It is difficult to select a particular choice of civil service before knowing details about it. Indian Administrative Service and Indian Foreign Service are the glamour of all types of civil service posts. For both the posts, candidates have to go through exams. Specific physical requirements and medical clearance are also required. Both job roles are well established and renowned in society. But it is confusing when one is asked to choose one only as a career. Here one can get a guide about the truth behind two job roles and acceptability.

How to Become an IAS Officer?

Every year around 4 to 5 lakhs aspirants dream of becoming an Indian administrative officer. Out of these, only a select few make it to the final list. To become an IAS officer, one needs to qualify for the UPSC exam conducted every year. The IAS syllabus is huge and one needs to work hard for achieving a good rank.

Life as an IAS Officer

The Indian administrative officers get luxurious bungalows with staff for accommodation.  There are lots of facilities they enjoy like cars, drivers, and fuel subsidy and so on. Their family members also get benefitted from other facilities like medical, school and education of children and so on.

Also Read: IAS/ IPS Exam: Which One Should an Aspirant Choose? IAS vs IPS Who is More Powerful?

How to Become an IFS Officer?

To become an IFS officer India, a candidate has to crack the foreign service exam that is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission every year. A candidate has to meet the eligibility criteria required for this foreign service officer test, prepare well for the IFS syllabus and then get a good rank on it.

Life as an Indian Foreign Service

An Indian foreign service officer is also very much busy like an IAS. This officer is also benefited with these things like an Indian administrative. But an IFS officer must be travel-friendly. Indian foreign service officers need to travel much frequently rather than that of Indian administrative officers.

Salary Structure

IAS has a good amount of pay scale which is almost the same with an Indian foreign service officer. But the salary of the latter is higher than that of the former because an Indian foreign service officer gets more allowances than an Indian administrative officer. IAS is All India Administrative Service and IFS is All India Foreign Service. The later one gets much more attention when it comes to paying scale.

IAS Salary

Other than the fact of this being a very prestigious job, the salary that this position offers is also very lucrative. Even though the Indian administrative officer post offers a nice compensation amount, the profile accompanies a tremendous cluster of duties.

The basic IAS salary is ₹ 56,100. Allowances like Dearness Allowance (DA), House Rent Allowance (HRA) and Travel Allowance are provided extra.

IFS Salary

In the case of the salary of an Indian foreign service officer, it goes around ₹ 60,000 per month. This amount of an IFS salary includes all the allowances. If an officer gets posted outside India, then his/ her salary might go up till ₹ 2.40 Lakh, but this varies from country to country and other allowances.


Foreign job role needs more mental flexibility for moving around the world for service to the government. Administrative service does not need to move around that much like the former one. So, being an IFS one should be mentally prepared about the job role, family and other concerned things of life. Diplomatic presence in consulates, embassies, and war-ridden countries is common in IFS’s life.

IFS  vs Indian Administrative Service

Candidates who love to influence people and are travel-oriented should go for the foreign service officer test. Indian foreign service officers have other options to influence people and the country. It has power in international deals and trade. But they cannot control rules and factors of the Government of India which an Indian administrative officer can do. So, power lies in two divisions for IFS and IAS.

Read More: Can IAS Officers Go Abroad for Holiday? UPSC IAS Officer Holiday Rules

Which Profile Serves the Nation Better?

Officers recruited for both the job roles serve the nation. A foreign service officer serves the nation going beyond its boundaries and territories. An IAS officer serves the country from within the nation. It depends upon the candidate which one to select.

Why IAS over IFS India?

Vacancy of Indian administrative service is broader than that of the foreign service officer test. To be a foreign secretary or an officer one needs to have more skills particularly in managing foreign deals, the economy of the country concerning foreign trades, war-related issues, and much more communication-oriented professionalism. Most of the candidates are unable to have that much versatility. So, IAS is preferable for most of the candidates to foreign service exams.

Are IAS Officers Holders of Diplomatic Passports?

No, they cannot have a diplomatic passport. The foreign service officers have to travel to many countries for service and international relations. They are given diplomatic passports for such reasons.


It can be said that Indian foreign service and administrative service both are powerful, respected and diligent. But there are some differences between these two posts. If one feels it suitable then one can select it. Educational qualification of both officers is the same. But they differ skill-wise. Being an Indian administrative officer can be an achievement, but being an IFS can be like a dream comes true.

Also Read: How to Make Notes for UPSC Preparation – UPSC Topper [AIR 77] Shares Secrets!

Content Protection by
IFS India vs IAS: How to Become an IAS/ IFS Officer?  Which One is Better and Why?
Article Name
IFS India vs IAS: How to Become an IAS/ IFS Officer? Which One is Better and Why?
Not sure which one is better among IAS/ IFS? What is the foreign service exam? What are the perks? How difficult is the syllabus? Read on to get all your answers.
Publisher Name
Publisher Logo

About the Author

Akshay Palande

Akshay Palande is a passionate teacher helping hundreds of students in their UPSC preparation. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and double masters in Public Administration and Economics, he has experience of teaching UPSC aspirants for 5 years. His subject of expertise are Geography, Polity, Economics and Environment and Ecology.

View All Articles