Police Exams in India - Eligibility, Selection Process, Top Exams
Police exams in India are a popular choice among youth to join central or state police forces. A career in police is considered one of the most prestigious careers in our country. Police officers have various responsibilities on their shoulders such as public safety, upholding law and order, and preventing crime and enforcement of the law. Police officers are recruited for the betterment of the society and life of all citizens.
In this article, we present to you various police exams in India through which you can choose to become a police officer in India.
Various Police Exams in India
When it comes to the police exams in India, the police force of India is divided into central and state government police and so are the police exams. The police force in every state is accustomed to perform responsibilities of maintaining law and order, providing safety to citizens and more. There are various forces controlled by the central government, but the police exams generally come under the jurisdiction of the state government.
In case of union territories, the police exams come under the control of the central government, governed by their appointed governors or administrators. The police hierarchy in the state government is segregated into four levels such as IPS (Central level), SPS (state level), Upper subordinate level, and Constabulary. The recruitment into Indian police force via police exams is also done under a similar pattern of hierarchy.
The Indian police recruitment process for different levels of police exams in various states according to the hierarchy is mentioned below:
The Indian police recruitment process for police constable jobs is carried out by state government police exams. Following are the three level of officials in the constabulary division:
Sepoy/ Home guard
State Police Constable Exam - If candidates are interested to know how to join the police constable jobs after 12th, then they must know about the state government police exam for constables. The state government conducts entrance assessment for the Indian police recruitment of constables and home guards. The eligibility criteria for every state differs slightly from each other.
The central government also conducts CAPF exam which is for the post of Assistant Commandants in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
SSC GD Constable Exam: The central government also conducts SSC GD constable exam for recruitment in BSF, CAPF, CRPF, CISF and more such special forces that come under the jurisdiction of central government.
However, the police exam eligibility criteria to be fulfilled by the candidates are more or less the same for every state. Either way, candidates must check the separate eligibility criteria on the official website of the state government police recruitment division.
State Police Constable Exam Eligibility Criteria: The common rules and eligibility criteria for the state police exam for constable is mentioned below:
Candidates applying for police constable jobs must be at least 18 years of age or should not exceed above 25 years of age. There is also some age relaxation for applicable candidates as per the state rules.
Candidates must hold a character certificate from the school, college, or university last attended by the candidate.
Candidates are required to pay the online application fee which depends on the state government criteria. The online fee is generally Rs.100 for male candidates and Rs. 50 for female candidates.
Candidates who complete the online application process are required to go through the assessment process where they are selected on the basis of their performance in physical measurement, physical efficiency and personal interview.
Candidates are required to meet some kind of physical standards before they can be recruited for the constable post. The physical requirements for male and female candidates are as follows:
5 feet 7 inches
5 feet 2 inches
Unexpanded - 33 inches
Expanded - 34.5 inches
No specified criteria
Candidates who have a pending criminal case under investigation, or who have been convicted by the court are not eligible to apply for the constable position.
Candidates who do not meet the height and chest measurements and have any physical disabilities are not eligible to apply.
Merit list for the home guards and constable is prepared on the basis of average marks scored by the candidates in entrance and interview.
Final selection for the candidates is made on the basis of order of merit for general, OBC, and SC/ST category.
State Police Constable Exam Application Form: Candidates must keep in mind the following rules regarding the application form of police constable jobs:
Candidates are not permitted to make more than one application for a particular category.
Candidates must follow the prescribed format of application form.
Candidates must not leave the application form unsigned or incomplete.
Candidates are required to deposit the fee and attach the proof along with the application form.
Candidates are required to submit the proof of requisite academic qualifications.
State Police Constable Exam Process: The general step-by-step Indian police recruitment process for police constable jobs followed by the state government is mentioned below:
Candidates who aspire to become police constable are required to be physically fit since they will be responsible for handling the public and social matters.
Candidates must pass the physical fitness test performed by the state police officials. The physical ability of a candidate is measured on the basis of physical measurements and performance in physical fitness police exams.
