Written by Sugandh Kakkar
Most Indians would have heard terms like- IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, and IFoS, but do you know what these are?
Here’s a guide
Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), is an umbrella organization that conducts various examinations at the central level. IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, and IFoS are one of these exams.
In simpler words, these are the national-level examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission.
Full forms of IAS, IPS, IRS, IFS, and IFoS
- IAS- Indian Administrative Services
- IPS- Indian Police Service
- IRS- Indian Revenue Service
- IFS- Indian Foreign Service
- IFoS- Indian Forest Service
Now let us understand these terms in depth.
Full form of IPS – Indian Police Service
IPS stands for Indian Police Service.
Its officers are employed by both the union government as well the state government. As the name suggests, the candidate clearing UPSC gets an opportunity in the police department. Firstly, the candidate clears the IAS exam and then gets posted as IPS if s/he gets the required rank.
Educational qualification for IPS
The person applying for the Indian Police Service must have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.
Also, if someone has appeared for the final exams of the graduation degree and the results are awaiting, then the person is also eligible to appear in these entrance tests.
Age eligibility for IPS
To be eligible for the IPS entrance exam, you should be at least 21 years of age and a maximum of 32 years at the year of attempting the examination.
This means according to the guidelines, the person attempting in 2023 should be a minimum of 21 years as of 1st August 2023. And the upper age limit is 32 years. Further, this means that the candidate must not be of 32 years by 1st August 2023.
The upper age limit of OBC is 35 years, for ST and SC is 37 years, Defence Service Personnel disabled during service is 35 years, Ex Servicemen who have rendered 5 years of military service is 37 years and visually challenged/hearing impaired and physically challenged candidates are 42 years.
Number of Attempts
- General Category and EWS (Economically Weaker Section) attempts in IPS exams- 6 attempts
- SCs/STs( Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe) attempts in IPS exams- unlimited attempts
- OBCs ( Other Backward Class) attempts in IPS exams- 9 attempts
- Physically handicapped in General and EWS – 9, in OBC-9 and SC/ST – unlimited attempts
Hence If you are planning to take the exam this year, i.e., 2023, your date of birth should be between 2nd August 1991 and 1st August 2002.
This medical test happens only when the candidate has cleared the civil services exams.
They will go under a medical test per the rules of UPSC. This is the final decisive point, if you clear this also then you are eligible for the service. As IPS is a technical position hence there are some exclusive medical requirements – for height, chest, vision, blood pressure, etc.
Salary of an IPS officer
There are various levels in the Indian Police Service, starting with the basic position of Deputy Superintendent of Police to the highest to Director General of Police.
The basic salary can range from Rs. 56,000 (TA, DA, and HRA) per month to Rs. 2,25,000 for a DGP.
Powers and duties of an IPS officer
The Indian Police Service reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Apart from being responsible for maintaining peace and order, IPS officers are also responsible for:
- Border security
- VIP security
- Anti-smuggling and drug trafficking
- Disaster management
- Railway policing
- Leading the Indian Federal Law Enforcement Agencies like:
• Civil and Armed Police Forces in all the union territories and states
• CAPF – Central Armed Police Forces
In addition, IPS officers also work closely with other services like the Indian Armed forces.
Full form of IAS
The full form of IAS is Indian Administrative Service. The Civil Services Examination is one of the toughest examinations in India. As mentioned above, it is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for All India Services. This post is considered to be the most reputed and well-paid among other government jobs.
It must be noted that The CSE or the Civil Services Examination is the same for IAS, IPS, and IFS – these are the streams, so to speak, you can get to after the exam.
Rewarding as it is, this is a hard exam to crack. The syllabus is vast, along three levels of exams, i.e., prelims, mains, and personal interviews.
Educational qualifications to become an IAS officer
The education qualification is the same as others, i.e., a bachelor’s degree in any field from a recognized university or any other equivalent qualification.
Note- candidate appearing in the final year of graduation is also fit to take the entrance examination.
Age limit for the IAS
In the Indian Administrative Service, there is a lower age limit of 21 years of age by the 1st of August in the year of appearing in the examination.
The upper age limit varies
- General Category- till 32 years of age.
- SCs/STs – 37 years of age.
- OBCs- 35 years of age.
- PWD – 42 years of age.
- Jammu & Kashmir Domicile: 37 years + (3 years, if OBC OR 5 Years, if SC/ST)
- Ex-Servicemen Commission Officer: 37 years + (3 years, if OBC OR 5 Years, if SC/ST)
- Disabled and discharged Defence service personnel: 35 years+(3 years, if Gen/OBC or 5 years if SC/ST).
Number of attempts
- General Category attempts in IAS exams- 6 attempts till 32 years of age.
- SCs/STs attempts in IAS exams- unlimited attempts till 37 years of age.
- OBCs attempts in IAS exams- 9 attempts till 35 years of age.
- PWD attempts in IAS exams- 9 attempts till the age of 42 years.
- EWS category with benchmark disability has 9 attempts, and General and OBC physically disabled candidates have 9 attempts. SC/ST physically disabled candidates have no bar on the number of attempts
Salary of an IAS officer
There are various posts and levels in IAS. Hence the salary depends on the level of posts. The basic salary of an IAS officer starts at Rs.56,100 (TA, DA, and HRA are extra) and can go on to Rs. 2,50,000 – for a Cabinet Secretary’s post.
Responsibilities of an IAS officer
The responsibilities of IAS officers are different, depending on the assignment.
