IFS Academy in Tirupati – A special service class has been created to handle the functions of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, called the Indian Foreign Service (IFS). It is a body of professional diplomats of India. This service is part of the central services of the Government of India. The Foreign Secretary of India is the administrative head of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS). This service is no longer limited to elite families, kings and princes, military officers, etc., has been opened for everyone. An ordinary citizen can also become a part of this service on the basis of their qualifications and education.

Selection Process :

  • Selection in the Indian Foreign Service is done every year by the ‘Civil Service Examination’ conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

  • The final selection in the Civil Services Examination is made according to the total marks obtained by them and the service preference given by them.

  • There are many challenges and responsibilities associated with this service, so Union Public Service Commission selects only those candidates who are suitable for this service.

  • In recent years, about 20 persons are appointed every year in the Indian Foreign Service. The current cadre strength of the service is about 600 officers, of which around 162 officers hold various positions in the Indian Mission abroad and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the country.

Educational Qualification:

  • The candidate must be a graduate from a recognized university / institute.

Training :

  • New members selected for the Indian Foreign Service have to go through a three-year (36-month period) critical training program. This training is conducted in the following stages –
    1. Basic training – 4 months (at the National Academy, Mussoorie)
    2. Vocational training – 12 months (at the District Office and International School, New Delhi)
    3. Practical training – 6 months (abroad Under Ministry)
    4. Probation Training – 14 months (in High Commissioner / Embassy abroad)

  • First these trainee officers are given 4 months basic training at ‘Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie’, where members of many other specialized Indian Civil Service organizations are also trained.

  • The new members go through a probationary period, during which they are called probationers.

  • After completing the training of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Administrative Academy, probationers enroll in ‘Foreign Service Institute’ located in New Delhi for further training as well as to engage with various government bodies and travel in India and abroad.

  • These trainee officers are trained in ‘Indian School of International Studies, New Delhi’ for 4 months foreign policy and methodology, international relations and language information.

  • After this, trainee officers are attached to any district administration for 6 months so that they become eligible to come into practical contact with the responsibility. Also, they are also imparted training for some time in the Secretariat of the Ministry of External Affairs.

  • The training program for IFS emphasizes on the study of languages ​​(Hindi and a foreign language) and subjects whose knowledge is considered essential for an IFS officer.

  • New members are sent to the army unit for a few days and also for ‘Bharat Darshan’.

  • At the conclusion of the training program, the officer is essentially given the responsibility to learn a foreign language (Context Free Language – CFL).

  • After engaging with the Ministry of External Affairs for a brief period, the officer is deputed on an Indian diplomatic mission abroad where the local language is ‘CFL’. Officers there receive language training and are then expected to gain proficiency in the CFL and pass an exam, only then are they allowed to remain in service.

Appointment and Promotion:

  • IFS officers are usually appointed in the Embassy, ​​Consulate and Ministry of External Affairs.

  • They start their service abroad as third secretary and as soon as they are in service, they are promoted to the post of second secretary.

  • The best posting of an IFS officer is as Ambassador or Foreign Secretary. Their hierarchy is as follows:-
    In Embassy:
    Third Secretary (Entry Level)
    Second Secretary (Promotion after confirmation in service)
    First Secretary
    Mission Vice President / Deputy High Commissioner / Deputy Permanent Representative
    Ambassador / High Commissioner / Permanent Representative
    In the Consulate:
    Deputy Consul
    Consul General (Consul-General)
    In the Ministry of External Affairs:
    Under Secretary (Upper Secretary)
    Deputy Secretary (
    Director ) Director (Director)
    Joint Secretary (Joint Secretary)
    Additional Secretary (Additional Secretary)
    Secretary (Secretary)

work :

  • As a professional diplomat, an IFS officer is expected to take care of India’s interests, both at home and abroad, on various issues and take it forward. These include bilateral political and economic cooperation, trade and investment promotion, cultural exchanges, press and media contacts and all multilateral issues.

  • IFS officers mainly carry out tasks related to external affairs of the country such as diplomacy, trade, cultural relations, migration related matters etc.

  • They engage in the formulation and implementation of India’s foreign policy.

  • They represent India in the permanent missions of their Embassies, High Commissions and multilateral organizations like United Nations.

  • Their main objective is to ensure the security of India’s national interests in the country to be appointed.

  • They play a major role in maintaining friendly relations with the host nation and its people, including NRIs and persons of Indian origin.

  • They give accurate information about the developments abroad, which can affect the policy-making of India.

  • They also have the responsibility to negotiate various issues with the authorities of the host nation.

  • The Ministry of External Affairs is responsible for all aspects related to India’s foreign relations. Regional divisions deal with bilateral political and economic functions, while functional divisions deal with policy-planning, multilateral organizations, regional parties, legal affairs, disarmament, innovation, the Indian diaspora, press and publicity, administration and other functions.

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