What is the full form of IFS?
Indian Foreign Service (IFS) 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 in the Ministry of external 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 Secretory are some of the offices, which are under the members of this service.
IFS is validated and relied 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 deputation. The position of foreign secretaries of India is headed by the administrative services of the Indian Foreign services.
- 1783 – On September 13, 1783 the board of directors of East India Company planned to make a directorial committee just to reduce the pressure on Warren 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 4 departments and reforms – Home, Finance, Foreign and Military. This was headed by the secretory level officers.
- 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 basically 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 I 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 only a rank of toppers can guarantee their selection in IFS exam 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.
The person must belong to any of the following countries or must follow any of the following condition –
- Citizen of India
- Subject of Nepal,
- Subject of Bhutan
- Migrant from any of the following countries, who are planning to settle in India on the permanent basis – Sri Lanka, Burma, Pakistan, the United Republic of Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zaire, Malawi, Zambia, Vietnam, East African Countries of Kenya and Uganda.
- Refugees from Tibet who came to India before January 1, 1962 with an intention to permanently settle here.
To be eligible for IFS position, an aspirant must possess a degree from any of the recognised University in India or any equivalent degree from the same.
Those who are in their final year of the degree can also apply and appear in the preliminary examination taken by UPSC every year.
The age limit must have attained an age of 21 years on 1st August on the year of examination and must not have attained 30 years of age up to that date.
The upper age limit will be relaxed by 3 years for OBC aspirants and 5 years for SC/ST aspirants. The upper age limit is relaxed in the terms of Defense Service Personnel. Following are the relaxation in the given terms –
- Up to maximum 5 years of relaxation for the aspirants from Jammu and Kashmir
- Up to maximum 5 years of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial time of assignment for 5 years of Military Services.
- Up to maximum 5 years for Ex-Serviceman including commissioned officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least 5 years in Military Service and have been released from the same.
- Up to maximum of 10 years for blind, deaf-mute, orthopedically handicapped persons.
Number of attempts
The maximum number of attempts is as follows –
- 7 attempts for General category aspirants
- No restriction for SC/ST aspirants
- 9 attempts for other backward class aspirants
How to become an IFS officer?
Step 1 – The aspirant has to get the application form from any of the Head post office 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 the month of 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 final exam, with 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 interview. The aspirants will be checked on to access their personality and mental ability.
The final list is then prepared on the basis of all the assessment done till 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 thereafter joins the Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi for training session 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!!!!