The Indian Foreign Service,is a part of ‘Group A’ central services under the civil services of India. IFS is one of the three arms of the All India services along with IAS and IPS. The IFS members represent the country at an international level. IFS deals with India's external affairs like trade, diplomacy, and cultural relations. Also, IFS is accountable for framing the Government's foreign policies and management of Indian missions abroad. Moreover, it is the most popular job after IAS. Also, every year in this department UPSC introduces 17-18 vacancies. To sum up, the competition is quite tough among the candidates. Further, this is one of the smallest cadres in the country.
The Indian Foreign Service or IFS is the administrative and diplomatic division of Group A and Group B Central services under the Indian govt. Many candidates seek to become IFS officers because of the new challenges the job brings and also generous monetary benefits. Getting to travel to different countries and experiencing different cultures and cuisines is the tip of the iceberg. This article tells you all about the IFS; from duties to salary to perks and more.
IFS officers are selected through the civil services exam conducted by the UPSC. The UPSC exam consists of three rounds of exam/test to recruit candidates into the Group A and Grup B Central services. These are Prelims, Mains, and Interview. Moreover, the selected candidates go to Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration for training. The second method of recruitment is via promotion from Group B services. For this, the Staff Selection Commission selects the candidate. In other words, the officer through this selection can get the position of Joint Secretary in Ministry.
IFS officers deal with the external affairs of India including diplomacy, trade and cultural relations. Role of an IFS officer includes the following:
The overall salary of an IFS officer is 60,000 per month. Moreover, they are provided with several benefits like accommodation, transportation, medical expenses and much more. On the other hand, a government servant enjoys a pension and many retirement benefits.Based on the country the officer's pay package can also get increased. In this case, the salary can go as high as 2.4 lakhs. Also, the highest position one can attain is of the ambassador or the Foreign Secretary.
An IFS officer serves the nation but is posted in different foreign countries. Moreover, it comes with various additional benefits and perks along with the benefits for family as well. The salary seems to be high because they get allowances according to the country's level of security and level of posting. They are subjected to the local environment (political, economic, etc.) and hence get paid accordingly. Also, they have to keep up with the standard of living in different countries. It depends on the country of posting and the level of danger the IFS officers are in.
|Grade||Rank||Basic Pay in INR (as of 7th Pay Commission)|
|Junior Time Scale||Under Secretary||8000|
|Junior Time Scale||Under Secretary||8000|
|Senior Time Scale||Under Secretary||10700|
|Junior Administrative Scale||Deputy Secretary||12750|
|Selection Grade||Counselor Director||15100|
|Senior Administrative Scale||Joint Secretary||18400|
|High Commissioner/ Ambassador||Foreign Secretary||26000|
Nationality: The nationality of the candidate must be either of the following:
The candidate should be a graduate or have a degree equivalent to a bachelor's degree from any of the recognized Universities.
The minimum age is 21 years but the maximum is 30 years as per the norms. For SC/ST candidates, the age relaxation is up to 35 years of age. For OBC, it is up to 33 years of age. Similarly, the age limit is different for residents from J&K, Defence candidates, and physically handicapped candidates.
The IFS exam is divided into 3 parts - Prelims, Mains and Interview.
The prelims consist of 2 papers. Both papers carry 200 marks and are of 2 hours each. Moreover, both exams are multiple-choice questions. Also, the language of the paper is Hindi and English. However, blind candidates get an extra 20 minutes for each paper.
The candidates who crack Prelims sits for the Mains. However, the mains are a total of 1750 marks. Also, the final list is created on the sum of interview and mains marks. But paper A and B are of 300 marks and the remaining are of 250 marks. Following are the papers in the mains -
The last and final stage is the Interview and it consists of 275 marks. But it should be noted that it is not easy to crack prelims and Mains. Also, the interview stage is much more than just bookish knowledge. The board members evaluate the caliber of the candidate and see if it is suitable for the job or not. Also, the candidate must know about all the current affairs of the country and the world. On the other hand, the candidate should sit for several mock Interviews to prepare themselves. Also if you don't already know, the candidates selected for the Interview are twice as compared to the number of vacancies. Therefore, the candidate is selected on the basis of presence of mind and smart answers. The other factors that affect the selection are judgement capability, patience, awareness, morals and much more. The Interview panel will test the personality of the candidate and not merely knowledge. These are all tested in the first two rounds.
It completely depends on the candidate whether they want to become an IAS or IFS officer. However, one thing that should be kept in mind is that it takes a lot of hard work and passion to be a government servant. It is a prestigious job as you are serving and representing the nation. You should be focused as it is not easy to crack these exams. An IFS officer is the one who represents the nation in various countries. So, you should mold your personality accordingly. The benefits and perks are very eye-catching but the responsibilities are very stressful. Whatever they do is the decision of 1.34 billion Indians. Isn't it amazing?
1. Where does the IFS Training takes place?
The IFS training starts at LBSNAA, Mussoorie. Later, they are shifted to Foreign Service Institute in Delhi for one year.
2. What does IFS stands for?
IFS stands for Indian Foreign Service. It is the most preferred job after IAS but is one of the smallest cadres throughout the country.
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