Indian Foreign Service recruitment details, Salary, Exam pattern/Syllabus, Eligibility criteria 2021

The Indian Foreign Service is the administrative diplomatic civil service comes under Group A and Group B. It is one of the Central Civil Services of the executive branch of the Government of India.

The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is part of the Central Services of the country.

The IFS is a sought-after tag both for the monetary benefits and lifestyle a diplomat enjoys and also for the unique challenges it poses.

This article throws light on the training imparted to probationary IFS officers; salary, perks, skills associated with Indian Foreign Service.

EventsIFS Exam Dates 2020
IFS 2020 NotificationFebruary 10, 2021
Number of attempts6​
Number of vacanciesNot declared
Starting date to apply onlineNot declared
Last date to apply onlineMarch 2021
IFS Admit cardSeptember 2020
Preliminary examJune 2021
Preliminary result 
IFS Main ExaminationNovember 2021 (10 days)
IFS Main result 
IFS InterviewDecember 2021
IFS final resultMay 2021

Indian Forest Service (Preliminary) Examination, 2020 through CS(P) Examination 2020

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IFS officer Salary 2021

Lakhs of candidates appear every year in the Civil Services Examination (CSE) and this examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

The highest posts that you can acquire in CSE Examination are Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS).

IFS officer is basically responsible for dealing with the country’s all the foreign affairs, including diplomacy, trade as well as cultural ties.

Many candidates dream of securing central government jobs as an IFS officer due to allowances government give i.e free house support, transport manuals, retirement benefits, pensions benefits and many benefits, Indian Foreign Service is a highly secure job that offers an opportunity to live and study in Foreign countries.

Also, the 7th Pay Commission has been approved and the salaries of IFS officers have been increased substantially. Therefore, candidates securing the job as IFS Officer in India will be awarded various allowances mentioned above.

Besides, the Government of India also provides special foreign allowances for candidates posted outside the country. In this article, we will provide you with all the detailed information about IFS Salary in India 2021.

GradeRankBasic Pay/Grade Pay
Junior Time ScaleUnder Secretary8000/5400
Senior Time ScaleUnder Secretary10700/6600
Junior Administrative ScaleDeputy Secretary12750/7600
Selection GradeCounselor Director15100/8700
Senior Administrative ScaleJoint Secretary18400/10000
High Commissioner / AmbassadorForeign Secretary26000/Nil

Indian Foreign Service 2021 Exam Pattern

The pattern of Civil Services Examination is designed to test the academic expertise of a candidate and the ability of that candidate to present himself/herself in a systematic and consistent manner.

The purpose of the Indian Foreign Service Examination Pattern is to assess the overall intellectual traits and level of understanding of the candidates. The UPSC Civil Services Written Examination 2021 is conducted in two steps named as Prelims and Mains then the last step comes which is Interview part.

  • Stage I: Preliminary Examination
  • Stage II: Mains Examination
  • Stage III: UPSC Personality Test

IFS 2021 Preliminary Examination: (400 Marks)

General StudiesNo. of QuestionsNo. of MarksDuration
Paper I100200120 minutes (2 hours)
Paper II80200120 minutes (2 hours)
Total180400240 minutes ( 4 hours)

IFS 2021 Main Examination: (2025 Marks)

SL.NO.IAS Exam PaperName of The paperNature of The paperDuration of the examMarks
1Paper-ACompulsory Indian LanguageQualifying Nature3 Hours300 Marks
2Paper-BEnglishQualifying Nature3 Hours300 Marks
3Paper-IEssayMerit Ranking Nature3 Hours250 Marks
4Paper-IIGeneral Studies-I3 Hours250 Marks
5Paper-IIIGeneral Studies II3 Hours250 Makrs
6Paper IVGeneral Studies III3 Hours250 Marks
7Paper-VGeneral Studies IV3 Hours250 Marks
8Paper-VIOptional Paper I3 Hours250 Marks
9Paper-VIIOptional Paper II3 Hours250 Marks
Total Marks1750 Marks
Interview/Personality test275 Marks
Grand Total2025 Marks

IFS 2021 Prelims Syllabus

  • Current events of national and international importance
  • History of India and Indian National Movement
  • Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World
  • Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc
  • Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc
  • General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialisation General Science
  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision-making and problem-solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level)

IFS 2021 Mains Syllabus

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision-making and problem-solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level)
  • Comprehension of given passages
  • Precis Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Short Essay
  • To be written in the medium or language of the candidate’s choice
  • Candidates will be required to write an essay on a specific topic
  • The choice of subjects will be given
  • They will be expected to keep close to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in an orderly fashion and to write concisely
  • Credit will be given for effective and exact expression

Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

  • Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues
  • The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country history of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redraw of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society
  • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India
  • Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies
  • Effects of globalization on Indian society
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism
  • Salient features of the world’s physical geography
  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)

Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

  • Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
  • Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
  • Separation of powers between various organs disputes redressal mechanisms and institutions.
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
  • Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
  • Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
  • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions.
  • Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
  • Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
  • Role of civil services in a democracy.
  • India and its neighbourhood- relations.
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate
  • Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.
  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
  • Government Budgeting.
  • Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers
  • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
  • Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
  • Land reforms in India.
  • Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
  • Investment models.
  • Science and technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
  • Disaster and disaster management.
  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cybersecurity; money-laundering and its prevention
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
  • This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem-solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects. The following broad areas will be covered.
  • Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.
  • Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; the role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.
  • Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
  • Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.
  • Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.
  • Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
  • Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s
  • Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption
  • Case Studies on the above issues.

Agriculture Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Anthropology, Botany, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Commerce and Accountancy, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Geography, Geology, History, Law Management, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Science, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science and International Relations, Psychology, Public Administration, Sociology, Statistics, Zoology.

Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English

IFS 2021 Interview

The interview is one of the most important parts of the IFS exam. It is important for you to clearly state your thoughts to the interviewers.

So focus on brightening your communication skills and body language. Some candidates are blessed with such skills.

Some require practice to become excellent communicators of their ideas. Candidates with no communication skills can contact those who have already appeared in the Civil Services Examinations, to get useful suggestions from them.

The interview portion of the Civil Services Examination is not designed to judge someone’s expertise on a subject.

However, a candidate must speak from the heart or answer all questions honestly.

There is a common misconception among the candidates that if they lie about their hobby just to get through the interview, it will never help them.

Interviewers are not just to ask questions, but to evaluate a candidate’s personality and ability to evaluate whether a ‘no’ is a ‘no’, it cannot be changed to a ‘yes’ and vice versa.

Eligibility Criteria 2021


Nationality of a candidate must be either of the following:

  • Citizen of India
  • Subject of Nepal
  • Subject of Bhutan
  • A Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, for permanent settlement in India.
  • Migrant from any of the following countries for permanently settling in India:
  • Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam

Educational Qualification

Candidate should have a degree from any recognized university or its equivalent qualification.

skills required

  • Decision-making ability
  • good communication skills
  • Excellent knowledge about foreign countries and current affairs
  • leadership ability
  • Good analytical ability

Age Limit

  • Minimum age 21 years
  • Maximum age 30 years on 1 August in the year of examination.

The above prescribed upper age limit is comfortable for the following candidates:

  • 5 years – SC / ST (SC / ST)
  • 3 years – Other Backward Classes (OBC)
  • 3 years – Defense Services personnel
  • 5 years – Commissioned Officers including Ex-Servicemen and ECO / SSCO who have sung at least
  • 5 years of military service till August 01, 2020.
  • 5 years in case of ECO / SSCO
  • 10 years – blind, deaf-mute, and orthopedically handicapped
  • 5 years – In case of ECOs / SSCOs who have completed the initial period of five years of military service by 1 August 2019 and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defense issues a certificate is. They can apply for civil employment and will be released on three months notice upon selection from the date of receipt of the offer of appointment.

Number of attempts

The maximum number of attempts is as follows:

  • General Category Candidates: 7 attempts
  • Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) candidates: No restriction
  • Other Backward Class candidates: 9 attempts

Apply online UPSC-Indian Foreign Service 2021

Below are the steps to request the UPSC-Indian Administrative Services exam.

  1. Log in to the official UPSC website.
  2. On the home page, click on the link that says: ONLINE APPLICATION FOR SEVERAL UPSC TESTS.
  3. You will be directed to a new page. Click the link to sign up for Part I.
  4. Important instructions for completing the application form will be displayed on the screen. Please read them carefully.
  5. Click the Yes button to confirm that you accept the instructions.
  6. You’ll see the application form on the screen.
  7. Enter all the details and continue.
  8. Pay the application fee.
  9. Choose the centre you prefer.
  10. Tick the declaration checkbox. finally, complete the registration process.

Points to be remembered by the applicant.

  • Candidates should apply to register on the UPSC official website.
  • Applicants are encouraged to submit a single registration form.
  • In certain unavoidable situations, if more than one request is made, the requestor must ensure that the request with the highest RID (Registration ID) is complete in all respects.
  • Candidates who are already in the Government organization, government-owned industries, or other similar fields or in private employment should apply directly to the Commission.
  • However, candidates who are already in the Government Service, either in a permanent or temporary capacity or as employees with job positions other than occasional or daily qualified employees or those who serve in Public Companies, must present a commitment that they have informed their Head of Office / Department in writing that they have requested the examination.
  • Candidates should be aware that in the event that the Commission receives a communication from their employer withholding permission from applicants applying / appearing on the exam, their application will be rejected / the application will be cancelled.

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