IFS- Indian Foreign Service

IFS stands for Indian Foreign Service, it comes under Central Civil Services and is a branch of the Government of India. IFS is an administrative diplomatic civil service that is recruited by the UPSC.

IFS officers are representatives of India in foreign countries, they deal with external affairs with many countries. The main purpose of an IFS officer is to handle and manage India’s diplomacy, trading, and cultural relations with others. These officers are responsible for taking care of foreign policies, implementing them, and discussing foreign matters with government officials of both countries. 


  • IFS officers are responsible for protecting India’s National interests in the country that will help in improving the relationship with the country India is dealing with.
  • These officers will deal with high commissions and multilateral organizations.
  • IFS officers are required to keep themselves updated with the policies of the other country that might affect India.
  • The role of an IFS officer is very challenging and a promising job as it requires him to be always on his toes educating him with all the news and outcomings.
  • IFS officers deal with Indians as well as non-Indian residents with every type of issue and problem.
  • One of the main duties of IFS personnel is to represent India on foreign platforms and forums. He is responsible to shape the relation of India with other countries. 
  • He creates and maintains the economic cooperation of India and neighboring countries.
  • He will constantly keep updating Indian officials about recent developments and changes in the policies. 

Eligibility criteria:

A candidate who is willing to apply for the post of IFS officer must be an Indian citizen. The minimum age limit of the applicant must be 22 years and the maximum age must be 32 years. He must have a graduation degree from a known and the recognized university in India. Both males and females can apply for the post of IFS officer. 

The civil service exam which qualifies the candidate for applying for the IFS title is conducted by the UPSC board. This exam is very tough and requires thorough preparation. 

Every aspirant is allowed to take coaching from top institutes to get selected and clear the exam. Writing an exam without taking coaching by own self will make it next to impossible to clear the exam as this is considered one of the toughest exams in the Indian education system. 

The exam is conducted in three parts: Preliminary, Mains, and interview process.


Once the candidate clears the exam conducted by the UPSC he will be given intense training to prepare him for the title. However, the training will be both on-site as well as off-site training. He will be taken to sites and even foreign countries to get real-time exposure to practical scenarios. 

The IFS job is considered one of the toughest jobs hence the candidate is given some special benefits after the appointment. We will discuss a few benefits of an IFS officer below in detail:

  • IFS officer will be given a house to stay in with his family.
  • Cook, maid, servant, gardener, and driver will be given to him on government expenses.
  • He will be given a car for field visits which he can use even for his trips sometimes.
  • All the billing expenses like water bills, mobile phone bills, and internet bills will be paid by the government.
  • The education of two children of the officer will be taken care of by the government.
  • IFS officer will be given free training in case he needs to learn any foreign language.
  • Financial support for learning any local language as well.
  • Hotel and lodging charges when visiting other countries and states will be at the expense of the government. 

With the kind of risks and job an IFS officer does his job, all the facilities given to him act as complete positives for his career. 

Skills and qualities:

Indian Foreign Officers are regarded as very superior officers as they do a lot more work in the country as well as out of the country. For handling this post the candidate must have some special skills and qualities to interact with different kinds of people and officials.

  • Decision-making ability
  • Excellent knowledge of foreign nations and current affairs.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Leadership quality
  • Excellent analytical ability
  • Logical thinking capacity
  • Good learner and listener.