The Indian Police Service or IPS is an All India Service for providing police service. It altered the Indian Imperial Police in 1948, a year after India gained independence from Britain.
Together with the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Forest Service (IFS), 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 gives leaders and commanders to staff the state police and all-India Central Armed Police Forces. Its officers are the senior officers of the police. The Bureau of Police Research and Development is undertaking for research and development of the police force in India.
The First Police Commission, appointed on 17 August 1865, had detailed guidelines for the desired system of police in India and defined the police as a governmental department to maintain order, enforce the law, and to avoid and detect crime. With the passage of time Indian Police Service’s objectives were updated and redefined, the present roles and functions of an Indian Police Service Officer are as follows:
- To accomplish duties based on border responsibilities, in the areas of maintenance of public peace and order, crime prevention, investigation, and detection, collection of intelligence, VIP security, counter-terrorism, border policing, railway policing, tackling smuggling, drug trafficking, economic offences, corruption in public life, disaster management, enforcement of socio-economic legislation, bio-diversity and protection of environmental laws etc.
- Guiding and commanding the Indian Intelligence Agencies like Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Criminal Investigation Department (CID) etc., Indian Federal Law Enforcement Agencies, Civil and Armed Police Forces in all the states and union territories.
- Guiding and commanding the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) which include the Central Police Organisations (CPO) such as Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Security Guard (NSG), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Vigilance Organisations and Indian Federal Law Enforcement Agencies.
- To interact and work closely with the members of other All India Services and with the Indian Revenue Service and also with the Indian Armed Forces primarily with the Indian Army.
- To lead and give advice to the force with courage, uprightness, dedication and a strong sense of service to the people.
- Endeavor to inculcate in the police forces in their command such values and norms as would help them serve the people better.
- Inculcate integrity of the highest order, sensitivity to aspirations of people in a rapid-changing social and economic milieu, respect for human rights, the broad liberal perspective of law and justice and high standard of professionalism.
IPS officers are recruited from the Civil Services Examination. They are also transfers from State Police Services and DANIPS. However, at present, recruitment from Limited Competitive Examination has been put on hold.
The training of IPS officer recruits is organized at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad. The authorized cadre strength of Indian Police Service is 4920. (3270 Direct Recruitment Posts and 1650 Promotional Posts). The Civil List of IPS officers is an updated (annual) list maintained by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India that lists the posting information of all IPS officers in India. This Civil List can be accessed from the MHA website. It permits searching for an IPS officer on the basis of his/her name, Batch or Cadre.