What does IFS stand for?
The Full form of IFS is the Indian Foreign Service. It is equally prestigious as that of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in the Indian Democracy and administrative setup. The defined services were intentionally created to handle various external and internal affairs of the country in multiple missions abroad or the Ministry of foreign affairs. It is the administrative, diplomatic civil service under Group A and Group B.
IFS is deemed to be the Central Civil services of the executive branch in the Government of India. The high commissioner, permanent representative of India to the United Nations, Consul General, the ambassador, and the Foreign Secretary are some of the offices, which are under the members of this service.
IFS is validated and relied upon to manage and conduct diplomacy in the foreign relations of India. It is an entrusted authority of entire diplomats serving in more than 180 Indian Diplomatic Missions and International organisations around the world.
Even the headquarters of the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi and the Prime Minister’s Office are under the surveillance and service of the IFS.
The regional passport offices are also held by the positions of President’s secretariat and several ministries that are held in the deputation. The position of foreign secretaries of India is headed by the administrative services of the Indian Foreign services.
Historical background of IFS
- 1783 – On September 13, 1783, the board of directors of East India Company planned to make a directorial committee to reduce the pressure onWarren Hastings administration in conducting “secret and political business” of the same.
- 1843 – Edward Law, The Governor of General of India, carried out the administrative reforms, organising the secretariat of the Government into four departments and reforms – Home, Finance, Foreign and Military. The secretory level officers headed this.
- 1944 – On September 30, 1944, an idea of organizing a separate diplomatic to manage external activities of the Government of India, originated from a normal date was recorded by Lieutenant General T.J. Hutton.
- 1946 – On October 9, 1946, on the glittering evening of Indian Independence, the Indian Foreign Service was finalised by the Indian Government formed for the Indian Diplomats, secular, consular and commercial representation overseas.
Members of IFS
When it comes to presentation of one’s own country on international level and territory, members of IFS stands responsible for the same. It is unlike various other civil services as it is to deal with the country external affairs like diplomacy, trade and cultural affairs and concerns.
Recruitment and Selection
After its formation, the Indian Foreign services recruited its officers for the first time in the year 1948 under the combined Civil Service Examination, which is genuinely administered by the Union Public Service Commission.
As of now also, the UPSC is the governing body in the selection procedure. The entire selection procedure is of 12 months in which the only rank of toppers can guarantee their selection in the IFS as it is understood to be a heaven borne service.
Currently, the intake of 25-30 candidates intake annually is there in Indian Foreign Service. The present cadre strength of the IFS is of 600 officers that are crewing around in 162 hospitals in Indian missions of the Home Ministry.
How to become an IFS officer?
Step 1 – The aspirant has to get the application form from any of the Head post offices spread throughout the country and the send the filled Application form to –
Union Public Service Commission
New Delhi – 110011.
Step 2 – Aspirant has to take the preliminary examination in May and June, and have to attempt two papers, comprising –
1. General Studies of 150 marks
2. Some optional subjects of 300 marks
The optional paper may be chosen from the given subjects –
- Indian History
- Political Science
- Electrical Engineering
- Animal husbandry and veterinary science
- Civil Engineering
Step 3 – Aspirants who have qualified the preliminary examination will be allowed for the next level of the final exam, with the following papers –
- 1 Essay type Indian Language Qualifying Paper – 300 marks
- 1 English qualifying paper – 300 marks
- 1 General Essay type paper – 200 marks
- 2 General Studies papers – 300 marks each
- 4 Optional subject papers – 300 marks each
Step 4 – Once both the written exams have been qualified, the aspirants are called for an interview. The aspirants will be checked on to access their personality and mental ability.
The final list is then prepared based on all the assessments done until now, and those scoring somewhere around 400-450 will be taken on the probationary period.
Training – Training is given in the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, the probationers after that joins the Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi for the training sessions and their attachment with different governing bodies in India and abroad. The entire training process conducted will be of 36 months.
Without any doubt, the IFS examination is tough to crack, but always remember that hard work of a year can jewel all your springs ahead…All The Best!!!!