IPS Officer: Qualification, Role, How to Become IPS Officer

By Balaji

Updated on: March 9th, 2023

IPS Officer: Every year, hundreds of candidates see their dream turning into reality by becoming an IPS officer after clearing the UPSC Civil Services examination. A series of steps and preparation are involved in clearing the exam and becoming an IPS officer. The three stages of the UPSC CSE are Prelims, Mains, and Interview after which candidates are posted into the service based on merit and preference. Giving extra effort, endless energy, and a well-planned preparation strategy can help you achieve your goal.

Those who are preparing hard to join the Indian Police Service can read this article and know how to become IPS officer in India. The preparation to become an IPS officer begins with being well-versed in the UPSC exam and its syllabus. After the aspirants clear the exam, selected officers are trained at LBSNAA and SVPNPA. The responsibility of an Indian Police Service officer reclines on safeguarding the public and maintaining harmony among them.

Know more about how to become an IPS officer along with details about the minimum qualification required, preparation, training, roles & responsibilities below.

Table of content

  • 1. What is IPS Officer? (more)
  • 2. Who can Become IPS Officer? (more)
  • 3. IPS Officer Qualification (more)
  • 4. How to Become IPS Officer? (more)
  • 5. How to become an IPS Officer after 12th? (more)
  • 6. What to study to become an IPS Officer? (more)
  • 7. IPS Officer Training (more)
  • 8. Roles and Responsibilities of an IPS Officer (more)

What is IPS Officer?

IPS full form is Indian Police Service which is one of the three All India Services. The selection of IPS officers is done based on their ranks in the UPSC exam which is conducted on an annual basis to recruit candidates for civil services. An IPS officer is one who provides the command to the state and union territories’ police forces, CAPFs, National Security Guards (NSG), National Investigative Agency (NIA), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and other such forces.

Who can Become IPS Officer?

One can become an IPS officer if he or she knows about the eligibility criteria of the exam. Before you begin your preparation, you must understand the eligibility details mentioned below which include age limit criteria, physical requirements, nationality, and IPS officer qualification.

Parameters Details
IPS Physical Requirements – The minimum height for women is 150 cm.

– The minimum height for men is 165 cm.

– The minimum chest girth of women and men is 84 cm and 79 cm.

– Myopia should not exceed minus 4.00D.

– Hyper myopia should not exceed plus 4.00D.

Age limit – Must have a minimum age of 21 years.

– Should have a maximum age of 32 years on the 1st of August in the year of examination.

Nationality Should be a citizen of India, a subject of Nepal, a Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, for permanent settlement in India, or Migrants from any of the following countries for permanent settlement in India- Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, and many more.

IPS Officer Qualification

The minimum qualification required to become an IPS officer is a graduation degree from a recognized university. All those who have appeared for the final year exams and waiting for their final result can also apply for the exam.

It is important for candidates to check the IPS officer qualification beforehand to avoid the cancellation of the application form at later stages.

How to Become IPS Officer?

To become an IPS officer, a candidate must pass the Civil Services Examination held by the Union Public Services Examination. We all know that around 8 lakh candidates apply every year but only a handful of candidates become IPS officers.

Go through the below steps to know how to become an IPS officer:

  • Apply for UPSC Exam – IPS Officer Exam
  • Effective preparation – It is important to ensure that you are fully prepared for the IPS exam.
  • Give the UPSC Prelims exam
  • Give the UPSC Mains exam
  • Go for the Personal Interview

After the interview, the Commission announces the final merit list based on the Mains exam and interview results.

Apply to UPSC: The first and foremost step to becoming an IPS officer is to apply for the Civil Services Examination by completing the UPSC application form released by the Union Public Services Commission every year. The candidates will be informed about the IPS Exam through various famous newspapers such as Rozgar Samachar, Employment news, and many more.

IPS Preparation: The Civil Services Examination consists of three stages such as-

  1. Preliminary Examination: The first part of the IPS officer exam is a preliminary exam. The total number of marks assigned for the prelims exam is 400 marks which are divided into two papers. Both papers will be objective types that are multiple-choice questions. It is the qualifying exam for the final exam. After clearing the prelims exam, you can appear for the Mains examination.
  2. Mains Examination: The second part of the UPSC exam is the Mains examination. This exam can only be taken if you have cleared the prelims examination. The exam paper is of a descriptive type.
  3. Personal Interview: Once you have cleared the Mains exam, the candidate is then eligible to appear for the interview or personality test round where the general knowledge, subject knowledge, mental ability, and critical thinking skills of the candidate are assessed.

