The chosen preference of profession for most UPSC Civil Services applicants is the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), instead of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) although both are of similar prestige. Generally, even UPSC exam toppers don’t want to go for the Foreign Service. Is a civil servant’s life in India more attractive than a diplomat’s? Read on to know about  small-cadre services advantages and large-cadre services

This article aims to shed some light on this topic as to why the IAS is normally more common than the IFS. “You’ll be able to find a response to “Which IAS or IFS is more powerful? Know the pros and cons of each of the services and so determine whether or not to choose IAS over IFS or vice versa. The role of UPSC preparation is an important role here.

IAS Vs IFS – A Detailed Contrast Comparison

A diplomat might seem to be living a very colourful and glamorous life. They usually get big houses to live in for domestic workers. They get to throw and attend events as well. IFS officers, like their IAS/ IPS colleagues, often do not have to think about interfering with lawmakers. Although, in most situations, they have diplomatic immunity while deployed overseas. This is because of the stark difference in small-cadre services advantages and large-cadre services advantages.

Due to higher allowances, the IFS officer benefits is a pay structure that is also higher than the IAS officer salary structure.

In comparison, IAS/ IPS officers spend their early careers in district headquarters and sub-divisional cities that could be situated in rural areas. As part of the work, an IAS officer must also travel constantly within their district, which could include moving into undeveloped areas or areas affected.

During their early career, an IAS or IPS officer’s social life can become incredibly small. The Indian Government, though, is an All India service, while the Central Service is the Indian Foreign Service.

Also Read: Do RAW Officers Receive more Benefits and Facilities than IAS/IPS/IFS?

An IFS Officer’s Life

There is lots of work going on under the glitz and glamour. They have to actively monitor and report any information that might impact the interests of India’s foreign policy. In their personal and professional lives, they still have to uphold the country’s position internationally and be very careful. There is an ambassador continually under the scanner. This is attainable from a strong UPSC preparation.

It is important to calculate behaviour and words as the officer represents India to the world. One wrong move could fuel the diplomatic career of an IFS officer. And, it is not just the official who is under intense scrutiny; it is often required that his spouse and children will do their part.

Compromise as Part of Duty of an IAS Officer

Frequent travel from one nation to another suggests that the career of the spouse of the IFS Officers may be affected. Frequent travel from one nation to another suggests that the career of the spouse of the IFS Officers may be affected. Every few years, diplomats still struggle with culture shock as they shift and transition to a foreign country.

The fact that they can be posted anywhere in the world where India has diplomatic missions is another aspect that deters many applicants.

In countries ranging from developing countries to under-developed or war-torn countries, Indian missions, embassies and consulates are spread all over the world. Even hostile nations have some diplomatic presence.


Unlike the IFS officer benefits, sometimes, owing to unexpected shifts in the local culture, such as protests or coups, the life and well-being of an IFS officer may be under pressure. They have to be on watch at all times in politically troubled countries, and often the whole mission could have to be evacuated within a short time. For an IFS cop, means to deal with such cases are often limited because of the distances.

Coordinating intelligence collection and lobbying efforts in the region in which they are stationed is one of the tasks that an IFS officer also needs to perform. Except in friendly societies, this is incredibly dangerous for officers and their workers.

Who will be More Superior, IAS or IFS?

Candidates select their service at the end of the day in line with their expectations, aptitude and UPSC rank. If a candidate wants to work in India and have a direct positive effect on the lives of people, speeding up the country’s growth first-hand, then the best option will be IAS. This is attainable from a strong UPSC preparation.

If the applicant is drawn by a life of travel and adventure and meeting individuals from different cultures and countries, then international services can suit them.

Candidates must note that there is no valid answer to the question, “Which is better for IAS or IFS?”.

The two programmes help grow the country and defend the needs of the nation in their own way. Whether one chooses to opt for IAS over IFS depends solely on the aptitude and interests of the individual.

Also Read: Best Coaching for IAS in India: All Major Cities Covered

 IPS Officer Benefits

IPS officer benefits are that it is one of the most prestigious facilities in the whole of India. Today, the IPS officer benefits is a service that is one of the most common occupations for young people today. Though cracking is one of the toughest examinations, there are still more than lakhs of aspirants appearing every year for the exam. The IPS exam is carried out annually by the Union Civil Service Board. This is a part of the  UPSC preparation.

Today’s youth are jam-packed with heat and zeal for serving their motherland, to do something positive for their people, and so Indian Police forces offer them the best opportunity to represent the country. IPS is similar to IAS, as it is generally recognised as a role that provides the chance to have a direct effect on a common man’s life. For several, the IPS service is appealing because of the recognition they earn in society that gives them work satisfaction. Yeah, IPS is one of India’s hardest tests to crack, but it’s not difficult because deep dedication and hard work still pays off.

