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All India Services - IAS, IPS and IFS

Civil Service Exam - All India Services

The All India Services comprises the three prestigious civil services of India and they are the Indian Administrative Service (IAS); Indian Police Service (IPS); and Indian Forest Service (IFS).

The common exceptional feature of the All India Services is that the candidates selected for these civil services are recruited by the Center (Union Government in federal polity), however, their services are allotted under various State Cadres and they have the accountability to serve both under the State and the Centre. Because of the federal polity of the country, this is regarded as one of the mechanisms that make the Union Government stronger than the State Governments.  The officers of these three civil services act in accordance with the All India Services rules that includes paying, deportment, leave, several allowances and etc. To get into the All India services, candidates must clear the UPSC civil services exam. In this article, you will also read about the salary of IAS and IPS, and also the corresponding posts in IFS.

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Cadre Controlling Authority

The recruitment for IAS and IPS is conducted through the Civil Services Examination which is held by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) every year. While for IFS, the preliminary examination is combined with the Civil Services Exam and the other stages of the exam are held separately. The candidates who are selected are recruited as officers and trained by the Central Government, and then allocated to different State cadres.

The cadre controlling authorities of the All India Services i.e. of IAS, IPS, and IFS are as follow:

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All India Service Cadre Controlling Authority
Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Indian Police Service (IPS) Ministry of Home Affairs
Indian Forest Service (IFoS) Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change

All India Services – Functions

Power, Purpose, and Responsibilities

The power, purpose, and responsibilities of these All India Services are described in the All India Services Act, 1951 which authorizes the Government of India with the consultation of State Governments to make guidelines and procedures for the service conditions and the recruitment of the people appointed to All India Services.

The All India Service (Conduct) Rules, 1968 governs the All India Services which specifies the code of conduct for Civil Servant overall.


The responsibilities of the officers vary from junior civil servant officers who start with probation and as they go up in the hierarchical positions to the senior civil servant.

District Level Divisional Level State and Central levels
The responsibilities are related to matters of the district and all affairs of development. The job is related to law and order to. Framing of policy

Allocation, Division, and Cadres

The officers of All India Services are classified into cadres which are derived from various zones to which they are allocated to work.


There are twenty-four cadres in the country and also there are three joint cadres: Assam-Meghalaya; Manipur-Tripura; and Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories (AGMUT).

*The cadre allocation policy has changed recently. Please check the official website.

The officers of the All India Services (AIS) namely, Indian Administrative Service (IAS); Indian Forest Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) are divided into state cadres.

During their probation, the All India Service Officers are allotted to their States and officers of the All India Services working with the Union Government are also posted on deputation for few years.

Almost two-thirds of the All India Services Officers who are allotted to the State Cadre is from outside the state and the remaining may be the original residents of the allocated state.

Once an officer is allocated to a State Cadre, he/she generally continues to work with that State Cadre during his/her whole service.

Candidates who are recruited are allocated to different cadres and on a need basis, may also be moved to Central Government jobs on deputation.


The Indian Administrative Service is one of the All India Services among the other two i.e. the Indian Forest Service and Indian Police Service.

Candidates who are selected as IAS Officers are trained to manage Government affairs. Every civil servant is allotted to a particular office with policy framing and implementing as the major responsibility in that particular area.

The policy issues are framed, modified, and interpreted in this post under the direct supervision of the Administrative Office with the consent of the Minister. On the advice of the officer, the implementation of the policies is also done. The policy-making matters of the government mechanism depend on the civil servant rank.

The process of implementation includes supervision as well as visiting/touring. The allotment of huge funds to and by the field officers mandates supervision and the concerned officials are answerable to queries made in the Parliament.


Below given are the ranks that an IAS officer will hold during his tenure.

  • Cabinet Secretary ranks at the top
  • Secretary/Additional Secretary
  • Joint Secretary
  • Director
  • Under Secretary
  • Junior Scale Officers

The ranks are given to the civil servant based on their seniority in the civil services.

Junior Scale Officer

An IAS Officer starts his career in the state as a probationary officer for two years. During this two year, the officer spends at training schools, field offices, Secretariat, or in a District Magistrate’s Office.

