Some candidates choose IPS over IAS. Why?

Most of the aspirants in the  UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) prefer IAS over IPS and IFS. However, there are always some candidates who select  IPS over IAS as their first preference. It is because there are certain attractions in IPS which other civil services cannot provide. The following are the main reasons or attraction to select IPS over IAS.

IPS Over IAS. Why?

1. IPS Uniform

 IPS is a Uniform Force Service. An IAS officer or the officers of any other civil service are like anyone else cannot be recognized unless someone introduces them to you. However, an IPS officer is immediately identified by his/her uniform. How smart and beautiful an IPS officer looks like in his uniform? A smart IPS officer stand unique in the crowd from his/her body language and smartness.

Kerala IPS officer: Merin Joseph

2. Specialization

The best part of IAS is the variety of tasks /posts assigned to this job. Although, it also produces an IAS officer jack of all trades and master of none. Maybe in the agriculture department today as a secretary, head the revenue department tomorrow and may be transferred to the department of minority affairs the next day. They hardly spend ample time at any single charge to develop a specialization. Thus they lose to know much less than the officers who are working under them. Most services see IAS officers come from outside and intrudes in the main administration domain.

An IPS officer specializes in police administration and investigation. IPS officers build a brand identity of efficiency and expertise in his chosen field and respected by everyone. The organizations like CBI, IB, and RAW directly monitored by the Prime Ministers Office. CBI, IB, and RAW are always headed by IPS officers. As per the current scenario, National Security Adviser to Prime Minister is a most powerful bureaucrat in the country which is always headed by a senior most IPS officer expert in security measures

3. IPS Officer Power

IPS officers enjoy immense power directly. There is no one who can take conflict even with low ranking police officers. They have plentiful discretionary power and they can put any person including a senior IAS official into trouble. The CBI which is almost exclusively manned at the senior level by IPS officer can arrest anyone including Ministers and IAS officers. IPS officers have power over every citizen of the country including other officers.IPS over IAS

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4. Job Satisfaction: IPS Vs IAS

The police administration job provides great job satisfaction since you are directly dealing with the public. When you apprehend a criminal or an anti-social element, you are curing the society of an illness. An honest police officer bags the affection and admiration of the people who are suffering at the hands of the powerful and rich people. In IAS, your contribution is indirect except in the District Collector post. The satisfaction is greatest as an IPS officer. I know some IPS officers who are so much afraid by the antisocial elements that they would leave the town no sooner the officer is posted there.

Also read: Salary of an IAS Officer after 7th Pay Commission

5. Visibility: IPS over IAS

 The most visible service in the group of Civil Service is Indian  Police Service. You can’t move even a small distance in a city without facing a police officer on the road. There is nothing will be a matter how high you may be, you have to deal with a police officer when you have some problem arising. While hardly anyone knows who is the Chief Secretary of the State but even common people may very well know the particular Police Commissioner or the Director General of Police.

6. Social Importance: IAS Vs IPS

No society can be peaceful or prosperous if the law and order situation of the state or country vulnerable. A single crime like rape and murder can disturb the conscience of the society, state, and nation. While it may not be a serious issue if revenue targets are missed by a few hundreds of crores or a project is suspended for a couple of years. Our constitution guarantees the protection of life and property of Citizen by Article 20 &21. So it will be s very serious issue if an innocent girl attacked in the city. Who can forget the Delhi Gang rape case of 2012 which shaken the country?

7. IPS Glamour

Police are the public face of the real power of government. You would seldom see any IAS, IRS or IFS or any other officer in the cinema. However, almost all movie has a police officer as a  powerful character. You cannot be a megastar unless you did play the role of a dashing police officer in a picture. They may be hated or loved,  but they cannot be ignored by anyone. T Singham, Dabangg are such examples of glamorization of the police officer as a Superman.

 8. Public Adulation

The common people of India thinking the real state power with police and treat the police as above the rest. I recalled a small story which I read several years ago in a national daily.

An old lady  was fighting for  land dispute case for several years. Finally, the pronounced the verdict  in her favour from the Court.

The old woman got extremely cheerful and she blessed the Judge: “May God make you a Thanedar (Police Inspector) soon!”

