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How to become an Indian Ambassador or an IFS Officer: A Step-by-Step Guide for 2021

Become an Indian Ambassador

Become an Indian Ambassador

Union Public Service Commission conducts Civil Services Exam every year and the candidates who desire to become an Indian Ambassador have to take this UPSC exam. The Indian Foreign Service is a Central Service and the chief diplomatic service in India. The Indian Foreign Service is all about the country’s external affairs, comprising diplomacy, trade, and cultural relations.

The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is a part of the Central Services of India. An Indian ambassador or IFS position is a sought-after role both – for the monetary benefits and the lifestyle of a diplomat and also for the unique challenges this profile poses.

The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is the role of administration, diplomat civil service under the Group A & Group B. It is one of the prestigious Central Civil Services of the executive branch of the GoI. The members of the IFS Community represent the country in international territory.

The IFS, unlike any other civil services, deals with the country’s external affairs like diplomacy, trade and cultural relations. The IFS is responsible for developing the Government’s foreign policies and management of Indian missions abroad.

UPSC Civil Services Exam

Phase 1: CSE Preliminary exam (Objective Type)
Phase 2: CSE Main Exam (Descriptive Type)
Phase 3: CSE Personal Interview (Personality Test)

Learn more about the IFS Exam by visiting this link.

Eligibility Criteria to be an Indian Ambassador

1. Nationality: The nationality of candidates must be either of the following: 

2. Educational Qualification: Candidates who wish to become an Indian Ambassador should hold a degree from any of the recognized universities or must have an equivalent qualification.

Skills Required

Age Limit

The number of attempts allowed:

The maximum number of attempts allowed is as follows:

Roles and Responsibilities of an IFS Officer or an Indian Ambassador

An IFS officer deals with diplomacy, trade and cultural relations of the country.


Note- To get an overview of the exam’s nature and the eligibility criteria- click on the below-mentioned topic/link- UPSC CSE eligibility criteria.

P.S. – You can create notes to remember all the critical aspects of the IFS Exam. You can also check the official UPSC IFS Exam notification with the help of below-mentioned link- -notification.

The ranks in the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) while abroad at an Indian Mission/Post

The ranks in the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) while in India at MEA Headquarters

Careers of an Indian Ambassador

The Foreign Service (IFS) Officers begins their careers abroad as a Third Secretary and is promoted to Second Secretary as soon as he/she is confirmed in the service. Subsequent promotions are to the levels of First Secretary, Counsellor, Minister and Ambassador/High Commissioner/Permanent Representative.

An Indian Ambassador 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 six stages: Under Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Director, Joint Secretary, Additional Secretary and Secretary.


The functions of an Indian diplomat may be summarized as follows:

At home, the Ministry of External Affairs is responsible for all aspects of external relations. Territorial divisions deal with bilateral political and economic work. In contrast, functional divisions look after policy planning, multilateral organizations, regional groupings, legal matters, disarmament, protocol, consular, Indian Diaspora, press and publicity, administration and other aspects.


In this article, we are discussing the nature and facts about IFS officer or an Indian Ambassador and how to become one. IFS officer’s job is very reputed, and it includes a great deal of responsibilities as they represent India as Ambassadors. While discussing the roles and responsibilities- we touch upon the facts like- the posts and career aspects of an IFS officer, etc.

Areas covered in this article

Start your Civil Service journey, read up on this link to know more about the UPSC Civil Service Exam forms and process.

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