IAS vs IPS: Who is more powerful, Know salary, responsibilities & other details

Among the government services in India the position of civil services officers are hailed at the top position. And among the civil services, IAS and IPS are the two top positions with regard to power, responsibility and many other aspects. That is the reason huge number of aspirants are fascinated for these top jobs. In this article let us discuss about the powers of IAS and IPS officers, their responsibilities, difference between these two top jobs and which one of these is regarded as the higher one.

General information about IAS and IPS

The full form of IAS is Indian Administrative Services and IPS stands for Indian Police Services while both are All-India Services.

IAS and IPS service play a vital role in the development and administration of the country while in a district, an IAS is posted as the Collector cum District Magistrate (DM) and an IPS is posted as the Superintendent of Police (SP) and they are the top two authorities in district administration.

Importantly, though IAS and IPS are the two top posts in a district, they do not tussle for power; rather both of them work in coordination towards the proper administration of the district.

Origin/ Existence of IAS & IPS

These posts were prevalent even before Indian independence. However, during British Raj IAS and IPS services were dominated by the Europeans.

Post independence, the services were open basically for the Indian citizens and the eligibility criteria were changed so as to suit Indians.

Indian Administrative Service is the continuance of Imperial Civil Services (ICS) prevailing in the colonial period. The authority was called ‘Collector’ as they were in charge of the collection of revenues from the agricultural land.

Similarly, IPS is the continuation of the Imperial Police which changed in 1948 to IPS. Of course, the need for Police Bureaucracy was mentioned in the Indian Council Act of 1861 for the first time. The act was repealed by the Government of India Act 1915.


As per the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission the salary of an IPS can range from Rs 56,100 per month to Rs 2,25,000 per month. It varies depending on seniority. Similarly, as per the Seventh Pay Commission the salary of IAS can range from Rs 56,100 per month to Rs 2,50,000 per month while the same varies depending on seniority. IAS salary is a little bit more than IPS.

Top Posts

In the Union government an IAS can become the Cabinet Secretary of the Government of India. It is the highest position in the Indian bureaucratic structure.

On the other hand, in a State, the top post in the bureaucratic structure is the Chief Secretary of the state government. An IAS officer is appointed to hold this position.

When it comes to IPS in a State, an IPS can become the Director-General of Police (DGP) of the state.

Likewise, in the Union Government an IPS can become the Director of CBI, IB and RAW. This apart, an IPS is deployed as the National Security Adviser.

Difference between IAS & IPS

In respect with training, power, cadre controlling authority and salary, IAS and IPS services are different. Here are the major differences between IAS and IPS.


The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the Civil Services Exam every year through which candidates for IAS and IPS services are selected.

Aspirants fill the service preference of their choice in the Detailed Application Form (DAF) of UPSC while the Department of Personnel and training assign the selected candidates to the service according to their rank and preference. It is seen that most candidates put IAS as their first preference and IPS as the second choice. However, IAS is normally regarded as high which are the dream job for many. It can be guessed from the fact that the civil services exam is popularly known as the IAS exam.

Cadre Controlling Authority

Cadre Controlling Authority is the concerned ministry that overlooks the posting and transfer of the officers. IAS and IPS have separate Cadre Controlling Authority. The Ministry of Personnel is the Cadre Controlling Authority for IAS. This ministry directly reports to the Prime Minister of India.

On the other hand, the Cadre Controlling Authority for IPS is the Ministry of Home Affairs which works under the Union Home Minister.


All the newly selected IAS and IPS officers join the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) for a 3 month common foundation course. Later, the IAS officers continue at the LBSNAA while all other officers are sent to their specialised training institutes.

IPS officer trainees go to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA) Hyderabad for the rest of their training.

IAS training is more concerned about the management, coordination and administration of the resources and manpower while the IPS training includes physical training and training of various laws necessary for law enforcement.

Powers and Responsibilities

IAS & IPS Which is higher. After serving for few years, some IAS officers are posted as the District Magistrate (DM) also called Collector. As the DM he/ she is the coordinator at the district level with the authority to make a decision. He is the presiding authority of all the district level committees and departmental meeting. The DM is also responsible for the district’s police system. The decisions related to curfew, clamping of Section 144 etc. are taken by the DM.

On the other hand an IPS is posted as the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in the district. He is given with the responsibility of maintaining the law and order.

Both IAS and IPS are the most powerful posts in a district though IAS is much more powerful as a DM. An IPS has only the responsibility of its department, but an IAS (DM) has the responsibility of all the departments of the district. An IAS officer as DM is the head of the police department and other departments.

Dress code

There is no special uniform for IAS officers, they just have to wear formal clothes at the official events, but IPS have to wear their prescribed uniform. IPS uniforms change with rank. The IPS officer puts Ashok symbol on their shoulders.

With inputs from: Shiksha

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1 Comment
  1. Smarajit Kanungoe says

    ICS stands for Indian Civil Service, not Imperial Civil Service as wtitten in the article.

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