•On 13 September 1783, the board of directors of the East India Company passed a resolution, which could help "relieve the pressure" on the Warren Hastings administration in conducting its "secret and political business.“ Subsequently known as the "Indian Foreign Department”, it went ahead with the expansion of diplomatic representation, wherever necessary, to protect British interests.
•In 1843, Governor-General Ellenborough carried out administrative reforms under which the Secretariat of the Government was organized under four departments – Foreign, Home, Finance and Military. Each was headed by a Secretary level officer. The foreign department Secretary was entrusted with the "conduct of all correspondence belonging to the external and internal diplomatic relations of the government”.
•The Government of India Act 1935, the External Affairs Department was set up separately under the direct charge of the Governor-General.
•On 9 October 1946, the Indian government established the Indian Foreign Service for India's diplomatic, consular and commercial representation overseas.
•The IFS Officers undergo a multi-faceted and comprehensive training programme intended to give them a thorough grounding in diplomatic knowledge, diplomatic qualities and diplomatic skills.
•The probationers commence their training, together with their colleagues from the other All India Services, at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussourie.
•Thereafter the probationers join the Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi and undergo focused training in the various disciplines that a career diplomat needs to familiarise himself with.
•At the conclusion of the training programme the officer is assigned his/her compulsory foreign language (CFL) and after a brief period, the officer is posted to an Indian Mission abroad in a country where his CFL is the native language and enrolled in a language course.
•The officer is expected to develop proficiency in his CFL and pass the requisite examination before he is confirmed in service.
•A Foreign Service Officer begins his career abroad as a Third Secretary and is promoted to Second Secretary as soon as he is confirmed in service.
•Subsequent promotions are to the levels of First Secretary, Counsellor, Minister and Ambassador/High Commissioner/Permanent Representative.
•Officers can also be posted to Indian Consulates abroad where the hierarchy (going upwards) is Vice-Consul, Consul and Consul General.
•The hierarchy at the Ministry of External Affairs includes 6 stages: Under Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Director, Joint Secretary, Additional Secretary and Secretary.
•Representing India in its Embassies, High Commissions, Consulates, and Permanent Missions to multilateral organisations like UN;
•Protecting India’s national interests in the country of his/her posting;
•Promoting friendly relations with the receiving state as also its people, including NRI / PIOs;
•Reporting accurately on developments in the country of posting which are likely to influence the formulation of India’s policies;
•Negotiating agreements on various issues with the authorities of the receiving state; and
•Extending consular facilities to foreigners and Indian nationals abroad.
Ministry of External Affairs
•Ministry of External Affairs is the cadre controlling authority for the IFS officer and 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.
Pay and Perks
•Salary structure and promotional prospect at par with IAS
•Foreign allowance of 3000 to 5000 US Dollars in addition of their salaries
•Well furnished apartments in posh residential locality in the capital of the country
•Diplomatic passport and diplomatic immunity
•Government of India bears the educational expenses of children and the health expenses of the diplomat and his family .
•An official vehicle for commuting
•Meeting with the top leaders of India and aboard.