How to become an IPS officer

How to Become an IPS Officer?

How to become an IPS officer in India is the dream of every patriotic Indian. But, not everyone's dream comes true. Adding a little effort and immense energy will help you achieve any of your goals. The main duty of an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer is to safeguard the public and maintain the harmony amongst them. The duty of an IPS officer is not limited to that of the state or the central, they serve at both levels.

The duty of the IAS and the IPS at the district level is to maintain the law and order in society. Home guards, Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Crime Branch, and Traffic Bureau are a few departments into which the IPS service is divided, in order to ensure that the duties are carried out in a more efficient manner.

A few of their duties include detection and the prevention of crime, controlling substance abuse in the society and keeping up the underage laws in check, soliciting offenders, mitigating the accident, and ensuring the rules laid by the government are followed. Their primary duty is also to command and lead is to the Indian Intelligence Agencies like Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Civil and Armed Forces in all states and union territories, and Indian Federal Law Enforcement Agencies.

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How to become an IPS officer?

Confused! how to become an IPS officer after engineering and how to become an IPS officer after 12th science, it is not possible to become an IPS Officer right after completing 12th standard! In order to become an IPS Officer, you must apply for the CSE exam conducted by the UPSC. You must also crack the exam preliminary, mains and interview in order to get selected for the training.

Here are the requirements for the IPS Officer

  • A candidate must be a citizen of India to become an IPS.
  • The candidates must be at least 21 years of age.
  • The candidates must hold a degree from a recognized university in any discipline.

These are the following steps for what to do to become an IPS officer

Steps involved in becoming an IPS officer

Here are the steps for how to become an IPS officer in India

Step 1: Apply to UPSC

 Appy to UPSC

These are the ways to apply for UPSC exams.

  • Just like other Civil Services Exams the exam for the post of an IPS officer is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission(UPSC).

  • The candidates will be notified about the exam during the month of December through popular newspapers like ‘Rozgar Samachar’, ‘Employment News’, ‘Gazette of India’, and so on.

  • Before writing the exam, one has to get the application form along with the information brochure from one of the Head post office or any post office all over the nation and mail to the UPSC head office.

  • The address that the mail has to be addressed to is

The Secretary

Union Public Service Commission
Dholpur House

New Delhi- 110011

Step 2: Write the preliminary exam of CSE

Preliminary CSE

Here are the details about how to prepare for the IPS officer and details of the Preliminary Exams.

  • The CSE preliminary exam for IPS officers will be conducted in the month of May/ June and the results for the same will be announced in the month of July/ August.

  • The marks allotted for the examination are 400 marks, which is distributed among 2 papers.

  • The papers will be objective type i.e. multiple-choice questions.

  • This is a qualifying level exam for the CSE Mains or the final exam, and only the candidates who have successfully got through the preliminary exams can appear for the mains.

  • They can get qualified if they have fulfilled any other eligibility criteria for the CSE Mains.

The contents of the papers are as follows

Preliminary Exams of CSE

Paper 1

  • History of India and the National Movement.

  • General Science

  • Indian Polity and Governance- the political system, Panchayati Raj, constitution, rights issues, public policy, etc.

  • General issues on environmental ecology, climate change, and biodiversity.

  • Current Events of National and International Importance.

  • Indian and World Geography- the social, economic, and physical geography of India and the world.

  • Economic and Social Development- poverty, social sector, demographics, inclusion, sustainable development, etc.

200 marks

Paper 2

  • Interpersonal skills and communication skills.

  • Basic English Language Comprehension Skills.

  • Comprehension of the language chosen by the candidate.

  • Decision-making skills and problem-solving ability

  • Basic Numeracy- Numbers and their relations, magnitude, Data interpretation from sources like data sufficiency, table, graphs, etc.

