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Full form of IPS

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IPS or Indian Police Service is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious and honored civil services in India. It is one of the 3 All India Services of the Government of India. Other two services are IAS (Indian Administration Service) and IFS (Indian Foreign Service). The Ministry of Home Affairs acts as the cadre controlling authority for the IPS. An IPS officer carries out his or her responsibilities by safeguarding the public and detecting and preventing crime. He/she gives more importance to law and order and is also responsible for traffic control, accident prevention, and management.

Branches in IPS

IPS service is divided into various functional departments such as Crime Branch, Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Home Guards, and Traffic Bureau.

Educational Eligibility

The candidates who want to appear in the IPS exam must have a degree from recognized University in any discipline. Those candidates who are appearing in their final degree exam or with professional and technical qualifications recognized by the Government as equivalent to professional and technical degrees can also apply for the exam.

Age Limit

  • General-The maximum age for a candidate is 32 years.
  • OBC- The maximum age for a candidate is 35 years.
  • SC/ST- The maximum age for a candidate is 37 years.
  • Physically handicapped- The maximum age for a candidate is 42,45 and 47 years for general, OBC, SC/ST respectively.

Upper age limit

  • SC/St candidates- up to 5 years relaxation
  • OBC candidates- up to 3 years relaxation
  • Handicapped person (blind, deaf-mute and orthopedically) – up to 10 years relaxation
  • J&K resident, Ex- Military Servicemen- up to 5 years relaxation


The candidate should be

  • A citizen of India or Nepal or Bhutan
  • Or a Tibetan refugee (came to India before 1st January 1962 to be settled in India permanently)
  • Or a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Number of attempts

  • General- 6 attempts
  • OBC- 9 attempts
  • SC/ST- unlimited number of attempts
  • Physically handicapped- 9 attempts for general and OBC, while unlimited for SC/ST

Physical requirements


  • Male minimum 165 cm & ST (not the SC/ OBC) – 160 cm
  • Female minimum 150 cm & ST (not SC/ OBC) – 145 cm


  • Male Minimum 84 cm with 5cm expansion.
  • Female Minimum 79 cm with 5cm expansion.


  • 6/6 or 6/9 distant vision for good eye.
  • 6/12 or 6/9 for worst eye.
  • Near vision J 1 for good eye. J2 for worst eye.


The examination consists of two parts:

  • Preliminary Exam-It is the first level of the exam. It consists of two papers, general studies, and an optional subject. It is a multiple-choice question exam that selects candidates for the next level of exam, the main exam). The marks from prelims are not added while preparing the final result.
  • Main Exam-Once a candidate clears the prelims exam, he/she is liable to appear in the main exam. It offers a list of subjects in which two subjects are compulsory and two are optional. A candidate can select any optional subject irrespective of his/her subject in which he/she holds a degree. It is very comprehensive in nature and the candidate has to answer essay type questions. When the candidate clears the main exam, he/she is called for a personal interview round. The duration of this PI is 45 mins. After the interview, the final selection list is prepared which is called the merit list. It is made on the basis of the total marks obtained in the main exam and the interview.

Apart from clearing the UPSC exam, it is also possible to become an IPS officer after clearing the state PSC exam. It generally takes 8-10 years to become SP after clearing the state level exam.

Roles and responsibilities of an IPS Officer

Over the years the Indian Police Service’s objectives were updated and redefined that can cater to every conceivable need of the law or administration. An Indian Police Service Officer has to:

  • Fulfil duties based on border responsibilities, in the areas of maintenance of public peace and order, crime prevention, investigation, and detection, collection of intelligence, VIP security, counter-terrorism, border policing, railway policing, tackling smuggling, drug trafficking, economic offences, corruption in public life, disaster management, enforcement of socio-economic legislation, bio-diversity and protection of environmental laws etc.
  • Lead and command and share intelligence and other informational data with the Indian Intelligence Agencies like Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Indian Federal Law Enforcement Agencies, Civil and Armed Police Forces in all the states and union territories.
  • Lead and command the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) which include the Central Police Organizations (CPO) such as Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Security Guard (NSG), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Vigilance Organizations and Indian Federal Law Enforcement Agencies.
  • Interact and coordinate closely with the members of other All India Services and with the Indian Revenue Service and also with the Indian Armed Forces primarily with the Indian Army.
  • Maintain peace among the public is one of the most important duties of an IPS officers as well as they are responsible to take necessary decisions in their allotted state or district to maintain peace.
  • Provide security to VIP’s IPS officers. In fact, for the protection of Chief ministers and Prime minister as well frequently IPS Officers are allotted duty.
  • To Inculcate integrity of the highest order, sensitivity to aspirations of people in a fast-changing social and economic milieu, respect for human rights, broad liberal perspective of law and justice and high standard of professionalism.

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By Asad yar Khan

Asad Yar Khan is Former Chairman of AMC, an educational NGO. A passionate proponent of education development, his favour...more

Asad Yar Khan is Former Chairman of AMC, an educational NGO. A passionate proponent of education development, his favourite rendezvous for writing is less

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