This article has been written by Nimisha Dublish of Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, GGSIPU, Delhi. The article talks about the All India Services that are established under Article 312 of the Indian Constitution. The article contains the details of the positions of Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Police Services (IPS) and Indian Forest Services (IFS) officers.

It has been published by Rachit Garg.


In India, there are several employment opportunities in the private sector, but still, people are attracted by the aura around government jobs like IAS, IPS and Judiciary. In recent years, we have seen this craze of getting government jobs growing. Almost every year, the board that conducts examinations for governmental jobs receives 10 lakh applications for Civil Services Examination (CSE). However, out of this, only 200-300 candidates are selected for the post of IAS and IPS. People believe that with government jobs, there comes reputation, wealth, work-life balance and other perks as well. This is the reason why people are running after jobs in the public sector. 

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People in government jobs not only get social recognition but also an opportunity to serve people. By virtue of being in a respectable place in the government as well as the society, people get an opportunity to choose a lifestyle of their own. Many a time, the person can be appointed as a member of an important club, or chairperson or may follow his/her passion in sports, music, teaching or social services. 

Article 312 of the Indian Constitution explains the genesis of All India Services along with the genesis of the Indian Constitution. Rajya Sabha has the authority to initiate the proceedings to make new All India Services as per Article 312(1) of the Indian Constitution. The power is exclusively vested with the upper house of Parliament and not with the lower house. An example of this power is the services of Indian Forest Services which were added in 1966. There was a similar pattern followed before independence when India was under British control. India came up with its version of laws for civil services after independence. The same was enacted at the time of the making of the Constitution and was followed by certain Amendments.

Article 312 of the Indian Constitution


Article 312 was promulgated in the Constitution of India on 26 April 1975. The Chapter was titled the Services under the Union and the States by the Ministry of Law and Justice. The department that manages the activities is the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms. The Article empowers the Parliament to create one or more All India services that are common to the Union and the States. The recruitment for all these services was made by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC). Whereas the State Public Service Commission (SPSC) is responsible for the state-level administrative services recruitments.

Since the Article was added to the Constitution, the Article has gone through certain Amendments. The Article was amended by the 28th Amendment on 29 August 1972 and Article 312A was inserted. Along with this Article 314 was removed. The attempt was made to rationalise the rules of civil services and make them uniform among all the officers appointed both prior to independence and after independence. The other Amendment was done in the year 1976 during the internal emergency period of Indira Gandhi. The Article was amended by the 42nd Amendment. 

NITI Aayog’s initiative to bring in All India Judicial Service (AIJS)

NITI Aayog released a document named ‘Strategy for New India @ 75’. The document proposed a spate of judicial reforms. The committee suggested creating an All India Judicial Service just as the other services like IAS, IPS and IFS. The idea was not new as it has been deliberated upon since independence. The 14th Report on reforms of Judicial Administration included the pointers indicating the need for separate all Indian services for Judicial purposes. The next step was taken under the Amendment of 42nd Constitutional Amendment during the emergency of 1976. Article 312 was amended and the power of Rajya Sabha to initiate the process of setting up an All India Judicial Services was added. The Rajya Sabha can do so by passing a resolution which should be supported by the two-third majority in the upper house.

Amendments and their implications

As per the Amendment, the creation of separate All India Judiciary services was permitted. The non-obstante clause of Article 312 overrides the provisions of Articles 233 and 234 which were earlier used for the appointments of the subordinate judiciary. Entry 70 of the Union List gives the exclusive authority to the Parliament to enact laws relating to All India Judicial Services. The objective of the proposal was also to give incentives to the option of the state judiciary as a good prospect. AIJS was to be made to ensure that the subordinate court judges are paid at parity with the government bureaucrats.

The claimed merits of the insertion of the provisions are efficient subordinate judiciary. This will help to curb the structural issues faster. The structural issues include varying pay and remuneration in the states, faster filling of vacancies and standard judicial training across the country. It is also claimed that this will lead to speedy Dispute Resolution and will help reduce the court’s burden and pending cases ratio. In addition, this will ensure that the women participate more. The Supreme Court is in charge of the National Judicial Academy, which regularly holds training and refresher courses for the District Judiciary in all 50 states of the nation. Additionally, each state’s High Courts operate a separate Judicial Academy for a similar purpose. 

The National Legal Services Authority Act and the State Legal Services Authorities Act guarantee that disputes are resolved quickly and affordably. It is made sure that the issues are resolved in the most cost-effective way.  It is well known that the Lok Adalat institution has survived even without AIJS and has a fair success rate in matters of speedy dispute resolution. However, there still remain some limitations and questions which are yet to be answered by the law-making authorities.

