UPSC Indian Police Service

The Indian Police Service (IPS) is one of the three All India Services of the Government of India. The Indian Police Service examination is a part of the Civil Services Examination (CSE) which is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) each year. Candidates can download their admit card for Preliminary examination through the official website

Important Date for UPSC IPS:

UPSC IPS Preliminary exam Date


UPSC Civil Services (Main) Examination 2020 Date


UPSC IPS Eligibility Criteria:


The nationality of a candidate must be either of the following: Citizen of India Subject of Nepal Subject of Bhutan A Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, for permanent settlement in India. Migrant from any of the following countries for permanently settling in India: Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia, and Vietnam 

Educational Qualification: 

A candidate must hold a Bachelor's degree from any of the universities recognized by the UGC or possess an equivalent qualification. 

Age Limit: 

Candidates should fulfill the age limits mentioned below: 

Minimum age: 21 years 

Maximum age: 32 years 

(as on 1st of August in the year of examination.)

Age Relaxation for upper age limit:

If you belong to other categories including SC, ST, OBC, etc., the upper age-limit prescribed above will be relaxable.


Relaxation Years

Scheduled Caste (SC)/ Scheduled Tribe (ST)

Up to a maximum of 5 years

Other Backward Classes (OBC)

Up to a maximum of 3 years

Defense Services Personnel (DSP)

Up to a maximum of 3 years

Ex-servicemen including SSCOs/ SCOs/ Commissioned Officers at least 5 years Military Service as of 1st August 2020

Up to a maximum of 5 years

Deaf and hard of hearing

Multiple disabilities

Autism, specific learning disability, mental illness, and intellectual disability

Blindness and low vision

A locomotor disability such as an acid attack, leprosy cured, cerebral palsy, dwarfism, and muscular dystrophy

Up to a maximum of 10 years

Number of Attempts:

The number of times candidates are permitted to take the civil services exam is given in the below table:


Number of Attempts 

General | EWS





No restriction

Physically Handicapped (General & EWS)


Physically Handicapped (OBC)


Physically Handicapped (SC/ST)

No restriction

Points to note:-

  • If a candidate appears for the UPSC prelims exam, it will be deemed as one attempt.

  • If a candidate cleared the UPSC prelims, he/she will be eligible for appearing for the UPSC mains of that year only.

  • Even if a candidate’s candidature is disqualified or canceled, his/her taking the exam will be counted as one attempt.

IPS Officer Selection Process:

To become an IPS Officer, you must appear for the civil services examination. It includes 3 stages of Civil Services examination that applicants need to pass in order to be eligible for the final merit:

  1. Civil Services Preliminary Exam
  2. Civil Services Mains Exam
  3. Interview/Personality Test

UPSC IPS Exam Pattern:

UPSC IPS Preliminary Exam pattern:





Paper 1

General Studies

200 marks

2 Hours

Paper 2

Aptitude Test

200 marks

2 Hours

  • The General Studies Paper-II is a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks of 33%.
  • It is mandatory to appear for both the papers. Failing to do so will result in the rejection of your candidature.
  • There will be negative marking for incorrect answers.
  • One-third (0.33) of the marks will be deducted as penalty.
  • A penalty will apply to the candidates who give more than one answer.
  • Unattempted questions deserve no penalty.

UPSC IPS Main Exam Pattern:

The Main Examination comprises a written examination and an interview. There will be 9 papers. All of them are of conventional essay types.

Sl. No.

IPS Exam Paper

Name of the Paper

Duration of the Exam



Paper – A

Compulsory Indian Language

3 Hours

300 Marks


Paper – B


3 Hours

300 Marks


Paper – I


3 Hours

250 Marks



General Studies I

3 Hours

250 Marks


Paper – III

General Studies II

3 Hours

250 Marks


Paper – IV

General Studies III

3 Hours

250 Marks


Paper – V

General Studies IV

3 Hours

250 Marks


Paper – VI

Optional Paper I

3 Hours

250 Marks


Paper – VII

Optional Paper-II

3 Hours

250 Marks


1750 Marks


Interview or Personality Test

275 Marks



2025 Marks

Personality Test:

The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his career. He will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms, this is really an assessment of not only his intellectual qualities but also social traits and his interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, the balance of judgment, variety, and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.  

A personality test or interview will be held for 275 marks. The total for the Main Examination is 2025 marks.

The requirement for Medical Fitness:

After a candidate clears the civil services exam, he/she will be subjected to a medical examination as per the rules prescribed by the UPSC. A candidate must clear the board’s medical examination in order to be selected into a service. But certain services called technical services (such as the IPS, the Railway Protection Force, DANIPS, PONDIPS, and the Indian Railway Traffic Service) require the candidate to satisfy certain special medical status with respect to height, chest, etc.

