The initials are the same for Indian Foreign Service and Indian Forest Service and recruitment into both these are done via the yearly examinations conducted by the union public service commission but both the roles are fundamentally different. Let’s take a look at their similarities and differences.
What is Indian Foreign Service?
IFS is the administrative diplomatic civil service under Group A and Group B of the Central Civil Services of the executive branch of the Government of India. It is a Central Civil Service since foreign policy is the subject matter and prerogative of the Union Government.
The Ambassador, High Commissioner, Consul General, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations and Foreign Secretary are some of the offices held by the members of this profile.
How is an Indian Foreign Service Officer Recruited?
The Civil Services Examination is used for recruitment for the IFS. The entire selection process lasts for about 12 months. To be selected as an IFS officer, you need a topper’s rank as the most important eligibility criteria. Indian Foreign Service recruitment in recent years has done 16 to 20 recruits per year.
The present strength of the office stands at approximately 800 officers manning around 183 Indian missions and posts abroad and the various posts in the Ministry at Home (Defense, Finance, Home, etc.)
Training of an IFS Officer
New entrants to the role undergo significant training that is considered to be one of the most challenging and longest trainings in the Government of India and spanning almost 3 years.