State Police Constable Exam - Physical efficiency test parameters for male police constable jobs:
(A) Race of 100 meters
In case the time taken is less than or equal to 13.5 seconds
In case the time taken is less than or equal to 14.5 seconds but more than 13.5 seconds
In case the time taken is more than 14.5 seconds
(B) Race of 800 meters
In case the time taken is less than or equal to 2 minutes 30 seconds
In case the time taken is 2 minutes 50 seconds or less, but more than 2 minutes 30 seconds
In case the time taken is more than 2 minutes 50 seconds
(C) Long Jump
In case the distance is 15 feet or more than 15 feet
In case the distance is 13 feet or more than 13 feet but less than 15 feet
In case the distance is less than 13 feet
(D) High Jump
In case the distance is 4 feet or more than 4 feet
In case the distance is 3 feet 6 inches or more but less than 4 feet
In case the distance is less than 3 feet 6 inches
In order to move further in the selection process, candidates are required to score a minimum of 15 marks. In case candidates fail to score 15 or more, they will be eliminated from the recruitment process.
State Police Constable Exam - Physical efficiency test parameters for female police constable jobs:
(A) Race of 200 meters
In case the time taken is less than or equal to 35 seconds
In case the time taken is less than or equal to 40 seconds but more than 35 seconds
In case the time taken is more than 40 seconds
(B) Shot Put (4 KG weight)
In case the distance is 6 Meters or more but less 6 meters
In case the distance is 5 Meters or more but less 6 meters
In case the distance is less than 5 meters
(C) Long Jump
In case the distance is 11 feet and 3 inches or more than that
In case the distance is 10 feet or more than 10 feet but less than 11 feet and 3inches
In case the distance is less than 10 feet
(D) High Jump
In case the distance is 3 feet and 6 inches or more
In case the distance is 3 feet 3” or more than that but less than 3 feet and 6 inches
In case the distance is less than 3 feet 3 inches
In order to move further in the selection process, candidates are required to score a minimum of 12 marks. In case candidates fail to score 12 or more, they will be eliminated from the Indian police recruitment process.
State Police Constable Exam Interview: Candidates who are further selected after the physical efficiency test are called for a personal interview where they are assessed on the basis of their personality, mental ability, and knowledge of current affairs.
Candidates who successfully clear the interview are recruited on the position of a constable or home guard by the state government.
The Indian police recruitment process for upper subordinate officials of the state police is quite similar to that of constabulary officials. In case of upper subordinate officers, a written police exam is also included in the process. There are three positions that come under the upper subordinate domain:
Assistant Sub-inspector of Police
Sub-inspector of Police
Inspector of police
The state and central government conducts several police exams every year to fill the vacant seats of ASI and SI. Candidates recruited as SI are further promoted to the post of Inspector of police. The sub inspector police is an official who comes above assistant sub inspector and is a police officer of the lowest rank. The complete admission process and eligibility criteria for joining police force as subordinate officers is mentioned below:
SSC CPO Exam: The Indian police recruitment process for the post of sub-inspector of police is conducted by the staff selection commission known as SSC CPO Exam. Only graduate candidates can appear for this police exam. Candidates are also required to first clear the physical endurance test and then sit for the written test.
SSC CPO Eligibility Criteria:
Candidates with an Indian citizenship only are eligible to apply.
Candidates must hold a bachelor's degree in any discipline with an aggregate of 50 percent from a recognized university of India.
Students who have just cleared 10+2 will not be eligible to apply for the police exam.
Candidates must not be at least 20 years of age and must not be more than 25 years of age during the time of application.
Candidates (male) should have at least a 170 cm of height with a chest measurement of 80 cm.
SSC CPO: Physical measurements test
After successful completion of the application process, candidates whose documents are verified accurately are called for the physical measurements screening process. Candidates who meet the requirements are required to go through further police exam.
Upper subordinate (male)
Height must be more than or equal to 170 cm.
Chest measurements must be more than or equal to 80 cm (unexpanded) and 85 cm (expanded).
The height for males from hilly areas must be more than or equal to 165 cm.
