Home » Civil Services List » Indian Foreign Service Exam

Indian Foreign Service

The Indian Foreign Service [IFS] is a Central Service in Group A and the premier diplomatic service of our country. 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.

Indian Foreign Service offers immense exposure to different political, social, ethnic and cultural milieu world over. An IFS 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.

Along with IAS, IFS top job and meant for the toppers at the civil services exams. With limited vacancies getting into the IFS is also difficult as this service holds a lot of promises and glamour.

Indian Foreign Service Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for the IFS exam are the same as for other civil services. Once the candidate clears the civil services and as per his rank gets allotment to the Indian Foreign Service, 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 Foreign 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 foreign language (CFL) training to a university in the related country.

The first posting of a Foreign Service officer is in the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi. After that the first posting is done in an Indian Diplomatic Mission abroad in the language he/she has taken the compulsory foreign language training. In Indian mission he/she further trains in the language and then gives exams to show his/her proficiency in the language.

IFS Exam 2016

The IFS exam 2016 notification has come and the last date of online application is already over. The date of prelims exam is 7th August 2016.

Indian Foreign Service syllabus 2016

The syllabus for the civil services exam remains the same as for other services and there is no difference in syllabus for the IFS.

IFS Salary and Ranks

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




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.