If a police inspector is a place to be so high in the eyes and heart of the common man, then imagine the place of an IPS officer whom dozens of such officer report? This would be surely beyond their comprehension.

You certainly miss a lot when you choose IAS over IPS.

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91 thoughts on “Some candidates choose IPS over IAS. Why?”

  1. I am a student of PANIMALAR ENGINEERING COLLEGE(CHENNAI),studying B.E CIVIL(1st year).I am interested in cracking UPSC Civil services exam.But i don’t know from where to start.Could anyone please guide me?

  2. Vivek kumar Vivek

    I have all the qualifications for both IPS and IAS. Now the question is if IAS wants to do some goodness for his district and if it is disturbed by politicians in some other way by transferring the Same IAS officer in to some other department. It happens frequently..
    But an IPS officer even if he transferred he goes there as an IPS officer only Right.
    Now please say me What can I choose if I want to work freely with out political disturbance..
    I must choose IAS or IPS… Reply me.

  3. sir I m now in 11th standard and student of arts field and i wanted to become an IPS officer. so, sir my humble request is that provide me your opinion through your reply about how can i prepare for upsc examination from now..to achieve my aim.

  4. Sir, I was in depression for 6 months and also have hesitation cuts on my arm so my question is even if i clear the Paper and interview, will they select me as IPS or IAS.

  5. I want to be an IPS officer my height is 180cm
    1) I have heard people saying that they give bonus 3 marks if I have height more than 177cms, Is it true ?
    2) But my vision is +1.25 in the right eye and – 1.75 in the left eye so will it be a problem ?? please help me i’m afraid of it !! and what is this 6/6 vision how can i know whether I have 6/6 visio or not ??

    1. IAS and IPS are selected through a common exam known as UPSC Civil Services Exam. As per the rank and service preference , a candidate may be allotted to any of the service selected.

  6. After clearing the exam Of UPSC how could I choose the post either to be an IAS officer or IPS? I mean what is the criteria of choosing the post after clearing CSE. ..

    1. When filling Detailed Application Form(DAF) for Mains you need to mention your service preference as 1,2,3 etc . As per your rank and category you will be allotted to one of the service you opted. If you opt IPS as your preference then you need to come within at-least 225th rank(General category).

  7. sir ,as a general knowledge base i am asking this.should all ias candidates, who complte training just in this year, will join as assistent DM or any other post alloted by govt. 2. any one who suffers with ocd (obssesive compulsion disorder) can apply upsc.what posts they choose. 3. how one ias /ips officer sustains against presurres from politions and gangesters and mafia ,as in the sutuation ,we kill u if we donot cooperate with us. pls give ur answers.thank u.

  8. Hello sir,
    I am mahi soni. I am engineering student and this is my second Sam but my aim is to be an IPS officer but I have got specs.
    So could u please tell me what are the abilities to be an IPS officer. So that, I prepare according to that…

  9. My choice is IPS ,what procedure apply for IPS after qualifying upcs interview and which rules fallow to acquire IPS post

    1. Height should be 165 cm and u need to undergo medical test as per upsc medical standards. Give IPS as first option when filling Detailed Application Form (DAF) for mains exam.

  10. Whether ias officer takes action on him/her and vice versa.
    I am studying in BE. I want to be an ias. I have so much of thoughts to serve people. But I hate to study much. Be a confidential will I be a ias?

  11. sir
    my height is 167 cm . i have seen at many places the minimum height for deputy suprintendent of police is 168 cm . am i eligible for dsp ?
    am i eligible for ips? are ips and dsp height requirement similar ?

  12. Can a person having a fictitious criminal case(murder) filed against him be an ips officer. Supposedly, the case was filed 8years ago and there were no charges filed against the person by the police i.e. only the FIR bears his name?

    1. The accusation is not a disqualification.But after getting selected it will affect the confirmation of probation period. If he is convicted before selection or after selection he will be disqualified or dismissed.

      1. Sir my height is 163 cm and I want to become ips officer ?
        I know that max height is 165 cm if I had score good rank.