Physical Standards for IPS:





165 cm

150 cm

Height (for ST, Gorkhas, Assamese, Kumaonis, Nagaland)

160 cm

145 cm

Chest girth fully expanded

84 cm

79 cm


5 cm

5 cm

Standards for distant and near vision for IPS


Better eye (corrected vision)

Worse eye

Distant vision

6/6 or 6/9

6/12 or 6/9

Near vision



Types of corrections permitted

Spectacles, contact lenses, and refractive surgery like Lasik, ICL, IOL, etc.

The other medical requirements other than physical fitness for IPS are as given below:

Blood Pressure (High): Age 23 – 123; age 24 – 124; age 25 – 122; age 28 – 124; age 30 – 125; age 32 – 126; age 34 – 127

Ear– Good listening and normal ear cavity; 1000-4000 frequency hearing impairment should not be more than 30 decibels

Nasal– Candidate should not stutter while speaking 

Ladies should not be pregnant at the time of Medical Test

The high standard for the Colorblind test. No inherent night blindness. The vision should be stereoscopic

UPSC IPS Syllabus: 

UPSC IPS Syllabus for Prelims Exam:

UPSC IPS Syllabus Paper I – General Studies

  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement 
  • Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science.

UPSC IPS Syllabus Paper I – General Studies

  •  Comprehension;
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability;
  • Decision making and problem-solving;
  • General mental ability;
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. — Class X level);

Note - 

  • Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
  • It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination.

UPSC IPS Syllabus for Mains Exam:

IPS Syllabus - Paper A and Paper B:

Syllabus of the papers included in the scheme of Civil Services (Main) Examination are given as follows:

Qualifying Paper on Indian Languages and English 

The aim of the paper is to test the candidates’ ability to read and understand serious discursive prose and to express his ideas clearly and correctly, in English and Indian language concerned. The pattern of questions would be broad as follows :

(i) Comprehension of given passages. 

(ii) Précis Writing. 

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary. 

(iv) Short Essays. 

Indian Languages:

(i) comprehension of given passages. 

(ii) Précis Writing. 

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary. 

(iv) Short Essays. 

(v) Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa.

Note 1: The papers on Indian Languages and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking. 

Note 2: The candidates will have to answer the English and Indian Languages papers in English and the respective Indian language (except where the translation is involved).

IPS Syllabus - Essay Paper

Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. They will be expected to keep close to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in an orderly fashion and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.

IPS Syllabus - General Studies-I : 

  • Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society. Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature, and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present significant events, personalities, issues. 
  • The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country. 
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country. 
  • History of the world will include events from the 18th century such as the industrial revolution, world wars, redrawing of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism, etc.— their forms and effect on society. 
  • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India. 
  • Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems, and their remedies. 
  • Effects of globalization on Indian society. 
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism. 
  • Salient features of the world’s physical geography. 
  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India). 
  • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone, etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes. 

IPS Syllabus - General Studies Paper-II

Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, and International relations.

  • Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions, and basic structure.
  • Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues, and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
  • Separation of powers between various organs, dispute redressal mechanisms, and institutions.
  • The government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply.
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.
  • Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers & privileges, and issues arising out of these.
  • Structure, organization, and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
  • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions, and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies. Statutory, regulatory, and various quasi-judicial bodies.
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions, and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
  • Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
    Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability, and institutional and other measures.
  • Role of civil services in a democracy.
  • India and its neighborhood- relations.
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
  • Important International institutions, agencies, and fora- their structure, mandate.

IPS Syllabus - General Studies Paper III

Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management 

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development, and employment. 
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it. 
  • Government Budgeting. 
  • Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country - different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers. 
  • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing. 
  • Food processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management. 
  • Land reforms in India. 
  • Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy, and their effects on industrial growth. 
  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc. 
  • Investment models. 
  • Science and technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life. 
  • Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology. 
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology, and issues relating to intellectual property rights. 
  • Conservation, environmental pollution, and degradation, environmental impact assessment. 
  • Disaster and disaster management. 
  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism. 
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security. 
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cybersecurity; money laundering, and its prevention. 
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas - linkages of organized crime with terrorism. 
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate. 

