Indian Foreign Service
Thursday, November 14, 2019
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Indian Foreign Service (IFS): Selection & Training

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Entry to the IFS is through the combined Civil Services Examination of UPSC which is conducted annually to select officers for 23 services including the IAS and the IPS. The exam comprises a preliminary test (to reduce the candidates to a manageable number), an essay type written main examination and an interview. Once the preliminary exam is cleared, UPSC will send you the application form for the main exam. In case you do not receive the main exam application form within two weeks after the prelim results are declared, you have to contact the UPSC office. When you fill in the form for the main exam you have to mention your preference for IFS service ( from IAS, IPS, IRS etc) in the application. If you get a good score in the main exam you will be called for interview. A merit list is made on the basis of your interview and main examination marks. Your appointment to the IFS service will be based on your preference mentioned in the application form, merit rating, vacancies available, medical check up etc. For details click here

On selection to the Indian Foreign Service through the Combined Civil Services Examination, the new entrants undergo a multi-faceted and comprehensive training programme. The training programme is intended to give a thorough grounding in diplomatic knowledge, qualities and skills. The probationers commence their training, together with their colleagues from the other All India Services, at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussourie.

Thereafter the probationers join the Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi and undergo focused training in the various disciplines that a career diplomat needs to familiarise himself with. The entire training programme is for a period of 36 months. It instills a strong sense of history, knowledge of diplomacy and international relations and a awareness of general economic and political principles. The course includes modules on International Relations and Foreign Policy, Defence and Security, Economic Diplomacy, International Law, Parliamentary Affairs, Cultural Diplomacy, Protocol and Consular matters, as well as modules on practical skills such as, Administration and Accounts, Communication Skills, Representational Skills and relations with the Media.

At the conclusion of the training programme the officer is assigned his/her compulsory foreign language (CFL). After a brief period of desk attachment in the Ministry of External Affairs the officer is posted to an Indian Mission abroad in a country where his CFL is the native language and enrolled in a language course. The officer is expected to develop proficiency in  

his CFL and pass the requisite examination before he is confirmed in service.

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