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Differences between IPS and State Level Police Officers

Shravan Nune

In India, the primary role of the police force is to enforce laws, investigate crimes and ensure security for people in the country. Efficient and effective police force is not only essential for social stability, but also for economic development.

Police officers, either recruited as Indian Police Service (IPS) officers or State level officers, have displayed great courage and strength in their duty and played a significant role in the nation building.

Despite the fact that each and every police officer in the country is bounded by the same set of principles, there are lots of differences in the recruitment, service conditions and salary of IPS and State Police Officers. Few of those differences are given below.

1. Recruitment

              IPS Officers

                      State Police Officers

They are recruited by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) through the annual Civil Services Examination. 

The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) exercises original jurisdiction in relation to the recruitment and all other service matters of IPS officers.

Depending on the rank, they are recruited by either the Police Departments (lower level officers) or Public Service Commissions (higher level officers) of the respective States through written test followed by physical fitness tests. 

Few States like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have set up separate Police Recruitment Boards (PRBs) for this purpose.

State Administrative Tribunals (SATs) exercise original jurisdiction in relation to recruitment and all other service matter of State Police Officers.

2. Exam Pattern and Syllabus

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             IPS Officers

                       State Police Officers

The Civil Services Exam consists of three stages i.e. Preliminary, Main and Personality Test (Intreview).

Knowledge in general studies and one optional subject is tested. The basic nature of questions is more conceptual than factual.

The basic nature of questions is more factual  than conceptual.

Knowledge in general studies, reasoning and languages is tested. Some states  have compulsory regional language papers.

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3. Appointment

After selection, IPS officers are allocated to a particular State. Though IPS officers are appointed by the President of India, they report to and work under the respective State Governments.
Whereas, State Police Officers are appointed by the Governors of the respective States. They are under the total control of the State Government.

4. Salary and Pay scale


 State Police Officers

Their salaries and pensions are met by the cadre State. Irrespective of the States they are serving, IPS officers have uniform pay scale throughout the country.

The Police Division in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is responsible for all Cadre Control and Policy Decisions such as cadre structure, recruitment, training, cadre allocation, confirmation, empanelment, deputation, pay and allowances, disciplinary matters of IPS Officers.

Their salaries and pensions are decided by the respective State governments.

Primarily, the General Administration Departments (GAD) of the respective State Governments have powers with regard to classification of services, pay, cadre management and training of state police officers.

IPS Salary after 7th Pay Commission

Salary of State Police Officers

The Salary of State Police Officers varies from State to State and is less than the IPS officers. For instance, a Sub-Inspector in Uttar Pradesh has the Pay Scale: 9300-34800 with a Grade Pay of 4200.

5. Promotion and Posting


 State Police Officer

Typically, an IPS officer is posted as a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) after completion of the training. After 5-7 years of service, he/she will be eligible for the post of Superintendent of Police.

After working in the filed level offices for about 12-15 years, IPS officers are eligible for Inspector General positions. And, depending on the number of years in the service and achievements an IPS officer will become eligible for the post Director and Inspector General of Police (DGP). DGP is the highest ranking police officer.

Besides the cadre States, IPS officers serve the Union Government on deputation. During this period, they serve the central police forces and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and represent the country abroad. Their foreign postings are in the UN Missions and Indian embassies. In a few States, IPS officers are appointed as the official heads of non-police departments.

All the matters related to posting within the State are under the purview of respective State Governments. During deputation period, posting related matters are dealt by the Union Government.

Depending on the educational qualifications and the recruitment process, a State Police Officer starts the career as a Sub Inspector (SI) or a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP).

While an SI will become Circle Inspector and gradually the DSP at the end of the career. Whereas, an officer joined as a DSP will be eligible for IPS.




State Police Officers are confined to respective States only.




All the matters related to posting are under the purview of respective State Governments.

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6. Suspension and Dismissal

With regard to IPS officers, State Governments have the authority to suspend an IPS officer, while matters related to dismissal and removal (ineligible for re-employment) are dealt by the Union Government. As IPS officers enjoy the protection of the Constitution, they will be removed by the President of India only after an appropriate inquiry.

In relation to State Police Officers, all the matters related to suspension, dismissal  and removal are under the purview of State Governments.

7. Uniform

While the uniform of IPS officers is governed by the Indian Police Service (Uniform) Rules, 1954, uniforms of State Police Officers are decided by respective State Government. As per the rules, the three letters “IPS” are seen on the cap and the insignia on the shoulder of an IPS officer.

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