IPS Syllabus 2021: Click to Find Out all about the Updated UPSC IPS Syllabus

IPS Syllabus 2021

The committee of UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) set the syllabus of the IPS or Indian Police Service. Every year the UPSC recruits officers by conducting Civil Service Examination to recruit the IPS officers. The Indian Police Service Examination is conducted with other Civil Service Examination and selection procedure is also common with other services of Civil Service.

An IPS officer can start the journey of the career as the Deputy Superintendent of Police. It combines a three-tier pattern of examination which is conducted engaging for almost a year. After completion of every stage of the exam successfully one can be allotted with a post and designation for joining. This article might help IPS aspirants for having a scenario on IPS Syllabus and categories.

Phases of the Civil Service Examination

Three phases of civil service examination:

  • First phase: Preliminary examination
  • Second phase: Civil Services Mains examination
  • Third phase: Civil Services Personality Test or interview

Highlights of the IPS Examination Syllabus

The syllabus of IPS Syllabus is divided into two categories specifically. These are as follows:

(i) Preliminary Examination (Multiple Choice Question) is conducted for the selection of eligible candidates for appearing in the Main Examination.

(ii) Main Examination (Written) is conducted for the selection of eligible candidates for the various kinds of civil services.

Also Read: UPSC Mains Exam Pattern: Check-Out UPSC Syllabus and UPSC Question Paper Pattern

Preliminary Syllabus of the IPS Examination

The IPS examination is an integrated part of the Civil Service Examination. The Preliminary Examination or Prelims for IPS recruitment is referred to as the Civil Services Aptitude Test. The CSAT or Civil Service Aptitude Test was introduced at first in 2011. It is the second paper of General Studies.

The prelims of UPSC is set to filter the well eligible candidates for this service. Though the marks scored in the UPSC Prelims exam will be considered just as a determinant for qualifying the UPSC Mains examination, prelims marks are not counted and carried forward to the marks of the UPSC Mains exam.

The syllabus of the IPS examination for Civil Services Prelims Exam is as depicted below:

Paper I

(General Studies – I of 200 marks)- duration: 2 hours

  • Current events of national and international importance
  • History of India and The Indian National Movement
  • Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World
  • Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization General Science

Syllabus for Paper II

(CSAT/ General Studies – II of 200 marks)- duration: 2 hours

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision-making and problem-solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level) and data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level)


  • Note 1

The CSAT aptitude test or Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper only with a minimum of 33% to be secured to sit for the UPSC Mains exam.

  • Note 2

The questions in both Paper-I (current affairs) and Paper-II (aptitude test) will be of multiple-choice, objective type for 200 marks each and the time allotted for each paper is two hours

  • Note 3

The candidate must appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelims) examination for evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in both the papers of the (Prelims) exam.

IPS Syllabus for Mains Examination

The Mains Examination is schemed to test the skill of the eligible candidate with detailed knowledge, aptitude, and skill-based test. This is a written examination consisting of the following papers:

Paper A

This paper consists of Modern Indian Languages worth 300 Marks

The candidates will have to take on the following areas as depicted:

  • Comprehension of given passages
  • Precise Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Short Essay
  • Translation from English to the Indian language and vice-versa

Note 1: The Papers on Indian Languages and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.

Note 2: The candidates will have to answer the English and Indian Languages papers in English and the respective Indian language (except where the translation is involved).

Choice of Language

  • Assamese
  • Telugu
  • Sindhi
  • Marathi
  • Bengali
  • Urdu
  • Gujarati
  • Dogra
  • Bodo
  • Kashmiri
  • Hindi
  • Kannada
  • Malayalam
  • Konkani
  • Maithili
  • Nepali
  • Manipuri
  • Tamil
  • Punjabi
  • Oriya
  • Santali
  • Sanskrit

Paper B

English– 300 Marks

A candidate’s eligibility for understanding, reading, and writing of the English language will be tested in this paper.

The parameters are depicted below:

  • Comprehension of given passages
  • Precise Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Short Essay

Note 1: The Papers on Indian Languages and English will be of matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted towards the final ranking.

Note 2: The candidates will have to answer the English and Indian Languages papers in English and the respective Indian language (except where the translation is involved).

Breakdown of the UPSC IPS Papers

The following table gives a breakdown of the papers that will be counted for merit and thus affect the final ranking of the candidate.

Paper I – (Essay) 250 Marks

Candidates will have to write two essays from a list of topics. The candidates are advised to present ideas in a strategic and advanced manner. The topic will be according to the subject matter.

Paper-II – (General Studies) 250 Marks

  • Indian Heritage and Culture
  • World History
  • World and Indian Geography
  • Social Issues

Paper III –(General Studies – II) 250 Marks

  • Governance
  • Constitution
  • Political System
  • Social Justice
  • International Relations

Paper IV – (General Studies – III) 250 Marks

  • Technology
  • Indian Economy
  • Biodiversity
  • Environment
  • Security

Paper V – (General Studies – IV) 250 Marks

  • Ethics
  • Integrity
  • Administrative Aptitude

Paper VI (Optional Paper – I) 250 Marks

Topics will be decided according to the optional subject chosen by the candidate.