An IAS officer is given three types of assignments – field, state secretariat/ public sector undertakings, and central secretariat assignments.
- This includes working on government responsibilities like making government schemes and policies.
- An IAS officer also works with various departments to elect representatives.
- An IAS officer also responds to natural calamities, riots, and major accidents in their area of responsibility called a jurisdiction.
Administrative work – Responsible for supervising the administrative activities within their jurisdiction.
Law and order – Responsible for the maintenance of law and order in their areas
Management – Managing the staff working under him who help them in their work.
An IAS officer does a lot of documentation work, especially in terms of reports and policies
Full form of IFS
Indian Foreign Services comes under the Central Civil Services branch and is the executive services exam in India. Further, these diplomatic services fall under Group A and Group B services.
They work to ensure the proper functioning of India with foreign states and also improve foreign relations.
The examination is held in three stages-
- Preliminary Examination – includes Paper I and Paper II
- Mains Examination
- Personality Test (interview)
Educational Qualification for IFS
It is similar to others. For becoming IFS, you should at least have a degree from a recognized university or any other equivalent qualification.
For the General Category, the candidate appearing for the examination should be a minimum of 21 years and a maximum of 32 years as in the year of examination. Note that the candidate will not be eligible for the exam if s/he is above 31 years of age.
Here also certain relaxations are there. For SC and ST, the upper age limit is 37 years, and for OBS it is 35 years., for Disabled Defence Service Personnel it is 35, for ex-servicemen it is 37, and for persons with disability and belonging to EWS, it is 42.
Number of attempts
For the General Category, the number of attempts is 6. Then, for ST and SC, it is unlimited. OBC candidates have 9 attempts for the IFS examination. Please note that physically challenged people also have 9 attempts.
If the candidate appears for prelims but is not able to clear it, then also it is counted as one attempt.
The basic pay salary of IFS is around Rs. 60,000 per month, but it can go up to Rs, 2,40,000 with promotions.
Responsibility of an IFS Officer
IFS officers represent the country at the international level.
They are quite different from other civil servants as they deal with external affairs, diplomacy, cultural relations, and trade. Furthermore, they are responsible for framing the country’s foreign policies and managing Indian missions in other countries.
An IFS Officer must have profound knowledge of Indian foreign affairs and culture. Then the person should be up to date with current affairs. Lastly, good communication skills, personality, and leadership capability are a must.
Full form of IFoS
Sometimes people get confused between IFS and IFoS, and also somewhere you will find IFS used for Indian Forest Services.
The Indian Forest Services, i.e., IFoS is also a central-level examination conducted by Union Public Service Commission. Just like other exams, IFoS also has similar qualifications and eligibility. Let us have a glance at them
The candidate must be:
A citizen of India, or
The Subject of Bhutan, or
The Subject of Nepal or
Tibetan refugees who came to India before 1 January 1962 to settle in India permanently, or
A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Burma, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and East African countries like Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Zaire, United Republic of Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zaire, and Vietnam to settle in India permanently.
As with other mentioned examinations, the Indian Forest Service also requires a minimum of 21 age and a maximum of 32 age by August 1 of the year of appearing in the entrance exam.
There is also a relaxation for SCs and STs of 5 years and for OBCs it is 3 years. For a person with a disability has a relaxation of 10 years.
There is a relaxation of up to a maximum of three years in the case of Defence Services personnel disabled in operations .
Relaxation of up to a maximum of five years in the case of ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years of Military Service as of 1st August, and have been released (i) on completion of assignment (including those whose assignment is due to be completed within one year from 1st August) otherwise by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency, or (ii) on account of physical disability attributable to Military Service, or (iii) on invalidment.
Relaxation of up to a maximum of five years in the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service as of 1st August, and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on three month’s notice on the selection from the date of receipt of the offer of appointment.
Relaxation of up to a maximum of 10 years in the case of:-
(a) Low Vision
(b) Hearing Impaired (Partially deaf) and
(c) Locomotor disability (sub-category: Leprosy cured and Acid attack
For becoming an IFoS, you should have a bachelor’s degree from a renowned university or any other similar qualification. But is not the same as other examinations, here you need to have bachelors in any one of the specific courses mentioned below-
- Zoology, or
- Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture or Forestry or Engineering
- Bachelor’s degree in Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science.
Also, candidates appearing for final year exams in graduation can apply for the same. But if they clear the prelims, they need to provide the required documents.
Role of IFoS Officer
As the name suggests, an Indian Forest Service Officer looks after the forests of India. Further, they make policies and efforts to protect wildlife, protected areas, zoos, environmental issues in different states, etc.
There are various perks here too as job security, living in great locations suited for wildlife photography with family, eco-tourism, etc.
Salary of an IFoS
The salary depends on the post as IFoS. Starting from Assistant Inspector General of Forest to the highest position of Principal Chief Conservator of Forest. The average salary for these posts ranges from Rs. 56,100 to Rs. 2,25,000 monthly
The candidates receive promotions with increasing experience in service.
These government posts of Indian Police Service, Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, and Indian Forest Service are not easy. They require hard work and effort.
All these examinations require almost similar age and educational qualifications. Also, other than this, you have to be an Indian citizen. Further citizens of Nepal and Bhutan are also welcomed. Besides the salary, government jobs also give you various perks like job security, pensions, various allowances, vacations, etc.
By now we hope, all your dilemmas are cleared. If you are thinking of becoming one of the IAS, IPS, IFS, or IFoS, be optimistic and give your constant efforts. Do not lose hope if the first attempt is unsuccessful, make full use of all attempts.
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