  13. saurabh srivastava

    Sir/ Ma’am I have a big doubt pls help i m preparing civil services to become ips officer just before that i have cleared the exam of merchant navy and his medical test too my problem is i have undergone with 2 surgeries one is of appendix (11 july 2007) and other is hernia (10 june 2015) in year 2016 march i have cleared the merchant navy medical exam in that i told to doctor that i face no difficulty he also said now everything is fine. currently i m facing no difficulty regaring my surgeries

    so will i face any problem regarding this will i be selected or rejected for ips

  14. hi sir/madam
    i am wearing specs i have a power of -3 in both my eyes. Am i eligible to become IPS officer with specs or else i have to go for an LASIK surgery before appearing. I have all other physical requirements and medically fit. please guide me in this regard.

  15. I hav heard that we ned to pass out from a recognized university for applying upsc……is it ok if we complete our graduation from america….from california state university? Then i can apply for upsc ryt?

    1. Some foreign degrees are also recognized by UPSC. UPSC can only say ur degree is approved or not .So u have to contact UPSC through e-mail or phone.Best wishes.

  16. I have heard that flat feet can become a hurdle in medical examination of IPS. They can even consisder candidates for Re Medical and if not corrected, a person can be rejected. Is this true?
    Coz i am having flat feet but it never causes any pain or discomfort while walking,jogging ,running, jumping or sprinting. Please can u tell me the exact criteria of flat feet during medicals of IPS.

  17. Till 32 we can apply for ips i believ? Im 25yrs old and hav completed diploma IT. My height is 175cms. I gues i hav to complet my graduation for applying ips. My communication skills are also good. I need advice, in which field i should complet my graduation?

  18. hello sir/mam,
    i have completed my b.sc. this year. my social studies is not so good due to lack of teachers of s.s. in our school. i want to become an ias officer. so can i overcome from my this weakness? will my science stream create any problem for this?

    1. Certainly u can overcome ur weakness. Ur science background is not at all a hindrance for ur IAS Preparation.Best wishes.

  19. If we clear upsc with a good rank ..is the candidates given the chance to choose their service . If I get chance to serve as IAS can I choose to serve as IPS

    1. U need to give preference as 1,2,3 etc.U will get the service as per ur rank , choice and vacancy.Best wishes

  20. My ambition is to bcome an ips officer..but I have a ligament problem in my ankle from past 2 yrs ..doctors had said dat it will b through out my life..it pains a lot when it’s stressed..Will I b qualified during upsc medical test..

    1. Will be difficult to qualify for IPS as u have ligament problem.Try for other services such as IAS, IFS,IRS and so on. Best wishes.

    1. Yes, lot of people qualified for IAS by self study..They have equal chance if they have right approach and dedication.Best wishes.

    1. No need for having knowledge in Indian languages.But u have to write one compulsory paper of any of Indian language mentioned in 8th schedule which is in qualifying nature.No other solution.

  21. Precisely Glamour & superficial status seems to be the main reason why some candidates prefer IPS over IAS…& that is what this blog seems to justify…

    All the different reasons mentioned here ( 1 to 5) either starts with satire which is considered to be glamorous ( as an IPS) or the special recognition in terms of power & public image which IPS enjoy thanks to Bollywood for making it a huge it among the aspiratnts specially for those who specifically choose this particular profession bcoz it is highly considered as glamorous , full of disvretinrr discretionary authority , power & social recognition rather than looking other way around specially when country thrives to attain economic , social , cultural prosperîty….
    No doubt IPS contribute in all three as stated above , but it’s wrong to join policing just for other reasons as mentioned in preceding para’s

  22. Burhan Nazir Mir

    I appreciate the efforts of the author of this article for highlighting the role of IPS officers in the country for maintaining law and order and for heading the police but one can not rule out the role of IAS officers. . .
    Personally speaking, I think it is not prudent to compare between IAS and IPS as both cadres are a must to society, I mean how can you run govt without bearucacy as it is important part of Indian govt. . I mean you cannot hand over charge/duty of IAS officer to the IPS officer, both are important in their own prospective. .
    If all guys are going to opt for IPS then who will be IAS, state will turn into police state. .

    1. We mention some candidates choose IPS over IAS that means’ very few candidates.In the first 100 only one or 2 choose IPS over IAS and 2 to 5 chooses IFS over IPS.So its clear that more than 90% people chooses IAS as their first preference. 🙂



    I have also the same thought, but my problem is my height, it not suits the requirement, is there any way to be IPS?

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