UPSC Indian Foreign Service Exam

Indian Foreign Service 2022 - Exam Date(Out), Eligibility, Application Form, Pattern & Syllabus

Last Modified on : 08 May 2024

Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is one of the Central Civil Service of the Indian Government under Group A. Indian Foreign Service members represent the country in international territory. IFS officers are involved in foreign-related issues, the country’s external affairs such as trade, diplomacy, and cultural relations. The primary goal of IFS is framing foreign policies and managing Indian missions abroad.

The candidates are selected for the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) through the Civil Service Examination (popularly known as IAS exam) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) every year. The Civil Services Examination (CSE) covers recruitment in three services under the Government of India - Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and Indian Police Service (IPS).

The article here will cover detailed information related to eligibility criteria, exam pattern, syllabus, selection process, and more for the UPSC IFS 2022 exam.

Indian Foreign Service 2022 Latest Update - 

- The Indian Foreign Service Exam (IFS) Preliminary exam is scheduled for 5th June 2022.

- The mains will be held between 16-09-2022 To 25-09-2022.

IFS Exam 2022 - Quick Overview

The IFS recruitment exam is covered under the Civil Service Examination conducted by UPSC. The main highlights for the exam are as under:

Exam Name

Civil Service Examination (Indian Foreign Service Exam)

Conducting Authority

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

Official Website

Exam Level


Exam Mode

(Pen-and-Paper Based) Offline

Number of Attempts

6 (General), 9 (OBC), No Limit (SC/ST)

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UPSC Indian Foreign Service Exam Previous Years Solved Papers

  • UPSC Civil Services & IFS Preliminary Solved Papers (E-Book) Download
  • IES 2009 - 2018 Previous Year Papers E-Book Download

UPSC Indian Foreign Service Exam 2022 Important Dates

The recruitment notice for IFS 2022 exam has been released. The important dates related to the exam are as under:

IFS 2022 Exam Events

Important Dates

Online application process begins

2nd February 2022

Last date for online application submission

24th February 2022

Preliminary exam admit card

Three weeks before the exam

IFS Preliminary Exam

5th June 2022

Preliminary exam result

To be announced

Detailed application form for the Main exam

To be announced

IFS Main exam admit card

Three weeks before the exam

IFS Main Exam

16-09-2022 To 25-09-2022

Main exam result

To be announced


To be announced

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UPSC Indian Foreign Service Exam 2022 Pattern & Syllabus

Exam Pattern for UPSC IFS 2022

The exam will be conducted in two stages:

  • Preliminary Examination (Objective Type)
  • Main Examination (Written Exam and Interview)

Preliminary Exam Pattern

The preliminary exam is also called the Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT). It comprises of two papers as follows:



Time Duration

Maximum Marks


General Studies

2 hours

200 marks


General Studies

2 hours

200 marks

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  • Both papers will comprise multiple-choice questions.
  • The questions paper will be in both Hindi and English languages.
  • The General Studies (Paper-II) will be of qualifying nature. The minimum qualifying marks are fixed at 33%.

Negative Marking - Negative marking is applicable for the incorrect response. 1/3rd of the marks assigned to the question will be deducted for every wrong response. If a candidate marks more than one answer, it will also be treated as a wrong response even if one of the answers is correct. No marks will be awarded or deducted for questions left unanswered.

Merit List for Main Exam - “The Commission will draw a list of candidates to be qualified for Civil Service (Main) Examination based on the criterion of minimum qualifying marks of 33% in General Studies Paper-II of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination and total qualifying marks of General Studies Paper-I of Civil Service (Preliminary) Examination as may be determined by the Commission.”

Main Exam Pattern

The Main exam comprises a written exam and interview test. The written exam consists of nine papers. All the papers will be of conventional essay type. Here are the details of the papers:


Maximum Marks

Qualifying Papers

Paper-A (One language to be selected by the languages included in 8th Schedule of the Constitution)

300 marks

Paper-B (English)

300 marks

Papers Counted for Merit

Paper-I (Essay)

250 marks

Paper-II (General Studies-I)

250 marks

Paper-III (General Studies-II)

250 marks

Paper-IV (General Studies-III)

250 marks

Paper-V (General Studies-IV)

250 marks

Paper-VI (Optional Subject - Paper-1)

250 marks

Paper-VII (Optional Subject - Paper-2)

250 marks

Sub Total

1750 marks

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Total Marks of the Main Exam

Main Exam Phases

Total Marks

Written Test Marks


Personality Test (Interview) Marks


Grand Total


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Exam Duration - Each paper will be of three hours duration.

