Difference and Comparison between IAS and IPS

Among the prominent and popular All India Services that existed before India gained independence, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service remain the most prominent and popular.
Difference and Comparison between IAS and IPS

Difference and Comparison between IAS and IPS

Among the prominent and popular All India Services that existed before India gained independence, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service remain the most prominent and popular. In India, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) are among the most challenging and prestigious jobs that not only give you authority and status but also make you responsible for society.

Unlike IAS vs IPS, the debate over IAS vs IPS has also been age-old, as both of the services act as the backbone of the development of a nation. State administration is made up of two important components — Revenue and Law and Order. Developing a country and ensuring its security are both essential to its development. The Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service are two pillars of India’s development and security. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) administers a common test (Civil Services Exam) to recruit candidates for both services.

Both IAS and IPS have complementary roles in the Indian government. IAS is the Indian Administrative Service, and IPS are the Indian Police Service. As far as government administrative operations are concerned, IAS and IPS officers are the two most important officials. IPS and IAS complement each other. The IAS and IPS are vastly different in their positions, history, recruitment, training, controlling authority, power, position, and salary.

Among the top-ranked candidates in the civil service, the Indian Administrative Service offers responsibilities that include the administration of a district/area/department. They are given executive authority to make policies in all areas and to make important decisions for their respective areas. On the other hand, IPS candidates are expected to maintain order in society.

Key Differences between IAS and IPS


The UPSC Civil Services Examination selects both IAS and IPS every year. According to their rank and service preference, IAS aspirants fill out their service preferences in the Detailed Application Form (DAF) of UPSC. This forms the basis for the selection of candidates for the appropriate service. Candidates most frequently choose IAS as the first choice, followed by IPS.

The UPSC Civil Services exam is popularly referred to as the IAS exam, which illustrates the popularity of the IAS. In the Civil Services Exam as well as in real-life, IAS dominates all the other public services.

Cadre Controlling Authority

Cavalry Controlling Authority is the ministry responsible for overseeing postings and transfers. There is a separate Cadre Controlling Authority for both IAS and IPS, even though both are All-India Services. IAS cadres are controlled by the Ministry of Personnel. The Indian Prime Minister is directly responsible for this ministry. Ministry of Home Affairs, which falls under the Union Home Minister, is the Cadre Controlling Authority for IPS.

The Union Public Service Commission sends the candidates’ recommendation list to the Ministry of Personnel after the Civil Services exam result is declared, and from there, each candidate’s details are passed on to the concerned Cadre Controlling Authorities.


After getting selected, all IAS and IPS officers are required to take a three-month course at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA). For IAS officers, the LBSNAA is their training institute, while all other officers move to their specific specialized training institutes after they complete their foundation course. IPS trainees complete their training at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA) in Hyderabad. Training varies between the IPS and IAS probationers; the former has a two-year training schedule and the latter has a two-and-a-half-year training schedule.

IAS toppers receive the President’s Gold Medal, and IPS toppers receive Prime Minister’s Baton.

The focus of IAS training is on managing, coordinating, and administering resources and manpower. The IPS training includes physical fitness training as well as various laws necessary for law enforcement. Physical activity is a requirement for IPS training. The program includes horseback riding, parades, armaments training, and other important elements for law enforcement.

Powers and Responsibilities

Certain IAS officers are promoted to the position of District Magistrate (DM) after a certain number of years of service. A district manager is the district coordinator with the authority to make decisions. All committees and departmental meetings at the district level are presided over by him. In addition to overseeing the police, the DM is also in charge of the district’s budget.  

If the DM decides to open fire to control the mob or for another reason, they have the power to do so. Additionally, certain police officers must also get the approval of DM before they can be transferred.

An IPS are assigned as the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) for the district. It is more important to him that the city is lawful and orderly. The approval of IAS officers is even required for certain warrants.

