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Becoming Elite: How to join the Indian Police Service- IPS Officer

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By: John

Becoming Elite: How to join the Indian Police Service- IPS Officer

The Indian Police Service (IPS) ranks as one of India's most elite and respected services nationwide. Every courageous young man dreams of a career in this prestigious organization. They long for the ability to bring justice to criminals, to protect the vulnerable and rescue people in time of need. 

Know IPS Officers

Otherwise average men such as ACP Ajoy Singh Rathood in Aamir Kahn's Sarforosh go on to will never be forgotten as they claim hero status by fighting and defeating foreign terrorists. IPS is an all India service that recruits only the finest and most qualified individuals. Only those who rank extremely high on the India Civil Service exam are considered for this distinct honor. As respected and appreciated as the service is, requirements and eligibility standards are often confusing or unavailable to many. Below are these rules, explained as clearly as possible.

Education Requirements

  1. At a minimum, each candidate for IPS officer must possess a graduation level from any recognized Indian University.
  2. No minimum grade or first class qualification is necessary. A plain graduation degree is sufficient.
  3. Pass Graduate status (i.e. without honors) is accepted.
  4. Technical students such as Engineering graduates or MBBS pass-outs are permitted to appear for the exam as well.

Age Requirements

IPS officers must be between 21 and 30 years of age. The only two exceptions to the age restrictions are as follows:
1. OBC students are eligible for a 3 year age relaxation.
2. SC/ST students are eligible for a 5 year age relaxation.

Physical Requirements

IPS offers experience a wide range of physically demanding tasks on a daily basis. These come up unexpectedly with little to no warning. Thus, physical fitness at higher levels than other careers is an absolute must. Below are the minimum physical requirements for entry into the IPS.
General Fitness: Physical Deformities and handicaps are not permissible for an IPS officer. Total fitness is a requirement throughout an IPS officer's career. A medical examination will determine physical fitness for the IPS.
  1. Minimum Height (Male): 165cm
  2. Minimum Height (Female): 160cm
Exceptions: The only exceptions permitted for height requirements for IPS officers apply to some members of tribes who's average height is lower. Examples of such tribes are Gorkhas and Garhwalis. Both of these groups famous for martial arts receive a 5cm relaxation for the height requirement. Thus the minimum height for a male would be 160cm and 155cm for a female.
Chest Girth: (NOTE: These requirements for chest girth should be expandable by 5cm for both genders.)
  1. Minimum Chest Girth (Male): 84 cm
  2. Minimum Chest Girth (Female): 79cm
Vision: Corrected vision is permitted. Myopia is allowed up to -4D. Hypermetropia is allowed up to +4D. Colorblind individuals and those lacking binocular vision are excluded from eligibility.


Each IPS officer is required to take the UPSC exam before consideration for any position. The exam occurs every year and is broken up into three sections: Preliminary, Main, and Interview. The following is a summary of each section.
Preliminary Exam: This examination includes several sections. First, the applicant must submit two papers. The first paper's subject is General Studies (300 Marks). The second paper is on the topic of choosing of the applicant (150 Marks). There is also a multiple choice section. At this stage, 98% of applicants fail or drop out from the examination process.
Main Exam: The main exam is designed to be tougher than the Preliminary exam. It is more extensive and has no multiple choice questions. The following is a break-down of each section and associated mark requirements.
  • Indian Language Paper (qualifying): 300 Marks
  • English Language Paper (qualifying): 300 Marks
  • General Essay: 200 Marks
  • Two General Studies Papers: 300 Marks per paper (600 total)
  • Four Papers on optional subjects (Two subjects with two papers per): 300 Marks per paper (1200 total).

Interview Stage

The interview stage follows passage of the main exam. During this process, all of your original documents will be reviewed and verified. You will appear for a rigorous interview and examination in front of the official interview board and a medical checkup board.
If you receive approval from these boards and all of your information is accepted, you will then chose between options determined by your score on various examinations and availability of positions.


This is a brief explanation of how to become an IPS officer. While it may seem daunting, near impossible, with enough hard work and dedication, you too can join the heroes of the Indian Police Service. Your childhood dreams can and will become a reality for you if you set your mind to it.
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