How to become an IPS officer

Clearing an IPS aka Indian Police Service exam is a crucial part of a student’s life to become an IPS officer. To become an IPS officer the candidate needs to crack the Civil Service Examination (CSE) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) with high marks. It is conducted every year.  After passing the UPSC-CSE exam only an aspiring candidate can become an IPS officer.  

Civil Service Exam (CSE) is a common exam conducted by UPSC for the recruitment of candidates to various services like IAS, IPS, IFS (Foreign), IFS (Forest), IP & TAFS, IAAS, IRS, IDAS, CMSE, IRTS, IRAS, IRPS, ITS, CAPF-AF etc.

Short Difference Between IAS & IPS

Both IAS and IPS are very powerful positions in their respective fields but IAS is much more powerful than the IPS. An IPS has only the responsibility of its department, but an IAS has the responsibility of all the departments of the district. An IAS officer is the head of the police department too.

Both IAS and IPS are selected through UPSC Civil Services Examination every year. IAS & IPS Aspirants fill the service preference of their choice in the Detailed Application Form (DAF) of UPSC. Department of Personnel and training assigns the selected candidates to the service according to their rank and preference. Most of the candidates fill IAS as their first choice and IPS as the second choice.

Required Time Span to become an IPS officer

It is one of the most difficult competitive examinations in India. A single attempt can take two complete years of preparation – one year before the prelims and one year from prelims to interview. On an average, 800,000 candidates apply every year. And approximately 150 IPS officers are appointed every year. Results for the Prelims are published in mid-August, while the final result is published in May of the next year.

UPSC CSE exam takes place in three stages namely:-

  • Stage I: Preliminary Examination – Held in June every year. Results are announced in August.
  • Stage II: Mains Examination – Held in October every year. Results are announced in January.
  • Stage III: Personality Test (interview) – Held in March. Final results are usually announced in May.

After the completion of Medical examination of the successful candidates and other necessary formalities, the training program for the selected candidates usually commences the following September.

After analyzing the IPS results, it is clear that around 150 candidates are selected in the Indian Police Services every year. However, despite the increasing or decreasing number of vacancies of other services, only 150 IPS officers are recruited every year.

Eligibility Criteria for IPS Exam

Age Limit

The minimum age limit to appear in UPSC exam for all category is 21 years. The maximum age limit to appear in UPSC exam for general category is 32 years, for OBC category 35 years, for SC/ST category 37 years.

Education Qualification

All candidates must have as a minimum one of the following educational qualifications:

  • Candidate with graduation 
  • Candidates who have taken correspondence education
  • Candidate appearing for the final year of graduation
  • Candidates who have passed the MBBS degree but undergoing an internship program.
Number of Attempts

The number of times a candidate can appear for the exam are given below:

  • General category candidates – 6
  • OBC category candidates – 9
  • SC/ST candidates – unlimited attempts till 37 years of age.

Appearing to attempt one of the papers in the preliminary exam is counted as an attempt.

In addition disqualification/ cancellation of candidature is also considered as an attempt. However, applying to sit the exam but failing to attend is not counted as an attempt.

Salary of IPS officer

Salary During Training Period

For the new IPS officers, there is almost two years of training or a probationary period. The first part of the Foundation Course is of three months duration and is common to all the new UPSC CSE recruits. After the foundation course at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie, the IPS probationers go to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA), Hyderabad.

IPS officers get a stipend/salary during their training period. The basic pay of IPS officers during the training period is around Rs. 15,600-39,100 and Grade pay of Rs. 5,400.

Salary After Training period

The salaries of all IPS officers start at the same level and then increase with their tenure and promotions. The entry level(starting salary) basic salary of IPS officer is 56100 per month as per 7th Pay Commission. In addition to the salary, an IPS officer is also given several other allowances, including Travel Allowance(TA), House Rent Allowance(HRA) and Dearness Allowance(DA). 

The basic max salary of an IPS officer in India has improved a lot since the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission. The salary of an IPS can range from INR 56,100 per month to INR 2,25,000 per month. It varies depending on seniority.

Roles & Responsibilities

Serve the people of the country with full integrity, honesty and whole hearted dedication

The foremost responsibility of IPS officers is law enforcement and safeguarding the public.

The role of an IPS officer is to manage situation especially in times of riots, protests, festivals, major events etc. An IPS also leads the police force and provides directives to them. The IPS officers job is to ensure the safety of the public at any cost. Hierarchy wise, an IPS officer comes after an IAS officer.

The roles and responsibilities also involve – 

  • Investigating crimes
  • ensuring national security
  • overseeing efficiency of traffic
  • seeing that prisons and penitentiaries are well managed
  • economic offenders are brought to book and further offenses prevented
  • keeping railway passengers safe
  • taking charge of the security of VIPs
  • safeguarding the country’s borders
  • Disaster management

Carrier Opportunities

IPS officers can be chosen to head Intelligence Agencies such as – 

  • CBI
  • Intelligence Bureau
  • Research & Analysis Wing
  • Federal Law Enforcement
  • Vigilance Agencies
  • Various Civil and Armed Police Forces and paramilitary forces such as the BSF, CRPF, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the National Security Guards.

IPS officers can also be posted in various capacities in autonomous organizations, public sector units, and even international bodies including the United Nations. They can also serve as personal secretaries to Ministers in the Central Government.

How to apply online for IPS exam

  • Visit the official site of UPSC –  
  • Go to ”Apply Online” tab.  
  • Click on ”Online Application for Various Examinations”  
  • Find the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination  
  • Start IPS registration with Part-I.  
  • Fill-up the personal details, educational qualification and address.  
  • Pay the prescribed application fee (Rs 100) 
  • Choose the exam centre  
  • Upload the photo, sign and photo identity card.  
  • Accept the declaration.  
  • Check the complete details and submit.  
  • Take a printout of IPS application form for future reference.

This was all about how to become an IPS officer. I have covered almost points. I hope this will help you to increase your knowledge. I wish you all the best for your better future. If you have any querries don’t hesitate to comment in the comment box.

Best of Luck for your FUTURE!

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