Serving ones country is the most proud profession anyone can have. You can serve your country in hundreds of ways but tough job is to be part of the system and then changing it from with for the betterment of entire nation. With this thought in mind many people opt for civil services.
Civil services itself is a vast field. It has many different posts and each post has its own set of responsibilities. Now I have seen many students preparing for civil services get confused between IAS/IPS and IFS. Many people do not know the difference between these three posts. So today I shall be telling what each of these post means and who should be choosing them.
What is IAS?
IAS stands for Indian Administrative Service. It was formed in 1893 and was initially known as Imperial Civil Services. The examination for IAS are conducted by Union Public Service Commission. At present there are 4926 posts of IAS and out of that 3511 are selected via these examination. Whereas 1415 are promoted by State Civil Services. The major duties of an IAS include Law and Order Management, Policy Formulation, Policy Implementation, Civil Administration, Advisor to Ministers and Managing Bureaucracy whether it is at Center or at State.
What is IPS?
IPS stands for Indian Police Services. It was formed in 1948 and was initially known as Indian Imperial Police. The examination for IPS are conducted by Union Public Service Commission. The officers selected for these posts are the leaders and commanders to head the police staff of the state or all India Central Armed Police Forces. They do not have any role in law making rather they are the ones implementing the laws and see to it that these laws are followed. They lead and command Research and Analysis Wing, Intelligence Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigation, Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and many other departments. They make sure that no laws are being broken, reduce crime, and prevent any terrorism and smuggling or any other illegal activity.
What is IFS?
IFS stands for Indian Foreign Services. It was formed in 1946. The examination for IFS are conducted by Union Public Service Commission. Ambassador, High Commissioner, Foreign Secretary are few of the offices held by the IFS officers. These officers are controlled by Ministry of External Affairs. Its main head is Foreign Secretary of India. The main aim for IFS officers is to manage India’s foreign relations. Apart from that other duties include Economic Diplomacy, Trade Relations, Cultural Diplomacy, Public Diplomacy, Defense Diplomacy and Intergovernmental Organization. They represent India in all International Organizations around the world. They are also appointed heads at Passport offices.
How are IAS/IPS or IFS officers selected?
For all the three posts of IAS/IPS or IFS you have to get through Civil Services Examination. It is a national examination and is conducted by Union Public Service Commission. It is conducted in two steps. Step 1 includes an examination that has two objective type papers. One is general studies and the second is aptitude test. In step 2 you have to clear main examination that comprises of nine papers of essay type. When you clear both these papers then you have to pass through the Personality test.
It is important that you should either be a graduate or have passed in an examination that would make you equivalent of a graduate. You must be between 20 to 32 years of age when you appear for the examination that is on 1st of August of the year you are appearing for the examination.
Who should be choosing IAS?
If you believe that you have the ideas that could change people’s lives through revolutionizing laws then IAS is for you. If law making, its proper enforcement, heading the police staff in proper manner and giving people their civic rights appeals to you then you should apply for IAS.
Who should be choosing IPS?
If you love law and order and want to see it being followed by people then IPS is for you. You should be brave and should able to lead the entire police team. You cannot be scared of terrorism or smugglers as you have to curb that problem out. You cannot just sit back and do not expect to get your hands dirty. This post requires action from your side. You have to be defensive as well as attacking as lives of all police officers and the civilians will be in your hands.
Who should become IFS?
If you have excellent communication skills, a voice that demands attention and love for your country that you can proudly represent in any corner of the world then IFS is for you. You have to know how to communicate with foreign ministers so that India has good relations all over the world. You cannot be afraid to travel. Not only do you have to be good with people from different countries but also with your own people. You have to respect all the different cultures and never forget your own culture.
— Samidha Thakur
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.