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Difference between UPSC IAS & IFS Exam | SuperProfs
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Difference between UPSC IAS & IFS Exam

Get details of Difference between UPSC IAS & IFS Exam. So many of the students who are willing to write UPSC exams, does not know what is the difference between UPSC IAS & IFS Exams. So, we are here providing details about the difference between IAS &IFS under UPSC.

IAS Stands for Indian Administrative Service Examination .

IFS Stands for Indian Foreign Service.

What is IAS

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is All India administrative civil service of India. IAS officers hold key and strategic positions in the Union Government, States and public-sector undertakings. Like in various countries (for example UK) following Parliamentary system, IAS as the permanent bureaucracy in India forms an inseparable part of the executive branch of the Government of India, thus providing continuity and neutrality to the administration. Unlike Candidates selected to other civil services, a person once appointed to Indian Administrative Service or Indian Foreign Service (IFS) becomes ineligible to reappear in Civil Services Examination conducted by Union Public Service Commission, because, prior to 1972 a person to be eligible for IAS/IFS has to write extra exam but even after common UPSC civil services exam the status quo is maintained which needs to be changed with changing times.

What is IFS

The Indian Foreign Service is the administrative diplomatic civil service under Group A and Group B of the Central Civil Services of the executive branch of the Government of India. It is one of the two premier Civil Services (other being IAS), as appointment to IFS renders a person ineligible to reappear in Civil Services Examination. It is a Central Civil service as Foreign policy is the subject matter and prerogative of Union Government. The Ambassador, High Commissioner, Consul General, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations and Foreign Secretary are some of the offices held by the members of this service.

Difference between UPSC IAS & IES Exam


IAS and IFS are two very popular career options for students in government sector. Both services are attractive and are full of glamour and prestige. While IAS stands for Indian Administrative Service, IFS refers to Indian Foreign service. Any Indian citizen who is above the age of 21 and has passed his graduation can take the common UPSC exam through which students can join either IAS or IFS. Though both are similar in the sense that they provide an opportunity to be a part of administration, there are quite a few differences in IAS and IFS.

Though one may give his top preference as IAS or IFS in the interview level of the civil services exam, the cadre one gets depends upon his overall rank in the list of the successful candidates. Like civil servants, who are also called IAS, IFS candidates also undergo a training period at the Lal Bahadur Shastri national Academy of Administration in Mussoorie. While IAS offers a career in administration, IFS promises a fruitful; career in diplomacy. While an IAS becomes a part of the bureaucracy in charge of law and order and general administration, IFS officers are absorbed in Indian missions abroad and rise to work as a diplomat in these missions finally becoming an ambassador to a foreign country or a high commissioner abroad in an Indian mission.

While the foreign secretary is the head of foreign services, it is the cabinet secretary who is in charge of the civil servants in India. While IAS officers serve as a link between the ministers and the common people maintaining law and order and general administration of the districts they are allotted, IFS officers, after a probationary period get attached with Indian consulates abroad and are in general involved in maintaining the foreign relations of the country with the country they are posted in.

In brief:

• Both IFS and IAS are part of civil services on India

• While an IAS is involved with civil administration and law and order, an IFS officer deals in diplomacy and is involved in maintaining good relations with the country he is posted in.

• An IAS officer is posted inside the country while an IFS officer remains posted outside the country

• While cabinet secretary is the head of civil servants, it is foreign secretary who is in charge of IFS officers


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