Both IPS and IAS are one of the most enticing positions for civil services in India. The UPSC civil services examination is conducted for selecting candidates for these positions. This blog will navigate through the eligibility and marks requirement, differences in salary, and the pros and cons of both these positions.

Both positions have different implementations, but the perks are more or less similar. Read along to clear a common UPSC preparation query about what should one miss if choosing IPS over IAS.

Eligibility for UPSC IAS IPS Preparation

For both IPS and IAS, it is important to clear the civil services examination. The basic criteria are to be an Indian citizen, and an age of 21 years and above. The candidate should possess a graduation degree in any stream from a recognized university. Any candidate who has secured a position of IPS and is working as a member of the same is not eligible to appear for the IPS civil services examination.

Clearing the civil services examination requires excellence in academics for both IPS and IAS. If a candidate chooses IPS over IAS, the additional criteria required is a physical test for assessing fitness. In all, there is no major difference between the educational requirements, except for physical examination for IPS. This step is conducted after the UPSC exam process.

Marks Required

The UPSC exam is conducted in 3 stages, the preliminary exam, the mains exam, and the last stage is a personal interview. A candidate who excels in all 3 rounds with distinction earns a position as an IAS or IPS officer. The candidate who clears the preliminary stage can only appear for the mains exam, and it is important to know the marks required or the cut off for a better UPSC preparation.

The following tables will provide the cut off for IAS and IPS for the previous years (2016 to 2019):

Civil Services Preliminary Cut-off (out of 200)

Category 2019 2018 2017 2016
General 98 98 105.34 116
EWS 90
OBC 95.34 96.66 102.66 110.66
SC 82 84 88.66 99.34
ST 77.34 83.34 88.66 96

Civil Services Mains Cut-off (Out of 1750)

Category 2019 2018 2017 2016
General 751 774 809 787
EWS 696
OBC 718 732 770 745
SC 706 719 756 739
ST 699 719 749 730

Civil Services Final Cut-off (Out of 2025)

Category 2019 2018 2017 2016
General 961 982 1002 988
EWS 909
OBC 925 938 968 951
SC 898 912 944 937
ST 893 912 939 920

The positions for IPS and IAS are allotted on the basis of the rank achieved, the higher the rank, the more are the chances of appointment.

Also Read: 7 Websites That You Should Visit to Amp Up Your UPSC Exam Preparation Strategy

Pros and Cons of Choosing IPS over IAS

There is a set of pros as well as cons which come with the choice of Indian Police Service over Indian Administrative Service, which are as following:


  • The IPS position offers a police uniform, which carries great honour and glory from the department and the public.
  • IPS training gives access to extensive ammunition training, which is comparable to the army. This is uncommon for normal police officers and citizens.
  • There is a 24×7 security and protection team for an IAS officer, which is at the disposal for any need.
  • An IPS officer has a strict position of command and undeniable assistance from subordinates.


  • The service life of an IPS officer is very demanding. It is not just a regular office hours job and requires a lot of field-work.
  • The job requires continuous physical fitness criteria to be maintained for the initial years of service.
  • Requires a tough mentality to deal with the gruesome crimes and scenes of violence as a part of the police job.
  • The job may require attending calls and catering to the demands of the job at odd hours.

Salary Comparison

There is not a major difference when a comparison is made in the salary for IPS and IAS positions. On the recommendations based on 7th pay commission, the salary of an IAS officer is INR 56,000 to a maximum of 2,50,000 per month, and the salary of an IPS officer is INR 56,000 to a maximum of 2,25,000 per month.

The salary is increased on the basis of promotions in both positions. The highest position for IAS is Cabinet Secretary. Another top position at the state level is Chief secretary, and another is Home Secretary. The highest position for IPS is the Director-General of Police. IPS officers can also be appointed as the director of CBI, RAW, and IB, or as the National Security Advisor.

UPSC Preparation for IAS and IPS

Both IPS and IAS are the most desirable positions for the civil services in India. They do offer numerous perks but the IPS and IAS preparation is a rigorous and an exalting journey. These require dedication and hard work to crack and achieve the officer ranks. There are multiple courses online as well as offline to prepare for the UPSC exams, and the only thing that gets a candidate closer to his IAS and IPS dream is consistent effort and practice.

The following tips can be summarized for better Indian Police Service and IAS preparation or the UPSC preparation in general:

  • Understanding the UPSC pattern and creating a plan of action for preparation.
  • Knowing the UPSC syllabus thoroughly.
  • Being updated with current affairs through newspapers and magazines.
  • Choosing the right optional subjects.
  • Familiarising with NCERT course books for preparation.
  • Practising writing answers at home.
  • Going through previous years exam papers and mock tests.
  • Gearing up for the interview stage.

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

What should I Miss if I Choose IPS over IAS? The Final Verdict

Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service both have their own perks and benefits. The role of the Indian Police Service is to maintain law and order and ensure that crime is managed. In fact, they are responsible for handling the most mighty bureaucracy in the country.

On the other hand, Indian Administrative Service works on implementing the policies and measures which are formed by the government so that the functioning is smooth. The candidates can bring about a positive change in society through their vision.

Both these positions carry their own dignity and are based on the distinction of the candidate choosing his field. The choice can be made solely on the roles and responsibilities that each one of them are assigned with, and if they match with the interests of the candidate. It is important to weigh all associated pros and cons and then make the choice. Moreover, making it to the IPS and IAS stage requires dedicated and consistent effort.


To conclude, no post can be termed as higher than the other. This blog has covered all important aspects if Indian Police Service is chosen over Indian Administrative Service along with the marks required, the salary comparison, eligibility and pros and cons.

The most basic step which comes before the choice of these fields is the UPSC preparation, which requires extensive study hours. For more tips and assistance on UPSC preparation, click here.

Also Read: How to Concentrate on Studies for UPSC Exams? Here’re 12 Powerful Tips to Boost Your Preparation

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What should I Miss if I Choose IPS over IAS: Unfolding Important UPSC Preparation Queries
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What should I Miss if I Choose IPS over IAS: Unfolding Important UPSC Preparation Queries
There are certain criteria on which IPS and IAS differ in terms of preparation and eligibility. Read along to clarify all your doubts about the key differences in both.
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UPSC Pathshala
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