Limitations of the amendments 

The biggest limitation was that in spite of having the constitutional permit, there were many significant issues which the NITI Aayog did not address. The objective of the proposal was to fulfil the issue of the vacancy crisis in the Indian subordinate judiciary. However, the same was not addressed properly as the constitutional permit only allows the appointment of district judges as prospective AIJS. The Committee suggested a much wider composition that was not permissible as per Article 312 of the Constitution. 

The mandates that NITI Aayog mentioned in the proposal required many considerable Amendments to the Constitution of India. There were several concerns regarding the need to familiarise the judicial officer with the state’s local language, customs and laws. For the locally domiciled citizens, there were several procedural challenges. The construction of a recruitment mechanism that attracts effective judges in large numbers is required due to the overwhelming volume of cases that need to be resolved. But first, there must be consensus and a strong move toward the AIJS before it enters the legislative framework.

All India Services (AIS)

In the British era, civil servants were selected by the Court of Directors of the British East India Company. But now, candidates for these services are selected by the Union Government in the federal polity. They have the accountability to serve both, the state and the centre. This mechanism makes the Union Government stronger than the state government. During British times these services were known as Indian Civil Services. When India got independence in 1947, Indian Civil Services (ICS) got replaced by Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Police got replaced by Indian Police Services (IPS) and were given recognition by the Indian Constitution as All India Services. Indian Forest Services (IFS) was also added in 1963 and came into existence in 1966. So, all in all, there are three types of All India Services namely- 

  1. IAS, 
  2. IPS, and 
  3. IFS. 

The purpose, power and responsibilities of the All India Services are given under the All India Services Act, 1951. The Act gives the power to Central Government to make rules for regulating the process of recruitment and mandatory conditions of services that a candidate must follow. The code of conduct of the civil servants is defined under the All India Service (Conduct) Rules, 1968

A civil services exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) every year to recruit IAS and IPS officers. For IFS, the preliminary exam is combined with the civil service exam and the rest of the stages are conducted separately. The selected candidates are given training by the Central Government and are then sent to their allocated state cadres

Cadres that control the All India Services are as follows- 

  1. Indian Administrative Service (IAS)- Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. 
  2. Indian Police Service (IPS)- Ministry of Home Affairs.
  3. Indian Forest Service (IFS)- Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.

The responsibilities of the officers are given according to their hierarchy which varies from junior to senior level. At the district level, the responsibilities are related to district development affairs. On the divisional level, the responsibility is to maintain and look into matters related to law and order. The state and central levels have the responsibility to frame policies. The cadres of the officer are derived from zones in which the work is allocated to them. There are 24 cadres out of which 3 are joint cadres. 

The functions of the All India Services branch are to promote the state officers to IAS, IPS and IFS. All India Services branch also provides for consultation with regard to the appointment of State service officers to the AIS cadre position if the appointment is made for more than 6 months. 

Indian Administrative Service (IAS)

The officers that are selected for the IAS are trained to deal with government affairs. An office is allotted to each IAS officer with policy framing and implementation as the main tasks. With the consent of Ministers the IAS officer frames and modifies the policies under the direct supervision of administrative officers. The policy matters are given to the officers as per their ranks. The activities that come under the process of policy framing and implementation are related to the allotment of huge funds to and by the field officers. The IAS officer stays with the state cadre for the duration of his/her service. Looking into the necessities of the people of the allotted area and attending to their queries and problems are one of the main tasks of an IAS officer. 

The IAS officer also represents India in another country or any international forum. The power of signing agreements as a Deputy Secretary on behalf of the government is also given to the IAS officers. The top rank that could be given to an IAS officer is that of a Chief Secretary. He may be assisted by additional chief secretaries as well. Each state has only one Chief Secretary and many secretaries/principal secretaries. The designation is sometimes considered more prestigious than Finance and Home Secretary. 

Ranks of IAS officers

Junior scale officers 

The career of an IAS officer starts with a probation period of 2 years in a state. The initial 2 years are spent in the field offices, as a secretariat or at the district magistrate office. He/she is mainly responsible for maintaining the law and order of the area. Along with this, general administration and development work of the region is also assigned. He/She is given the position of Sub Divisional Magistrate for this purpose. 

Senior Scale Officers

Once the probation period ends, the officer is promoted to the senior scale officer. He/she is given the position of a District Magistrate, Director of a Department or Managing Director of a Public Enterprise. The titles that are given are Joint Secretary, Additional Secretary and Special Secretary. After a period of 13 years, the senior scale officers are then promoted to selection grade officers. 

Super time scale

The public servant is eligible for the position of Commissioner-cum-Secretary after 16 years of regular services within the states.

Above super time scale

One becomes eligible for the position of Principal Secretary or Financial Commissioner after 24 years of service. This happens only in some states and these officers are entitled as above super time scale officers.

Eligibility of IAS officers

Nationality- The candidate must be a citizen of India, a person from the origin of India or a subject of Bhutan, Nepal or Tibet who has settled in India before 1st January 1962.

