Indian Police Service

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Indian Police Service
Abbreviation IPS
Official Logo of the Indian Police Service.jpg
Logo of the Indian Police Service
Agency overview
Formed 1948[1]
Preceding agency Indian Imperial Police (1905-1948)[1]
Employees 3894 members (2016)[2]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
Legal jurisdiction India Republic of India
General nature
Operational structure
Elected officer responsible Rajnath Singh, Minister of Home Affairs
Agency executives
Parent agency Ministry of Home Affairs

The Indian Police Service (Bhāratīya Pulis Sevā) or IPS, is one of the three All India Services of the Government of India.[3] It has replaced the Indian Imperial Police in 1948, a year after India gained independence from Britain.

The service is not a force itself but provides leaders and commanders to staff the state police and all-India Central Armed Police Forces. Its members are the senior officers of the police.[4] The Bureau of Police Research and Development is responsible for research and development of the police force in India.


British India[edit]

Jamadar (NCO) of the Bombay City Police 1910s
Armed Constable of the Bombay City Police 1910s
NCO of the Bombay City Police 1910s
Jamadar, Constable and Sergeant - NCO positions opened to Indians until 1920.
Indian Police Medal issued in 1940.

In 1861, the British Government introduced the Indian Councils Act of 1861.[5] The act created the foundation of a modern and professionalised police bureaucracy in India. It introduced, a new cadre of police, called Superior Police Services, later known as the Indian Imperial Police.[5] The highest rank in the service was the Inspector General[5] for each province. The rank of Inspector General[6] was equated and ranked with Brigadier[6] and similar ranks in the Indian Armed Forces, as per Central Warrant of Precedence in 1937.[a][6]

In 1902-03, a Police Commission was established for the Police reforms under Sir Andrew Frazer and Lord Curzon.[7] It recommended the appointment of Indians at officer level in the police. Indians could rise only to the ranks of Inspector of Police, the senior N.C.O. position. However they were not part of Indian Imperial Police.[7]

From 1920, Indian Imperial Police was open to Indians and the entrance examination for the service was conducted both in India and England.[7]

Prior to Independence, senior police officers belonging to the Imperial Police (IP) were appointed by the Secretary of State on the basis of a competitive examination. The first open civil service examination for admission to the service was held in England in June 1893 and the ten top candidates were appointed as probationers in the Indian (Imperial) Police. It is not possible to pinpoint an exact date on which the Indian Police came formally into being. Around 1907, the Secretary of State's officers were directed to wear the letters "IP" on their epaulettes in order to distinguish them from the other officers not recruited by the Secretary of State through examination. In this sense, 1907 could be regarded as the starting point.[1] In 1948, a year after India gained independence; the Imperial Police was replaced by IPS.

Modern India[edit]

In 1972, Kiran Bedi joined the IPS, becoming the first woman police officer.[8] As per media reports in 2016, there is massive shortfall of IPS officers in India, which is nearly 19% to 22% of total strength.[9][10]

Medals and decorations[edit]

Historically, few officers have been awarded United Nations Medal and have participated in Indian Army United Nations peacekeeping missions.


The First Police Commission, appointed on 17 August 1865, contained detailed guidelines for the desired system of police in India and defined the police as a governmental department to maintain order, enforce the law, and to prevent and detect crime. The Indian Police Service is not a force itself but a service providing leaders and commanders to staff the state police and all-India Central Armed Police Forces. Its members are the senior officers of the police. With the passage of time Indian Police Service's objectives were updated and redefined, the current rules and functions of an Indian Police Service Officer are as follows:[11]


Prime Minister Modi at the National Conference of DGPs at Guwahati in 2014.

IPS officers are recruited from Civil Services Examination. They are also promoted from State Police Services and DANIPS. However, at present, recruitment from Limited Competitive Examination has been put on hold.[9]

After selection for the IPS, candidates are allocated to a cadre. There is one cadre in each Indian state, with the exception of three joint cadres: Assam-Meghalaya, Manipur-Tripura, and Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories (AGMUT). Two-thirds of the strength of every cadre is filled directly by IPS officers and the remaining are promoted from the respective states cadre officers.

