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


Indian Foreign Service (Prelims) 2020 To Be Held On October 4

The UPSC has released the new exam date of Civil Services (Preliminary) 2020 examination. The Indian Foreign Service (Prelims) will be held on October 4, 2020. The admit card will be released at least two weeks before the exam date. 

Earlier, the Commission held a meeting on June 5 and released the revised programme of examination/ recruitment tests 2020. The Commission has also announced the new exam dates for Civil Services (Mains) Examination 2020. 

Around 9 lakh candidates to appear for the Prelims exam. The UPSC has postponed the exams due to the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic. 

5 June 2020
Civil Services Prelims 2020 Postponed

The UPSC has announced that Civil Services (Preliminary) 2020 examination postponed due to lockdown caused by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID 19). It has not yet announced any new exam date. The sources suggest that the fresh exam date of Prelims will be announced on May 20, 2020. 

The UPSC's 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." 

UPSC Civil Services Postponed

Earlier, the UPSC has postponed the notifications of CAPF (AC), Combined Medical Services, NDA & NA (II) and IES/ISS 2020. 

4 May 2020
Latest UPSC Coronavirus Updates

The Coronavirus (COVID 19) outbreak affected the job sector including Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The Commission has postponed several exams and deferred the notices of the Combined Medical Services Examination (CMSE), the Indian Economic Service (IES) and the Indian Statistical Service (ISS), National Defence Academy and Naval Academy (NDA & NA) Examination 2020. 

UPSC Coronavirus Updates

According to the official sources, the UPSC held a meeting and confirmed that they will take the decision on Civil Services 2020 examination after May 3. Aspirants are advised to visit the official website for latest updates.

24 April 2020
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