IPS Ethics Syllabus

Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude 

This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life, and his problem-solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilize the case study approach to determine these aspects. The following broad areas will be covered : 

  • Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants, and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics - in private and public relationships. Human Values - lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers, and administrators; the role of family society and educational institutions in inculcating values. 
  • Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behavior; moral and political attitudes; social influence, and persuasion. 
  • Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and nonpartisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance, and compassion towards the weaker sections. 
  • Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance. 
  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world. 
  • Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations, and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance. 
  • Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption. 
  • Case Studies on the above issues.

Optional Subject for IPS Mains Exam: 

There are 25 optional subjects in the IPS main exam and the candidates need to choose only one out of them. The optional subject carries 500 marks out of 1750. It is around 30% of the total. So the candidates are suggested to select the optional subject very carefully because it can make or break the dream of becoming an IPS officer.

The following is the official list of IPS main optional subjects. The candidates can choose any one subject as the optional subject.


Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science




Civil Engineering

Commerce and Accountancy


Electrical Engineering







Mechanical Engineering

Medical Science



Political Science and International Relations


Public Administration






The candidates can choose the Literature of any one of the following languages as their optional subject:

























You can see the optional paper syllabus from the official notification Click here

IPS Exam Centres for Prelims Exam:

The number of IPS prelims exam centers are more than the IPS main exam centers because the number of candidates is far more in the prelims. The list of centers is as follows.



Gautam Buddh Nagar



Panaji (Goa)






Port Blair










Anantpur (Andhra Pradesh)




























Kozhikode (Calicut)





















Navi Mumbai


IPS Exam Centres for Main Exam

The IPS main exam is conducted on weekends and most of the time it takes two weekends to complete. The candidates need to make accommodations or travel various times to the exam center. The candidates can see the IPS exam center list for the IPS main exam as notified by the UPSC.








Dispur (Guwahati)


















The IPS officers in India get a starting monthly salary of Rs 56,100 (DA, HRA, etc. are extra). This is after the 7th Pay Commission recommendation. IPS salary as per the ranks of IPS officers is given in the table below.

Designation or IPS rank in State Police/Central Police Force

Salary as per 7th Pay Commission

Director-General of Police

2,25,000.00 INR

Additional Director General of Police

2,05,400.00 INR

Inspector-General of Police

1,44,200.00 INR

Deputy Inspector General of Police

1,31,100.00 INR

Senior Superintendent of Police

78,800.00 INR

Additional Superintendent of Police

67,700.00 INR

Deputy Superintendent of Police

56,100.00 INR

Roles and Responsibilities of IPS Officers:

Comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs, the IPS Officers are employed by the Central Government and the respective states. Considering their higher ranks and elite positions, the IPS Officers enjoy significant perks since the IPS was formed in 1948. Besides, they are entitled to a lot of responsibilities.

Here are the top roles and responsibilities that an IPS Officer carries out –

  • Maintaining public peace and order that includes crime prevention, safeguarding public and investigation, detection and collection of intelligence
  • Offering VIP security
  • Commanding Indian Federal Law Enforcement Agencies such as Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), Civil and Armed Police Forces in all union territories and states, Central Police Organisations (CPO), and Central Paramilitary Forces (CPF) including CISF, NSG, CRPF, ITBP, and BSF
  • Border duties and responsibilities including border policing and counter-terrorism
  • High-rank posts in the Indian Intelligence Agencies such as CID, CBI, IS, and R&AW.
  • Tracking economic offenses such as corruption in public life
  • HODs in policymaking in PSUs both at the center and states and in the Ministries and Departments of Central and State Governments
  • Anti-smuggling and drug trafficking
  • Enforcement of socio-economic legislation
  • Disaster management such as enforcement or protection of environmental laws, biodiversity, etc.
  • Railway policing
  • Interact and coordinate closely with the Indian Army and Armed Forces in general and Other All India Services

Ranks of IPS officers:

IPS officers are appointed on the basis of either Civil Service Examination or promoted from the state cadre officers. 

Vacancy in an IPS cadre is determined on the basis of a vacancy on a Superintendent of Police rank. Consequently, there are two levels of gradations for SP rank. 

These are level 11 and 12 as per the Seventh Pay Commission. Resultantly, IPS officers remain on the rank of SP till the 13th year after which they are eligible for being promoted as Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP). 

ASP rank is the junior-most rank on an IPS state cadre. Consequently, fresh recruits to IPS are variously posted as Assistant Superintendent of Police in a supernumerary capacity (only for training purpose for two years and after that for 1 year) till they are formally placed as Superintendent of Police In-Charge of an area (when they get the pay of level 11 and level 12) and as a district in charge (when they get the pay of level 12) (only in non-metropolitan districts). 

When the officers get promoted to the rank of SSP, some of them are posted as the district in-charge of metropolitan districts.