Indian Foreign Services  (IFS) comes under the Civil Services Exam (CSE) conducted by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC).  Are also aspiring for the UPSC IFS exam? Do you know the Indian Foreign services eligibility criteria? Have any idea on what is the Indian Foreign Services syllabus? If your answers are no? Not a problem. Read the article till the end to know about the IFS syllabus and more.

Indian Foreign Services Syllabus

The IFS exam is conducted in three phases:

  1. Preliminary Exam
  2. Mains Exam
  3. Interview

Let us understand the syllabus one by one.

IFS Syllabus for Preliminary Examination

Preliminary Examination has two paper:

  1. Paper-I (200 marks) Duration: Two hours
  2. Paper-II (200 marks) Duration: Two hours

The questions are multiple-choice in this exam. There will deduction of 0.83 marks for every wrong answer.

Paper I Syllabus
  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy,
  • Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion,

Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.

  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science.
Paper II Syllabus
  • Comprehension;
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability;
  • Decision making and problem-solving;
  • General mental ability;
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data
  • interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc.  Class X level);

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IFS Syllabus for Main Examination

There are a total of nine papers in this exam. The questions in this exam are descriptive type.

  • Paper-A (On one Indian luggage selected by the candidate mentioned in the  Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. 300 Marks).
  • Paper-B (English 300 Marks)
  • Paper-I (Essay 250 Marks)
  • Paper-II: General Studies-I 250 Marks (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and geography of the World and Society)
  • Paper-III: General Studies -II 250 Marks(Governance, Constitution, Polity,
  • Social Justice and International relations)
  • Paper-IV: General Studies -III 250 Marks(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
  • Paper-V: General Studies -IV 250 Marks (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
  • Paper-VI (Optional Subject – Paper 1:250 Marks)
  • Paper-VII (Optional Subject – Paper 2: 250 Marks)
Optional Subjects

These are the list of  the  optional subject from which you can choose one for the Mains Exam:


(ii) Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

(iii) Anthropology

(iv) Botany

(v) Chemistry

(vi) Civil Engineering

(vii) Commerce and Accountancy

(viii) Economics

(ix) Electrical Engineering

(x) Geography

(xi) Geology

(xii) History

(xiii) Law

(xiv) Management

(xv) Mathematics

(xvi) Mechanical Engineering

(xvii) Medical Science

(xviii) Philosophy

(xix) Physics

(xx) Political Science and International Relations

(xxi) Psychology

(xxii) Public Administration

(xxiii) Sociology

(xxiv) Statistics

(xxv) Zoology

(xxvi) The literature of any one of the following languages:

  • Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, and English.

IFS Exam Interview

The candidates will be interviewed by a panel of experts. The panelist will be judging the personality of the candidates. Along with the personality, the panellist will also judge the candidates upon how he or she works under pressure and what is the mental calibre of the candidate.

The interview panellist will not only judge candidates on intellect but also on their social traits.

Indian Foreign Services Eligibility

The eligibility for the IFS exam has three criteria:

  1. Nationality
  2. Age Limits
  3. Minimum Educational Qualification

The nationality of the candidate for the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Foreign Service, and the Indian Police Service, must be Indian.

The minimum age of the candidate should be 21 years. The maximum age limit for a general candidate is 32 years. For the candidates belonging to the castes SC/ST, the maximum age limit is 37 years. And for the candidates of OBC maximum age limit is 35 years.

The minimum educational qualification of a candidate is a Bachelors degree. Candidates in the fourth year of the degree are also eligible for the IFS exam.

Also Read: Will UPSC Give Extra Attempt in 2021? Check-out Latest Information about IAS 2021


The IFS exam comer under the Civil Services Exams and is conducted by UPSC. The exam takes place in three phases. The eligibility criteria for the exam are nationality, age limit, and minimum education qualification.

Now that you have a good idea about the IFS exam. Let us know in the comment section, how are you planning to prepare?

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Indian Foreign Services Syllabus: Click here to Know all about the UPSC IAS & IFS Exam
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Indian Foreign Services Syllabus: Click here to Know all about the UPSC IAS & IFS Exam
Aspiring for the IFS exam? Click here to get full information on the IFS syllabus as well as Indian Foreign Services exam eligibility
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UPSC Pathshala
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