IPS Officer Ranks: IPS Post List, IPS Star on Shoulder & More

By Aarna Tiwari|Updated : September 5th, 2022

IPS Officer Ranks are appointed to candidates selected through the UPSC Exam or promoted by the state cadres. The IPS Post List nearly has around 10 ranks that are allotted to the IPS Officers. The juniormost IPS Rank is of the Assistant Superintendent of Police, given to the probationary IPS. The Deputy Superintendent of Police is the 3 Star Police Rank.

The article focuses on the IPS Officer Ranks, the IPS Star on Shoulder, their ranks, and related insignia. Candidates who wish to become an IPS Officer must go through the article once to understand the essence of the service.

Table of Content

IPS Exam

IPS Exam, also known as the Indian Police Service Exam, is a part of the Civil Services Examination, organized by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) annually. Indian Police Service (IPS) is one of the three All-India Services. UPSC conducts the UPSC Exam annually to recruit candidates from across the country to become IPS officers. To qualify for an IPS Officer, one must clear all stages of the UPSC Exam- UPSC Prelims, UPSC Mains, and Interview- and undergo Physical Training.

Candidates must check the IPS Salary, IPS Physical Requirements, etc., before applying for the IPS Exam.

☛ Read How to Become an IPS Officer

IPS Post List

During their training at SVPNPA, the newly recruited candidates get their first posting as ASP- Assistant Superintendent of Police in their respective cadre allotted. ASP rank is the junior most rank on an IPS state cadre.

The IPS Post List includes the following posts:

  • Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP)
  • Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP)
  • Additional Superintendent of Police(Addl. SP)
  • Superintendent of Police (SP)
  • Assistant Inspector General of Police / Senior Superintendent of Police (AIG/SSP)
  • Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG)
  • Inspector General of Police (IGP)
  • Additional Director General of Police (ADGP)
  • Director General of Police (DGP)

IPS Ranks and IPS Stars on Shoulders

IPS Officers are posted as Assistant Superintendent of Police in a supernumerary capacity, only for training purposes for two years and after that for 1 year. This is done side by side with the IPS Training.

The IPS Ranks are:

  • Assistant Superintendent of Police: Assistant Superintendent of Police is the directly recruited IPS officer, and he enjoys the rank while under physical and practical training. The ASP is a 2-year posting after the training is finished and during probation. All IPS officers start their careers as Assistant Superintendents of Police. State Cadre Officer cannot hold this rank.
  • Deputy Superintendent of Police: An IPS officer is posted as a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) after completion of the training in some states. DSP is similar to ACP or Assistant Commissioner of Police. Deputy Superintendent of Police is functionally equal to Assistant Superintendent of Police, but it is a State Police service. State Cadre Police Officers may be elevated to IPS after a few years of service according to state government laws and would be allotted the DSP rank.
  • Additional Superintendent of Police: Additional Superintendent of Police is a post next up in rank to Deputy Superintendent. An ASP is second in command in the district. An ASP is sometimes designated to perform the functions of an SP in his/her absence.
  • Superintendent of Police: Superintendent of police (SP) is a senior rank in the Indian Police Service. Their insignia includes a star and an Ashoka emblem on their epaulettes with 'IPS' below. In India, smaller districts are headed by a Superintendent of Police.
  • Assistant Inspector General of Police / Senior Superintendent of Police: Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) heads the police force of a more significant and sensitive district. IPS officers remain in the rank of SP till the 13th year, after which they are eligible for being promoted to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP).
  • Deputy Inspector General of Police: Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) is a rank IPS officers hold. DIG-ranked officers wear Gorget patches on their collars, a dark blue background, and a white line stitched.
  • Inspector General of Police: Inspector General of Police (IGP) is only an officer from the Indian Police Service and is the third-highest rank in the hierarchy of state cadres. IG-ranked wears Gorget patches on their collar with an oak leaf pattern stitched on the patch.
  • Additional Director General of Police: Additional Director General of Police is an Indian Police Service rank. The insignia of an ADG is the national emblem over a crossed sword and baton, and they wear Gorget patches on their collar, which have a dark blue background with an oak leaf pattern stitched on it. It is the second highest IPS Officer Rank and is equivalent to Commissioner of Police of some states/UTs. They are posted as zonal heads.
  • Director General of Police: Director general of police is the highest ranking police officer in a State or a Union Territory of India. The DGP is appointed by the cabinet and holds a three-star rank. The rank insignia of a Director General of Police is the national emblem over a crossed sword and baton, and they wear gorget patches on their collar with a dark blue background with an oak leaf pattern stitched on it. DGP rank IPS Officers can be appointed as Director of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau, Director General of Prisons, Director General of fire forces and civil defence, Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Police Housing Society, etc.

IPS Officer Ranks

3- Star Police Rank

3- Star Police Rank is allotted to the DSP, which is a Provisional Police Service rank. Other than this, an ACP is also allotted with 3- Star after completion of IPS training. The insignia of DSP from the State Police Service has 3 stars, with the state initials below. The ACP rank has three stars, with IPS Initials below the stars.

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FAQs About IPS Officer Ranks

  • The IPS Officer Ranks are:

    • Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP)
    • Additional Superintendent of Police(Addl. SP)
    • Superintendent of Police (SP)
    • Assistant Inspector General of Police / Senior Superintendent of Police (AIG/SSP)
    • Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG)
    • Inspector General of Police (IGP)
    • Additional Director General of Police (ADGP)
    • Director General of Police (DGP)
  • After completing their training, officers still hold the rank of assistant superintendent and wear three silver stars as insignia for a year, then get promoted.

  • The highest rank in IPS is the DGP (Director General of Police). It is the highest authority in any police state.

  • The Full Form of IPS is the Indian Police Service. Candidates who clear the UPSC Exam, get allotted to IPS according to their service preference. The candidates who join the force are known as IPS Officers.

  • In India, the Director General of Police (DGP) is the highest ranking police officer in an Indian State or Union Territory. DGP typically heads the state or UT police force, who in case, are also called State Police Chief.

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