Indian Police Service

Service Overview
Official Logo of the Indian Police Service.jpg
Date of Establishment1905 (As Imperial Police)
1948 (as IPS)[1]
Staff CollegeSardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad, Telangana
Cadre Controlling AuthorityMinistry of Home Affairs, Government of India
Minister ResponsibleRajnath Singh, Minister responsible for Ministry of Home Affairs
Legal personalityGovernmental: Government service
DutiesLaw Enforcement
Crime Investigation
Security Intelligence (Internal & External)
Public Order
Cadre Strength3894 members (2016)[2]
SelectionCivil Services Examination
AssociationIPS (Central) Association
Head of the Civil Services
Current Cabinet SecretaryPradeep Kumar Sinha, IAS

The Indian Police Service (Bhāratīya Pulis Sevā) or IPS, is an All India Service for policing.[3] It replaced the Indian Imperial Police in 1948, a year after India became independent from Great Britain.

Along with the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Forest Service (IFoS), the IPS is one of the three All India Services — its cadre can be employed by both the Union Government and the individual States.

The service is not a force itself but provides leaders and commanders to staff the state police. 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

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, 1861.[8] 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.[8] The highest rank in the service was the inspector general[8] for each province. The rank of inspector general was equated and ranked with brigadier,[9] and similar ranks in the Indian Armed Forces, as per central warrant of precedence in 1937.[a][9]

In 1902–03, a police commission was established for the Police reforms under Sir Andrew Fraser and Lord Curzon.[10] 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.[10]

From 1920, Indian Imperial Police was open to Indians and the entrance examination for the service was conducted both in India and England.[10]

A 1999 stamp dedicated to the 50th anniversary of IPS

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

The modern Indian Administrative Service was created under the Article 312(2) in part XIV of the Constitution of India.[11]

In 1972, Kiran Bedi joined the IPS, becoming the first woman police officer.[12]

As per media reports, there is a massive shortage of IPS officers in India, amounting to nearly 19% to 22% of sanctioned strength.[13][14]

Medals and decorations

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