Indian Foreign Services is one of the most respectable and topmost positions under the civil service of India. This diplomatic post comes under the Group ‘A’ Central Service on the nation. The officers who serve as the IFS function under the Ministry of External Affairs.
Looking at its perks and several attention-catching features, this is one of the most demanded jobs after the IAS. Moreover, the UPSC council introduces about 17-18 vacancies every year in this department. Therefore, the level of competition becomes transparent and fierce. We have prepared this article to enable our readers to know about the Indian Foreign Services in detail. This piece highlights the recruitment process, salary, responsibilities, and other perks given to the IFS officers. Moreover, the purpose is to let the readers facilitate their decision of pursuing IFS in the manner suited to them.
Just like other civil service departments, the IFS also has to go through the primary three rounds of selection conducted by the UPSC council. However, after clearing the UPSC, the officer trainees have to go to the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration for training.
There are two ways to recruit IFS Oficers. We have already stated the first one above. However, the second one is through the promotion from a Group ‘B’ Service. Therefore, for this, the selection process is by the Staff Selection Commission. With this, the selected IFS officer can reach to the position of the Joint Secretary in the Ministry.
Training of Officers
After selection, the training of IFS officers takes place at LBSNAA. Here, the training of the officers are for a period of 3 to 4 months. However, all the probationary officers are induced with diplomatic knowledge, trade, and international culture. Post this, the officers have to go to Foreign Service Insititute in Delhi for a period of one year. Here the probationers are given classroom training through the wide medium of knowledge imparted in International Relations, Foreign Policies, Allowances, etc.
Later on, they will be provided on-the-job training for a period of 6 months. Also, every officer is later sent in one of the divisions of the Ministry of External Affairs. The purpose is to evaluate their level of understanding and applying tactics in certain situations. After this, every officer has a Compulsory Foreign Language (CFL) to learn in order to carry on with their job.
Only at the successful outcome of the CFL, these officers will finally be termed as the ‘IFS’ officers of the nation. It becomes highly visible that the journey that started in Mussoorie takes about three years to complete.
Responsibilities of IFS Officers
The IFS officers exercise their authority under the Ministry of External Affairs. These officers not only look after the diplomatic relations of India but also safeguard the country’s welfare on international grounds.
The allocation of the IFS officers takes place in Embassies, High Consulates, etc in foreign countries. They are solely responsible for exercising their powers in matters related to international trade, foreign policies, and maintain cordial relations with foreign ministers. These officers also look after the Regional Passport Authority of the nation. The Foreign Secretary of India supervises them.
They are also responsible for performing certain duties in departments of Defence, Finance, Home Ministry, etc.
Salary of IFS Officers
The salaries and perks of the officers are quite an attention-seeker. The remuneration of the officers depends upon the position they are on. For a junior secretary in India, the minimum basic salary of Rs. 8,000/- per month. This is exclusive of all the additional benefits that are on the later stage. For the High Commissioner, the minimum fixed salary is Rs. 26,000/- per month exclusive of all income-in-kind perks.
For the IFS officers posted in foreign countries, the salary depends upon the country and the position they are on. Moreover, these officers are entitled to a special foreign allowance. This amount is based on the country, the officer is in.
There are several positions ranging from the third secretary to the High Commissioner in the departmental hierarchy.
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We hope that we were successful in providing enough information related to Indian Foreign Services. The aspirants, after reading, are to evaluate their options and act in a manner that will reap the maximum results to them.