Eligibility conditions for Police Personals is defined by Govt recruitment laws. Each rank has different criteria which includes age limit, Education and physical qualification. Once candidate satisfies all these criteria, he/she can take part in recruitment exam of Indian Police.


The training of IPS officer recruits is conducted at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad. The authorised cadre strength of Indian Police Service is 4920. (3270 Direct Recruitment Posts and 1650 Promotional Posts).[12] The Civil List of IPS officers is an updated (annual) list maintained by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India that lists the posting details of all IPS officers in India. This Civil List can be accessed from this MHA site. It allows searching for an IPS officer on the basis of his name, Batch or Cadre.

Pay structure (gazetted officers) IPS[edit]

Grade Position in the State Government(s) Salary (monthly) Equivalent Position or Designation in the State Government(s) or Government of India (GOI)
Above Super Time Scale (Apex Scale) (After 30 years of service in IPS Cadre)[13] Director General of Police 2,25,000 Director of Intelligence Bureau or Director CBI in GOI, Commissioner of Police – Number of Post differs from state to state; Director General or Special Director General in CAPFs, Secretary or Special Secretary (GOI) Chief Secretary of State.
Above Super Time Scale (HAG) (Pay-Band-4) (After 25 years of service in IPS Cadre)[14] Additional Director General of Police 2,00,000 Special Commissioner of Police, Commissioner of Police (City), Special or Additional Director (GOI), Additional Director General in CAPFs, Additional Secretary (GOI) Principal Secretary of State.
Super Time Scale (Senior Administrative Grade) (Pay-Band-4) (After 18 years of service in IPS Cadre) Inspector General of Police 1,75,000 Joint Commissioner of Police, Commissioner of Police (City), Inspector General of CAPFs, Joint Secretary (GOI) Secretary of State.
Super Time Scale (DIG/Conservator Grade) (Pay-Band-4) (After 14 years of service in IPS Cadre) Deputy Inspector General of Police 1,50,000 Additional Commissioner of Police, Commissioner of Police (City), Deputy Inspector General in CAPFs, Director (GOI)/ Principal Staff Officer (GOI).
Selection Grade (Pay-Band-4) (After 13 years of service in IPS Cadre) Senior Superintendent of Police 1,18,500 Deputy Commissioner of Police (Selection Grade), Commandants of CAPFs, Director (GOI)/Sr.Principal Private Secretary (GOI) Special Secretary of State.
Junior Administrative Grade (Pay-Band-3) (After 9 years of service in IPS Cadre) Superintendent of Police 78,800 Deputy Commissioner of Police, Commandants of CAPFs, Deputy Secretary (GOI)/Principal Private Secretary (GOI) District Collector/District Magistrate/Deputy Commissioner of a District, Joint Secretary of State.
Senior Time Scale (Pay-Band-3) (After 4 years of service in IPS Cadre) Additional Superintendent of Police 67,700 Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Second in command(2ic) of CAPFs, Under Secretary (GOI) Addl. Collector/Addl. Magistrate/Addl. Deputy Commissioner of District, Deputy secretary of State.
Junior Time Scale (Pay-Band-3) (Initial Pay IPS Cadre) Assistant Superintendent of Police 56,100 Assistant Commissioner of Police, Deputy Commandants of CAPFs.

