Indian Police Service is one of the three All India Services of the Government of India along with IAS and IFS. IPS Officers are one of the most important elements of Indian administrative system, because they are incharge of maintenance of law & order within their jurisdiction. Without peace, no administration, either governmental or private can function properly; this makes the job of IPS officers even more vital and challenging. Despite being such an important role within the government administration, not much is known about the roles, responsibilities and functioning of an IPS Officer. Even the civil services aspirants, who are planning to take up IPS position after cracking the UPSC exams are not well aware of what does the job of an IPS office entail.
Who are IPS Officers?
Indian Police Service Officers are selected through the All India Civil Services Examination and appointed in state level cadres as police administrative officers. They are responsible for conducting of police work within their jurisdictional area and have several roles and responsibilities. After completing the necessary training, they are appointed at state level as the Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP). Following which, they rise through the ranks as per seniority and experience to Deputy Inspector General of Police or Inspector General of Police or Police Commissioner and even the Director of Intelligence Bureau.
Responsibilities of an IPS Officer
The roles and responsibilities of an IPS officer differ vastly at different positions and therefore are very difficult to be documented. Furthermore, police work being a dynamic profession with challenges at every stage, no fixed job profile can be decided for these officers. However, the basic responsibilities and functions they are expected to perform as IPS officers are given below.
IPS officers are expected to discharge following policing related responsibilities
• To ensure maintenance of public peace and order
• To work for crime prevention, investigation, detection and collection of intelligence
• To ensure VIP security, lead counter-terrorism efforts, border policing and railway policing
• To tackle smuggling, drug trafficking, economic offences and corruption in public life
• To assist in disaster management efforts as well as enforcement of socio-economic legislations
• To protect bio-diversity and implement environmental laws
Investigative / Intelligence Responsibilities
To perform investigations and collect intelligence for national security and upkeep of peace, law & order, by working within or leading any of the following agencies.
• Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW)
• Intelligence Bureau (IB)
• Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI)
• Criminal Investigation Department (CID)
• Indian Federal Law Enforcement Agencies
• Civil and Armed Police Forces in all the states and union territories
Commanding Para-military Forces
IPS officers are also expected to act as the commanding officer and lead Para-military forces like
• Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF)
• Central Police Organisations (CPO)
• Central Paramilitary Forces (CPF)
• Border Security Force (BSF)
• Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
• Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
• National Security Guard (NSG)
• Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
• Vigilance Organisations
• Indian Federal Law Enforcement Agencies.
Apart from general administrative functions within police framework, an IPS officer also has to look after the general well being, training of their junior officers and instil moral values that can ensure efficient functioning of the police network with zero corruption at any level.
A Day in life of an IPS Officer
There is nothing routine or typical about the office day of an IPS officer. They have an amazingly challenging job that throws up unpredictable problems every day; therefore it is impossible to list down all their job functions. IPS officers in general are incharge of maintenance of law & order and supervise the police machinery allotted within their jurisdiction.
A common day for IPS officer can begin at 3AM in the morning informing him of riots, which need to be controlled within next few hours to avoid any further damage. He may be preparing to meet his junior officers for a review in the afternoon and can mobilize troops for a rally by the evening. There are innumerable possibilities as far as the job responsibilities of an IPS Officer are concerned. Whatever, the responsibilities be; all IPS officers have to serve the people of this country in their best capacities and be custodians of a peaceful and law abiding society.