While filling the preferences order for different services in UPSC Civil Services Examination many aspirants feel the heat. Every UPSC service has it’s associated pros and cons, and aspirants should weigh them before deciding the final preference order.
The following write-up discusses what IPS services offers which others can't. So let’s begin:
Charm of IPS Officer Uniform:
IPS (Indian Police Service) is one of the few uniformed services being allocated through UPSC Civil Services Examination. The other service being Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force (RPF).
IPS uniform carries an aura in itself that every IPS officer is always proud of. Most IPS officers flaunt their uniform with pride and wear it as mark of honor. Those insignia on shoulders and chest of IPS officers are considered as one of the most prized possession. Some of these insignias are mark of valor, others of courage, leadership skills, intelligence, compassion, dedication, servitude, humility etc.
Because of this prized possession - “uniform” an IPS officer needs no introduction. Even in the largest crowds, the dress is the biggest recognition and symbol of authority, power and responsibility.
On the other hand, other services irrespective of their rank and station are not given any special uniform. Even Cabinet Secretary or Chief Secretary of a state, lacks it. Since other services have no formal uniform, they can’t be identified on their own.
The world is seeing tectonic shift from generalization to specialization. The areas which were earlier manned by generalists like Indian Administrative Officers are increasingly being assigned to specialists like IPS Officers. A living example is the ambitious plan of Government of India to divide UPSC services into technical, non technical and security services. Once it sees the light of the day, IPS services will have much improved service conditions and will wield even higher degree of authority in the system.
The trend of specialization is not confined to India, but has been witnessed all around the world e.g., Canadian cabinet where Ministers are specialist in their respective areas. It's worth considering that Ministers in most of nations across the globe are generalist, but this particular move - specialist cabinet - was lauded by most of the Indian citizens too. The reason is the trust we repose in specialist that they can generate better outcomes with similar resources at their disposal and can handle crisis situation better. These examples demonstrate that specialization is the need of the hour.
IAS officers, who serve very broad spectrum of services, are not likely to develop specialization in any of them. For example, an IAS officer, who serves for 6 months in health, transport, education, IT, power etc departments clearly lacks the requisite tenure to develop specialization. They becomes jack of all trades but master of none.
On the other hand, a person with lower IQ or comparable IQ (like all the civil servants) who serves in one particular area, will have far better knowledge and insight about his domain. Since IPS is a technical service, they have much better chances to develop specialization in police administration, investigation and allied areas like investigation, preventive security, cyber crimes, traffic management, intelligence, counter intelligence, special crimes, narcotics, detection, crime against women etc.
Several organizations are always headed by IPS officers like CBI, IB, RAW etc. In the current scenario also, the most powerful bureaucrat in India is National Security Advisor who is an ex-IPS officer.
IPS Officer Raw Power:
An IPS officer enjoys the utmost raw power amongst all the UPSC CSE services. The discretionary power that IPS officers enjoy can be used for greater good of the public. Similarly, one of the most powerful organizations in India – Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is manned almost exclusively by senior level IPS officers. They have all the legal and Constitutional power to arrest even Ministers and IAS officers, who have committed cognizable offences.
An IPS officer remains on field for most tenure and deals directly with the public. They prosecute anti social and anti national elements, and make society more livable place. As such, honest and efficient IPS officers command huge respects among citizens.
IPS officers with integrity of the highest order are remembered long for the positive changes they bring into the lives of the people. On the other hand, IAS officers work behind the curtains, except for the post of District Collector.
Among different services, India Police Service no doubt is the most visible one. Police officers are first responder in any crisis situation e.g., COVID-19 epidemic. They work in most difficult and extreme circumstances, and sometime lay their lives in the service of the nation. No wonder they command great recognition in the society. Also because of their distinct uniform, IPS officers have much greater visibility compared to all other UPSC services.
For a nation to exist, one of the foremost and essential conditions is maintenance of law and order. Thus, police officers are fundamental to the society and nation at large. Besides, no society can prosper without eternal public peace and security. A solitary incident can even create great up-heal in the society e.g., Nirbhaya gang rape in 2012 that shook the collective conscience of the nation.
A society where citizens don’t feel safe and secure, can never take off. In this context, police officers enjoy great social importance and are considered fundamental for any society. Probably no person can imagine a police less society. That’s the reason police officer don’t enjoy the freedom to protest by stopping their work for even a single day! Such is their societal importance.
Cyber Cops Services Website: services.cyber-cops.com
Police are public face of the real power of the both central and state government. They play a crucial role in the implementation of the policies of the state, by creating conditions conducive for their implementation.
You would seldom see any IAS, IRS, IFS etc officers assuming lead role in Indian cinemas. However, in almost all the movies police officers are invariably present. They maybe hated or loved, but they can’t be ignored. In fact, several movies like Singham, Dabangg revolve completely around the lives of a police officer.
Most of these movies glorify the raw power of IPS officer and his ability to bring about societal changes by eliminating the evils present in the society. They enjoy same stardom and glamour as Spiderman, Superman etc in these movies.
Most citizens feel that real power of the state vests in the police officers. They are considered as synonym of power and courage.
An old story that has travelled down the ages is as follows: “In the short narrative an old lady fights for a case and after several years judge pronounces a verdict in her favor. She gets elated and blesses the judge that may God make him Thanedaar (SHO) soon!”.
If a police inspector commands such great respect and honor in the heart and minds of ordinary citizen, you can imagine the same for IPS offices!
Real Life Heroes:
On screen heroes are revered for their courage, valour, determination, intelligence, passion, dedication etc. An IPS officer bears close resemblance to these reel life heroes. They are known to work in extraordinary circumstances like riots, natural calamities, famines, epidemic etc. During times of disaster, police officers are considered as national heroes who save their own people from various dangers.
Direct Ability to Influence Lives:
Police officers duties are similar to emergency duties, where every single minute counts. Consider a case, where robbers enter a house to commit robbery. An inordinate delay in arrival of police can result in irreversible and irreparable loss to the household members. Therefore, police including IPS officers are expected to be on toes 24*7.
Since, the importance of any service in a society is based on it’s criticality (opportunity cost) and utility, no wonder police services are very important to any society. Police officers as such have the ability to directly influence people’s lives and are seen as very powerful by society at large.
IPS service commands huge visibility and importance in the society. They are expected to lead the society towards peace and prosperity. Not opting for IPS services, as your first preference can be your single biggest mistake which you may repent badly later on.