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Salary of Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officers


When it comes to a government job with scintillating glamour and responsibilities, Indian Foreign Services (IFS) stand tall among all others. There was a time when toppers of UPSC Civil Services Examination used to prefer IFS ahead of even IAS and IPS. However, that is no more the case and majority of toppers give IFS a preference after IAS, IPS and IRS – IT. But, there is no denying that IFS is still among the best government service of India.

Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is not an All Indian Services as conceptualized by the Constitution of India. There are only three AIS in India namely IAS, IPS and IFoS (Forest Services which was created in 1966). IFS come under the umbrella of Central Services. IFS and IRS are two of the top Central Services of India. However, IFS is also selected on the basis of rank in the UPSC Civil Services Examination.

As far as training for new recruits are concerned, IFS are trained at LBSNAA (Lal Bahadur Shashtri National Administrative Academy – Mussorie) and Foreign Service Institute, New Delhi.


Salary of Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officers

As you might know, IFS officers after training are posted in Indian embassies and High Commissions around the world as well as offices of Indian Ministry of External Offices throughout India. When it comes to salary and emoluments, the location of their posting needs to be taken care of. For example, two officers of the same batch are posted in New Delhi and Washington. Naturally, the officer located at Washington needs to get more than his counterpart posted at New Delhi. The Government of India gives special Foreign Allowance to those officers who are posted outside of the country. This allowance depends on the purchasing power parity of that particular country. Therefore the salary structure presented here needs to be adjusted with the Special Foreign Allowance that these officers get.


Salary Structure of IFS as per their Grade:

1. Junior Time Scale (Posted as Under Secretary)
Basic Scale at this level is: Rs. 8000 – 275 – 13, 500

2. Senior Time Scale (Posted as Under Secretary)
Basic Scale at this level is: Rs. 10, 650 – 325 – 15, 850

3. Junior Administrative Scale (Posted as Deputy Secretary)
Basic Scale at this level is: Rs. 12, 750 – 375 – 16, 500

4. Selection Grade – IV (Posted as Counselor Director)
Basic Scale at this level is: Rs. 15, 100 – 400 – 18, 300

5. Senior Administrative Scale (Posted as Joint Secretary)
Basic Scale at this level is: Rs. 18, 400 – 500 – 22, 400

6. High Commissioner / Ambassador (also Foreign Secretary)
Basic Scale at this level is: Rs. 26, 000 which is FIXED.

With all allowances and perks, an IFS officer first salary is around Rs. 60, 000 (if he/she is posted in India).

It is the Special Foreign Allowance that makes the major mark in the salary of an IFS officer. For example, if a new IFS officer is posted at the Indian Embassy in the USA, then he is entitled to get at least $ 4, 000 (2.40 Lakhs) per month as Special Foreign Allowance. This allowance increased with the increase in the Grade and level. As you can see, an IFS officer really gets a very fat check when he/she becomes an Ambassador or High Commissioner.

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Important Information:



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Other Perks and Facilities of IFS Officer:

Apart from fat pay check per month, IFS officers are also entitled to get innumerable benefits and perks. Some of the perks are mentioned below:

-         Return to ticket to family members of the officer who are staying in India, while the officer is posted outside India – Two times in a year.

-         When an officer is posted outside India, his family in India is given complete facility in a government flat.

-         He/she along with his direct family gets free medical facility at the best hospitals in India and abroad

-         Completely furnished and well managed residential flat at the place of posting.


Salary is not the real symbol of the status of IFS officer. In fact, he always lives a life like a king. That is why even Nawabs and Princes, after India’s independence, had loved to become an ambassador. 

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