Indian Foreign Services (IFS) is one of the premier civil services under the Government of India.
The selections for the 1946-established service are done based on the recommendations of UPSC.
The Indian Foreign Service (IFS), as the name suggests, deals with the external affairs of the country, which includes diplomacy, trade, and cultural relations.
IFS officers are responsible for framing and implementation of policies which govern India’s relations with other countries.
An IFS officer is supposed to project and protect national interests in a range of spheres, including bi-national economic and political cooperation, trade promotion, cultural links, media relations, as also multilateral issues, domestic as well as overseas.
Role/responsibilities of an IFS officer:
1. An IFS officer’s main duty is to represent India in its embassies, high commissions, consulates and permanent missions to multilateral organisations like the United Nations.
2. He/she aims at protecting India’s national interests in the country he/she is posted,
3. He/she aims at promoting friendly relations with the receiving state and its people, including non-resident Indians or persons of Indian origin;
4. He/she aims at accurately reporting developments in that country which are likely to influence the formulation of India’s policies;
5. He/she aims at negotiating agreements on various issues with the authorities of the receiving state, and extending consular facilities to foreigners and Indians abroad.
Responsibilities at home: Ministry of External Affairs is responsible for all aspects of external relations. Territorial divisions deal with bilateral political and economic work while functional divisions look after policy planning, multilateral organizations, regional groupings, legal matters, disarmament, protocol, consular, Indian Diaspora, press and publicity, administration and other aspects.
What a regular day in an IFS officer’s life looks like:
An undersecretary for country X, when parliament is not in session does the following:
1. Will Check mails and country X’s media reports
2. Attend the meeting to discuss events taking place over the weekend
3. Do groundwork for the visit of a delegation from X
4. Summarise reports from the Indian embassy
5. Meeting with embassy officials
Facilities provided to an IFS officer/Perks of being an IFS officer:
- Top-class 2/3 BHK accommodation at cheap rates.
- A car for commuting.
- Household helps and security guards.
- Medical Reimbursement
- official vehicles.
- More than that, IFS officers also get free electricity and water facilities, free-of-cost telephonic services, abroad study options, retirement benefits and provisions for the monthly pension scheme.
•It is the duty of the receiving state to protect the residence of the diplomatic agent. Here it does not mean that the diplomatic agent can give shelter to a criminal and it must not be an asylum for fugitives.
•Diplomatic agent enjoys immunity from being presented as a witness in court. He cannot be compelled to appear as a witness in a civil, criminal or administrative court.
•Diplomats are immune from the payment of taxes. No one can file a suit to recover that amount.
•They are immune to the police rules of the states. Police orders and regulations do not bind them.
•They can exercise control and jurisdiction over their offences and their families.
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