale||Basic Pay||Grade Pay||Total Pay|
Perks: The perks of the IPS officers are the additional benefits and facilities that are provided to them by the government. The perks of the IPS officers include:
- Official residence or house rent allowance
- Official vehicle or transport allowance
- Security guards and personal staff
- Free electricity, water, and telephone
- Medical facilities and health insurance
- Leave travel concession and foreign travel
- Pension and retirement benefits
- Uniform and dress allowance
- Hardship allowance and special duty allowance
The salary and perks of the IPS officers are subject to change as per the government policies and regulations.
Roles and Responsibilities of an IPS Officer
The roles and responsibilities of an IPS officer vary according to their ranks, postings, and assignments. However, some of the common roles and responsibilities of an IPS officer are as follows:
- Law Enforcement and Public Safety: The IPS officers are responsible for enforcing laws, maintaining public order, preventing crimes, protecting lives and property, ensuring justice, and upholding human rights. They also have to deal with various challenges such as terrorism, insurgency, communal violence, organized crime, cybercrime, human trafficking, drug trafficking, etc.
- Crime Investigation: The IPS officers are responsible for investigating crimes, collecting evidence, arresting suspects, interrogating witnesses, filing chargesheets, presenting cases in courts, and ensuring conviction. They also have to coordinate with various agencies such as forensic labs, prosecution departments, judiciary, etc.
- National Security: The IPS officers are responsible for safeguarding national security interests from internal and external threats. They also have to coordinate with various agencies such as intelligence agencies, defence forces, paramilitary forces, customs and immigration departments, etc.
- Traffic Management: The IPS officers are responsible for regulating traffic, enforcing traffic rules, issuing challans, managing parking, ensuring road safety, and handling accidents. They also have to coordinate with various agencies such as transport departments, municipal corporations, road development authorities, etc.
- Disaster Management: The IPS officers are responsible for managing disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, cyclones, fires, etc. They have to conduct rescue operations, provide relief and rehabilitation, restore normalcy, and prevent further damage. They also have to coordinate with various agencies such as disaster management authorities, civil defence forces, NGOs, etc.
- VIP Security: The IPS officers are responsible for providing security to VIPs, such as the President, the Prime Minister, the Governors, the Chief Ministers, the Ministers, the Judges, the Foreign Dignitaries, etc. They have to plan and execute security arrangements, conduct threat assessments, deploy security personnel and equipment, and ensure protocol compliance. They also have to coordinate with various agencies such as the Special Protection Group (SPG), the National Security Guard (NSG), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), etc.
These are some of the roles and responsibilities of an IPS officer that make them an integral part of the Indian administration and society. The IPS officers have to perform their duties with utmost dedication, professionalism, and integrity. They also have to face various challenges and risks in their career. However, they also get immense satisfaction and recognition for their service and contribution to the nation.
Inspiring Stories of Renowned IPS Officers
The IPS service has produced many illustrious and inspiring officers who have made a mark in their respective fields and domains. They have shown exemplary courage, dedication, and leadership in their service and contribution to the nation. Some of the notable IPS officers are:
- Kiran Bedi: She is the first woman IPS officer of India who joined the service in 1972. She is known for her innovative and reformative initiatives in various postings such as the Traffic Police, the Delhi Police, the Tihar Jail, the Mizoram Police, etc. She is also a recipient of various awards such as the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the President’s Police Medal, the United Nations Medal, etc. She is also a social activist, an author, a speaker, and a former Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry.
- R Sreelekha: She is the first woman IPS officer of Kerala who joined the service in 1987. She is known for her remarkable achievements in various postings such as the Crime Branch, the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Fire and Rescue Services, etc. She is also a recipient of various awards such as the President’s Police Medal, the Chief Minister’s Medal, the Kerala State Film Award, etc. She is also a writer, a singer, and a film producer.
- Ajit Kumar Doval: He is a former IPS officer of Kerala cadre who joined the service in 1968. He is known for his expertise and experience in intelligence and security matters. He has served in various agencies such as the Intelligence Bureau, the Research and Analysis Wing, the Black Cats Commando Force, etc. He is also a recipient of various awards such as the Kirti Chakra, the President’s Police Medal, the King Abdul Aziz Medal, etc. He is currently serving as the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of India.
- And many more: There are many more IPS officers who have inspired generations of aspirants with their stories of success and service. Some of them are: K Vijay Kumar, Julio Ribeiro, Shivdeep Lande, Roopa Moudgil, etc.
The Bottom Line
The IPS service is a noble and challenging profession that offers immense opportunities for personal and professional growth. The IPS officers play a vital role in maintaining law and order, ensuring public safety, preventing and investigating crimes, and safeguarding national security interests. The IPS officers also enjoy a high status and respect in society, as well as a handsome salary and perks.
However, becoming an IPS officer is not an easy task. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, perseverance, and passion. The aspirants have to clear the UPSC CSE, which is one of the toughest exams in India. The aspirants have to meet the eligibility criteria, physical and medical standards, and personality requirements for the IPS service. The aspirants have to prepare well for each stage of the exam: Preliminary, Mains, and Interview. The aspirants have to undergo a rigorous training process before joining their respective cadres.
We hope this article has given you a complete guide on how to become an IPS officer after 12th. We wish you all the best for your future endeavors. Remember, nothing is impossible if you have a dream and a determination to achieve it.