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List of IPS Officer Benefits – Large-Cadre Services

  • Rent-free lodging at minimum prices. Typically, with all amenities, a king-size bungalow.
  • Police officers and household assistance.
  • The choice to travel abroad and take a research break.
  • An official facility for cars.
  • Free power or utility for phone calls.
  • Strong work security degree.
  • Control and reverence that an officer in a group commands.
  • PSU perks such as Provident Fund leave,
  • Physician attendance
  • Lifetime pension and other benefits from retirement
  • A very attractive wage.
  • An official car with siren and beacons.
  • Rent-free lodging.
  • Domestic aid.
  • Guardians of defence.
  • Free power and installation for phone calls.
  • Study leaves at a stretch for the full duration of 2 years, with the whole expense borne by the country.
  • Provident accounts, leaves, emergency supplies.

Also Read: 10% Reservation for General Category: Know Everything about Reservation in UPSC

IAS Officer Benefits

Even if other professions can match the facilities given to an IAS officer, the power that an IAS officer gets and commands is unique. The administration of an entire district/state/department/ministry is usually the responsibility of IAS officers. This is a massive job and a lot of individuals count on them to work efficiently and effectively. This is attainable from a strong UPSC preparation.

They have the authority to bring about positive changes in people’s lives. Policies will impact social policies, education, health and the economy. This capacity to represent the people and the government is incomparable. Only the Indian Administrative Service provides the ability to engage personally and positively in the country’s development.

It is very overwhelming to combine the IAS officer’s wage and services with the power he/she uses. It also provides an opportunity to use one’s strengths and expertise to support the country.

List of IAS Officer Benefits

  • Residence: IAS officers normally get big houses with very little to no rent as residences. They will also take advantage of maids, chefs, gardeners, security guards, etc.
  • Transport: They are allocated one or two cars with chauffeurs for official purposes.
  • Defence: IAS officers are issued with security guards for themselves and even their families because of the high visibility and often risky nature of the work. They will also get STF commandos for their safety in the event of a danger to life.
  • Bills: Typically, they get power, water, gas and phone connections free or heavily subsidised.
  • Trips: Either on official or non-official trips, IAS officers receive subsidised lodging in government guest houses or bungalows. They will take advantage of lodging in their state Bhavans while visiting Delhi.

Other Benefits

  • Study Leaves: For 2 years, IAS officers can also go for study leaves. They are also eligible to take classes at elite overseas universities. The cost of these courses would be subsidised by the state.
  • Work Security: There is enviable job security for IAS officers. It is not easy to dismiss an officer and the procedure involves lengthy reviews and inquiries.
  • Lifetime Pension: Lifetime pension and other retirement benefits are applicable to IAS officers.
  • Post-retirement: It is possible to appoint officers to boards or tribunals as well. In other branches of the government, their facilities may also be used.

Also Read: Can I Prepare for UPSC CSE without My Family’s Support?

General Questions regarding IFS/ IPS/  IAS Officer Benefits

Is IFS Equivalent to IAS?

Ans. While a majority of UPSC applicants prefer IAS over IFS, the choices are due in part to the small number of IFS vacancies. The service profile of IAS and IFS are different for the majority of their career, and both are equally critical for the functioning of the government.

 How is IFS different to that of IAS?

Ans. IFS is the Foreign Service of India. An IFS officer benefits is that of being a career diplomat who would prepare and defend overseas Indian interests. The Indian Administrative Service, which cares for day-to-day administration within India, is the IAS. Although their duties may overlap from time to time, when an IAS officer is posted abroad as part of growth, for example, The career path is completely new, or logistical aid to friendly nations.

 What is the required Rank for the IFS?

Ans. The Last General Group rating for IFS in 2017 was AIR 152. The last rank was AIR 707 without disability and AIR 986 with disability for the reserved grades.

Is the Exam the same for IFS and IAS?

Ans.  The same examination, the Civil Services Examination, is used to pick IFS and IAS officers. After the announcement of the UPSC merit list, resources and cadres are assigned according to the UPSC’s Cadre Allocation Scheme.

Do Officers of the IAS obtain Diplomatic Passports?

Ans. Diplomatic passports are usually not issued to IAS officers unless they are visiting a foreign country for diplomatic service. The maroon coloured diplomatic passport is given to IAS officers only in the event they are sent out of the country to a diplomatic mission. For all but official travel, they are given white official passports and have to For personal travel, use an ordinary blue passport.


The two programmes help grow the country and defend the needs of the nation in their own way. Whether one chooses to opt for IAS over IFS depends solely on the aptitude and interests of the individual.

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What advantage do small-cadre services (like IFS and IA&AS) enjoy over large-cadre services (like IPS and IAS)?
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What advantage do small-cadre services (like IFS and IA&AS) enjoy over large-cadre services (like IPS and IAS)?
Can’t choose between a small cadre or a large cadre service? Wondering why one overrules the other? Read on to know.
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