The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is a part of one of the premier civil services under Group A of the executive branch of the Union government's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
On 9 October 1946, the Indian government established the Indian Foreign Service for country's diplomatic, consular and commercial representation worldwide. Following the independence in 1947, the department was transformed into the Foreign and Political Department, and later became to be known as the Ministry of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations. The Indian Foreign Service Day is celebrated on 9 October every year since 2011.
The officers are tasked to promote diplomacy, and represent the country at various international organisations and forums. They also serve top roles in the administrative ministry as well as the Prime Minister Office (PMO), and President's Secretariat. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) recommends IFS officers to the Union government. The new entrants undergo training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) in Mussoorie. The training program spans to more than 12 months, and they serve a probationary period.
The IFS officers are required to promote India's interests, both at home and overseas. These include multilateral and bilateral issues such as political and economic cooperation, trade and investment promotion, and cultural co-operation, among others. The hold positions such as the Ambassador, High Commissioner, Consul General, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations.