Indian Foreign Service

The Indian Foreign Service [IFS] is a Central Service in Group A and the premier diplomatic service of our country. Members of the IFS, primarily represent the country in the international arena. The Indian Foreign Service deals with the country's external affairs, including diplomacy, trade and cultural relations. It is responsible for the administration and activities of Indian missions abroad, and for the framing and implementation of the Government's foreign policy.
The service offers immense exposure to different political, social, ethnic and cultural milieu. An I.F.S officer can be posted in 160 odd Indian Embassies and Missions abroad. They can also be deputed to institutions like United Nations, UNESCO, World Bank, SAARC, etc. Back home, they can be posted in various parts of the country as Passport and Visa Officers.
Even though many toppers at the civil services exams opt for the IAS, with limited vacancies the IFS is also a tough service to get into. With India and Indians going global, this is the service which holds a lot of promise and glamour.

Indian Foreign Service Eligibility
The eligibility criteria for the IFS exam is the same as for other services. Once the candidate clears the civil services and gets allotment to the Indian foriegn service as per his rank, he has to go through specified training.

Indian Foreign Service Postings, Recruitment and Training
The IFS recruitment and training period is the longest and takes about 36 months or 3 years to complete. Usually the first part of the training is done with the other services like the IAS at the Lal Bahadur Shashtri National Academy of Administration in Mussoori. The second part of the training is in the Foriegn Service Institute in Delhi. The IFS officers are attached to different government organisations for further training in between their course. THey also go for tours in India and abroad. At the end part of the training the IFS officer is sent for compulsory forign language (CFL)training to a university in the related country.
The first posting of a foriegn service officer is in the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi after which their first posting is in an Indian Diplomatic Mission in the country where the language of training or CFL is native. Here he tarins further in the language and then gives exams to show his proficiency.

IFS Exam 2015
The IFS exam 2015 notification has come and the last date of online application was on the 19th of june 2015. The date of prelims exam is 23rd August 2015. The next exam will happen in 2016 around the same time.

Indian Foreign Service syllabus 2015
The syllabus for the civil services exam in 2015 and every other year is the same for the IFS as well as other services. There is no difference whatsoever.

IFS exam age limit
Once again the age limit is the same for all civil services conducted through the UPSC civil service exam. As per the rules, a Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) committee is responsible for making selection to IAS, IPS and IFS from state services also. "The committee shall not consider the cases of the members of the state civil service, who have attained the age of 56 years on the first day of January of the year for which the select list is prepared" says the recently notified rules for the three all-India services. This is a two-year increase in the age limit of 54 years for induction into IAS and IPS from state civil services in 2015.

IFS Salary and Ranks
The current pay scale of various IFS officers who are posted in foreign missions abroad:


GRADE

POSTED AS

BASIC SCALE (MONTHLY)

Junior Time Scale

Under Secretary

Rs. 8000 - Rs. 14000

Senior Time Scale

Under Secretary

Rs. 10700 - Rs. 16000

Junior Administrative Scale

Deputy Secretary

Rs. 12800 - Rs. 17000

Selection Grade

Counsellor Director

Rs. 15100 - Rs. 18500

Senior Administrative Scale

Joint Secretary

Rs. 18500 - Rs. 22500

High Commissioner / Ambassador

Foreign Secretary

Rs. 26000 (Fixed)

With all the perks and allowances, the salary of a junior IFS officer comes to around Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 70,000 per month.