Age limit- must be a minimum of 21 years and a maximum of 32 years.

Educational Qualification- Graduate from a recognised University.

S. No.DivisionAge Bracket(in years)Attempts Limit
1.General Category21- 326
2.SC/ST Category21- 37Unlimited to the limit of age.
3.OBC Category21- 359
4.Defence Service Personnel (Disabled) Category21- 359
5.Ex-Servicemen Category21- 379
6.EWS Category21- 429

Qualification of IAS officers

  1. The candidate must be a graduate of a government-recognised university.
  2. The candidates having any professional or technical degree are also qualified.
  3. MBBS final year pass-outs, who haven’t completed the internship are also qualified to appear for the position of IAS. But at the time of the main examination, the candidate needs to produce the course and internship completion certificate from their University or Institution.

Appointment/Recruitment of IAS officers

For the purpose of recruitment, there are mainly 3 ways by which an IAS officer is appointed. The first way is through direct recruitment. In this, an officer becomes an IAS officer by passing the Civil Service Examinations which is conducted by the board of UPSC. The second way is through the State Civil Services and the third way is through Non-State Civil Service. The ratio that is fixed by the board between the direct recruits and promotees is that of 2:1. The way of entry might be any of these three but they are finally appointed by the President of India. 

The success rate is as low as 0.01%  because out of almost 1 million candidates only 180 candidates are selected for the post. The whole process of selection is broken down into three levels- 

  1. Preliminary examination (MCQ type),
  2. Main examination (written), 
  3. Which is followed by an interview.

Indian Police Services (IPS)

The accountability of public safety and security lies upon the IPS officer. The position of an IPS officer is not equal to the IAS officer but it is the nearest position with respect to the power and authority that is given to an individual. The officers also work in the Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing and Central Bureau of Investigation and other national government agencies. Several PSUs like GAIL and SAIL also have jobs for IPS officers. International Organisations like the United Nations (UN) and International Cricket Council have work opportunities for IPS Officers. Deputy High Commissioner Minister, First Secretary and High Commissioner are some of the positions offered in Interpol and embassies all across the globe. 

Ranks of IPS officers

  • Assistant Superintendent of Police (Sub-division for 2 years’ probation).
  • Superintendent of Police or Deputy Commissioner of Police (After 4 years in service).
  • Junior Administrative Grade (After 9 years in service).
  • Selection Grade (After 13 years in service).
  • Deputy Inspector General of Police or Additional Commissioner of Police (After 14 years in service).
  • Inspector-General of Police (After 18 years in service).
  • Additional Director General of Police (After 25 years in service).
  • Finally, the Director-General of Police (after 30 years in service).

Eligibility of IPS officers

The candidate must be an Indian citizen.

S. No.DivisionsAge bracket(in years)Attempts Limit
1.General Category21- 326
2.OBC Category21- 359
3.SC/ST Category21- 37unlimited
4.Defence Service Personnel (Disabled) Category21- 35
5.Ex-Servicemen Category*21- 37
6.Visually challenged/hearing impaired/physically challenged Category21- 429 (OBC),9 (General/EWS),Unlimited (SC/ST).

*includes Commissioned Officers and SSCOs/ECOs who have rendered a minimum of 5 years of military service.

Qualification of IPS officers

When a person clears the IAS exams he/she has to qualify and pass the standards mentioned below-

Physical Qualifying Standards

S. No.TraitsMaleFemale
1.Height(general)165 cm150 cm
2.Height(ST/Nagaland/Assamese/Gorkhas/Kumaonis)160 cm145 cm
3.Girth fully expanded(chest)84 cm79 cm
4.Expansion5 cm5 cm

Other standards required are:

  1. Distant and near vision.
  2. Blood Pressure- Below 25 years. 
  • Systolic Pressure- 100-130 mm
  • Diastolic Pressure- < 90 mm
  1. Blood Pressure- Above 25 years.
  • Systolic Pressure- 110-140 mm
  • Diastolic Pressure- < 90 mm
  1. The candidate should not stutter while speaking (nasal standard).
  2. 1000-4000 frequency along with good listening and a normal ear cavity.
  3. Hearing impairment shouldn’t be more than 30 decibels.
  4. Female candidates should not be pregnant during medical tests.

Appointment/Recruitment of IPS officers

The recruitment of IPS officers is through the Civil Services Exam conducted by UPSC. The promotions also take place through State Police Services and DANIPS (Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Police Service). Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad provides training to the IPS recruits. The Government of India lists the details related to the posting of all the IPS officers in India. The MHA website has the list and anyone can access it there. 

