IAS vs IPS - Difference between IAS and IPS, Who is More Powerful

by Vajiram & Ravi

IAS vs IPS: The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS) are two distinct civil services in India, each with its own set of roles, responsibilities, and areas of focus. IAS officers are responsible for the administrative governance of the country. They deal with policy formulation, implementation, and supervision of government programs. On the other hand, IPS officers are primarily responsible for maintaining law and order, preventing and investigating crimes, and ensuring public safety. They lead and manage police forces at various levels, from local police stations to state and central law enforcement agencies.

This article delves into the distinctions between IAS vs IPS in terms of their powers, salaries, ranks, and training procedures, shedding light on the intricacies that set them apart.

Difference between IAS and IPS

Both IAS and IPS officers hold crucial responsibilities, but their domains and functions differ fundamentally. Learn about the basic differences between IAS and IPS from the following table:


IAS (Indian Administrative Service)

IPS (Indian Police Service)

Roles and Responsibilities

Administrative governance, policy formulation, public service delivery

Law enforcement, maintaining law and order, crime prevention

Hierarchy and Ranks

Assistant Collector to Cabinet Secretary

Assistant Superintendent of Police to Director General


Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy

Nature of Work

Policy matters, developmental projects, administration

Crime prevention, law enforcement, public safety


No uniform; formal business attire

Distinctive police uniform

Transfers and Postings

Diverse administrative roles and departments

Law enforcement and police-related assignments

IAS vs IPS: Who is more Powerful?

The question of superiority between IAS and IPS is a perennial one. Both services wield substantial influence, but the extent and nature of their power differ. IAS officers often hold pivotal positions in policy-making and can impact systemic changes. IPS officers, while wielding authority over law enforcement, can significantly influence social order and safety.

However, it is believed that IAS officers are more powerful than IPS because they can work on the policy formulation of all departments within their district, while IPS officers need to limit their powers to the police department.

IAS vs. IPS Salary

When the starting salary of both IAS and IPS officers are the same, i.e. INR 56,100 per month, as per the 7th pay commission, the highest salary of IAS officers can go upto INR 2,50,000/- per month, and the highest salary of IPS officers can go upto INR 2,25,000/- p.m. based on the level of seniority and rank.

Along with that, the additional allowances with the IAS officer salary are higher than the IPS Salary.

Difference Between IAS and IPS in terms of Ranks

While learning about the difference between IPS and IAS, it is crucial for aspirants to check out the differences between their ranks as well. The following table shows the ranks of both IAS and IPS in increasing order from starting to the highest rank.

Ranks of IAS Officers

IPS Officer Ranks

Assistant Collector

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP)

Additional Collector

Additional Superintendent of Police (Addl. SP)

Deputy Collector

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP)

Collector / District Magistrate

Superintendent of Police (SP)

Additional Secretary

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police

Joint Secretary

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP)

Special Secretary

Additional Commissioner of Police (Addl. CP)


Joint Commissioner of Police (Joint CP)

Principal Secretary

Inspector General of Police (IGP)

Chief Secretary

Additional Director General of Police (Addl. DGP)

Cabinet Secretary

Director General of Police (DGP)

Difference in IPS and IAS Training

The training programs for IAS and IPS officers are tailored to their respective roles. IAS officers undergo training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, focusing on administrative, managerial, and policy-related aspects. IPS officers, however, train at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, emphasising law enforcement, investigation, and public order management. Both programs equip officers with skills essential for their designated roles.

Roles and Responsibilities of IAS and IPS Officers

Both the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service are part of the three All-India Services of India. For the development of the nation and to benefit the general people’s interests, both IAS and IPS are equally important. Let us look at the roles and responsibilities associated with each post here.

Roles and Responsibilities of IAS Officers

  • Policy Formulation and Implementation: IAS officers are deeply involved in the formulation and implementation of government policies, plans, and programs. They work on creating policies that address social, economic, and developmental challenges.
  • Administrative Leadership: They hold various administrative positions at different levels of the government. They manage government departments, ensure efficient service delivery, and oversee the execution of policies on the ground.
  • Developmental Initiatives: IAS officers play a crucial role in initiating and supervising developmental projects, infrastructure improvement, and public service delivery to uplift the quality of life in their respective areas.
  • Crisis Management: During emergencies or natural disasters, IAS officers coordinate relief and rehabilitation efforts, ensuring that affected communities receive timely aid and support.
  • Public Grievance Redressal: They are responsible for addressing public grievances and ensuring that citizens' concerns are heard, addressed, and resolved.
  • District Administration: At the district level, IAS officers act as District Magistrates or Collectors, responsible for overall administration, law and order, and development.

Roles and Responsibilities of IPS Officers

  • Law Enforcement: The primary duty of IPS officers is to enforce laws and maintain public order. They lead and manage police forces, ensuring the safety and security of citizens.
  • Crime Prevention and Investigation: IPS officers are responsible for preventing and investigating crimes, apprehending criminals, and ensuring that justice is served through proper legal procedures.
  • Public Safety: They take measures to ensure public safety, respond to emergencies, and manage situations that could potentially disrupt public order.
  • Security and Intelligence: IPS officers play a role in maintaining national security and counterterrorism efforts. They collaborate with intelligence agencies to gather and analyse information.
  • Traffic Management: IPS officers manage traffic regulation and safety, implementing measures to reduce accidents, and congestion, and ensuring smooth traffic flow.
  • Specialized Units: They oversee specialised police units such as anti-corruption units, cybercrime units, narcotics control, and other divisions based on the needs of the region.
  • Training and Capacity Building: IPS officers are responsible for training and mentoring subordinate police officers, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed for effective law enforcement.

FAQs on IAS vs IPS

What is the difference between IAS and IPS?

IAS and IPS are both prestigious civil services in India. IAS officers focus on administrative roles, handling policy formulation and implementation, while IPS officers are responsible for maintaining law and order, investigating crimes, and ensuring public safety.

Who is more powerful, IAS or IPS?

Both IAS and IPS have a different set of responsibilities. However, IAS officers are considered more powerful than IPS as they have control of all departments within their district, while IPS Officers have control of their department only.

Is the Salary of IAS more than IPS?

The starting salary of both IAS and IPS Officers is the same as decided under the 7th Pay Commission, i.e. INR 56,100/- per month. However, the highest salary for IAS officers can go upto INR 2,50,000 p.m., and for IPS officers, it can reach upto INR 2,25,000 p.m.