  • General Mental Ability

200 marks

The candidates have the option to select a subject of their choice for paper 2 and they can choose from options like chemistry, animal husbandry and veterinary science, agriculture, civil engineering, botany, zoology, commerce, statistics, economics, sociology, electrical engineering, public administration, geography, political science, psychology, geology, physics, Indian history, philosophy, mechanical engineering, mathematics, and law.

How to prepare for the IPS officer, many people are unclear about what to study to become an IPS officer, these are the books that are listed below can be referred by the candidates while preparing for CSE Prelims.

    • India’s Ancient Past
    • India’s Struggle For Independence
    • Indian Polity 5th Edition
    • Indian Economy 8th Edition
    • Indian and World Geography for Civil Services
    • History Of Medieval India
    • History Of Modern India
    • Facts of Indian Culture
    • Geography of India
    • The Wonder That Was India
    • Science and Technology in India
    • Oxford School Atlas
    • Economic Survey

Step 3: Write the CSE Mains

Write CSE Main

Find about the CSE Mains as follows.

  • The CSE Mains can only be written by the students who have successfully completed the CSE Prelims.

  • The CSE Mains are usually held in the month of October.

  • The exam will be of descriptive type.

The students have to answer the following papers

CSE Mains


Marks allotted

1 General Essay type Paper

200 marks

1 Essay type Indian Language Qualifying Paper

300 marks

1 English Qualifying Paper

300 marks

2 General Studies Paper

300 marks

4 Optional Subjects Paper

300 marks

The UPSC reference books listed below can be referred by the students who are appearing for CSE Mains.

    • India After Gandhi
    • India’s National Security: A Reader
    • India and the World, written by Surendra Kumar
    • Social Problems In India
    • History of Modern World
    • IAS Mains General Studies Paper 2
    • IAS Mains General Studies Paper 3
    • IAS Mains General Studies Paper 4
    • Governance in India for CSE
    • Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude for Civil Services Mains
    • Challenges to Internal Security of India
    • Pax Indica - Shashi Tharoor

Step 4: Personal Interview

Personal Interview

These are the steps involved in the Personal Interview process.

  • After completing CSE Mains, the qualified candidates are called for an interview with the authorities of the UPSC.

  • During this interview, candidates' subject knowledge, as well as mental ability, will be tested.

  • Approximately 400-450 candidates get into the final list of selected candidates.

  • Those who have secured top ranks will be admitted as IPS probationers into the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Police academy.

  • They will be trained rigorously for a year where the candidates will be taught all aspects of administration and policing.

  • According to the requirements of the central and the state governments they will be posted into Police and Investigative Organizations.

Eligibility Criteria to become an IPS Officer

Here are the IPS eligibility criteria in different prospects such as Education, Age, Physical Requirement and Nationality. The date of birth accepted by the Commission is that entered in the Secondary School Leaving Certificate. A candidate who is appointed to the (IAS) Indian Administrative Service or the (IFS) Indian Foreign Service on the results of the previous examination and continues to be a member of that service will not be eligible to participate in this examination.


Find below, the educational qualifications to appear for UPSC Exam.

  • One should have completed their graduation.

  • The graduation should be done by anyone of the universities that are recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

  • If you are in the final of your graduation, you are considered eligible to apply for the post.

  • The stream of the student will not be taken into consideration.

  • If you have cleared the final level of any professional course by authoritative boards like ICAI, ICSI, CMA, etc., you are eligible for applying to the preliminary examination of CSE.

Age and Number of Attempts

The age limit for IPS officer is as follows in this table

Age Limit Criteria to become IPS Officer


Age Limit

Number of attempts


32 years



35 years



37 years

No limit

  • The candidate who is applying for how to become an IPS officer should be at least 21 years of age before August 1 during the year of writing the Civil Services Exam.

  • The maximum age will be relaxed for the Defence Service Personnel.

  • Physically handicapped can take up to 9 attempts in the General and OBC category and there is no limit for those who belong to the SC/ST category.

  • The maximum age relaxation can be done for the residents of Jammu and Kashmir is 5 years.

