indian foreign service

Indian Foreign Service Exam

Table of Content: Indian Foreign Service Exam

  1. What is IFS Exam?
  2. Eligibility Criteria
  3. Roles and Responsibilities
  4. Skillsets Required to become an Indian Foreign Service Officer
  5. How to Apply
  6. IFS Examination Pattern
  7. IFS Syllabus
  8. Job Roles of IFS Officer
  9. Salary of Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer
  10. IAS vs IFS
  11. IFS 2021 Updates

What is Indian Foreign Service Exam(IFS)?

  • The Indian Forest Service (IFS) exams are conducted by the apex government recruitment agency — Union Public Service Commission.
  • The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is one of the great posts which are prestigious in the public arena. However, most of the qualifying candidates choose to become an IAS over IFS officers.
  • The IFS officers are considered as diplomats representing the country.
  • The IFS get benefitted with Government transport, Protection and Home Support, Hospital Expenses etc.
  • They also get an opportunity to study abroad and the costs will be paid by the Government.

Eligibility Criteria : Indian Foreign Service Exam

  1. Nationality: The nationality of a candidate must be either of the following:
  2. Citizen of India
  3. Subject of Nepal
  4. Subject of Bhutan
  5. A Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, for permanent settlement in India.
  6. 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
  7. Educational Qualification:
  8. Candidate should hold a degree from any of the recognised universities or must have an equivalent qualification
  9. Number Of Attempts:
  10. Every candidate appearing at the Examination, who is otherwise eligible, shall be permitted six attempts at the examination.
  11. Provided further that the number of attempts permissible to candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes who are otherwise eligible, shall be nine.
  12. A person with benchmark disability belonging to the General and EWS Category shall be eligible for nine attempts.

Skillsets required to become an Indian Foreign Service Officer

  1. Emotional Intelligence: – Emotional Intelligence is the measure of an IFS officer’s abilities to recognise and manage their emotions, and the emotions of other people, both individually and in groups. A logical assumption, therefore, is that people with higher IQs will be more successful at work and through life.
  2. Listening Skills: – Listening is the ability that IFS officers need to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process. Without the ability to listen effectively, messages are easily misunderstood. As a result, communication breaks down and the sender of the message can easily become frustrated or irritated.
  3. Analytical skills: The IFS officers must be able to absorb large quantities of information. Then they are required to filter it into something manageable, and logical content. The IFS officer must possess strong analytical skills in order to evaluate them in most applicable situations.
  4. Perseverance: – Perseverance is an essential element when IFS officer needs to achieve a high level of success. If the IFS officer has good reasons to reach, they will be more motivated to accomplish complicated tasks. It comes naturally and requires a strong will. The chances of your success depend largely on your willingness to persist and persevere.
  5. Communication Skills: – Good communication skills are essential to allow IFS officers to understand information more accurately and quickly. In contrast, poor communication skills lead to frequent misunderstanding and frustration. To become a good communicator, it is important to be a good listener. It is important to practice active listening – pay close attention to what others are saying and clarify ambiguities by rephrasing their questions for greater understanding.
  6. Self-Regulation: – Self-regulation or self-management is one of the important personal skills that IFS officers should have. Self-regulation is concerned with how you control and manage yourself and your emotions, inner resources, and abilities. Self-regulation also includes an element of taking responsibility for your own actions, and ensuring that what you do matches with your personal values.

Research skills: Indian Foreign Service Officers are required to perform extensive research work into relevant facts. To win an argument of any sort, one must be sure about the facts one is stating. No argument, especially legal, can be won without indisputable fact. As an IFS Officer, being able to research quickly and effectively is essential to understand the state’s situation, their needs, and to prepare legal strategies.

How To Apply: Indian Foreign Service Exam

  1. Candidates are required to apply Online using the link for Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination which will act as a screening mechanism for selection of candidates for the Indian Forest Service (Main) Examination.
  2. Candidates who wish to apply for Civil Services Examination also, have to apply once by appropriately indicating in the on-line application form that they intend to appear for both the Indian Forest Service Examination and the Civil Services Examination.
  3. Candidates, who will qualify for the Indian Forest Service (Main) Examination, will have to fill in a Detailed Application Form subsequently as per further instructions to be provided to the candidates through the website ( of the Commission.

IFS Examination Pattern

Stage I: Preliminary Written Test (IFS Exam)

Stage II: Main Written Test (IFS Exam)

Stage III: Interview


  • The Examination shall comprise of two compulsory Papers of 200 marks each.

(i) Both the question papers will be of the objective type (multiple choice questions). (ii) The General Studies Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.

(iii) The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English. (iv) Details of the syllabi are indicated in Part A of Section III.


  • The written examination consisting of the following papers: —
  • Paper I—General English 300 Marks
  • Paper II—General Knowledge 300 Marks
  • Papers III, IV, V and VI. —Any two subjects to be selected from the list of the optional subjects set out in para 2 below.
  • Each subject will have two papers. — 200 marks for each paper.


The last and final stage is the Interview and it consists of 275 marks. In the interview stage, the board members evaluate the abilities of the candidate. The candidates selected for the Interview are twice as compared to the number of vacancies. They are selected on the basis of presence of mind and ability to communicate. The Interview panel will test the factors such as judgement capability, patience, awareness, morals and much more.

Training Period: After qualifying all three stages, candidates are trained for two years at Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy.