The chest measurement for SC/ST candidates must be more than or equal to 77 cm (unexpanded) and 82 cm (expanded).
The height must be more than or equal to 157 cm.
The weight must be more than or equal to 40 kg.
The height for females from hilly areas must be more than or equal to 157 cm, for ST candidates 152 cm.
The weight must be more than or equal to 38 kg.
The selection of candidates is done on the basis of a physical endurance test followed by a written police exam. The complete admission process and rules and regulations pertaining to the selection process of subordinate officers is mentioned below:
The Indian police recruitment process for ASI and SI officers is completed under four steps. Initially, candidates are required to clear the physical endurance test.
Candidates who successfully clear the physical police exams are required to appear for written police exams.
Candidates who successfully make it to the merit list are then required to attend an interview followed by a medical check-up.
SSC CPO: Physical Endurance test
For physical endurance test, candidates are required to successfully clear the following obstacles:
Holding the rope on jumping from the Board
Jumping over the Vertical Board
Jumping on the Horizontal Boar
SSC CPO: Paper -1
Candidates who appear for the written test after clearing the physical endurance test must know following rules:
The SSC CPO written exam is segregated in two parts - paper 1 and paper 2.
SSC CPO Paper -1 consists of four sections and a total of 200 marks. Candidates are required to complete the paper -1 within the stipulated time of two hours.
SSC CPO Paper -2 consists of one subject - english language and comprehension and a total of 200 marks. Candidates are required to successfully complete the paper -2 in two hours.
In order to successfully clear the SSC CPO written test, candidates are required to successfully clear the written paper and make it to the merit list.
The merit list is prepared on the basis of the number of vacancies.
The SC/ST candidates are provided 5 percent marks relaxation as per the rules of Govt. of India.
SSC CPO: Document verification
SSC CPO document verification is a final process in this police exam. Candidates who successfully clear written tests along with physical endurance test and medical checkup, are required to appear for document verification. After the document verification is completed, a final merit list is prepared.
SSC CPO: Final merit list:
The final merit list is prepared on the basis of all the four screening tests carried out under the SSC CPO exam. The merit list is prepared on the basis of order of higher marks obtained in the written test, date of birth and alphabetical order of candidates’ names.
In order to be eligible for the merit list, candidates are required to successfully clear all the screening rounds with the required cutoff. The merit list is then made available on the basis of the number of vacancies and candidates are posted depending on their marks and rank in the merit list.
Provisional/State Police Service Officers:
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP)
Additional Superintendent of Police
Superintendent of Police
Senior Superintendent of Police
State Public Service Commission Exam: The recruitment process for SSP, SP, and DSP is usually carried out by the State Public Service Commission. The State Public Service Commission is quite similar to the Union Public Service Commission. The only difference between the two is that Union Public Service Commission Exams are conducted under the jurisdiction of the central government and the State Public Service Commission exams are conducted under the state government. Some of the popular state public service examinations are MPPSC, UPPSC, RPSC RAS, and more.
The recruitment process for both the police exams is the same. However, syllabus for both the police exams might slightly differ since the State Public Service Commission focuses more on the general knowledge pertaining to the state and its law and order. SInce the recruitment process is similar, first let us see the divisions under the IPS cadre and then study the complete recruitment process for both levels together.
IPS Officers or Indian Police Service Officers:
The IPS cadre is elected by the central government under the Union Public Service Commission Exam.
Following divisions are possible in the IPS cadre of police officers:
Assistant Superintendent of Police
Additional Superintendent of Police
Superintendent of Police (SP)
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP)
Deputy Inspector General of Police
Inspector General of Police (IGP)
Additional Director General of Police
Director General of Police (DGP)
UPSC Exam: The UPSC exam for the recruitment of police officers in IPS cadre is generally carried out in four steps. However, candidates are advised to check their state’s individual rules and regulations before considering applying for the police exam.
UPSC Exam Eligibility Criteria: The eligibility criteria to appear for Union Public Service Commission or the State Public Service Commission is as follows:
1. Physical measurements:
The physical eligibility for the candidates appearing for the police exam is determined by height, chest measurements, and eyesight.