Ranks and insignia[edit]

The standard uniform colour is Khaki.[15]

Ranks of the IPS[edit]

All State Police Services officers of and above the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) or Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in State Police and Metropolitan Police forces respectively.[16]

Indian Police Service Officer Rank Insignia
Insignia Director IB Insignia.png Director General of Police.png Insignia of Inspector General of Police in India- 2013-10-02 16-14.png Deputy Inspector General of Police.png Senior Superintendent of Police.png Superintendent of Police.png Additional SP IPS.png DySP IPS.png Assistant SP IPS 2.png Assistant SP IPS 1.png
Rank Director of Intelligence Bureau (GOI)¹ Commissioner of Police (State) or Director General of Police² Joint Commissioner of Police or Inspector General of Police Additional Commissioner of Police or Deputy Inspector General of Police Deputy Commissioner of Police or Senior Superintendent of Police Deputy Commissioner of Police or Superintendent of Police Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police or Additional Superintendent of Police Assistant Commissioner of Police or Deputy Superintendent of Police Assistant Superintendent of Police (Probationary Rank: 2 years of service) Assistant Superintendent of Police (Probationary Rank: 1 year of service)
This Hindustan Ambassador has a triangular flag as well as one star (on the blue box). Both these features indicate that the car belongs to a DIG rank IPS officer.
Flags (left) & Stars (right) on official cars of senior IPS officers, as per their rank.
  • National Emblem above two stars
  • Deputy Commissioner of Police (Selection grade) or Senior Superintendent of Police in selection grade with 13+ years of service (IPS officers posted in insurgency infested states such as J&K also wear this rank before 13 years of service to facilitate coordination and interaction with Commanding Officers of paramilitary and the Indian Army).[19]
  • Deputy Secretary(ies) (R), Cabinet Secretariat, (Government of India)
  • Other officers above selection grade
  • Commandants in Central Armed Police Forces (Government of India)
  • Under Secretary(ies) (R), Cabinet Secretariat, (Government of India)
  • Commandant of State Armed Police Battalion
  • Other officer on Junior Administrative Grade with between 9 and 13 years service
  • Commandant in Central Armed Police Forces (Government of India)
  • Other officers on senior time scale with 9 years service or less
  • Deputy Commandants/Second in command (2ic) of Central Armed Police Forces (Government of India)
  • Two stars
  • One-star

Reforms and Major concerns[edit]

India's police continue to be governed by an archaic and colonial police law passed in 1861. The Indian Constitution makes policing a state subject and therefore the state governments have the responsibility to provide their communities with a police service. However, after independence, most have adopted the 1861 Act without change, while others have passed laws heavily based on the 1861 Act.

Repeated major incidents, (latest of them being 2012 Delhi gang rape) revealed failure of police to uphold the rule of law.[20][21]

The need for reform of police in India has been long recognised. There has been almost 30 years of debate and discussion by government created committees and commissions on the way forward for police reform, but India remains saddled with an outdated and old-fashioned law, while report after report gathers dust on government bookshelves without implementation. Many committees on police reforms have recommended major reforms in the police system coupled with systematic accountability.[22][23]

Corruption and fake encounters[edit]

(Later it was proved that Ishrat Jahan case was not a fake encounter). Recently, several IPS officers were arrested and jailed[24][25] in graft and corruption cases[26][27][28] In recent years, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has dismissed few IPS officers for non performance.[29]

Some IPS officers have been convicted of fake encounters.[30][31]

National Police Commission (1977-81)[edit]

National Police Commission was the first committee set up by the Indian government to report on policing. The National Police Commission began sitting in 1979, in the context of a post-Emergency India, and produced eight reports, including a Model Police Act, between 1979 and 1981.[32]

Ribeiro Committee (1998-99)[edit]

In 1996, two former senior police officers filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court, asking for the Court to direct governments to implement the recommendations of the National Police Commission. The Supreme Court directed the government to set up a committee to review the Commission's recommendations, and thus the Ribeiro Committee was formed. The Committee, under the leadership of J. F. Ribeiro, a former chief of police, sat over 1998 and 1999, and produced two reports.[32][33]

Padmanabhaiah Committee (2000)[edit]

In 2000, the government set up a third committee on police reform, this time under the stewardship of a former union Home Secretary, K. Padmanabhaiah. This Committee released its report in the same year.[32][34]

Malimath Committee Report (2003)[edit]

The Malimath Committee Report submitted in March, 2003 has very articulately laid down the foundation of a restructured and reoriented police system.[35] The Committee in its report observed that the success of the whole process of Criminal Justice Administration depended completely on the proper functioning of the police organisation especially in the investigation stage. Apart from the investigation of offences, the police also have the duty of maintaining law and order.