IFS Syllabus

IAS Prelims Syllabus 

General Studies Paper 1General Studies Paper 2
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 specialization. General ScienceComprehension 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).

IAS Mains Syllabus 

Paper ACompulsory Indian languageComprehension of given passages Precis Writing Usage and Vocabulary Short Essays Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa.300
Paper BEnglish 300
Paper IEssay 250
Paper-IIGeneral Studies IGeneral Studies-I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)250
Paper IIIGeneral Studies IIGeneral Studies -II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)250
Paper IVGeneral Studies IIIGeneral Studies -III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)250
Paper VGeneral Studies IVGeneral Studies -IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)250
Paper VIOptional IOptional Subject – Paper 1250
Paper VIIOptional IIOptional Subject – Paper 2250

List of optional subjects:

(i) Agriculture

(ii) Agricultural Engineering

(iii) Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science

(iv) Botany

(v) Chemistry

(vi) Chemical Engineering

(vii) Civil Engineering

(viii) Forestry

(ix) Geology

(x) Mathematics

(xi) Mechanical Engineering

(xii) Physics

(xiii) Statistics

(xiv) Zoology Provided that the candidates will not be allowed to offer the following combination of subjects:

(a) Agriculture and Agricultural Engineering

(b) Agriculture and Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science.

(c) Agriculture and Forestry.

(d) Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

(e) Mathematics and Statistics.

(f) Of the Engineering subjects viz. Agricultural Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

Job Roles Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer

  1. Deputy Conservator of Forest: A deputy conservator of the forest is also considered as Divisional Forest Officer. The major responsibility of these officials is to manage the forest, environment and wildlife-related issues in Forest Division of a state.
  2. Forest Range Officer (FRO): A forest range officer is responsible for the efficient management of the respective forest range, act as custodian of all government property associated with the respective forest range and follow the instructions or Deputy/ Divisional Conservator of Forest.
  3. Additional Chief Conservator of Forest: The additional conservator of forest plays a vital role in assisting the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest. He or She is directly answerable to the Principal Chief and must carry out the responsibilities assigned by the chief.
  4. Assistant Conservator of Forest: The major responsibility of these officers is to assist the higher-level officials in the department and completing the tasks assigned by them. They also carry out certain responsibilities applicable to their post.
  5. Principal Chief Conservator of Forest: This officer is also called as the head of forest force. The major responsibility of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest is to manage the forests, environment and wildlife issues of a state of India. It is regarded as the highest post/ position in Indian Forest Service in a state.

Salary of Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer

The employment in the government sector is permanent with outstanding salary benefits.

Job ProfileSalary Per Annum
Principal Chief Conservator of ForestRs. 15,00,000
Additional Principal Chief Conservator of ForestRs. 14,00,000
Inspector General of Forest (Chief Conservator of Forest)Rs. 13,00,000
Deputy Inspector General of Forest (Deputy Conservator of Forest)Rs. 12,00,000
Assistant Inspector General of ForestRs. 10,00,000


  • Nowadays, the preferred choice for most UPSC Civil Services candidates is the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), instead of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) even though they both are of equal prestige.
  • To understand the reasons behind the choice of the Civil service aspirants first we should spot the differences among the two services.
  • It very well may be said that IFS and IAS both are ground-breaking, regarded and constant. However, there are a few contrasts between these two posts.
  • The instructive capability of the two officials is the equivalent. Yet, they vary aptitude shrewd.
  • Being an IAS can be an accomplishment, however, being an IFS can resemble a fantasy works out.

IFS 2021 Updates

  1. Indian Foreign Service (Prelims) 2021 Postponed

The UPSC has postponed the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Prelim’s exam scheduled on June 27 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission has announced that the IFS Preliminary will be held on October 10, 2021. The official notice reads, “Due to the prevailing conditions caused by the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19), the Union Public Service Commission has deferred the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2021, which was scheduled to be held on 27th June, 2021. Now, this Examination will be held on 10th October, 2021.”

  • Indian Foreign Service 2021 Exam Dates Announced

The UPSC Calendar was released for the list of examinations or recruitment tests to be conducted in 2021. The UPSC has released the IFS 2021 Prelims and Mains exam date. The official notice reads, “The dates of notification, commencement and duration of Examinations/ RTs are liable to alteration, if the circumstances so warrant.”   Candidates who are aspiring for the exams can visit the official site to download the UPSC Calendar 2021. It has released the exam dates for other examinations such as IAS, NDA, CDS, IES, IFS and Engineering Services. 


Q1.How can I become a member of the Indian Foreign Service?

Answer: Every year, the Union Public Service Commission conducts civil service exams in two stages for various positions such as IFS, IAS, and IPS. There are two types of exams: 1) preliminary (objective type) and 2) main exam (subjective type).

Q2.What is a Foreign Service in India?

Answer: India’s diplomatic service is the Indian Foreign Service (IFS). It is the body of India’s career diplomats. This is a really gratifying job.

Q3. Who is in charge of IFS?

Answer: It is a part of the Government of India’s Central Services, reporting to the Foreign Secretary of India, who is also the Indian Foreign Service’s administrative head.

Q4. What are the requirements for joining the Indian Foreign Service (IFS)?

Answer: The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) exam has the same eligibility requirements and syllabus as other civil service exams.

Q5. Do I need to have good English to do well in the Foreign Service?

Answer: Answer Knowing any language is an asset since it widens your capability to communicate and communication is an essential part of the job of a diplomat.

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