IFS Full Form: Eligibility, Exam Pattern, and IFS Officer Salary

By Balaji

Updated on: March 30th, 2023

IFS Full Form is Indian Foreign Service, and it is a part of “ Group A” Central Services under the Civil Services of India. Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is one of three arms of the All India services, along with the Indian Administrative Service ( IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS). The history of IFS is old, as the East India Company started it in 1783, but the current IFS was formed on October 9, 1956.

The IFS officers represent Indian at an International level. IFS officers deal with the country’s external affairs, like diplomacy, trade, and cultural relations. Additionally, IFS is responsible for framing the government’s foreign policies and managing India’s mission abroad. Here we will be covering the IFS Full Form and their roles, salary, eligibility, etc.

Table of content

  • 1. What is IFS Full Form? (more)
  • 2. IFS Full Form Overview (more)
  • 3. IFS Stands for? (more)
  • 4. IFS Full Form in Hindi (more)
  • 5. IFS Age Limit (more)
  • 6. IFS Educational Qualification (more)
  • 7. IFS Exam Pattern and Stages (more)
  • 8. Training of IFS (more)
  • 9. Role of an IFS officer (more)
  • 10. IFS Officer Salary (more)
  • 11. Difference Between IFS and IAS (more)

What is IFS Full Form?

Full Form of IFS is an Indian Foreign Service. It is considered to be among the top three All-India Services. IFS is the administrative and diplomatic division of Group A and Group B Central services under the Government of India. Many candidates aspire to become IFS officers every year because this post offers many opportunities and a unique way to serve the county. Additionally, generous monetary benefit is one of the main attractions of this post.

IFS Full Form Overview

Below, candidates can check out the structure of the Indian Foreign Service.

IFS Full Form Indian Foreign Service
IFS Full Form in Hindi भारतीय विदेश सेवा
IFS Exam UPSC Conducts Civil Services Exam to recruit candidates for IFS.
Mode of IFS Exam Offline or Pen paper
IFS officer Age Limit 21 is the lower age limit, and the upper age limit is 32(age relaxation is applied for certain categories)
IFS Officer Qualification Bachelor’s Degree required from government recognized university.
IFS Job Profile Represents India at an International level and deals with external affairs of the country
IFS Salary Overall IFS Salary is around 60,000 INR

IFS Stands for?

Candidates aspiring to be civil servants must know that IFS stands for Indian Foreign Service. IFS belongs to the apex All India Services group. The IFS officers represent India in the international territory and are responsible for dealing with the country’s external affairs like trade, diplomacy, and cultural relations. Additionally, IFS officers are also accounted for framing the government’s foreign policies of Indian missions abroad.

IFS Full Form in Hindi

IFS का पूर्ण रूप भारतीय विदेशसेवा और यह भारत की सिविल सर्विसेज के तहत “ग्रुप ए” सेंट्रल सर्विसेज का एक हिस्सा है। भारतीय विदेश सेवा (IFS), भारतीय प्रशासनिक सेवा (IAS) और भारतीय पुलिस सेवा (IPS) के साथ-साथ अखिल भारतीय सेवाओं की तीन शाखाओं में से एक है।IFS का इतिहास पुराना है, क्योंकि इसकी शुरुआत ईस्ट इंडिया कंपनी ने 1783 में की थी, लेकिन वर्तमान IFS का गठन 1956 अक्टूबर 9 में हुआ था।

IFS Age Limit

Candidates need to meet the UPSC Eligibility criteria to apply for the Indian Foreign Service. As per the eligibility criteria for IFS, the minimum age of a candidate to apply for IFS should be 21 years, and the upper age limit should be 32 years as of August of that particular year of the UPSC Examination. Age relaxation is applicable for candidates from certain categories.

Category Minimum Age Limit Maximum Age Limit Number of Attempts
General 21 32 6
OBC 21 35 9
IFS Age Limit for SC/ST 21 37 No limit (Until the upper age limit is reached)
EWS 21 32 9

IFS Educational Qualification

Educational Qualification for the Indian Foreign Service needs to be met to apply for the IFS exam. The educational qualification for IFS is given below.

  • Candidates with bachelor’s degrees from a recognized university can apply for the IFS exam.
  • Those who have appeared for the final year’s exam and waiting for their result can also apply for IFS,

IFS Exam Pattern and Stages

The Indian Foreign Service Exam is divided into 3 stages- Prelims, Mains, and Personality Test. candidates need to crack all three stages and secure good ranks to become an IFS officer.

