What Should I Choose: IAS, IPS or IFS?

what-should-i-choose-ias-ips-ifs
What should i choose IAS, IPS or IFS?

There are about eight lakh applicants every year on an average for Civil Service Examinations. Every single applicant goes in with a fixed idea about the varying services they want to work at. The higher your rank is, the more chance you have in hand to choose your service. Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) belong to the All India Services. On the other hand, Indian Foreign Service comes under Central Government Service.

One has to undergo the same exam to get recruited in all three services mentioned above. After attaining preferable ranks, one has the choice of preference for the order in which they prefer to be in the respective services. The training for IAS and IFS(latter half at Foreign Service Institute, New Delhi) commences at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, whereas for IPS it is at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad. 

One must head towards Civil Services with certain aspirations and dreams that are not utopian but very practical. Most importantly, your spirit must match with the kind of service you want to go for. The following parameters will help you judge for yourself to see which service suits you the best.

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Power

Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
  1. Indian Foreign Services gives you Diplomatic Immunity. It gives the diplomats special legal immunity of not being susceptible to lawsuits under host country’s laws.
  2. They also hold a special maroon passport- Diplomatic passport, with the help of which they cannot be prevented from leaving the country. This service is entrusted to conduct diplomacy and manage foreign relations with India.
  3. They also work on building image of India abroad, promote government schemes, issue tourist/student/long-term visa, etc.

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Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
  1. At the top of the hierarchy of IAS officers at the Centre is the Cabinet Secretary followed by Secretary/Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, Director, Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary. These posts are filled according to seniority.
  2. The main work of IAS officers is to handle administration, as well as formulating and implementing policies pertaining to a particular area, like commerce, finance, etc.
  3. The also collect revenue and function as court officials in matters of revenue and crime, to maintain law and order, implement union and state government policies at the grass-roots level when posted to field positions.
Indian Police Service (IPS)
  1. They fulfill their duties based on border responsibilities, in areas of maintenance of public peace and order, crime prevention, investigation, and detection, collection of intelligence, VIP security, counter-terrorism, border policing, railway policing, tackling smuggling, drug trafficking, economic offences, corruption in public life, disaster management, enforcement of socio-economic legislation, bio-diversity and protection of environmental laws etc.
  2. They can take over investigation either by suo-moto or as per the instructions of the government.
  3. They primarily ensure the safety of people under their jurisdiction.
  4. IPS officers also play the role of commander for CBI, CRPF, NSG, IB, BSF and Indo-Tibetan Border Police.

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Visibility

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Indian Foreign Service (IFS)

IFS is clearly the most glamorous of all the civil services with its extravagant lifestyle. But often the work done by our good Samaritans of IFS is left unnoticed by his fellow countrymen as most of his career span is spent abroad.

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Indian Administrative Service (IAS

Since they work alone in the districts for administration of our country, their work has instantaneous results as well as response from people who were benefitted.

Indian Police Service (IPS)

IPS officers get instant recognition and respect from people when they see them in their khaki uniform.

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Challenges

Indian Foreign Service (IFS)

It is evident through various incidents where diplomats take part in negotiating in a crisis situation, sometimes taking matters into their hand as well. In the case of Kandahar hijacking, it was a team of diplomats (including Mr. Ajit Doval) who had negotiations with the Talibani terrorists. Many instances like this are there. Also, Diplomats have to be very patient as they are the spokesperson and representatives of our nation. They also have to go through a lot of transfers and stay away from family.

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Indian Administrative Service (IAS

Political interference is a major issue that IAS officers face. A corrupt leader or party might have power to replace the best IAS officer from their vital position leading to unnecessary transfers.

Indian Police Service (IPS)

IPS officers have the power to fight crime under their jurisdiction, ranging from sensational and heinous crimes to public peace and law and order problems. Staying physically fit is a necessity even under stressful circumstances like getting calls during odd times in times of emergencies.

Download: UPSC Prelims Question Paper (2014-2019)

Social Life

Indian Foreign Service (IFS)

Even though IFS officers spend most of their lives travelling all around the world, having very little time to spend with family, it does not eliminate an IFS officer from having a social life for they constantly meet new people from varying cultures and regions. With technology today, communication gap has been filled as well. You also have other Indian associates at embassies who can bring a sense of making you feel at home.

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Indian Administrative Service (IAS

IAS Officers, despite their constant transfers, stick to their work as they know they are in the country and can visit their family and friends but are constantly working for the betterment of our nation. They are transferred to small cities to handle those places’ administration single handedly. IAS officers are way too involved in their work which they really love to do. It never feels monotonous.

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Indian Police Service (IPS)

IPS officers have a pretty active social life. They socialize through various forms of sports like tennis. They also celebrate together all the national festivals. Sometimes their families are involved as well.

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Perks

Indian Foreign Service (IFS)

They enjoy a range of perks, including an accommodation of 2 or 3 BHK house at a cheap rate, a car for commuting, official vehicles, domestic helpers, and security guards. An IFS Officer also enjoys free electricity, free water, and free telephone facilities. Other perks include medical treatment expenses, abroad study options, retirement benefits, and pension.

Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
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IAS Officer Car

They are provided with a duplex bungalow residence at a VVIP restricted zone of state capital they are in, along with help like workers, cook, gardener, etc. Electricity bill is paid by the government. A vehicle is provided to the IAS officer for official and personal use. They are also provided with security guards. They also get study leaves for two years.

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Indian Police Service (IPS)

IPS Officers get rent-free accommodation at minimal rates, a king size bungalow with all facilities, security guards and domestic help, along with the option for taking study leave abroad, free electricity or phone call facility, perks of PSUs like Provident Fund leave, medical attendance, lifetime pension and other retirement benefits, a very handsome salary, n official vehicle with beacons and siren, rent-free accommodation, study leave for a maximum period of 2 years at a stretch with the entire cost being borne by the government.

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One can now go ahead and form decisions based on the above parameters in order to consider your life plans and what kind of a life you are looking forward to lead. It becomes easier to judge how much power, challenges, visibility, your social life, perks all three services hold in every point of view.

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