List of Optional Subjects

Candidates must choose any one subject from the following optional subjects:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Anthropology
  3. Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  4. Botany
  5. Civil Engineering
  6. Chemistry
  7. Commerce and Accountancy
  8. Electrical Engineering
  9. Economics
  10. Geology
  11. Geography
  12. History
  13. Law
  14. Mathematics
  15. Management
  16. Medical Science
  17. Mechanical Engineering
  18. Physics
  19. Philosophy
  20. Psychology
  21. Political Science and International Relations
  22. Public Administration
  23. Statistics
  24. Sociology
  25. Zoology
  26. The literature of any one of the following languages: Assamese, Bodo, Bengali, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kashmiri, Kannada, Konkani, Malayalam, Maithili, Marathi, Manipuri, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Santhali, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Telugu, Tamil, Urdu, and English.

Merit List for Interview - The final merit list will be prepared based on the marks obtained in all compulsory papers and marks obtained in the interview.

Negative Marking - There will be no negative marking in the Main exam.

Interview Test - Candidates who qualify for the Main exam will be called for the interview. The interview will be conducted by a Board and will have questions on general interest. The interview is conducted to test the mental caliber, social traits, and moral integrity of the candidate. The interview is of 275 marks.

Syllabus for UPSC IFS 2022

Preliminary Exam Syllabus


  • Current events of national and international importance
  • History of India and Indian National Movement
  • Indian and World Geography- Physical, Economic, Social Geography of India and the World Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Panchayati Raj, Political System, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Inclusion, Poverty, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization
  • General Science


  • 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.), Data interpretation (graphs, charts, tables, data sufficiency etc.) - Class X level

Main Exam Syllabus

Paper A and Paper B - The papers on Indian languages and English will have questions of Matriculation or equivalent standard. The pattern of the papers will be:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Precis Writing
  • Short Essays
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Translation from English to Indian languages and vice-versa


Essay - Writing essays on multiple topics in an effective expression.


General Studies-I: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society

  • Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times
  • Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present significant events, personalities, issues
  • The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country
  • The history of the world will include events from the 18th century such as the industrial revolution, world wars, redraw of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc. - their forms and effect on the society
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country
  • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India
  • Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies
  • Effects of globalization on Indian society
  • Salient features of the world’s physical geography
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism
  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)
  • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclones etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes


General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations

  • Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure
  • Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
  • Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions
  • Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these
  • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act
  • Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
  • Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
  • Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures
  • Role of civil services in a democracy
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures
  • India and its neighborhood- relations
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora
  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate


General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment
  • Government Budgeting
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it
  • Food processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management
  • Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, - different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers
  • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing
  • Land reforms in India
  • Investment models
  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc
  • Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth
  • Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology
  • Science and technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
  • Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights
  • Disaster and disaster management
  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas - linkages of organized crime with terrorism
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cybersecurity; money-laundering and its prevention
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate


General Studies- IV: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

  • Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics - in private and public relationships. Human Values - lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; the role of family society and educational institutions in inculcating values
  • Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behavior; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion
  • Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections
  • Emotional intelligence concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance
  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world
  • Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption
  • Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance
  • Case Studies on the above issues

Paper-VI and Paper-VII

Paper-VI and VII are of the optional type. Candidates are required to select one subject for each optional paper. The syllabus for optional subjects is available in the official notification. Candidates can check the same as per their selected subject.

UPSC Indian Foreign Service Exam 2022 Eligibility


For the Indian Foreign Service, the candidate must be a citizen of India.

Age Limit

For the IFS 2022 exam, the candidate must be born not before 2nd August 1990 and not after 1st August 2001. The age will be counted as on 1st August 2022. In other words, the candidate must have attained 21 years of age and must not have attained the age of 32 years.

Relaxation in the age will be provided to reserved category candidates as follows:


Relaxation in Upper Age Limit


Up to 5 years


Up to 3 years


Up to 5 years

Defence Service Personnel (disabled during hostilities and released)

Up to 3 years

Deaf and Hard of Hearing/ Blindness and low vision/ Locomotor Disability including leprosy cured, cerebral palsy, acid attack victims, dwarfism, and muscular dystrophy/ autism, intellectual disability, mental illness, and specific learning disability

Up to 10 years

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Educational Qualification

Candidates must hold a graduation degree (any discipline) from a recognised institute/ University.

UPSC Indian Foreign Service Exam 2022 Application Process

The UPSC IFS application forms are accepted only through the online mode. Candidates are advised to submit their online applications before the last date of submission. Candidates must submit only a single form. However, in case he has submitted multiple forms, the form with higher RID will be considered by the commission. Thus, make sure that the form is complete in all respects for successful registration. For 2022, the application process was carried out from 2nd to 24th February 2022.

