On top of that, there are very few vacancies for the IFS each year. On average, only about 35 successful candidates are chosen for the Indian Foreign Service.
However, there is no restriction on how many times an officer can visit India. It depends on the officer's desire, the reason of visit, amount of office work and the possibility that the Mission/Post is able to spare her/him. Even if one has unutilised leave, leave cannot be taken as a matter of right.
An IFS officer has to choose three places of his choice out of the number of vacant posts which are circulated. If he/she is lucky then he/she can get one of the three places of his/her choice. Foreign postings are decided by the Foreign Service Board which is headed by the Foreign Secretary.
To become an IFS officer the minimum age of the candidate should be 21, and the maximum age should be 32 years as of 1st august of the particular year of the examination.
IFS officer usually retires in the age of 60 years although there can be extension procedures as per the foreign ministry guidelines if the officer will be helpful for any situation in building strategy of the nation. Such extensions are a maximum of 5 years.
IFS officers typically spend two to three postings abroad and return to the Foreign Ministry for a posting before returning to foreign postings. Whenever an IFS officer travels abroad on personal business, they have to use a standard blue passport.
After its completion, an IFS probationer is allocated a Compulsory Foreign Language (CFL) such as Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Russian, Spanish or any other language as per the requirements of the Ministry.
IFS officers are not allowed to take their family along in foreign postings. Work can get extremely stressful if they get posted in areas with high conflicts.
Individuals who opt for a career as Indian Foreign Service Officers are required to work on usual timings i.e. 9 am to 5 pm. But depending on the work assigned to them and deadlines approaching, they are required to work overtime. On average, Officers are required to work for 50-55 hours.
Every IFS officer gets 30 days of Earned Leave + 8 days of Casual Leave + 2 days of Restricted Holiday leave when in India and when abroad in addition he gets 15 days of extra leave.
Considering the duties of both an IAS Officer and an IFS Officer, you would have already gauged that the IAS exam is a lot tougher than the IFS Exam. However, it must be noted that the IFS Exam has more of a competitive edge. That is because there are lesser slots in the IFS than in the IAS.
"According to the rules, IFS officers are not permitted to marry foreigners.
IAS is preferred choice by above 95 % of the candidates (in their DAF) as compared to IPS or IFS. IAS officers play far more important role in policy formation of the Central and State Governments than other officers. E.g. chief secretary of every state and Cabinet secretary of union is IAS officer.
Like any other officer from the Central Services or All India Services, you can take study leave after a few years in the IFS. During this period, you continue to get your salary. Every Service has a 'Study Leave' reserve, meaning that a certain number of officers can be on study leave at a given period of time.
All diplomats lead a luxurious life. They usually get grand houses with peons. IFS officers do not have to worry about working with politicians like their counterpart IAS officers.
Yes these special facilities are for them. Every IFS officer is a diplomat and holds a diplomatic passport. So does his family. So all of them enjoy such privileges.
It's not that they can't take their parents along, but the exorbitant health costs in developed countries make it tough for them to take care of elderly parents.
Is IFS a good career option? Ans: Yes, IFS is a great career option with rewarding pay and several allowances.
The IFS officers have a large number of postings in India at every rank. They opt for these postings and they can stay together. Their spouse can take study leave (upto 3 years) and stay with them during foreign postings.
If one retire under the rules and have qualifying service of 10 years,the pension is calculated @50% of last pay or average emoluments(ie. Average of the basic pay drawn by the one during tha last 10 months of his service) whichever is more beneficial. Guaranteed minimum pension is Rs 9000 per month.