Soli Sorabjee Committee (2005)[edit]

In 2005, the government put together a group to draft a new police Act for India. It was headed by Soli Sorabjee (former Attorney General). The committee submitted a Model Police Act to the union government in late 2006.[32]

Supreme Court intervention (2006)[edit]

In 1996, Prakash Singh (a former Directors General of Police of the states of Assam and subsequently Uttar Pradesh and finally Director General of the Border Security Force) initiated a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court of India, asking the court to investigate measures to reform the police forces across India to ensure the proper rule of law and improve security across India. The Supreme Court studied various reports on police reforms. Finally, in 2006, a bench of Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, Justice C.K. Thakker and Justice P.K. Balasubramanyan[36] ordered the state governments to implement several reforms in police force.[37]

Several measures were identified as necessary to professionalise the police in India:

  • A mid or high ranking police officer must not be transferred more frequently than every two years.
  • The state government cannot ask the police force to hire someone, nor can they choose the Chief Commissioner.
  • There must be separate departments and staff for investigation and patrolling.

ss,[38] which will include the creation of:

  • A State Security Commission, for policies and direction
  • A Police Establishment Board, which will decide the selection, promotions and transfers of police officers and other staff
  • A Police Complaints Authority, to inquire into allegations of police misconduct.

Follow-up from Supreme Court[edit]

In 2006, due to a lack of action by all the state governments,[39] the Supreme Court ordered the state governments to report to it why the reform measures outlined were not implemented.[40] After being questioned in front of the judges of the Supreme Court, the state governments are finally starting to reform the police forces and give them the operational independence they need for fearless and proper law enforcement. Tamil Nadu Police has been in the forefront of application of the new referendum.[41]

Again, in October 2012, a Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justices Surinder Singh Nijjar and Jasti Chelameswar asked all state governments and Union territories to inform about compliance of its September 2006 judgement. The order was passed when Prakash Singh through his lawyer Prashant Bhushan said that many of the reforms (ordered by the Supreme Court) have yet not been implemented by many state governments.[42]

Notable IPS Officers[edit]

