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Performance Appraisal of an IPS

Jyoti Sharma

Indian Police Services is one of the elite defence services to join in the country. It is regarded as a prestigious opportunity to serve in the Indian Police service which is the most fundamental pillar of law and order in the country. The Indian Police Service is one of the three All India Services of the Government of India that was established in 1948 by replacing the Indian (Imperial) Police services of the pre-independence times or the British times.

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Here, we are providing the detailed account in the performance appraisal process of an IPS officer and details on the new reform system called the E-SPARROW system which will be able to generate the performance appraisal report electronically making the whole process extremely transparent.

Designations held by IPS officers and corresponding Pay structure

• IPS officers can be appointed in various autonomous organisations like Public sector undertakings, UN Organisations and many International Organisations in various capacities and varied roles.

• A large number of senior posts in Central Armed Paramilitary Forces, besides CBI, IB, RAW are manned by IPS officers.

• They can also serve as Personal Secretaries to Ministers in Central Government.

Performance appraisal report of an IPS officer:

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The performance appraisal report is finalised in step-wise phases and verification to maintain the integrity of the report and provide a fair performance report of an IPS officer as he is the ultimate law and order authority at the grassroots level. A performance appraisal report assessing the performance, character, conduct and qualities of every member of the Service are written for each financial year.

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Phase I- Finalising the Performance appraisal report

• A performance appraisal report assessing the performance, character, conduct and qualities of every member of the Service is written in each financial year.

• The performance appraisal report is written in such form as specified by the Central Government for the members of the Service on deputation or on training and study leave.

• If the performance appraisal report (PAR) of an officer is not recorded by the 31st of December of the year, the officer is assessed on the basis of the overall record.

• The reviewing authority should record his remarks on the performance appraisal report within the time frame.

• The reviewing authority will review any such performance appraisal report where the authority reviewing the performance appraisal report is a Government servant, after one month of his retirement from service.

Phase II- Review of the Performance Appraisal Report:

• The accepting authority should record his remarks on the performance appraisal report and may accept it, with such modifications as may be considered necessary.

• A certified copy of the performance appraisal is sent to the Central Government or the State Government or both according to as the member of the Service is serving in connection with the affairs of the State.

• The full annual performance appraisal report is disclosed to the officer after finalisation by the accepting authority to enable the officer reported upon to represent his case.

• The officer reported can give his comments on the performance appraisal report to the accepting authority within fifteen days.

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• If the officer reported doesn’t agree with the final assessment conveyed to him, he may represent his case through the accepting authority for a decision by the Referral Board within one month.

• The representation of the officer reported upon along with the views of the reporting authority, the reviewing authority and the accepting authority shall be forwarded to the Referral Board at the request of the officer reported upon within a period of fifteen days.

The composition of Referral Board:

In respect of officers working in the States –

(i) Chief Secretary of the State 


(ii) Director General of Police 


(iii) Secretary (Appointments) 


(iv) Principal Secretary/Secretary, Home Department 


In respect of officers working in the Centre –

(i) Cabinet Secretary


(ii) Secretary (Home)


(iii) Establishment Officer, Department of Personnel and Training


(iv) Joint Secretary (Police)


• The Referral Board considers the comments of the reporting authority, the reviewing authority and the accepting authority and confirms or modifies the performance appraisal report, including the overall grade.

• The decision of the Referral Board is considered to be final.

• The entire performance appraisal report is communicated to the officer reported upon and this concludes the process of assessment.


In persuasion of a decision taken in a meeting held under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary for the adoption of SPARROW system for online recording of APAR of Group-A cadre officers from 2015-16 onwards, the National Informatics Centre has developed a software called the SPARROW for the writing of Performance Appraisal Report electronically by the IPS officers. The Ministry issued guidelines for the writing of e-PAR by the IPS officers to all the concerned.

• It is an online system based on the performance appraisal database that is maintained for each member of the service by the state Government or the central Government.

• The aim of this system is to facilitate the electronic filing of the PAR by officers in a way that is not only user-friendly but also allows to fill from anywhere anytime as per their convenience.

• E- Sparrow will be accessible to the officers at diverse stages in the workflow hierarchy of filling and submission process of the appraisal.

• The system is also expected to reduce delays in submission of completely filled PARs.

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SPARROW Process:

PAR filing process starts at the begriming of the financial year. The custodian of the respective Ministry sends the blank PAR forms to the Individual officer. The performance appraisal report moves from reporting officer to reviewing officer.

With the electronic system in place, the recording and movement of PAR forms become seamless, quick and convergent due to inbuilt alert mechanisms through different modes at appropriate stages. The system provides the status check on the performance appraisal reports so that the officers know where their reports are pending as well as what is pending with them.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Sparrow system

• It manages and maintains Performance appraisal report (PAR) Database and also acts as a central Repository record updating system.

• It also acts a primary Nodal Officer to generate the PAR and also to set the parameters for PAR.

• It acts as a single point of contact (spoc) for Center and maintains the records with respect to the Centre.

• It acts as a single point of contact (spoc) for state and maintains the records with respect to the state.


The Performance Appraisal Report provides the basic and vital inputs for the further development of an officer. Performance assessment should be used as an instrument for career planning and training, rather than a mere judgmental exercise. It is not meant to be a fault finding process, but a developmental tool.

Although Indian Police is the major guardian of law and order in our country, it still continues to be governed by colonial and archaic police laws passed in 1861. But the E-Sparrow initiative is a welcome step towards bringing in more transparency and accountability in the appraisal and promotion process of the IPS officers.

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