IFS Exam

Indian Foreign Service Exam

What is IFS Exam?

What is Indian Foreign Service?

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

IFS members

The members of the IFS represent the country in the international territory. The IFS is unlike other civil services as it deals with the country's external affairs like diplomacy, trade and cultural relations.

Why have an IFS?

The IFS is responsible for framing the Government's foreign policies and management of Indian missions abroad.

IFS Prelims Postponed 2020 

The UPSC has postponed the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Preliminary 2020 examination due to Novel Coronavirus. The Civil Services (Prelims) exam 2020 was scheduled on May 31. The new exam date will be released on May 20 after assessing the situation. Explore UPSC Coronavirus latest updates.  


The official website reads, "The Civil Services (Prelims) Examination 2020, scheduled to be held on May 31, 2020, stands deferred. The decision on the fresh date of the examination will be made available on May 20 after assessing the situation."

  • Main Syllabus

  • Prelims Syllabus


Eligibility Criteria

  1. Nationality:

    The 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

  2. Educational Qualification:

    Candidate should hold a degree from any of the recognised universities or must have an equivalent qualification

    Skills Required

    • Decision-making ability
    • Good communication skills
    • Excellent knowledge about foreign nations and current affairs
    • Leadership ability
    • Good analytical ability0
  3. Age Limit :

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

    Relaxable age limit is as follows:

    • Upto max. 5 years for SC/ST candidates.
    • Upto max. 3 years for OBC candidates.
    • Upto max. 5 years for candidate from the State of Jammu & Kashmir
    • Upto max. 5 years for Defence Services personnel
    • Upto max. 5 years for Ex-servicemen including Commissioned officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least 5 years Military Service and have been released.
    • Upto max. 5 years for ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of 5 years of Military Service.
    • Upto max. 10 years for Blind, deaf-mute and Orthopaedically handicapped persons
  4. 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

Roles and Responsibilities

IFS officers deal with diplomacy, trade and cultural relations of the country


  • Representing India in its embassies, high commissions, consulates and multilateral organizations
  • Protecting India’s national interests in the country where the officer is posted
  • Improving and promoting friendship between India and the country that the officer is posted in
  • Including non-resident Indians or persons of Indian origin
  • Informing about the developments in the foreign country that could affect India's policy
  • The role of an IFS officer is a very promising and a challenging one.
  • To represent India on international forums and platforms and in the countries they are appointed, An IFS officer is thus a very important thread for India who plays vital role in shaping Indian foreign policy and building all diplomatic and economic ties with countries
  • To handle and manage all diplomatic relations between India and of the country they are appointed
  • To create, co-create and maintain economic cooperation between India and other countries
  • To constantly keep updating Indian MEA office, about recent developments


IFS Mains Admit Card 2020 Released

The UPSC has released the IFS Mains admit card 2020. Aspirants who were shortlisted for the Civil Services Mains 2020 exam can download their admit card on the official website with their registration number or roll number.

The official notice reads, " The Commission has uploaded the e‐Admit Cards on its website. The eligible candidates are advised to download their e‐Admit Cards and take a printout thereof. No paper Admit Card will be issued for this examination by the Commission."

The IFS Mains 2020 exam will be held on January 8, 9, 10, 16 and 17, 2021. The Mains exam result will be declared in March 2021.

18 December 2020
IFS 2019 Marksheet Released

The UPSC has released the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) marksheet for the Civil Services 2019 examination. Candidates who have appeared for the written examination can check the marksheet at the official site with their login details. 

Aspirants are advised to download the markseet and cross-check the same with the official answer key available on the official site.

The UPSC has conducted the Preliminary exam in May 2019 and Main exam in October 2019. The personality test or interview for the 2019 exam got delayed and held in August 2020 due to COVID pandemic. 

20 October 2020
UPSC IFS 2020 Admit Card Released

The UPSC has released the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Preliminary exam admit card 2020. The registered candidates can visit the official website to download IFS admit card 2020.

Candidates can download their IFS admit card either using their registration number or roll number. One should download the UPSC Civil Services admit card and carry the same to the examination centre. 

The Civil Services (Prelims) exam 2020 will be held on October 4. The Commission has also released the list of candidates who have withdrawn their online applications for Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination 2020.

1 September 2020
Indian Foreign Service 2021 Exam Dates Announced

The UPSC has released the IFS 2021 Prelims and Mains exam date. The UPSC Calendar was released for the list of examinations or recruitment tests to be conducted in 2021. 

  • IFS Preliminary Exam Date 2021 - June 27
  • IFS Mains Exam Date 2021 - September 17 (5 days)

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. 

28 August 2020
UPSC IFS Final Result 2019 Declared

The UPSC has released the final result of Civil Services Examination 2019. The Commission has released the IFS Final result 2019. It has recommended a total of 829 candidates for appointment to IAS, IFS, IPS and Civil Services Group A and B. Aspirants can check the UPSC final result 2020 here. 

The Commission has also released the category-wise result along with provisional and withheld. Pradeep Singh topped the Civil Services Examination 2019. He is followed by Jatin Kishore and Pratibha Verma. 

4 August 2020
Indian Foreign Service (Prelims) 2020 To Be Held On October 4
Civil Services Prelims 2020 Postponed
Latest UPSC Coronavirus Updates
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