IPS and IAS have very broad job profiles and both are posted on powerful posts, but IAS is much more powerful as a DM. As an IPS, you are responsible for your department only, but as an IAS (DM) you are responsible for all the departments of the district. Officers in the IAS rank serve as DMs, who oversee departments such as the police.

According to one protocol, IPS officers must salute senior IAS officers. The protocol also stipulates that IPS will take off his uniform cap only after he has sat down. 

The police in this system has more power than IAS, but they still don’t have the same authority as an IAS.

Scope of duty

The district manager’s duties cover all of the district’s departments. The IPS cannot work in another department while being SSP other than in the department where they work. In addition to overseeing all departments in the district, DM has a wide range of responsibilities. The District Manager is the person who coordinates with the army in times of disaster management. In terms of army rank, he would be considered a major.

IPS is another key functionary in the district since he has to maintain law and order in the city. He pays more attention to what the department is up to and what the DM has ordered.

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IAS officers can become Cabinet Secretaries of the Government of India. In the Indian bureaucracy, only IAS officers are eligible for appointment to this position. A state government’s chief secretary is the highest official in the state bureaucracy. This is a position only available to IAS officers. IAS officers are also appointed to the post of Union Home Secretary.

An IPS can become the Director-General of Police of the state. A member of the Indian Police Service can become the Director of CBI, RAW, or IB in the Union Government. A national security adviser can also be employed through an IPS.


IAS and IPS are separated by the uniform. IPS officers wear their prescribed uniform for official events, however, IAS officers wear their formal clothes. The uniforms of the IPS change with rank. IPS officers wear the Ashok symbol on their shoulders.

IPS officers are recognized by the public by virtue of their uniforms, but IAS officers are not.


In India, an IPS officer’s salary has improved significantly since the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission. An IPS can earn between Rs 56,100 and Rs 2,25,000 per month. The amount varies based on seniority.

Additionally, the salary for IAS is now much higher than that recommended by the Seventh Pay Commission. Salary ranges from Rs 56,100 per month to Rs 2,50,000 per month for IAS officers. Seniority also plays a role. The IAS salary is higher than the IPS salary.

In conclusion, there is no conclusion to the debate between IAS and IPS. Both positions are highly regarded in their fields. Moreover, candidates must decide whether they want to be an IAS or an IPS officer. An individual’s luck is determined by the quality of the candidate. However, keep in mind that passing the UPSC exam is not easy. To be either of them requires years of hard work and focus. A person who does not like crime, law and order issues, and riots cannot be an IPS. To become an IPS officer, the candidate must proceed through many levels.

In contrast, IAS service patterns are harmonious. The issues must be administrated and managed by them. IAS officers handle bureaucracy, while IPS officers deal with police. In other words, he or she has to be focused on what he or she wants.

FAQ-Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Who is more powerful IAS or IPS?

Ans, In both IAS and IPS services, the job profile is broad, and both are posted on powerful posts, but they have distinct differences. As a DM, IAS is much more powerful.

2. Are IPS better than IAS?

Ans, Among those who appear for the Civil Service Examination, becoming an IAS is the primary goal. The top-ranking candidates in the Civil Services Examination are appointed as IAS, while IPS is the next-best option. Compared to IPS officers, IAS officers have higher pay.

3. Which degree is best for IPS?

Ans, IPS officers can only become a part of the elite service after passing all three stages of the UPSC exam. One may choose any stream after 12th and get a bachelor's degree to qualify for the UPSC exam.

4. How long is the training period of an IPS officer?

Ans. IPS officers are considered to be the foundation of law and order in our country, and so they are trained vigorously for 3 years.

5. Does an IAS officer get a gun?

Ans. Ans, No, a gun is not allotted to IAS officers by the government.

6. What is the salary of an IAS officer?

Ans. IAS officers earn Rs 56,100 as their basic salary based on the 7th Pay Commission. IAS officers are also given several allowances, including Travel Allowance and Dearness Allowance in addition to their salary. Reports indicate that an IAS officer's monthly salary exceeds Rs 1 lakh.
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