Difference Between IAS and IPS | IAS vs IPS - Which is Higher Post?

By Durga Prashanna Mishra|Updated : January 9th, 2023

The difference between IAS and IPS is that IAS stands for Indian Administrative Service, and IPS stands for Indian Police Service. Both IAS and IPS are the most coveted civil services in India. Getting into these services is challenging and a matter of immense pride and responsibility. Both IAS and IPS are prestigious posts. However, there is a difference between IAS and IPS officers, especially when it comes to the nature of their functions, responsibilities, etc.

Difference Between IAS and IPS

In this article, we will cover the difference Between IAS and IPS in terms of power, ranks, salary, roles and responsibilities, etc. Candidates who want to know more about IAS vs IPS must read till the end to uncover all the facts and information related to IAS and IPS.

Table of Content

Difference Between IPS and IAS

IAS is offered to top-ranking candidates, whereas IPS is the next best alternative in the Civil Services Examination. However, it is also the candidate's choice if they want to opt for IAS or IPS. In the past, most candidates passing higher ranks in the UPSC Exam opted for Indian Administrative Service.

IAS has been the most popular civil service in India, and it can be due to various factors. Below we will discuss the IAS vs IPS considering various factors like salary, responsibilities, hierarchy, training, promotion, etc.

Difference Between IAS and IPS - Controlling Authorities

The controlling authority for IAS is the Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pension. The IPS Cadre is controlled by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

☛ Also, Check: UPSC Cadre Allocation List

IAS vs IPS - Responsibilities

Below we have mentioned the difference between IAS and IPS officers in terms of responsibilities. There is a major difference between IAS and IPS in terms of the roles and responsibilities that they are pursuing.

IAS Roles and Responsibilities

  • IAS officers look after the administration of an area, district, or department.
  • They also make proposals and have other executive powers to implement policies for the development of their areas.
  • IAS officers are also answerable to the State and Central governments.

IPS Roles and Responsibilities

  • One of the major responsibilities of IPS officers is to maintain law and order in society, apart from investigating crime and ensuring public safety.
  • In simple words, the primary role of IPS is to maintain peace and public safety.

IAS vs IPS Ranks

Hierarchy-wise, IAS is above IPS, mainly because of the nature of the responsibilities. In addition to implementing government policies, several district departments also come under IAS.

An IPS officer only has the responsibility of one department. However, an IPS officer holds a high position and has enormous power in municipal corporations, municipalities, etc.

☛ Also Check: IPS Officer Ranks

Difference Between IAS And IPS Selection Process

IAS and IPS officers are selected through the Civil Services Examination conducted by Union Public Service Commission. The UPSC CSE is conducted in three stages- UPSC Prelims, UPSC Mains, and Personality Test. Candidates must clear all three stages of the UPSC exam and secure good ranks to become IAS and IPS officers.

The eligibility criteria and the selection process for Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service are almost identical. However, only top-ranking candidates can be recruited as IAS officers, and IPS is the second-best alternative.

Difference Between IAS and IPS Training

An IAS cadre officer is trained in the administration, management of manpower, etc. The top-ranking candidate in the training course receives President's Gold Medal for management. IAS officers are trained at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, Uttarakhand.

IPS training is more rigorous and involves physical training and law enforcement activities. Although a medical exam is common for both, IPS officers must also meet certain physical requirements like height, weight, etc. The top-ranking candidate in training is rewarded the Prime Minister's Baton. Training of IPS officers is held at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad, Telangana.

IAS vs IPS Promotion

The diligent Officers are entitled to be promoted to higher roles and responsibilities. The highest promotions for an IAS officer in India are:

  • Appointment as a Cabinet Secretary for which only one IAS officer is appointed.
  • Post of a Chief Secretary.
  • Post of a Home Secretary

Highest posts for an IPS officer in India:

  • The Director-General of Police of the state is one of the highest posts for an IPS officer.
  • However, in Central Government, an IPS officer can also be appointed as CBI, RAW, and IB director.
  • They can also be India's National Security Adviser.