UPSC Prelims

UPSC Prelims is the first stage of the UPSC CSE. Marks obtained in this exam won’t be counted for the final result as this is only a screening test. In the Prelims exam, candidates must face two papers- General Studies-1 and General Studies-2 (CSAT). Both papers are multiple-choice questions and carry 200 marks each. Candidates will get 2 hours of time duration for each paper. However, the CSAT paper is qualifying in nature, in which candidates need to score at least 33%. It means the marks obtained in General Studies-1 will be considered only. Candidates must check both UPSC Prelims Syllabus and CSAT Syllabus to prepare accordingly.

UPSC Mains

The second stage of the Civil Services Examination is known as UPSC Mains. Candidates who qualify for the UPSC Prelims can only appear for UPSC Mains. This is a descriptive exam that has a total of 9 papers. Among these 9 papers, two are optional subjects. The candidates can choose the optional subjects from a list of 48 optional subjects. Two papers, namely- English and Indian language, are qualifying in nature, and the other seven are merit ranking in nature. The UPSC Mains is a total of 1750 marks, and the marks secured in this exam will be considered for making the final result.

IFS Exam Paper Subject Nature of the Paper Total Marks Duration
Paper A Compulsory Indian language Qualifying 300 3 Hours
Paper B English 300 3 Hours
Paper- I Essay Merit Ranking 250 3 Hours
Paper-II General Studies Paper 1 250 3 Hours
Paper -III General Studies Paper 2 250 3 Hours
Paper-IV General Studies Paper 3 250 3 Hours
Paper-V General Studies Paper 4 250 3 Hours
Paper-VI Optional Paper 1 250 3 Hours
Paper-VII Optional Paper 2 250 3 Hour

Personality Test

The final stage of the UPSC Exam is the interview round which consists of 275 marks. The personality test asks for more than just bookish knowledge. Here the board members ask various questions to the candidates to evaluate their caliber and to examine if he/she is suitable for the job. The candidates selected for the interview are twice the number of vacancies.

Training of IFS

The selected candidates for the Indian Foreign Service will have to undergo training at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie. The training period is for 3-4 months. After this, the candidates must go to Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi and undergo focused training. The training here involves lectures and attachment with various wings of the Government. After completing the above training, the IFS officer will receive on-the-job training for six months. After this, they will be assigned to a Compulsory Foreign Language.

Role of an IFS officer

Indian Foreign Service officer is responsible for dealing with the external affairs of India, including diplomacy, cultural, and trade relations. The role of an IFS officer also includes:

  • To represent India in its embassies, consulates in Foreign countries, high commissions, and permanent missions to multilateral organizations.
  • IFS officers are also assigned to promote friendly relations with all the stakeholders, including NRIs and POIs in the country of their posting.
  • They also have to negotiate on various matters with concerned authorities in the country of their posting.
  • IFS officers must safeguard India’s affairs and concerns in the country of their deputation.
  • IFS officers provide consular access to foreign and Indian nationals.
  • To promote friendly relations with the country of their posting.

Required Skills to become an IFS officer

An IFS officer must have the following skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Diplomatic approach
  • Decision making
  • Interpersonal skills
  • knowledge of the economy, India’s policy, and affairs
  • Patience

IFS Officer Salary

The overall salary for an Indian Foreign Service officer is around INR 60,000 per month. Apart from the handsome salary, IFS officers are provided with several benefits like accommodation, medical expenses, transportation, etc. Those posted in different countries get a Special Foreign Allowance which can increase their salary to INR 2,40,000 per month due to the high purchasing power in different countries.

Difference Between IFS and IAS

The IAS Full Form is Indian Administrative Service, and the IFS Full Form is Indian Foreign Service. Both IAS and IFS are among the top All India Services.

  • IAS officers reach the most exciting part of their career within 5-8 years of service when they become collectors/DM. The IFS officers reach most existing parts of their career within 12-18 years when they become Ambassadors or Consul generals.
  • IAS officers deal with the root level, while IFS officers sit with the leading members of society. IFS officers also travel to various countries.
  • Unlike IAS, IFS officers spend most of their time in different countries.
  • The IFS officers posted in different countries get several allowances that are higher than other civil services.
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