Height for male candidates should be more than or equal to 165 cm.
Height for female candidates should be more than or equal to 150 cm.
The relaxable height for male and female candidates belonging to ST category and races such as Garhwalis, Nagaland Tribals, Gorkhas, Assamese, Kumaonis, etc. is 160 cm and 145 cm respectively.
The minimum chest girth for men must not be less than 84 cm.
The minimum chest girth for women must not be less than 79 cm.
The myopia should not be more than minus 4.00D.
The hypermyopia should not be more than plus 4.00D.
Candidates aspiring to appear in the police exam must be:
Citizen of India
Subject of Nepal
Subject of Bhutan
A tibetan refugee who migrated to India for the purpose of permanent residence before January 1, 1962.
A migrant from the following countries for the purpose of permanent residence:
Sri Lanka, the United Republic of Tanzania, Pakistan, Uganda, Zambia, Burma, Ethiopia, Zaire, East African countries of Kenya, Malawi, and Vietnam.
3. Educational qualification:
Candidates aspiring to appear in the examination must hold a bachelor's degree from a recognised university of India.
4. Age limit:
Candidates should be at least 21 years of age and must not be more than 32 years of age. The relaxation is also applicable for candidates belonging to a particular category.
(Candidates are advised to check the respective state public service commission websites).
5. Number of attempts:
The number of attempts applicable for candidates might vary for different states. Here, we have listed the number of attempts with relevance to UPSC CSE Examination:
General candidates can attempt the examination upto 6 times under the age of 32 years or less.
SC/ST candidates can attempt the examination as many times under the age of 37 years or less.
OBC candidates can attempt the examination upto 9 times under the age of 35 years.
Physically handicaped candidates can appear upto 9 times with OBC category.
UPSC Application form
After ensuring whether the candidates are eligible to appear for the examination, candidates are required to fill the online application form. The candidates are required to successfully fill the application form with correct details and deposit the required fees along with the valid proof.
UPSC Preliminary Examination
The Public Service Examination is divided into three parts: prelims, mains, and interview. The first part is the UPSC IAS preliminary examination. Candidates who clear the preliminary examination are eligible to appear for the further examination.
The preliminary examination is segregated into two papers of 200 marks each.
Some of the important contents of Paper-1 are as follows:
General Science, History of India and the National Movement.
Indian Polity and Governance: rights issues, constitution, public policy, the political system, Panchayati Raj, and more.
General knowledge on climate change, environmental ecology, and biodiversity.
Current events of international and national importance.
Indian and World Geography: economic, social, and physical geography of India and the world.
Economic and Social Development: sustainable development, social sector, inclusion, poverty, demographics, and more.
The Paper-2 for preliminary examination is based on the choice of subject selected by the student during the time of application.
UPSC Mains Examination
Candidates who successfully clear the preliminary examination are eligible to apply for the mains examination. The mains examination is subjective in nature. The paper and marks distribution for mains examination is given below:
1 General Essay Type Paper
1 Essay Type Indian Language Qualifying Paper
1 English Qualifying Paper
2 General Studies Paper
4 Optional Subjects Paper
Candidates who successfully qualify the CSE Mains are called for a personal interview by the public service commission authorities.
In the interview, candidates are assessed on the basis of their subject knowledge, and mental ability.
An approximate range of 400 to 500 candidates qualify the interview process.
A merit list is prepared on the basis of candidates’ performance in mains and personal interview.
Candidates with highest marks are allotted IPS probationers into the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Police Academy.
Advantage of a Job in Police Services
Without a doubt, the police job is one of the most responsible jobs in the country. The police officers are responsible for maintaining the law and order within their city or town. With major responsibilities comes major perks. Since the police officers are government employees, their jobs are permanent. Along with that, the officers are provided with health benefits, insurance benefits, and a good police officer salary package. Police officers with higher ranks are also allotted personal accommodation, travelling aid, along with helpers.