IAS vs IPS salary

Although the starting salary for both is the same, the pay scale for IAS officers is slightly larger. The entry-level IAS Salary is INR 56,100 (without TA, HRA, and DA). The salary of an IAS officer is after the 7th Pay Commission.

In comparison to IAS, the pay scale of IPS officers is lower. IPS Salary is also after the 7th Pay Commission, and it ranges from 56,100 INR per month to as high as 2,25,000 INR per month upon attaining the post of the Director-General of Police (DGP). Both IAS and IPS get the benefits of accommodation, transport, house help, healthcare, etc.

Difference Between IAS And IPS Uniform

Both the IAS and IPS officers have different uniforms. The IAS officers don’t have any specific uniform, and they wear formal at events. However, the IPS officer does have a special uniform, which varies with rank and promotion at every level.

But A string, national emblem, and sword are mandatory for every rank. On special occasions like Republic day and Independence day, IPS officers must be in full uniform.

IAS vs IPS - Who is More Powerful?

Both Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service are high-grade profiles. IAS controls a wide range of departments, and IPS is responsible for administering specific departments. Both services have different roles and responsibilities to take care of.

However, IAS is considered more powerful than IPS due to Power and Authority. IAS officers have to deal with the responsibility of all departments existing in their districts, but IPS officers only deal with their departments.

IAS vs IPS - What to Choose?

IAS vs IPS is a hot debate with no conclusion, as both services are prestigious in their own field. It depends on what the candidate wants. They must remember that clearing IAS Exam or IPS Exam is not a cakewalk. It requires determination, hard work, and effective strategy.

However, if you don’t like riots, crime, and law and order issues, then IPS is not for you. On the other hand, IAS has harmony in service patterns, and they have to manage the issue independently. Apart from tons of benefits, both these services are highly challenging. Candidates need to be mindful of what he/she wants and have to be goal-oriented.


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FAQs on Difference Between IAS and IPS

  • The Difference Between IAS and IPS with regard to hierarchy is that an IAS officer is above an IPS officer, mainly because an IAS officer has the responsibility for more departments of the district while an IPS officer is usually the head of the police department. There are numerous differences between IAS and IPS in terms of controlling authority, roles and responsibilities etc.

  • The difference between IAS and IPS based on the selection process is that IAS is offered to top-ranking candidates in the Civil Services Examination, whereas IPS are the next best alternative to the top-ranking candidates, followed by IFS and IRS.

  • Yes, The difference between IAS and IPS with regard to training is that IPS officers are required to fulfill certain physical requirements like height and weight along with specialized training. A medical exam is common for both.

  • Yes, there is a difference between IAS and IPS regarding salary. It depends on seniority and experience, but an IAS officer's salary is usually higher. The basic Salary of IAS Officer is INR 56,100 per month, excluding allowances like TA, DA, and HRA. 

  • Both IAS and IPS officers are highly prestigious services. But IAS is considered to be more powerful than IPS due to their power and authority.

  • One of the major responsibilities of IPS officers is to manage law and order in society, apart from examining corruption and securing public security. IAS officers look after the administration of an area, community, or branch. They also make suggestions and have other administrative powers to enforce policies for the growth of their locations.

  • IAS is the topmost position of all administrative services. An IAS officer ranks at the top, whereas an IPS officer comes after IAS officers in the second position. Also, the IAS officer receives more advantages than the IPS officer.

  • IAS officers receive the fastest promotion in the country. A typical IAS officer obtains 2-4 years of benefit in promotion compared to an IPS officer. For the same rank, IPS officers get less salary (up to IG rank) after the first Time Scale (4th year of service).

  • Both IAS and IPS officers have distinct uniforms. However, their uniform can vary based on their ranks, posts and designations from state to state. Though IAS officers do not have any particular uniform, IPS officers must wear a standard uniform, which is Khaki colored.

  • The Indian Civil Services was the progenitor of the Indian Administrative Services. Post the enactment of the Government of India Act 1919; it became one of the feeders of the All India Services.

    • The Indian Police Service is a successor to the Indian Imperial Police.
    • The Indian Imperial Police was made in 1861 after the establishment of the Indian Councils Act 1861 by the British government.

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