She/he is appointed as the Sub-Divisional Magistrate and has to take care of law, order and general administration like developmental work in the area which is allocated to her/him.

Senior Scale Officer

After the probationary period of 2 years as a junior scale officer, she/he moves to the senior scale where she/he functions as the District Magistrate, Managing Director of Public Enterprise or Director of a Department.

The Senior Scale comprises of the following designations:

  • Senior Time Scale (Joint Secretary)
  • Junior Administrative Grade (Additional Secretary)
  • Selection Grade (Special Secretary)

The Senior Scale Officers are promoted as the Selection Grade Officers after 13 years of regular service.

Super Time Scale

The next promotion that a civil servant will be entitled within the States is the Commissioner-cum-Secretary and that would be after 16 years of regular service.

Above Super Time Scale

After 24 years of regular service, an IAS officer may be given on promotion as Principal Secretaries/Financial Commissioners in some states that entitle them to Above Super Time Scale.


As a civil servant, the officer also represents the Government of India in another country or in an international forum. An officer as a Deputy Secretary is also attributed to signing agreements on behalf of the Government.

Every State has many Secretaries/Principal Secretaries and only one Chief Secretary. In some States, the Secretaries designation are considered as more prestigious than others like the Finance Secretary, Home Secretary, Development Commissioners and enjoy the salary as the Principal Secretary.

The Chief Secretary in the State is the top rank that a civil servant can attain and the Chief Secretary may be assisted by Additional Chief Secretaries. While in some States/Cadres like New Delhi, the Financial Commissioner and other high ranking secretaries like Additional Chief Secretaries enjoy the same pay as the Chief Secretary.

In the District, the most senior person is the Collector or Deputy Commissioner (DC) or District Magistrate (DM). The Collector or Deputy Commissioner (DC) or District Magistrate (DM) handles the affairs of the District that includes the development functions.

The DM/C/DM necessarily visits all rural sectors to inspect specific projects, disputed sites and addresses the problems of people during the visit.

In the Division Level, the Divisional Commissioner is in charge of her/his division. Her/his responsibility is to take care of the law and order and general administration and development duties.

The Chairman of the Board of Revenue hears appeals against the Divisional Commissioner.


The Indian Forest Service is one of the All India Services along with the other two services namely Indian Police Service and Indian Administrative Service.


One of the earliest countries to have scientific forest management was India. The British established the Imperial Forest Department in 1864. The first Imperial Inspector General of Forests was a German named Dr. Dietrich Brandis. In 1867, the Imperial Forestry Service was organized. From 1867 to 1885, officers who were Imperial Inspector General of Forests were given training in France and Germany. From 1885 to 1905, they were trained at Cooper’s Hill London. From 1905 to 1926, training was done by the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Edinburgh. From 1927 to 1932, the forest officers were given training at the Imperial Forest Research Institute (FRI) situated in Dehradun which was established in 1906. The Indian Forest College was set up in 1938 at Dehradun.

The Forestry was transferred to the provincial list by the Government of India Act 1935 until then it was managed by the federal government and afterwards which the recruitment to the Imperial Forestry Service was discontinued.

After Independence, the Indian Forest Service (IFS) (the present-day IFS) was established in 1966 under the All India Services Act 1951 for safeguard, preservation, and restoration of forest sources.

The Forest Area is included in the Concurrent List and India has about an area of 635,400 km forests, which is 19.32 per cent of the country.


The ranks of the Indian Forest Service are as given below:

  • 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)


The candidates who are selected for IFS are trained at the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy. The officers are trained in such a way that they are hardened enough to serve in the most difficult terrains in the country.

The Indian Forest Service requires keen technical knowledge along with the excellent administrative ability to perform the duty.

In addition to getting entrusted with senior designations in the Central Secretariat, State Secretariats and various assignments under the Central Staffing Scheme, the IFS Officers also work in several International and National Organizations pertaining to the management of forests, wildlife, and environment such as

  • Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations
  • International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
  • SAARC Forestry Centre, Forest Survey of India
  • Wildlife Institute of India, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE)
  • Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy(IGNFA)
  • Directorate of Forest Education
  • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau(WCCB) and etc.


The Indian Police Service (IPS) being one of the All India Services is accountable for public safety, internal security, and law and order.