Documents Required for Filling the Application Form

  • Valid photo ID proof (Aadhaar Card, PAN Card, Passport, Driving License, Voter Card, Photo ID proof issued by State/ Central government)
  • Scanned images of Photograph and Signature in JPG format. The file size should be between 20 KB and 300 KB)

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Steps to Fill the UPSC IFS Application Form 2022

The UPSC IFS application form submission comprises two parts. Candidates are advised to complete both parts for successful application submission. Here are the steps to be followed:

  • Visit the official of UPSC at -
  • Click on the link for registration under the ‘Part-I’ registration column in front of the civil service examination 2022.
  • Read the instructions carefully and proceed to the registration form.
  • Fill in all the details required for completing the registration process.
  • On successful registration, you will receive a Registration ID and password.
  • Now click on the link under ‘Part-II’ and complete the remaining application form.
  • Upload the scanned images of required documents and make the fee payment.
  • After successful completion of the application process, take a print of the confirmation page.

Application Fee

The IFS application fee can be paid offline ‘by cash’ at any branch of the State Bank of India or through online mode using Visa/ RuPay/ Master/ Credit/ Debit Card or Internet Banking of SBI. ‘Pay by Cash’ mode is deactivated one day before the closing date of application submission. The application fee is as under:


Application Fee Amount

Female/ SC/ ST/ PwBD



₹ 100/-

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Withdrawal of the IFS Application Form

UPSC offers the facility to withdraw the application form for the IFS exam before the exam. The facility was introduced a few years ago as only half of the candidates who fill the application form, appear for the exam. And, UPSC has to bear the costs of conducting the examination. The window for withdrawal of the application form is activated at the official website. Here are the steps to be followed for withdrawing the IFS application form:

Steps for Withdrawing IFS Application Form

  • Visit the official UPSC website.
  • Click on the link for withdrawal of application form under the ‘What’s New’ section.
  • Proceed by clicking on the ‘click here’ link.
  • Read the instructions and click the ‘Yes’ button.
  • Enter your registration ID and click the ‘Continue’ button.
  • Proceed to withdraw the application form.
  • After successful withdrawal, take a print of the receipt of the withdrawal.

Candidates must note that there is no provision for a refund of the application fee on withdrawal of the application form. As per the official notification, the application fee will not be refunded under any circumstances.

Detailed Application Form

The Detailed Application Form (DAF) is required to be filled by the candidates at different stages of the recruitment process. After qualifying the preliminary exam, candidates are required to fill and submit the Detailed Application Form-I (DAF-I) for appearing in the Main exam. Also, after the commencement of the Interview phase, shortlisted candidates are again required to fill the Detailed Application Form-II (DAF-II) to indicate their services preference. The Detailed Application Forms are released on the official website. Keep a check on the same.

UPSC Indian Foreign Service Exam 2022 Other Details

Indian Foreign Service 2022 Admit Card

The IFS 2022 admit card will be issued three weeks before the exam only for eligible candidates. The admit cards are released on the official website and candidates can download the same using their registration ID and password. Please note that no admit card will be sent through the post. Admit card is a mandatory document and no candidate will be allowed to take the examination without an admit card.

IFS Exam Centres

Centers for Preliminary Exam

The IFS Preliminary exam will be conducted at the following centers:















Kozhikode (Calicut)














Anantapur (AP)














Navi Mumbai




Gautam Buddh Nagar




Prayagraj (Allahabad)








Panaji (Goa)












Port Blair


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Centres for Main Exam














Dispur (Guwahati)





Prayagraj (Allahabad)






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UPSC IFS Result 2022

The UPSC IFS result 2022 will be declared after every phase of the examination i.e. Preliminary and Main. The final sarkari result is announced after the Interview phase is over. Candidates who qualify for one stage are eligible for the next stage.

UPSC IFS Training

Candidates who are finally shortlisted for the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) have to undergo comprehensive training. The training is conducted at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. After that, candidates undergo training at the Foreign Service Institute, New Delhi. The training process involves lectures, attachments with different sections of the Government, and getting familiar with touring within the country and abroad. At last, the officer is assigned his/ her compulsory foreign language (CFL).

Candidates have to pass an exam in his/her CFL before getting confirmed at the service. Candidates are then required to serve a brief time at the desk in the Ministry of External Affairs. Candidates are then posted on an Indian Mission abroad (country where his CFL is the native language).

UPSC Indian Foreign Service Exam Frequently Asked Questions

2nd February 2022.

24th February 2022.

5th June 2022.

Between 16th September 2022 To 25th September 2022.

The admit card will be released three weeks before the exam. Separate admit cards will be released for the Preliminary and Main phase examinations.

The minimum age for applying for the IFS exam is 21 years.

Yes, age relaxation is provided to reserved category candidates.

Yes, there is negative marking in the objective type papers i.e. preliminary phase examination.

Yes. Female candidates are exempted from the fee payment.

Yes. It is compulsory to fill out the Detailed Application Form (DAF) for appearing in the Main exam.


SVETA YADAV , February 7, 2022