In his message to mark the Indian Foreign Service Day, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Saturday said that IFS officers work tirelessly to advance our national interests and security.
Taking to Twitter, the Minister wrote: “Greetings to the Indian Foreign Service on their founding anniversary. They work tirelessly to advance our national interests and security. Stepped up, in particular, to the challenges of the Covid period.
“Confident they will keep our flag flying high across the world.”
Expressing his gratitude to the IFS, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri, also a former civil servant, said in a tweet: “From the day when UPSC results were pasted on the walls of Dholpur House in 1974 with my name in the list began a journey of responsibility and pride which gave me the opportunity to represent India at various international fora around the world.”
The IFS is a central civil service which marks India’s presence abroad and is entrusted to conduct diplomacy and manage foreign relations of India.
It is the body of career diplomats, serving in more than 162 Indian Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations around the world. In addition, they serve at the headquarters of the Ministry of External affairs in Delhi and the Prime Minister’s Office too.
As a career diplomat, an IFS officer is required to project India’s interests, both at home and abroad on a wide variety of issues. These include bilateral political and economic cooperation, trade and investment promotion, cultural interaction, press and media liaison as well as a whole host of multilateral issues.
They also head the Regional Passport Offices throughout the country and hold positions in the President’s Secretariat and several ministries on deputation.
In 1948, the first group of IFS officers recruited under the combined Civil Services Examination administered by the Union Public Service Commission joined the service.