How to become IPS officer in India

IPS Guide: Selection Process, Eligibility Criteria, Salary, Duties

In today’s article, we will see one of India’s most difficult & competitive exams, known as I.P.S. or Indian Police Service, why I am saying that it is one of the most challenging & competitive exams.

Because more than 300k students apply for the I.P.S. examination and after the final round, nearly 150-200 students are able to become an I.P.S. officer.

Now the main reason I see which makes this examination so competitive is that many students fill the form for the exam just because his/her friend is going to do it.

They don’t see, are they really ready for the I.P.S. examination. I mean, I am not saying that someone can do it or not.

If you are ready to give 2-3 years leaser focus, willing to bring peace & harmony in society, ready to handle stressful situations while keeping the law & order maintained then you must go for it.

Before learning anything else, let’s see the history of the I.P.S. officer. The British Government introduced an act in the year 1861, which was the foundation of today’s PPB ( professionalized police bureaucracy ) in India.

It founded a brand new police cadre called S.P.S. ( Superior Police Services ), and after some time, they changed it to the Indian Imperial Police (I.I.P.). For each region, I.G. or inspector general was the highest position.

In 1937, according to the central warrant of precedence, an I.G. post was similar to a brigadier post in the I.A.F. or the Indian Armed Forces. A police commission was created in 1902-1903 for the reformation of police.

The work of reforming police was given to Lord Curzon and Sir Andrew Fraser. Afterward, they suggested appointing an Indian for the officer post in the police.

At that point of time, an Indian could only become a police inspector or a senior N.C.O. ( non-commissioned officer ). They didn’t allow an Indian to become an I.I.P.

But in 1920, they open the post of I.I.P. for Indians too. Now you can give an entrance examination and get the post. After 27 years, when we got the freedom, an I.I.P. post was converted to I.P.S.

What is an IPS Officer?

I.P.S. or Indian Police Service is one of the most respected, influential, but very competitive positions.

Why I am saying causes more than 300k students apply for this job every year, and almost 150-200 are able to sit on the chair of an I.P.S. officer.

This means only 0.05 percentage gets the job. Now you can understand the previous phrase.

In the year 1948, after the freedom of India, the Indian Imperial Police replaced with Indian Police Services. There three All India Services (A.I.S.).

Indian Administrative Service (I.A.S.), Indian Forest Service (I.F.S.), and Indian Police Service are three A.I.S. Both individual states and the union government can employ these three A.I.S.

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Eligibility Criteria

There is an eligibility criteria for everyone who is willing to apply for the I.P.S. examination. I have divided these criteria and mentioned them below in details, have a look:-

  • Age Limit
  • Education
  • Nationality

1. Age Limit

A candidate who wants to give Indian Police Service examination, then he or she should be 21-32 years old as of 1st August in examination year. Now there is age relaxation for people, which I mentioned below, have a look:-

  • SC/ST students will get 5 years of relaxation within the age limit, and they will have unlimited attempts.
  • OBC people have a relaxation of 3 years, and they will have 9 attempts.
  • People who are from J&K have 5 years of relaxation.
  • A person who was a commissioned officer and rendered at least 5 years have a relaxation of 5 years.
  • People who were in Military Service or Defence Services but disabled during their service will have an age relaxation of 3 years.

2. Education

If you are wondering what kind of qualification needs in the I.P.S. examination, let me clarify that.

A candidate who is willing to take part in the exam should have completed their graduation from a university that is recognized by U.G.C. or University Grants Commission.

If someone is in their final year of the degree, they can also apply for the examination.

Apart from that, If you think that you need some specific stream degree to apply for the Indian Police Service, then you are wrong.

No matter which stream you took for graduation, you can still apply.

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3. Nationality

Now, if we talk about nationality, then are some restrictions. Not all countries people can apply for the Indian Police Service.

If you are from India then you are eligible for the exam. If you are a migrate person from countries like Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Pakistan, settled permanently in India, then you can give the exam.

A Tibetan refugee who settled permanently in India and came here before the 1st of January 1962 can also appear for the exam.

Physics Requirement

There are some physical requirements to apply or give the Indian Police Service examination. Below I have mentioned those requirements in detail:-

  1. The height requirement for men is 165cm or 5.4 Feet for General Category and 160cm or 5.2 Feet for ST/SC/OBC.
  2. Women’s height requirement is 150cm or 4.9 Feet for General Category and 145cm or 4.7 Feet for ST/SC/OBC Category.
  3. In men, the chest requirement is 84cm to 89cm or 33inches to 35inches, and for women, the requirement is 79cm to 84 cm or 31inches to 33 inches.
  4. People who are suffering from a squint can’t apply for the exam.
  5. A distance vision of a candidate should be 6/6 or 6/9. Lenses and spectacles are allowed.
  6. The candidate who is willing to apply for the exam should not have a low-grade color vision.
  7. The last is, Binocular vision is a must.

Selection Process

The selection process for an I.P.S. officer or Indian Police Service officer is similar to an I.A.S. or Indian Administrative Service office. The selection of an I.P.S. officer has three steps.

The first one is the Preliminary Examination. In this step, a candidate faces a paper that contains objective type questions.

Once you clear this step, you now go for the second step, the main examination. In this step, all you need to do is face subjective papers.

Once you successfully complete these two steps, the Preliminary Examination, and Main examination. Now you are just one step away to become an I.P.S. officer.

The last step or round is the interview. This round is for testing the candidate’s mindset. So the only suggestion or recommendation I will give you is being confident and preparing yourself mentally before the interview round.

Also Read:- Top 7 Most Competitive and Toughest Exams in India 2021

Duties of an IPS officer

Some duties or responsibilities can along with the post of an IPS officer. Below I have mentioned these duties or responsibilities in detail, have a look:-

  1. Maintain the Peace, Law & order, decrease the crime, collection of intelligence, give security to VIPs, counter-terrorism, economic offenses, maintain the border policing, do investigations, drug trafficking, etc. are something that an IPS officer do.
  2. Command/lead agencies like RAW ( Research and Analysis Wing ), IB ( Intelligence Bureau ), CID ( Criminal Investigation Department ), CBI ( Central Bureau of Investigation ), etc. 
  3. As an IPS, you lead/command many Central Armed Police Forces and Central Police Organisations like BSF, CRPF, NSG, ITBP, and CISF.
  4. Maintain a high level of physical and mental fitness so that they can handle any stressful situation.
  5. Lead your force/team with purity, courage, a strong sense of serving the public.


Below I have mentioned a monthly salary of almost every post of IPS, have a look. But before you see these numbers, there is something I want to tell you.

The salary numbers I just mention are not that correct but I have given almost correct salary numbers.


Post or Position

Pay Level

Monthly Salary

Director of the Intelligence Bureau

Level 17


Director general of police ( Head of State Police Forces )

Level 17


Director general of police

Level 16


Additional director general of police

Level 15


Inspector general of police

Level 14


Deputy inspector general of police

Level 13A


Superintendent of police (selection grade)

Level 13


Superintendent of police

Level 12


Additional superintendent of police

Level 11


Deputy Superintendent of Police

Level 10


Final Words

Above I have mentioned almost everything that an IPS Aspirate must know before applying for the Indian Police Service examination.

Again I want to say that if you are really ready to give 2-3 years of leaser focus, ready to work hard and smart, also dedicate and passionate about it.

Only then you should go for the IPS exam. If you are going, just because your friend or family member is doing then you just wasting the money and more than that your precious time.

Because not all people in the world are IPS, IFS, or IAS, but still there are looking the life to the fullest. Just go outside look around, search on the internet and you’ll find something that you love to do.