After independence (1948), the Imperial Police (IP) was replaced by the Indian Police Service. The Indian Police Service in itself is not a law enforcement agency but it is the body to which all the senior police officers belong to irrespective for whichever agency they work.

An IPS officer faces several life-threatening and is imperilled to harsh conditions. The Director-General of Police of the Indian Police Service is entrusted with the overall law and order of the entire State, while the Superintendent of Police for the entire District and the Deputy Commissioner or the Commissioner of Police for Metropolitan Cities or the entire city respectively. An IPS officer as the Commissioner of Police enjoys magisterial powers.

The Indian Police Service (IPS) though not equal to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the only service in the country that comes close to the IAS considering the Power, Authority, and Speed in promotion whether at the State or in the Government of India.


The following are the ranks that an IPS officer takes charge as during her/his tenure in the service.

  • Assistant Superintendent of Police (Sub-division for 2 years’ probation)
  • Superintendent of PoliceorDeputy 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 PoliceorAdditional 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)

The Director-General of Police and Commissioner of Police is the head of the entire police force of the State or Metropolitan City like Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, etc., and below him/her comes the Additional DGP or Special Police Commissioner. While the inspector General or Joint Commissioner of Police is the head of specialized police force like the Criminal Investigation Department, Special Branch etc.


The Officers in Indian Police Service also work in national government agencies like

  • Intelligence Bureau
  • Research and Analysis Wing
  • Central Bureau of Investigation and etc.

The IPS Officers also get to work in several PSUs like SAIL; GAIL; Indian Oil Corporation etc.

The IPS Officers also work At the State Secretariat and the Central Secretariat under the Central Staffing Scheme and in CAPFs like the Director-General of Border Security Force, the Central Reserve Police Force, and the Central Industrial Security Force.

The IPS Officers also get opportunities to work in various International Organisations such as Consulates (Foreign Missions), United Nations (UN), International Cricket Council, Interpol and Embassies across the World in several dimensions such as Ambassador, Consul, Consul General, Deputy High Commissioner Minister, First Secretary, and High Commissioner.


Sl. No. Indian Administrative Service Indian Police Service Indian Forest Service  

Pay scale

1 Sub Divisional Magistrate (States) Deputy Superintendent of Police Assistant Conservator of Forests 15,600-39,100 plus grade pay of 5400
2 Under/Deputy Secretary to Government of India/Additional Deputy Commissioner/Joint Collector/Additional District Magistrate(States) Additional Superintendent of Police Divisional Forest Officer/Deputy Conservator of Forests 15,600-39,100 plus grade pay of 6600
3 Deputy Secretary to Government of India /Deputy Commissioner/Collector/District Magistrate(States) Superintendent of Police Divisional Forest Officer/Deputy Conservator of Forests (India) 15,600-39,100 plus grade pay of 7600
4 Director to Government of India/Deputy Commissioner/Collector/District Magistrate(States) (Selection Grade) Senior Superintendent of Police Deputy Conservator of Forests (India)/Director of Forestry(Selection Grade) 37,400-67,000 plus grade pay of 8700
5 Divisional Commissioner in a Division in states Deputy Inspector General of Police Conservator of Forests 37,400-67,000 plus grade pay of 8900
6 Joint Secretary to Government of India/Secretary to State Govt. Inspector-General of Police Chief Conservator of Forests 37,400-67,000 plus grade pay of 10,000
7 Additional Secretary to Government of India/Principal Secretary to State Govt. Additional Director General of Police Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests HAG scale of 67,000-79,000
8 Director-General of Police Principal Chief Conservator of Forests HAG + scale of 75,500–80,000


Secretary to Government of India/Chief Secretary of State

Director-General of Police (State Police Chief)/Director Intelligence Bureau/Secretary RAW (R)/Director CBI/Director’s General of CAPF’s e.g. BSF, CRPF, CISF, ITBP, SSB etc./Director National Police Academy Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Head of Forest Forces (HoFF), Director General of Forests 80,000 (fixed)
10 Cabinet Secretary No equivalent No equivalent

90,000 (fixed)

Also, See:

Service Profile for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
Service Profile for Indian Police Service (IPS)
Service Profile of the Indian Trade Service (ITS)


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