Any assessment of a bureaucrat should be the change he/she has brought in the country. Below is the list of few officers who are one of them.[43][44][45][46]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Data History of Indian Police Service (Official Raj Govt. Page)". Retrieved 2010-04-26. 
  2. ^ "Authorised Cadre Strength of the Indian Police Service (as on 01.01.2016)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  3. ^ "IPS, IAS and IFS: All India Services (Government of India)" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  4. ^ "Service Profile for Indian Police Service (IPS)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs (India). 23 August 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c Shahidullah, Shahid M. Comparative Criminal Justice Systems. Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2012. ISBN 9781449604257. 
  6. ^ a b c "A worrisome slide in Army’s status". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 22 April 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c Alexander, K. Police Reforms in India: An Analytical Study. Discovery Publishing House, 2006. ISBN 9788183561280. 
  8. ^ "First woman IPS officer Kiran Bedi seeks voluntary retirement". Economic Times. 27 November 2007. 
  9. ^ a b "States reel under huge shortfall of IPS officers". Retrieved 30 December 2016. 
  10. ^ "908 posts of IPS officers lying vacant". Retrieved 30 December 2016. 
  11. ^ "Duties and Responsibilities of Indian Police Service officers". Retrieved 2009-12-19. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Why is the colour of the Indian police uniform khaki?". The Times of India. 3 March 2007. Retrieved 2010-05-11. 
  16. ^ "Modern ranks and insignia of IPS and SPS Officers Bio". Retrieved 2010-01-20. 
  17. ^ Mumbai CP's post downgraded again from DG to ADG
  18. ^ "Director, Intelligence Bureau's Insignia Equivalent to Armed Forces Generals". Government of India. Retrieved 2009-07-27. 
  19. ^ Indian Military : Service Benefits and Issues: Illegal (Police) badges of rank in J & K. (2011-01-10). Retrieved on 2013-08-17.
  20. ^ "Inept Delhi cops get HC rap". DNA. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  21. ^ "Two ACPs are suspended". The Hindu. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  22. ^ "Failure of governance root cause of crimes against women: Verma committee". The Hindu. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  23. ^ "Read: Highlights of Justice Verma Committee report". CNNIBNLive. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  24. ^ "IPS officer spent 7 years in jail before he busted biggest bribery case". India Today. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  25. ^ "IPS officer gets 13-year jail term for pilfering seized drug". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  26. ^ "Home Ministry set to transfer young IPS officers after charges of 'corruption' and 'dereliction of duty'". Mail Online. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  27. ^ "Corruption case against IPS officer, 5 held by Vigilance Dept.". The Hindu. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  28. ^ "Booked for job fraud, IPS officer on the run". The Tribune (Chandigarh). Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  29. ^ "2 IPS officers 'compulsorily' retired for not performing". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  30. ^ "MHA terminates services of IPS officer connected to Bhojpur fake encounter". The Indian Express. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  31. ^ "CBI arrests IPS officer in 2004 Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case". The Telegraph (Calcutta). Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  32. ^ a b c d "PRAKASH SINGH Case at". Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  33. ^ "Ribeiro Committee". Archived from the original on 6 Mar 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  34. ^ "Padmanabhaiah Committee". Archived from the original on 6 Mar 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  35. ^ Dutta, Mriganka Shekhar; Marico Baruah (1 January 2008). "POLICING THE NATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY : AN APPRAISAL OF THE PROPOSED REFORMS" (PDF). NUJS Law Review. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  36. ^ "Prakash Singh Case". Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  37. ^ Prasad, Devika; Caroline Avanzo (5 November 2006). "Seize the opportunity". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  38. ^ Strip, Mobius; Ramesh Ramanathan (7 May 2007). "Sohrabbudin's encounter: An article on Prakash Singh, IPS". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  39. ^ "COMPLIANCE WITH SUPREME COURT DIRECTIVES" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 March 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  40. ^ "The Supreme Court of India takes the lead on police reform: Prakash Singh vs. Union of India". Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  41. ^ Das, Sunrat (6 May 2007). "Board to lend ears to transfer woes". Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  42. ^ "SC asks states to file affidavit on police reforms". Hindustan Times. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  43. ^ "10 Amazingly Dedicated Indian Civil Servants You Will Be Proud To Know". The Better India. 
  44. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  45. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  46. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)


  1. ^ The rank of IGP is ranked and equated with the rank of Brigadier / equivalent rank of the Indian Armed Forced as per Warrant of Precedence – 1937, as per Minstry of Home Affairs' directions contained in Letter No 12/11/99-Pub II dated 26 Dec 1966. This Warrant of Precedence is compiled from a joint consideration of the existing Central Warrant of Precedence (which is till the rank of Major General) and Warrant of Precedence – 1937, as per Minstry of Home Affairs' directions contained in Letter No 12/11/99-Pub II dated 26 Dec 1966, the validity of which has been confirmed by Letter No 12/1/2007-Public dated 14 Aug 2007. The MHA has confirmed in 2007 that the Old Warrant of Precedence shall be taken as a guide to determine ranks below the ones mentioned in the current WoP.

Further reading[edit]

  • History of services of Indian police service, as on 1 July 1966, by Ministry of Home Affairs, India. Published by Govt. of India, 1969.
  • The peace keepers: Indian Police Service (IPS), by S. R. Arun, IPS, DGP Uttar Pradesh. Published by Berghahn Books, 2000. ISBN 978-81-7049-107-1.
  • The Indian Police Journal (IPJ), by Bureau of Police Research and Development, Ministry of Home Affairs. Published by Govt. of India, October–December 2009 Vol.LVI-No.4. ISSN 0537-2429.
  • History of services of Indian police service, as on 1 July 1966, by Ministry of Home Affairs, India. Published by Govt. of India, 1969.

External links[edit]