  • Commissioned officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have served a minimum period of 5 years in the Military get the maximum age relaxation up to 5 years.

  • The age relaxation for the physically handicapped with blindness, deafness, orthopedically or are muted is up to 10 years.

Physical Requirements for IPS officer

These are the physical qualifications for IPS officers who are appearing for UPSC exams.

  • The minimum height for men is 165cm in the general category and 160 cm in the other category.

  • The minimum height for women in the general category is 150 cm and for women in the other categories, it is 145 cm.

  • The chest of men should be at least 84 cm and expand up to 5 cm and for women, it is 79 cm and should be expandable up to 5 cm.

  • If the candidate has a squint, then they would be immediately disqualified.

  • The distance vision should be 6/6 or 6/9 for better vision.

  • Spectacles/lenses are allowed.

  • Binocular vision and the high-grade color vision is required.

The other medical qualifications for IPS officer are

Additional requirements regarding IPS officer qualification details are as follows

Blood Pressure (High): Age 23 – 123; age 24 – 124; age 25 – 122; age 28 – 124; age 30 – 125; age 32 – 126; age 34 – 127
Ear- Good listening and normal ear cavity; 1000-4000 frequency hearing impairment should not be more than 30 decibels
Nasal - Candidate should not stammer while speaking
Women should not be pregnant at the time of Medical Test
A high standard for the Colorblind test. No inherent night blindness. The vision needs to be stereoscopic


If the candidate is one of the following, then they are considered eligible for the post.

  • All you need to have is a graduation degree from any recognized university to appear for IPS and the candidate should be an Indian citizen if so, you too can become an IPS officer.

  • A subject of Nepal or Bhutan.

  • If you are an immigrant from countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma or from East African countries like Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Zaire, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, and Vietnam

Responsibilities of an IPS officer

The duties of IPS officer may be differentiated in various sectors like

  • Areas in public to maintain law order

  • Prevention of crime

  • Investigation of different cases

  • Railway policing

  • Counter-terrorism

  • Prevention of illegal activities like smuggling and drug trafficking

  • Economic Offences

  • Ensuring VIP security

  • Disaster management in case of natural calamities

  • Enforcement of socio-economic legislation, bio-diversity and defending of environmental laws

  • Juvenile Offenses

  • Upholding the laws of the state

  • Checking vandalism and delinquency

  • The responsibilities of an IPS officer is also to exchange information with different intelligent agencies of the nation like the Criminal Investigation Department, Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing, and Indian Federal Law Enforcement Agencies.

  • An IPS officer is also responsible for leading the Central Armed Police Force (CRPF) and staying co-ordinated with them and keeping check of their activities.

  • In order to avoid crime related to finance they are constantly connected with the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) as well.
  • They also have a role to play in the Indian Armed forces like border patrol.

  • All these duties can be fulfilled with utmost responsibility only if the officer does it whole-heartedly and with complete honesty, without traces of corrupt intent and misrepresentation on the whole.

IPS Officer Job Prospects

The duty of an IPS officer is not limited to the state level or the central level, they belong to group A of civil services that ensure the maintenance of law and order all over the nation. The IPS officers at the state level can start from the position of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and go up to the position of the Director-General of Police (DGP), which is the most reputable post for an IPS officer in the state level. At the state level, the IPS officers will also play the roles of Superintendent of Police, Inspector General of Police, Assistant Director-General of Police, etc.

At the national level, one can serve the nation by joining civil, defense or paramilitary organizations. A few of the organizations are the Central Bureau of Investigation, Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Intelligence Bureau and Research and Analysis Wing. The IAS and IPS officers work with the same aim and in coordination with one another.

Salary of IPS Officers

After the 7th pay commission, there has been an increase in the pay received by the IPS Officers. Most of the new joiners will be paid Rs.70,000 INR per month, ASPs, SPs, and ACPs draw a salary of roughly 1,09,203 INR per month. DIGs, IGs, and DGPs draw around 2,12,650 INR per month.

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