I am a student of Class 10. I want to take up my career in IFS. Which subject should I opt for in Class 11?
Riya Singh (15) / St Francis Convent Inter College, Jhansi
An Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer represents the country on international territory. This service is very different from other services because it deals with diplomacy, trade and cultural relations. One of the primary goals of the service is to frame foreign policies and management of Indian missions abroad.
Entry to the IFS is through the Civil Services Examination conducted by UPSC. The examination consists of three levels: Preliminary Examination (two papers of multiple-choice questions), Main Examination (nine papers of essay type questions) and an Interview. This is truly an intense competitive examination and requires at least one year of dedicated preparation.
The basic eligibility for appearing is graduation in any stream. So you can choose any stream in Class 11. You have to be proficient in English as the questions are set and to be answered only in English. To make your base strong, you can start working on your English by practising comprehensions, essays, precis and vocabulary exercises from any standard grammar/Civil Services examination handbook.
Start reading at least two good magazines and two newspapers that deal with Indian and international affairs, political, economic and business issues, and other current events, thoroughly.
Dr Vibha Gupta, a feature writer, is a Ph.D. in Mathematics from IIT Roorkee. Her book Careers: A Pathfinder and articles in various publications are an attempt to guide students in choosing a career according to their natural strengths, talents and skills.