How to become an IPS officer?

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 the levels. The duty of the IAS and the IPS at the district level is to maintain the law and order in the 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.

Few of their duties include controlling of traffic, detection, and prevention of crime, controlling substance abuse in the society, mitigating the accident, and ensuring the rules laid by the government is 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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Responsibilities of an IPS officer


IPS Officer Job Prospects


Eligibility Criteria for becoming an IPS Officer


Steps for becoming an IPS Officer


Salary of IPS Officers


Responsibilities of an IPS officer

  •  The duties delegated to an 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 offenses.

    • Ensuring VIP security

    • Disaster management in case of natural calamities.

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

  • 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 services (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.


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 in 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.

  • Few of the organizations are 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.

 Eligibility Criteria for becoming an IPS Officer


  • One has have completed their graduation.

  • The graduation should be done by any one 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


    the preliminary examination of CSE.


Age and Number of attempts

  • The age limit for the candidates are as follows: 


Age Limit

Number of attempts


32 years



35 years



37 years

No limit

  • The candidate should be at least be 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

  • 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.

  • Distance vision should be 6/6 or 6/9 for better vision.

  • Spectacles are allowed.

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



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

    • Indian citizen

    • A subject of Nepal or Bhutan.

    • If you are a migrant 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

 Steps for becoming an IPS Officer



Step 1: Apply to UPSC


  • 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’, etc.

  • 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

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

  • The marks allotted for the examination is 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

Paper 1

  • History of India and 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.

  • The books 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

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

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

  • The exam will be of the descriptive type.

  • The students have to answer the following papers


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 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

  • 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.


Salary of IPS Officers

  • After the fifth pay implementation, there has been an increase in the pay received by the IPS Officers

  • Most of the new joiners will be paid Rs.40,000/-, middle-level officers will be paid Rs.60,000/- and the senior level officers will be paid Rs.80,000/-.


Equivalent Position in the state level

Pay Scale

Deputy Superintendent of Police

Assistant Commissioner of Police

Rs.15600-Rs.39100 and Rs.5400-grade pay

Additional Superintendent of Police

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police

Rs.15600-Rs.39100 and Rs.6600-grade pay

Superintendent of Police

Deputy Commissioner of Police

Rs.15600- Rs.39100 and Rs.7600-grade pay

Senior Superintendent of Police

Deputy Commissioner of Police

Rs. 15600- Rs.39100 and Rs. 8700-grade pay

Deputy Inspector General of Police

Additional Commissioner of Police

Rs. 37400- Rs. 67000 and Rs. 8900-grade pay

Inspector General of Police

Joint Commissioner of Police

Rs. 37400- Rs. 67000and Rs. 10000-grade pay

Additional Director General of Police

Special Commissioner of Police

Rs. 37400- Rs.67000 and Rs.12000-grade pay

Director General of Police

Commissioner of Police

Rs. 80000 and no grade pay

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