Table of Contents

  1. IAS vs IPS
  2. What is IAS?
  3. What is IPS?
  4. Evolution of IAS and IPS
  5. Recruitment
  6. Key Differences between IAS and IPS
  7. Conclusion

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IAS VS IPS – IAS stands for Indian Administrative Service whereas IPS stands for Indian Police Service. Both the posts are highly prestigious carrier options in India. These are the most challenging jobs in India. They not only give you with power and position but also come with duties towards the nation and responsibility towards society. Only the top-rank holder in Civil Services Examination is appointed as IAS, while IPS is the next best alternative given to the candidate.

IAS and IPS are the two pillars of development and security in India. The candidates for both services are recruited through a common exam (Civil Services Exam) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

The debate of IAS vs IPS is also age-old because both the service serves as the backbone for the development of the nation. Let us first understand the details of IAS and IPS civil services. Also, we will have an elaboration on key differences between the two posts.

What is IAS?

  • IAS which stands for Indian Administrative Service is one of the most important and popular All India Services which exist before the independence of the country.
  • A candidate has to qualify the UPSC civil services exam, which is conducted every year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to get recruited as IAS officers.
  • IAS is the highest administrative designation among other similar services like IPS, IFS etc. Besides it is considered one of the most exciting and glamorous careers by the youth of India.
  • Millions of students appear for this exam but only around 150 students qualify to join IAS cadres.
  • A candidate has to secure a good or top rank in the Civil Services Examination to become an IAS officer.
  • The minimum educational qualification required for IAS is a Bachelor’s Degree from a recognized university.

What is IPS?

  • IPS which stands for Indian Police Service is one of the most challenging jobs in India.
  • A candidate has to qualify the UPSC civil services exam in order to become IPS officer. This exam is conducted every year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
  • The minimum educational qualification required to become an IPS officer is Bachelor’s degree in any stream from a recognized university.
  • A candidate has to the clear the IPS exam, which is a part of the Civil Services Examination, to become an IPS officer.
  • The duties of an IPS officer generally include maintaining law and order, law enforcement, public order, crime investigation etc. In short, his or her primary duty is to maintain the law and order or peace among the public.

Evolution of IAS and IPS

The Indian Civil Services was the forerunner of the Indian Administrative Services. After the passing of the Government of India Act 1919, it became one of the arms of the All-India Services 

The Indian Police Service is a successor to the Indian Imperial Police. The Indian Imperial Police was formed in 1861 after the Indian Councils Act 1861 was passed by the British government.

  • IAS and IPS both services were dominated by the Europeans before Independence.
  • After independence, the services were thrown open for the Indian citizens only and the eligibility criteria were diluted in favour of Indians.
  • Indian Administrative Service is the continuance of Imperial Civil Services (ICS) prevailing in the colonial period. Civil Services is related to the collection of revenues from the agricultural land and hence the name “Collector”. It was one of the earliest positions under the British company and it started the coveted civil services.
  • In the same way, IPS is the continuation of the Imperial Police. On the other hand, the need for Police Bureaucracy was mentioned in the Indian Council Act of 1861 for the first time.

Recruitment: IAS VS IPS

  • The popularity of the IAS can be understood by the example that the UPSC Civil Services exam is popularly known as IAS exam.
  • IAS overshadowed all the other public services in the Civil Services Exam and in real-life too.
  • Both IAS and IPS are selected through UPSC Civil Services Examination every year.
  • Most of the candidate fill IAS as their first choice and IPS as the second choice.
  • IAS Aspirants fill the service preference of their choice in the Detailed Application Form (DAF) of UPSC and Department of Personnel and training assign the selected candidates to the service according to their rank and preference.