What is Indian Forest Services (IFS) 

British India established the Imperial Forest Department in 1864. The candidates who are selected for the position of IFS officer are trained at Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy. In order to serve the most difficult triennial zones of India, the officers are given the best training. The post requires excellent administrative abilities and keen technical knowledge to serve and perform the functions of an IFS officer. The officers get to work in various national and international forums and organisations that have jobs relating to the management of forest and wildlife like SAARC Forestry Centre, Forest Survey of India, Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGNFA), Directorate of Forest Education, etc.

An IFS officer deals in the matter of a nation’s diplomacy, trade and cultural relations. The responsibility of an IFS officer is to represent India in high commission consulates and multilateral organisations. An IFS officer is a crucial link for the nation as it helps shape the country’s foreign policy and form diplomatic and economic ties. Hence, the role of an IFS officer is a very challenging one. 

Ranks of IFS officers

  • Probationary Officer.
  • Divisional Forest Officer (DFOs).
  • Deputy Conservator of Forests, Conservator of Forests (CFs).
  • Chief Conservator of Forests (CCFs).
  • Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Addl.PCCFs).
  • Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) (highest post in a State).
  • Director-General of Forests (DGF – highest post at Centre and selected from amongst the senior-most PCCFs of states).

Eligibility of IFS officers

Nationality– The candidate must be a citizen of India, a subject of Nepal/Bhutan, or a Tibetan refugee who came for the permanent settlement in India before 1st January 1962. The candidate can be a migrant of any of the below who have come for permanent settlement in India:

  • Pakistan,
  • Burma,
  • Sri Lanka,
  • East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, The United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam.

Educational Qualification- Degree of a recognised university or equivalent qualification.

Qualification of IFS officers

S. No.CategoryAttemptsAge Limit(in years)
1.General Category721- 30
2.SC/ST Categoryunlimited21- 35
3.OBC Category921- 33
4.The State of Jammu and Kashmir Category21- 35
5.Defence Services personnel Category21- 35
6.ECOs/SSCOs (completed initial period of assignment of 5 years of Military service) Category21- 35
7.Blind/Deaf-mute/ Orthopaedically handicapped Category21- 40

Appointment/Recruitment of an IFS officer

The IFS officers are recruited via the examination conducted by the UPSC. After the recruitment, the officers are sent to the training institute of the Central Government at Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy for about 2 years. After one completes the training he/she is given a master’s degree in Science (Forestry) from the Forest Research Institute. Under this degree, the officers are taught around 56 subjects of life and sciences. Once the whole process ends, the officers go through one year of on-the-job field training in the assigned states. During this tenure, they are given the posts of Assistant Conservator of Forests, Assistant Deputy Conservator of Forest or Deputy Conservator of Forests. 


The Civil Services from the very old times have been considered the most important and highest-ranking jobs in India. The system has remained almost the same even after the British era also. The process remains almost the same for IAS, IPS and IFS officers. The board that manages the examination is the UPSC. The candidates go through a rigorous process and are shortlisted after a critical analysis of each and every candidate. There were Amendments made to the Article that provided for the provisions. The Amendments were followed by certain proposals by committees to enhance and edit the process to make it easier for the government to do the job. 


What is UPSC and its full form?

Union Public Service Commission commonly known as UPSC is a Central Agency that conducts the examination and further processes to recruit a candidate for Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Police Services (IPS) and Indian Forest Services (IFS), etc. 

How can a person enter into the civil services of India and get jobs like IAS, IPS, IFS, etc.?

These civil services are related to the public services and the candidate is subject to the UPSC to get selected. The candidate has to go through the examinations and meet the standards prescribed by the UPSC. 

What is the salary of an IAS officer?

 The salary varies from rank to rank which an IAS officer is given throughout his tenure. One can find the details regarding the same on the official website.

Which post is considered the best in UPSC?

Indian Administrative Service IAS) is considered the best post in Civil services.

What if a candidate fails in the interview round?

The candidate has to start from scratch. The candidate has to give all the examinations from the very beginning to reach the interview round again.

Do the questions repeat in the UPSC examination?

Yes, the questions do get repeated, hence, one should go through the past papers thoroughly. 

What is the salary of an IPS officer?

The minimum or the basic salary starts at Rs. 56,100 and can go up to Rs. 2,25,000.

Is there a need to give an interview for the post of IPS again?

No there is no need to give separate interviews for the post of IPS officer. After clearing the UPSC exam the interview is common for both IAS and IPS officers.

Can a person give the IPS exam after clearing the 12th class?

The eligibility for a candidate to appear for the IPS exam is 21 years. The candidate should be a graduate in any field as per UPSC standards.

Is it easy to clear the examination of Indian Forest Services?

Yes, the examination is a bit easier than the Indian Administrative Services(IAS) exam. There is less syllabus in the IFS examination.

Can a person apply for IAS and IFS together?

Yes, one can apply for both the posts of IAS and IFS officer in their form. But one should be aware of the eligibility and qualification criteria of both exams.


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