Life of an IFS Officer: Facilities, Training, Duties, Work of IFS Officer

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

An IFS officer is responsible to represent the country on the international platform and dealing with India’s external affairs like cultural relations, diplomacy and trade. Every year, the UPSC exam is conducted to recruit IFS officers which is one of the Group A services and sought-after jobs in the Central Government. Candidates who clear the Civil Services Examination conducted by UPSC get a chance to become Indian Foreign Service officers as per their rank. After the post allocation and mandatory training at LBSNAA, the selected candidates get admitted to the service training at the Sushma Swaraj Foreign Service Institute, New Delhi.

In this article, we are sharing all about the life of an IFS officer, their roles and responsibilities, everyday work, facilities provided to them, etc. So, read it till the end if you are aspiring to become an IFS officer and are preparing for the same.

What is IFS Officer?

The IFS officer full form is an Indian Foreign Service officer which comes under Group A services, and the eligible personnel for this post are recruited by the UPSC. Those who aspire to become an Indian Foreign Service officer must read this article to know about the lifestyle and roles, and responsibilities of an IFS officer.

An IFS officer is one who is responsible for framing international policies, representing India on an international level, and fulfilling the missions with the help of required collaboration and support from prospective allies.

Life of an IFS Officer

The life of an IFS officer is considered the most lavishing among other services. Generally, a candidate has to be at the top of the ranking to get selected for the Indian Foreign Service officer. Approximately 2/3rd of the life of an IFS officer spends in abroad, and only 1/3rd of the career at the headquarters of the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi.

IFS Officer Training at LBSNAA: After the final selection is done through the UPSC exam, candidates are sent for a 3 months training at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) in Mussoorie, where she/he is called a Foreign Service Officer/Probationer Trainee. Here, they are trained for a variety of skills and tasks, such as horse riding, foreign language, and trekking to the mountains.

IFS Training for 1 Year: After these 3 months of training, a Foreign Service Officer trainee moves to the Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi, situated on Baba Gangnath Marg near Jawaharlal University (JNU) campus, for the next phase of training. Here, an IFS officer undergoes a 1-year training program in modules of Indian Foreign Service Pay, International Relations, Leave and Compensatory Allowances rules, and Foreign Trade. Candidates also visit nearby South Asian countries or the United Nations to understand the functioning of an Indian mission. A trainee officer undergoes attachments with the Navy, Army, and Air Force, with the district and the state administration as well as the corporate sector.

Inservice Training: At the end of this training at the Foreign Service Institute, the IFS officer undergoes a 6 month in-service or on-the-job training by getting associated with the Division of the Ministry of External Affairs. After its completion, they are given a Compulsory Foreign Language (CFL) such as Chinese, German, French, Russian, Spanish, or any other language as per the requirements of the Ministry. After that, the IFS officer is posted on a national mission as a Third Secretary (Language Trainee) where she/he learns the allocated foreign language.

After the successful completion of the CFL training, a proficiency test is conducted by the School of Foreign Languages (SFL), Ministry of Defence, India, to examine the candidate’s learning. Only after successfully clearing the language proficiency test in the allocated foreign language a trainee officer is confirmed in the Indian Foreign Service.

What is the Work of IFS Officer?

If you want to serve the nation by protecting its national interests and maintaining international relations and cooperation, then you can choose to become an IFS officer. Serving the nation does not always mean going to the border, fighting the enemies in a war, etc; it can be done by other means as well, such as representing your country on an international forum as an Indian Foreign Service officer. Let us know more about the work of IFS officers by reading the points listed in the next section.

Role of IFS Officer

Aspirants can go through the pointers below to understand the role of the IFS officer in All India Services:

  • Protecting the national interests of India in the country where he/she is posted.
  • Representing India in high commissions, embassies, consulates, and permanent missions to organizations such as United Nations.
  • Encouraging friendly relations with the international country and PIOs/NRIs.
  • Negotiating on issues whenever needed on behalf of India.
  • Sharing the matters of concern from the country in which he/she is posted, which are likely to influence India.
  • Extending consular facilities to Indian nationals abroad and foreigners.

IFS Officer Ranks

Check the ranks of IFS officers, including the Grade and Designation in India and Overseas, from the following table:

Grade Designation in India Designation (Overseas)
Junior time scale Under Secretary Attaché / Third Secretary
Senior time scale Under Secretary Second / First Secretary
Junior administrative grade Deputy Secretary First Secretary
Selection grade IV Counsellor Director Director
Senior administrative grade Joint Secretary Minister/DCM Ambassador
Additional Secretary Ambassador/High Commissioner
Secretary Ambassador/High Commissioner

IFS Officer Facilities

In this section, let us talk about the facilities received by an IFS officer in the form of salary and other benefits. The basic IFS salary depends on the Grade and rank of the IFS officer.

Grade Rank Basic Pay Grade Pay
Junior Time Scale Under Secretary Rs.8000 Rs.5400
Senior Time Scale Under Secretary Rs.10700 Rs.6600
Junior Administrative Scale Deputy Secretary Rs.12750 Rs.7600
Selection Grade Counselor Director Rs.15100 Rs.8700
Senior Administrative Scale Joint Secretary Rs.18400 Rs.10000
High Commissioner / Ambassador Foreign Secretary Rs.26000 (Fixed)

In addition to the salary, the other facilities given to an IFS officer include the following:

  • IFS Officer House: Wonderful accommodation (2 or 3 BHK) in cheap rates
  • Household helpers and security guards
  • Medical Treatment Expenses
  • Official vehicles
  • IFS Officer Car for commuting
  • Free electricity and water facility
  • Freephone telephone facility
  • Study options in Abroad
  • Retirement benefits and Pension
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