Dilemma between IAS/IPS/IFS

Team UPSCCONNECT

“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” - Mark Twain

To understand in what field one love working and to avoid the dilemma, differences between what actually are the works of an IAS/IPS/IFS Officers must be known.


The dilemma to choose the different paths in life may have occurred many times and if not then that is a moderately salutary thing. But in this case, a peripheral mistake can overload anyone with the depression in the later stage.
However, what is the difference between them?

IAS( Indian Administrative Service) is the executive branch of the Indian Government. Officers here participate in policy formulation, policy implementation, policy evaluation.
IPS(Indian Police Service) is IPS is mainly related to Police services, is centrally appointed to Police services, which is a state affair.


Basically, IPS are who protects the laws maintained by an IAS.
Whereas IFS(Indian Foreign Services) is where you work as a diplomat in different countries, handle work of our country internationally.
To have a more clear picture about the above three mentioned, one must know the similarities as well as dissimilarities and to also avoid the dilemma.
Most impressive and general about them is anyone with an undergraduate degree and a minimum age of 21 can appear for the paper. 
After you crack the prestigious paper, on the basis of the ranks you are provided with the post.
An IAS is a lawmaker and an IPS is the law enforcer. and an IFS is an entirely different field. Many of us misunderstand IFS as Foreign service but it is not while Foreign service is one of the 28 civil services posts in India in which you'll be recruited to take up jobs in any country that India has its interests.
Moreover, to compete with the dilemma, the structures of the three should be kept in mind. And by the structure, here it means each and every briefing about any particular post.


First Of All IAS i.e INDIAN ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES has been considered as the highest administrative post, hierarchically on the above of IPS as well as IFS.
Importantly, if any officer selected into the IAS can be employed by Union government, State governments and/or public-sector undertakings and gets exposure in numerous job roles like the collector, head of public sector units, commissioner, chief secretary, cabinet secretary. Likely, When on deputation outside India, the IAS officer can be engaged in inter-governmental organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), the United Nations (UN). However, The role of IAS officers is very venerable, demands a great deal of responsibility and reverence and for that, you need to be mentally as well as physically fit to take up the work pressure and serve as an asset to the nation.


Similarly, IPS(INDIAN POLICE SERVICES) stands for its Individual importance for the state and the prime duty of an IPS officer is to maintain peace in the state. The IPS gives more importance to law and order, which, at the district level, is a collective responsibility of IPS and IAS officers; detecting and preventing any sort of crime.
Most Importantly , Their main role is to lead 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 Branches in IPS. In order to fulfill these functions efficiently, responsibly and systematically, the IPS service is divided into various functional departments such as Crime Branch, Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Home Guards, Traffic Bureau, etc.

Unlikely as an IAS there are no criteria for fitness, but IPS does and that includes:

  • Minimum Height - Men - 165cm Women - 150cm Relaxable minimum height is 160cm (men) and 145cm (women) for candidates
  • Minimum Chest Girth - Men/Women: 84cm 79cm Myopia (including cylinder) should not exceed minus 4.00D Hypermyopia  (including cylinder) should not exceed plus 4.00D
  • The presence of Squint is a disqualification
  • Spectacles are permitted Distant vision for the better eye(Corrected Vision) should be 6/6 or 6/9, Distant vision for the worse eye(Uncorrected Vision) should be 6/12 or 6/9, Near vision should be J1 and J2 respectively High-grade color vision is required and Binocular vision is needed.

Apart from Physical fitness, An IPS need to work with full mental dedication.
Now an entirely diverse role is played by an IFS(INDIAN FOREIGN SERVICE) officer. This category demands educational qualification with good decision making as well as communication skills, Excellent knowledge about foreign nations and current affairs.


An IFS officer deal with diplomacy, trade and cultural relations of the country. Responsibilities include Representing India in its embassies, high commissions, consulates, and multilateral organizations. Protecting India’s national interests in the country where the officer is posted. Also Improving and promoting friendship between India and the country that the officer is posted in. The role of an IFS officer is a very promising and a challenging one. To represent India on international forums and platforms and in the countries they are appointed, An IFS officer is thus a very important thread for India who plays the vital role in shaping Indian foreign policy and building all diplomatic and economic ties with countries.To handle and manage all diplomatic relations between India and of the country they are appointed.


All of these three have individual value and to fall in any one of the category ones needs to be diligent as well as truthful towards the work. Once any of the keywords of success is implemented in life, one can combat any sort of dilemma, required the complete information as well.


The above-mentioned post definitely puts any in the situation of what to go with, but in my opinion, one should make sure the criteria demanded by each is fulfilled or not. And keep a check if suitable for the working pattern. If any of them is cleared, half of the job is done. And next to the only step is to justify the post with the amount of effort made.

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