Paper VII (Optional Paper-IIII) 250 Marks

Topics will be decided according to the optional subject chosen by the candidate.

Total marks: 1750

Also Read: Which Optionals Give Maximum Selections Every Year?

Optional for Mains

For the Mains exam, candidates are allowed to choose out of the following optional subjects as enlisted:

  • Agriculture
  • Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  • Anthropology
  • Chemistry
  • Botany
  • Commerce and Accountancy
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Economics
  • Geology
  • Geography
  • Law
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Management
  • Medical Science
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Public Administration
  • Zoology
  • Statistics

Choice of Literature

Candidates also allowed to select the literature of one of the following languages as the optional subject.

  • Assamese
  • Hindi
  • Manipuri
  • Sanskrit
  • Urdu
  • Bengali
  • Kannada
  • Marathi
  • Santhali
  • English
  • Bodo
  • Konkani
  • Nepali
  • Sindhi
  • Dogri
  • Maithili
  • Odia
  • Tamil
  • Gujarati
  • Malayalam
  • Punjabi
  • Telegu

Interview (IPS) 275 Marks

The final part of the selection of a candidate is the IPS interview or personality test which a face to face analysis of competence of the candidate. A candidate can select a preference of the language in which the interview will be covered. The UPSC has an arrangement for translators also.

Marks obtained by the candidate for all papers excluding Paper A and Paper B will be counted for merit ranking. However, the committee of UPSC has the right to examine any paper and quality of content if needed.

Also Read: Here’s the Complete Break Down of UPSC Interview Round

Guidelines for Appearing in the Interview

The candidate will be interviewed by the board members of UPSC. The candidate will be subjected to an answer on matters of general interest.

This test is a judgment of the capability of a candidate’s situation management and common sense.

The UPSC committee will look for an appropriate candidate with the capability of critical assessment, mental alertness, clear and logical exposition, variety and depth of interest, the balance of judgment, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and even moral integrity as an officer.

Physical Criteria of an IPS Officer

  • Minimum height for men: 165cm
  • Minimum height for women: 150cm
  • Minimum height has the option of relaxation for men and women respectively: 160cm and 145cm (for the candidates, who belong to, ST categories and races such as Gurkhas, Garhwalias, Assamese, Kumaonis, Nagaland Tribals, etc. )
  • Minimum chest girth for men and women respectively: 84cm and 79cm
  • Myopia (including cylinder) is not allowed over minus 4.00D
  • Hyper myopia (including cylinder) is not allowed over plus 4.00D
  • The presence of squint in vision is a disqualification through spectacles are permitted. Distant vision for the better eye(corrected vision) is allowed to be 6/6 or 6/9. Distant vision for the worse eye(uncorrected vision) is allowed to be 6/12 or 6/9. Near vision is allowed to be J1 and J2 respectively. High-grade colour vision is also required as well as binocular vision.

Also Read: Can you get Lasik surgery done? Any Height requirements for the Civil Police Test?

Nationality of a Candidate

Nationality of a candidate must be either of the following as below:

  • Citizen of India
  • Subject of Nepal
  • Subject of Bhutan
  • A Tibetan refugee who is immigrated to India before January 1, 1962, for permanent settlement in India.

A migrant from any of the countries as follows for permanent settlement in India:

  • Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam.

Educational Qualification

A candidate must hold a Bachelor’s degree from any of the universities recognised by the UGC or possess an equivalent qualification.

Age Criteria

Minimum age is 21 years. The maximum age is 32 years as on the 1st of August in the year of examination.

Age Relaxation

Relaxation in the age limit is as follows: Up to a maximum of 5 years for SC and ST candidates and 3 years for OBC candidates. There is an age relaxation of up to 5 years for a candidate from the State of Jammu & Kashmir. Defence Services personnel is up to a maximum of 5 years.  Up to max. 5 years for Ex-servicemen(including Commissioned officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have provided at least 5 years of Military Service and have been released). It is up to a maximum of 5 years for ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of military service-related assignment of 5 years. Blind, deaf-mute and orthopedically handicapped persons get up to 10 years of relaxation.

Numbers of Attempts

Restriction on the maximum number of attempts has been effective since 1984. The number of UPSC attempts for General is 6. Yes, the attempts for IAS general category is only 6 when compared to other reservations. To know more about it click here.

Also Read: Check The Eligibility Criteria, Attempts and Age Relaxations for OBC Category


Hopefully, by now you have already known all the details present in the latest IPS syllabus. So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself enrolled to the best online UPSC coaching and make yourself ready for the upcoming exam.

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IPS Syllabus 2021: Click to Find Out all the Updated UPSC IPS Syllabus
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IPS Syllabus 2021: Click to Find Out all the Updated UPSC IPS Syllabus
Looking for the IPS 2021 exam syllabus? Wondering about the eligibility criteria? Click here to know all about it.
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About the Author

Akshay Palande

Akshay Palande is a passionate teacher helping hundreds of students in their UPSC preparation. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and double masters in Public Administration and Economics, he has experience of teaching UPSC aspirants for 5 years. His subject of expertise are Geography, Polity, Economics and Environment and Ecology.

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