The Indian Police Service, also known as IPS, is one of the three All India Services of the Government of India. In 1948, a year after India gained independence from Britain the Imperial Police (IP) was replaced by the Indian Police Service.
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The IPS is not a law enforcement agency; rather it is a civil service in which officers are selected on the basis of professional merit as proven by competitive examinations, and to which all police officers are professionally identified. Police officers are employed by the police departments of respective states of India.
The very first open civil service examination for the service was held in England in June, 1893 and the top ten candidates were appointed as probationers of the Indian (Imperial) Police. However, it is not possible to pinpoint a date on which it could positively be claimed that the Indian Police came into being. In around 1907, the Secretary of State’s officers were directed to wear the letters "IP" on their epaulettes to distinguish them from the other officers not recruited by the Secretary of State. In this sense, 1907 could be regarded as the starting point for the Indian Police.
The role of police in pre independence era was very dubious. During the British rule police force was organized to crush the people who opposed the foreign rule. Naturally the police force was tyrannous. They dealt with the patriots and revolutionaries as if they were hard core criminals. Even after decades of freedom the police have not been able to throw off the legacy of the British times completely.
To serve in the IPS one has to be elevated from the state cadre or top the rigorous Civil Services Examination conducted by Union Public Service Commission every year which is a common examination for selection to All India Services, including various other Group A and Group B services of Central Government. This examination is considered as the toughest examination to be cleared for qualifying for a government service.
Civil Services Examination has a three stage competitive selection process. At stage one, there is an objective type examination called the preliminary exam. This is a qualifying examination. It consists of General Studies & aptitude test. Only those candidates who clear this, can appear for the next stage called the Main examination which consists of nine papers. Each candidate has to select two optional subjects, apart from which all candidates have to take a General Studies, Essay and compulsory language paper and English paper. This is followed by an interview.
The Police force in the state is headed by the Director General of Police/Inspector General of Police. Each State is divided into convenient territorial divisions called ranges and each police range is under the administrative control of a Deputy Inspector General of Police. A number of districts constitute the range. District police is further sub-divided into police divisions, circles and police-stations.
From time to time Indian Police Service has witnessed many honest Police officers with a fighting spirit who brought in revolutionary changes in the Indian Police System. Police officers like P.S. Pasricha, who improved traffic management in Mumbai; K.P.S. Gill, well known for having brought the Punjab insurgency under control; Kiran Bedi well known for her braveness, and for instituting a number of reforms in the management of the prison (Tihar Jail), and many more have become role models for many other police officers and young people who aspire to be a Police officer. When discussing about Indian Police Service one can never ignore the Most Prominent officer, Padma Bhushan awarded Julio Francis Ribeiro; whose role as Director General of Punjab Police during its worst years of terrorism in Punjab is truly remarkable.
The Police force in the country is entrusted with the responsibility of maintenance of public order and prevention and detection of crimes. But the pitiful situation is that bribery is rampant in the police force throughout the country. It can be pleaded that bribery and corruption have become a part of Indian society. How can police remain untouched? But police is meant not to perpetuate the crime, but to stop it. If police too indulges in crime, can the people approach to them when they are in trouble?
But it’s time for the society to peep into their own inner self, as the police force is drawn from the society itself it is necessary that the 'societal attitude' should change. Expecting the police to change when society itself is chained to a set of deep-rooted beliefs is like putting the cart before the horse. If the society is corrupt, the police will be corrupt.
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