IAS VS IPS – Key Differences between IAS and IPS

ServiceIAS is the primary civil services and an administrative branch of All India Services.IPS is an all-India Service for policing. IPS officers leads the police force both at the State and Central level.
Main RoleIAS officers handles administrative affairs and public administration.IPS officer aims to maintain law and order and peace in the district where he or she is posted.
DesignationsAn IAS generally holds designations like cabinet secretary, undersecretary, joint secretary etc.An IPS officer generally holds designations like the superintendent of police, deputy inspector general etc.
Training InstituteThe training of IAS officer is conducted at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand.The training of IPS officer is conducted at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA) in Hyderabad, Telangana.
TrainingIAS probationers have a two-year training schedule, but the IPS officers undergo training for two and a half years.IAS training is more concerned about the management, coordination and administration of the resources and manpower. The topper of the IAS training receives President’s Gold Medal.IPS training includes physical training and various laws necessary for law enforcement activities. IPS training is more difficult and requires more physical activities. It includes horse riding, parade, armaments training and other important things required for law enforcement.The Prime Minister’s Baton is given to the topper of the IPS training course.
Cadre Controlling AuthorityThe Ministry of Personnel is the Cadre Controlling Authority for IAS. This ministry directly reports to the Prime Minister of India.The Cadre Controlling Authority for IPS is the Ministry of Home Affairs which works under the Union Home Minister.
Roles and Responsibilities· An IAS officer can take action against a problem without any complaint being logged.
·Public administration ·
Policy formulation and implementation  
·      An IPS officer can take action after a complaint has been logged. ·      crime prevention, investigation, and detection, ·      collection of intelligence, border policing, railway policing, ·      corruption in public life and economic offences, ·      disaster management, enforcement of socio-economic legislation
SuperiorityIAS officer of an area is superior to the IPS of that area.

IPS officer reports to the IAS of his or her district or area. As per one protocol, the IPS officer need to salute the IAS if he is senior to him. It is also a protocol that IPS will take off his uniform cap only after he is seated. 
ResponsibilitiesAfter certain years of service, some selected IAS officers get the posting of District Magistrate (DM). DM is the coordinator at the district level with the authority of making a decision. He is the presiding authority of all the district level committees and departmental meeting. The DM is also responsible for the district’s police system. In the city, the decisions related to curfew, Section 144 etc. are taken by the DM.In a magisterial system of governance, DM has the power to order to open fire for controlling the mob or other such conditions.IPS is posted as the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in the district. He is more concerned with the law and order of the city. Even for certain warrants, he needs the approval of IAS officers.The job profile of both IAS and IPS services is very broad and both are posted on powerful posts, but IAS is much more powerful as a DM. An IPS has only the responsibility of its department, but an IAS (DM) has the responsibility of all the departments of the district. An IAS officer as DM is the head of the police department and other departments.
Duties of officers  1.     In the State Secretariat they advise elected representatives in the formulation of policies and decision-making on government processes.
2.     On deputation in PSUs, they become a part of the higher management of various enterprises in the public sector. They deal with policy review, formulation, and implementation at the secretariat level posts for different ministries.  
1.     They lead and command the Central Police Organizations like the CBI, National Security Guards, Intelligence Bureau, CBI, BSF, Indo Tibetan Border Police and CRPF. They are responsible for the security of VIPs like Chief Ministers and the Prime Minister. 3.     In the case of riots or disaster, IPS officers can hold immediate meetings of the armed forces or NDRF to maintain law and order. They lead and command the civil and armed police forces in all the states and union territories. 5.     They serve at managerial/policy making levels in the Ministries and Departments of Central and State governments and PSUs.
Uniform      There is no special uniform for IAS officers, they just have to wear formal clothes at the official events.IPS have to wear their prescribed uniform. IPS uniforms change with rank. The IPS officer puts Ashok symbol on their shoulders.
Top Posts  The IAS can become the Cabinet Secretary of the Government of India. The top post in the state bureaucratic structure is the Chief Secretary of the state government. Even the post of Union Home Secretary is also held by IAS officer.IPS can become the Director-General of Police of the state. An IPS officer in Union Government can become the Director of CBI, IB and RAW. Along with this, IPS can also be deployed on the post of National Security Adviser.
Salary  Salary of IAS has also become much better than the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission. The salary of IAS can range from Rs 56,100 per month to Rs 2,50,000 per month. It also varies depending on seniority. IAS salary is more than IPS.The salary of an IPS can range from Rs 56,100 per month to Rs 2,25,000 per month. It varies depending on seniority.

Conclusion: –

IAS and IPS both are All-India Services. The IAS and IPS do not compete for powers and they complement each other.  In a district, IAS and IPS officers are the two most important functionaries in the government administration. IAS and IPS complement each other. Both are essential for the development of Indian society. IAS and IPS officers are starkly different starting from their positions, background, recruitment, training, the cadre controlling authority, position, powers and salary.


Q1. Who is most powerful IAS or IPS?

Answer: Overall, the post of an IAS officer is superior to that of an IPS officer in terms of salary and authority. There is only one IAS officer in a field and more than one IPS. The salary of an IAS officer is more than that of an IPS officer because their responsibilities are also more.

Q2. Is IAS harder than IPS?

Answer: The IAS and IPS officers are being chosen by an exam known as civil services examination conducted by UPSC every year. Now coming back to your question, those candidates who got high ranks in CSE generally opt for IAS . therefore getting IAS is a bit more difficult in comparison to IPS.

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