UPSC-IFS Exam Dates, Eligibility Criteria, Fees and Application Details

The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is one of the civil, diplomatic service conducting by UPSC every year. It is the Central Civil Services under the executive branch of the Government of India. The candidates selected as a member of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) will represent the country  (India) in international territory. This service is unique from other services as it deals with diplomacy, trade, and cultural relations, and its primary goal is to frame foreign policies and management of Indian missions abroad.

UPSC IFS exam dates
UPSC IFS Exam dates


Annually, on average of  8-12 persons were elected or appointed as  Indian Foreign Service. At present cadre strength of the service (IFS)  will be at approximately 600 officers around 162 Indian missions and posts abroad lock home.

IFS full form   Indian Foreign Service
Formed   October 9, 1946
Headquarters   South Block, New Delhi
Training ground.                                               Foreign Service Institute, New Delhi
Controlling Authority Ministry of external Affairs
Legal Personality   Government services
Preceding service   Indian civil service,

Essential dates for IFS;

An official notification release February 2021
Online applicationn form last date for  Essential(Prelims) March 2021
IFS 2021 Admit Card To be Updated
Examination date of IFS Pre Exam June 2021
Pre Exam Result announcement To be Updated
Commencement of the IFS (Mains) December 2021
Mains Result announcement December 2021
IFS interview date announcement December 2021

Eligibility to appear for IFS entrance exam:

1. Nationality

     The candidate should be a citizen Of the following countries

  • India
  • Nepal
  • Bhutan

    They can also be the migrant of the following countries

  • Pakistan 
  • Burma
  • Sri Lanka
  • East African countries of Kenya
  • Uganda
  • The United Republic of Tanzania
  • Zambia
  • Malawi
  • Ethiopia
  • Zaire and
  • Vietnam.

       He or she can also be a refugee from Tibet.

2.Educational qualification:

        The candidate must possess a degree from an acknowledged University.

3. The age limit of the candidates:

The age limit for the candidate to appear for the exam is 21 to 30 years. however, there is some relaxation in the age limit based on the caste, Ex-service members. They are followings:-

        No.of relaxation years  -Type of candidates

Maximum of 5 years.    – SC/ST candidates

         Maximum of 3 years     -OBC candidates.    

         maximum of 5 years.    –  candidates from Jammu and Kashmir

        Maximum of 5 years      -Defense Services personnel.

        Maximum of 5 years      -Ex-servicemen

        Maximum of 10 years.   -Blind, deaf-mute and handicapped persons


     The maximum number of attempts also differ according to caste.

  1. General category.      – 7 attempts
  2. ST/SC candidates.        -no limit
  3. OBC candidates.           -9 attempts
UPSC-IFS Exam Dates, Eligibility Criteria, Fees and Application Details 1

It remains the same, likes payments do for other Services.

Training period disabled through:

The selected candidates of Indian Foreign Service (IFS) cadre are provided training at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), situated at  Mussourie. The train evening will be 3 to 4 months. The candidates would be trained on diplomatic skills, knowledge, and all the qualities of a diplomat.

After this, probationers/candidates are sent to the Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi.

There, candidates will undergo training in the various disciplines in which their career diplomat needs to familiarize.

  • It includes lectures, attachments with various wings of the Government, International Relations,( Indian Foreign Service Pay, Leave and Compensatory Allowances )IFS-PLCA Rules, Foreign Trade, functioning of Indian missions in neighbouring South Asian countries, getting socialize  with the Army, Navy and the Air Force, and also with  district and the state administrations including corporate sectors.

Learning a foreign language,

After completion of the above training,  candidates will be given  training in their respective division of the Ministry of External Affairs for a period of six months. During their training its compulsory for them to learn foreign Languages such as Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Russian, Spanish or others.

At last;

Before getting a post as a IFS they will be posted as a Third Secretary (Language Trainee) in an Indian mission abroad.

After this, based on their performance on test conducted by the School of Foreign Languages (SFL), Ministry of Defense, they  will be confirmed as an IFS officer.

Totally it comprises of three years to become an IFS officer officially, since from Mussoorie training days.

Roles and responsibilities:

  • The major part of IFS  officers is to represent India in its various places, eg. High commissions, multilateral organizations, etc.
    • To protect India’s national interest in countries all over the world.
    • To Improve India’s friendship with other countries
    • To oppose any development in a foreign country that would affect India’s development
    • To act as a mediator and handle all diplomatic problems between India and other countries
    • To continually keep updating about the events of the foreign country.
    • These are some of the challenging roles of IFS officers, along with some more.


  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Learning interest in International relations and affairs
  • Diplomacy
  • Decision-making skills
  • Logical thinking
  • Leadership
  • Survival of the fittest
  • Sensitivity to other cultures

Salary structure :


Grade Rank Actual pay Grade pay
Junior time scale Under secretary Rs.8000/- Rs.5400/-
Senior time scale Under secretary Rs.10700/- Rs.6600/-
Junior administrative scale Deputy Secretary Rs.12750/- Rs.7600/-
Selection grade Counsellor director Rs.15100/- Rs.8700/-
Senior administrative scale Joint secretary Rs.18400/- Rs.10000/-
High Commissioner Foreign Secretary Rs.26000/- Nil

Important Links:

1. Syllabus

2.Previous Year Paper

3. The Hindu News Analysis

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