IFS Exam stands for Indian Foreign Services. It is one of the central civil services of the Government of India. IFS members represent the country in international territory.
Every year, UPSC conducts the Civil Service Examination(CSE) for more than 24 services, such as IAS and IPS by shortlisting the candidates. More than nine lakh candidates register for the UPSC exam and almost five lakh candidates appear for the examination. The selection process goes through several screenings starting with the preliminary exam, main examination, and interview.
Selection is a year-long process that starts in the month of June and ends in April, and the final list comes in the month of May.
|Name of the Exam||Civil Service Examination|
|Organizing Body||Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)|
|Exam Mode||Paper and Pen-based( Offline)|
|Number of Services||24|
|Number of Attempts||7 times|
|Number of Registrations||Approx. 9Lakh|
IFS EXAM Dates
The UPSC generally releasees the date of the Civil Services Examinations notification in the month of February. Aspirants willing to appear for this All Indian Services along with other services can apply online by visiting the official website of UPSC.
|Civil Service Examination Advertisement||February|
|IFS- Online Application Form||February to March|
|IFS- Preliminary Admit Card||2nd Week of May|
|IFS- Preliminary Exam||October|
|IFS- Preliminary Result||November|
|IFS-Interview||March to April|
Eligibility Criteria: IFS Exam
- Candidates must be a citizen of India
- Candidates must be a citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan.
- Candidates must be Tibetan refugees who came to India before January 1, 1962, for settling permanently in India.
- Candidates must a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Burma, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Myanmar, Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, Vietnam, Zaire with the motive to settle permanently in India.
2. Educational Qualification
- Candidates must hold any Bachelor’s degree from any of the recognized universities. There is no minimum percentage required for graduation.
- Candidates who have appeared for the qualifying exam and are awaiting results are also eligible.
- Some of the skills required are Decision-making ability, Apt knowledge of current affairs and foreign countries, excellent communication skills, good leadership and analytical ability.
3. Age Limit & Number of Attempts
A candidate should be a minimum of 21 years and a maximum of 30 years to appear for the Civil Service Examination. The maximum age mentioned above is relaxable for the following candidates :
- Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST): 5 years
- Other Backward Classes(OBC) : 3 Years
- Defence Service Personnel : 3 years
- Candidate from the State of Jammu & Kashmir: Upto 5 years
- Ex-servicemen and ECOs/SSCOs who have served at least 5 years in Military Service as on 1st of August of the Notification Year: 5 years
- Blind, Deaf-mute and physically handicapped person: 10 Years.
|Category||Maximum Age Limit||No of Attempts|
|Other Backwards Castes (OBC)||33 Years||09|
|Economically Weaker Section(EWS)||30 Years||07|
|Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST)||35 Years||Till the age limit|
|Physically disabled candidates||40 Years||For General and OBS candidates = 9
For SC/ST Candidates = Till age limit
IFS Officer: Roles & Responsibility
- Representing India in its Embassies, High Commissions, Foreign countries and in multilateral organizations like UN.
- Responsible for dealing with the diplomats for trade, cultural relations of the country, and management of Indian missions abroad
- Responsible for framing the Government’s foreign policy.
- Promoting, nurturing and improving nation’s interest, friendship between India and the country where the officer is posted.
- Constantly updating the Ministry of External Affairs( MEA) Office, India with the recent and development and changes.
Career Graph of IAS Officer
The highest position, an IFS officer can desire for is the rank of Foreign Secretary of India. For abroad they can go up to the post of Ambassador/High Commissioner. The following is the career path of an IFS officer.
- The candidate selected for the IFS cadre will be sent for training at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration( LBSNAA), Mussoorie.
- The probationer will be sent for focus training at Foreign Service Institute, New Delhi.
- After the completion of the above two training, the probationer will be sent for on-the-job training wherein they will be associated with the division of the Ministry of External Affairs for a period of 6 months.
- Post this they are assigned a Compulsory Foreign Language(CFL) lie Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, German, Spanish etc.
- Later posted as a Third Secretary (Language Trainee) in any Indian Mission abroad.
- After completing the proficiency test conducted by School of Foreign Language, Ministry of Defense will confirm them as an IFS officer. The entire journeys take around three years of time.
|Post in Foreign Country||Post in India|
|Attache/ Third Secretary||Under Secretary|
|First/Second Secretary||Under Secretary|
|First Secretary||Deputy Secretary|
|Minister/DCM Ambassador||Joint Secretary|
|Ambassador/High Commissioner||Additional Secretary|
IFS EXAM PATTERN
UPSC conducts exam in three levels as mentioned below. The candidate has to clear all the 3 exams successfully to get the offer letter from Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
- Preliminary Test
- Main Exam
Stage One-Preliminary Test (400 Marks)
- The Preliminary Exam consist of GS (General Studies) & CSAT (Civil Service Aptitude Test).
- Both the papers are objective type (Multiple Choice Questions)
- The question papers are set in Hindi and English language.
- Blind candidate gets an additional 20 minutes of time for both papers.
- Candidates appearing in the preliminary test must qualify for the cut-off score to get themselves eligible for the mains exam.
- There is a negative marking associated with the question asked in the exam.
|Paper||Type||Number of Questions||Total Marks||Negative Marking||Duration|
|General Studies I||Objective( MCQ)||100||200||Yes||2 Hours|
|General Studies II (CSAT)||Objective( MCQ)||80||200||Yes||2 Hours|
Stage Two-Main Examination (2025 Marks)
- Candidates who qualify for the preliminary test are called for the Main Exam.
- Main exam consists of 9 papers.
- The language paper consists of the languages included in the 8th schedule of the Constitution.
- All the paper is bilingual – Hindi & English except for the language papers.
The written exam consists of the following papers
|Paper A||One of the Indian Language||Descriptive||3 Hours||300|
|Paper B||English||Descriptive||3 Hours||300|
|Paper I||Essay||Descriptive||3 Hours||250|
|Paper II||General Studies I||Descriptive||3 Hours||250|
|Paper III||General Studies II||Descriptive||3 Hours||250|
|Paper IV||General Studies III||Descriptive||3 Hours||250|
|Paper V||General Studies IV||Descriptive||3 Hours||250|
|Paper VI||Optional I||Descriptive||3 Hours||250|
|Paper VII||Optional II||Descriptive||3 Hours||250|
|Sub Total Marks||1750|
|Grand Total Marks||2025|
The subject which is covered in the General Studies in Main Exam is mentioned below
|General Studies I||General Studies II||General Studies III||General Studies IV|
|Indian Heritage and Culture||Governance||Technology||Ethics|
|History and Geography of the World||Constitution||Economic Development||Integrity|
|International Relations||Security and Disaster Management|
The list of the Optional Paper VI and VII of the Main Exam is enumerated below
|Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science||Political Science and International Relations||Mechanical Engineering||Commerce and Accountancy||Electrical Engineering|
|Zoology||Philosophy||Civil Engineering||Public Administration||Management|
|Literature can opt from any of the following language : Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.|
Stage Three- Interview (275 Marks )
The candidate who qualifies for the mains exam is called for the interview process. This is the last and final stage of the recruitment cycle before the results are declared. The maximum marks in the interview is 275 thus accruing the total marks in the merit list to be 2025.
UPSC board takes the interview which consists of the competent panelist, who would judge the candidature on the following grounds :
- Mental Attentiveness
- Critical power of understanding
- Clear and Logical Interpretation
- Balance of Judgement
- Ability of social solidarity and leadership
- Intellectual and virtuous integrity
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