How to become an IPS Officer after 12th?

Becoming an IPS Officer after 12th is a dream for many. Clearing the UPSC exam is not an easy nut to crack. It requires proper planning and a well-thought-out plan. Firstly to appear for the UPSC examination, and to become an IPS Officer after 12th, a candidate must possess a graduate degree in any field of choice. It is advisable to choose subjects that may be helpful in the UPSC exam preparation.

To become an IPS Officer after 12th, a candidate must have attained the age of 21 years along with being a graduate and necessarily a citizen of India. Once a candidate fulfils all these conditions of an IPS Eligibility, he/she will be eligible to appear in the exam. A candidate will have to go through three phases – Prelims, Mains and Interview to become an IPS Officer after 12th.

What to study to become an IPS Officer?

For effective preparation, many candidates have doubts about what to study to become an IPS officer. Check the books mentioned below to efficiently prepare for the IPS officer exam.

Subject Topic Book Name
History & Indian Culture Modern History A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir
Ancient History ‘Ancient India’ by RS Sharma (Old NCERT)
Medieval History History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra (Old NCERT)
Indian Culture 1.‘Facets of Indian Culture’ by Spectrum

2. Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania

Geography Physical Geography 1. Certificate Physical and Human Geography

2. Maps Oxford School Atlas

Indian Geography India: Physical Environment (NCERT)
World Geography 1. Fundamentals of Human Geography (NCERT)

2. Certificate Physical And Human Geography

Economy Economy 1. India People and Economy (NCERT)

2. Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh

Polity Polity Indian Polity by Laxmikanth
Current Affairs Daily, Monthly & Weekly Current Affairs The Hindu
Science & Tech Science & Tech 1. NCERTs

2. Daily Newspapers

3. ISRO website

Environment & Ecology Environment & Ecology 1. Recent Events on Climate change through Newspapers

2. NIOS Study Materials

What Subjects are Required to Become an IPS Officer?

In order to become an IPS Officer, you are required to qualify for the IPS exam conducted by the UPSC. There are no specific subjects or streams defined to become an IPS Officer. The Civil Service Examination requires knowledge in subjects such as history, geography, politics, science and technology, and many other subjects.

UPSC Prelims paper 1 syllabus includes the following subjects:

  • History – Ancient, Medieval, Modern History along with Post Independence History
  • Indian Polity and governance
  • Indian and World Geography
  • Economic and Social Development
  • Environment
  • General Science

UPSC Prelims paper 2 syllabus includes the following subjects:

  • Interpersonal Skills and Communication Skills
  • Basic English Comprehension Skills
  • Decision-making skills and problem-solving skills
  • Basic numeracy
  • General mental ability

The UPSC Mains Exam consists of 7 papers including various subjects. Check the details below.

Paper Subject
Paper 1 Essay (can be written in the medium of the candidate’s choice)
Paper 2 General Studies – 1 (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)
Paper 3 General Studies – 2 (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations)
Paper 4 General Studies – 3 (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)
Paper 5 General Studies – 4 (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)
Paper 6 Optional Subject – Paper 1
Paper 7 Optional Subject – Paper 2

IPS Officer Training

After you clear the entrance exam and become an IPS officer, you have to complete the mandatory training at LBSNAA and SVPNPA.

IPS Officer Training: Once the candidate qualifies all three stages of the Civil Services Examination, including prelims, mains, and interviews, the top rankers are then acknowledged as IPS probationers and are forwarded to Sardar Vallabhai Patel Police Academy for a year. At this time, probationers undergo strict physical training and are taught all aspects of policing and administration. Following successful training, the IPS officers are then placed as per the requirements of the state and the central government in policy and investigative organizations.

Roles and Responsibilities of an IPS Officer

The IPS Officer come under the Ministry of Home Affairs. Now, we will see the roles and responsibilities of an IPS officer:

  • Performs Border functions and responsibilities such as Counter-terrorism, Border policing.
  • Protecting civil peace and order like Crime restrictions.
  • Maintains Anti-smuggling and narcotics trafficking and VIP safety.
  • It also controls disasters such as Biodiversity and security/implementation of environmental laws.
  • You must serve as HoDs in policymaking in the Ministries and Departments of Central and State Governments, Public sector undertakings (PSUs) both at the centre and in states.
  • You are supposed to interact and coordinate closely with Other All India Services, the Indian Army, and the Armed Forces in general.

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