IAS vs IFS
IAS and IFS are two very popular career options for students in government sector. Both services are attractive and are full of glamour and prestige. While IAS stands for Indian Administrative Service, IFS refers to Indian Foreign service. Any Indian citizen who is above the age of 21 and has passed his graduation can take the common UPSC exam through which students can join either IAS or IFS. Though both are similar in the sense that they provide an opportunity to be a part of administration, there are quite a few differences in IAS and IFS.
Though one may give his top preference as IAS or IFS in the interview level of the civil services exam, the cadre one gets depends upon his overall rank in the list of the successful candidates. Like civil servants, who are also called IAS, IFS candidates also undergo a training period at the Lal Bahadur Shastri national Academy of Administration in Mussoorie. While IAS offers a career in administration, IFS promises a fruitful; career in diplomacy. While an IAS becomes a part of the bureaucracy in charge of law and order and general administration, IFS officers are absorbed in Indian missions abroad and rise to work as a diplomat in these missions finally becoming an ambassador to a foreign country or a high commissioner abroad in an Indian mission.
While the foreign secretary is the head of foreign services, it is the cabinet secretary who is in charge of the civil servants in India. While IAS officers serve as a link between the ministers and the common people maintaining law and order and general administration of the districts they are allotted, IFS officers, after a probationary period get attached with Indian consulates abroad and are in general involved in maintaining the foreign relations of the country with the country they are posted in.
• Both IFS and IAS are part of civil services on India
• While an IAS is involved with civil administration and law and order, an IFS officer deals in diplomacy and is involved in maintaining good relations with the country he is posted in.
• An IAS officer is posted inside the country while an IFS officer remains posted outside the country
• While cabinet secretary is the head of civil servants, it is foreign secretary who is in charge of IFS officers