Deputy superintendent

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Deputy superintendent, or deputy superintendent of police (DSP), was a rank used by police forces of the British Empire. In some territories it was called Deputy District Superintendent of police (DDSP).

The rank was usually confined to Europeans, and not all territories used it. The rank below was usually assistant superintendent and the rank above was (District)

Insignia of an Indian Police Service officer with rank of deputy superintendent of police

In India, the rank is assistant commissioner of police in commissionerate system, whereas at district level the rank is deputy superintendent of police. They belong to the Group A(Jr) list of gazetted officers. The rank of deputy superintendent (DSP) or assistant commissioner of police (ACP) was created in 1876 as the policy of Indianisation was introduced. Deputy superintendents or assistant commissioners of police are state police officers who belong to the provincial police forces, either direct entrants at that rank or promoted from inspector. Assistant commissioner of police, who are members of the provincial forces (equivalent rank deputy superintendents) are equal in every way to IPS (equivalent rank assistant superintendent of police) although paid slightly less and fill the same positions (sub divisional police officer). Deputy superintendents of police (assistant commissioner of police) who show potential could be promoted to the IPS after some limited years of service which varies from 8 to 15 years depending on the state.[1] In the states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, it is known as Circle Officer (CO). It is roughly analogous to the rank of chief inspector in the UK police services.

Requirement to give DSP Exam. (1) The candidate must be a citizen of India. (2) Minimum educational qualification – A candidate must hold a degree of any of the universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other Educational Institutions established by an Act of Parliament. (3) A Candidate must have attained the age of 21 (twenty-one) years and must not have attained the age of 30 (thirty) years on the first of January when the ads are posted. There is a relaxation for 5 years for SC/ST. For more information about the age, visit your state PSC commission website. (4) There is a minimum physical requirement for becoming a state police officer. Minimum height requirements are 168 cm (5 ft 6 in) for men and 155 cm (5 ft 1 in) for women. There is also minimum chest requirement of 84 cm (33 in) and chest expansion of 5 cm (2 in). In Tamil Nadu 165 cm (5 ft 5 in) is the minimum height required for DSP. Every year, the state government prepares a list of members of the State Police Service, to be suitable for promotion to the Indian police Service. Criteria for being included in the list being that "Member of the State Police Service, on the first day of January of the year [for which the select list is prepared] he is substantive in the State Police Service and has completed not less than eight years of continuous service (whether officiating or substantive) in the post of Deputy Superintendent of Police or in any other post or posts declared equivalent thereto by the State Government." The year of allotment of an officer appointed to the Indian Police service shall be as follows:

(i) the year of allotment of a direct recruit IPS officer shall be the year following the year in which the competitive examination was held
(ii) The year of allotment of a promote officer shall be determined with reference to the year for which the meeting of the Committee to make selection, to prepare the Select List on the basis of which he was appointed to the Service, was held and with regard to the continuous service rendered by him in the State Police Service not below the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police or equivalent, up to the 31st day of December of the year immediately before the year for which the meeting of the Committee to make selection was held to prepare the select list on the basis of which he was appointed to the Service, in the following manner:
(a) for the service rendered by him up to twenty one years, he shall be given a weightage of one year for every completed three years of service, subject a minimum of four years:
(b) He shall also be given a weightage of one year for every completed two years of service beyond the period of twenty one years, referred to in sub-clause (a), subject to a maximum of three years.

For the purpose of calculation of weightage under this clause, fractions, if any, are to be ignored. Provided that he shall not be assigned a year of allotment earlier than the year of allotment assigned to an officer senior to him in that select list or appointed to the service on the basis of an earlier select list.


  • David Arnold, Police Power and Colonial Rule: Madras, 1859-1947, OUP: Delhi, 1986