But the Obvious!

Cadre Talks IAS versus IFS -II

Posted by Irus on December 6, 2007

For Part I click here.

So here we go Part II of why IAS is better or is IFS better.

Some statistics on my mind from the 2006 final results of CSM.

37 General Category got IAS including 2 physically challenged. Out of these 10 were insiders and rest were outsiders.

Meaning only 27% got the cadre which they wanted. Mind you cadre allocation is extremely important when it is the question of you having to spend the rest of your life in that cadre.

Comparatively IFS is a Central Service and there is no problem with Cadres.

The evil aspect about cadre is when you are alloted a ‘wrong’ cadre you are like a fish out of water. A person given NE cadre is already considering marriage with a girl from a ‘better’ cadre and he doesnt mind waiting for a year or two in LBSNAA while new batches come and he ‘nets’ his fish, be she ugly or obese. Darwin has lost here. There is no natural selection happening here.!! Sad.!!

Coming to the Training bit. IAS officers have training lasting 2 years of which 1 year is spent in districts. Comparatively, IFS officers have training of 3 years of which 1 year 2 months is spent learning a foreign language in a mission abroad. Remarkably, the remainder 2 years are spent in the heart of Civilization, Delhi, at the Indian Foreign Services institute.

Why are people still selecting IAS? i’m thoroughly confused. Hopefully, i won’t need to but if required i will be marking IFS as the numero uno choice next time. This time both the services are welcome, albeit IFS just edging out IAS at the moment on my rankings.

What do you think??

59 Responses to “Cadre Talks IAS versus IFS -II”

  1. prabha said

    so… u r going to change your preference atlast? I felt the same myself 2 months back; thats one of the reasons i asked you in your blog ‘IAS versus IFS’.

    From my point of view, I feel the political interventions in day to day’s work is very disheartening in IAS and IPS. (indeed i liked IPS more that IAS). Besides this, the fight- career vs personal life seemed very illogical to me. Sacrificing everything, staying in some remote place with no schools for children…husband working somewhere else…felt very fuzzy to me! Atleast one can always be in good cities, if IFS.

    I know ‘beggars cant be choosers’. So presently, with the state of just being a student/aspirant, I cant be ‘the chooser’; but these are just my views.

  2. Irus said

    Actually IPS/IFS/IAS are terrible for family life! the best service which has quick promotions and good family life is IIS.

    Well no one is a beggar now a days! there are so many avenues, if one doesn’t fructify go for the next! they get better and better! 🙂

  3. akhil said

    if there is problem in the hyperlink of my comment above.. see here

    power rules Irus!

  4. Irus said

    nice link akhil. you’re an aspirant too?

  5. akhil said

    mind you, there are other ways of changing cadre 😉 see Shrivastava couple alloted Madhya Pradesh cadre

  6. Irus said

    pretty cool. hows the interview prep coming along? 🙂

  7. akhil said

    thanks dude. Yea, aspirant…sailing in the same boat 😉

  8. Gabel said

    With no disrespect to the IAS and the IFS(Foreign Service),
    you guys are missing the actual best service which the public aren’t to aware of. The Indian Police Service.

    There is no post that can match up to them in Facilities such as 2 cars each officer along with 4 drivers 2 for each 4 home orderlies 2 for each day and the respect they get from public wherever they go.

    In the case of IAS or IFS nobody recognises or knows who you are if you go out in the public whereas even a mere constable is respected by all.

  9. Gabel said

    Moreover you can’t compare the IAS and the IFS since the IAS is a civil service and the IFS a central service it would be more appropriate if the IAS and the IPS are compared since both are civil services.

  10. Malcolm said

    i wonder how much black money ias make over a lifetime at todays money value.

  11. Irus said


    Broadly speaking all group A services are great, it’s only the details which are under the scanner here and only specifically for the IFS and IAS.

    Other services can be compared but maybe some other time! IPS is a great service and i intend to discuss it too once the pay panel finalises its recommendations.

    Infact i intend to come up with a write up on all services hopefully i’ll get some time for it after the report!

  12. nitin jawale said

    i will answer why many people still go for ias /ips and like. while writing down the preference for service the thought of cadre allocation doesnt even touch anybodys mind. most of them have it in mind that they may get home cadre. in all services ias is the most prefered ( thats what stats say) ias/ips in home cadre or a good cadre is the best thing that can happen to any aspirant. but very lucky few get it as it is a matter of luck. the next best is ias/ips ina good state like maharashtra. ias /ips in a state other than home state and that to a bad one like ne is a pathetic situation , a nightmare, and here central services prove much better option. why most people give their prefernece as ias /ips is because it has to be given before the mains exam and evrybody thinks he will get his home cadre. actually this insider outsider funda fir ias/ips/ifs is not in tune with times and highly unequal and unjust. all should be given some years as insider and all should work in outside states for some years.

  13. Philip said

    i feel the entire examination system needs a revamp. upsc is heading in the right direction with more conceptual questions but more things need to be done like removing attempts limit and removing age limit like CAT. and it can be an online format also essay type which can be conducted all year around like gmat and once a person clears the written he should be given atleast more than 1 chance for interview

  14. sam said

    a big doubt folks….if ifs more ranking or ias?i am asking technically,not with reference to what u prefer.do the topmost ranks of civil service exam go to ias or ifs or are they equal in priority?

    • nitin jawale said

      topmost ranks in upsc exam by and large go to ias, though there are some instances of some top rankers prefering ifs( foreign service and not forest). rarely the topper prefers ifs over ias.

  15. Mohammed Ali said

    I have doubt… Is cadre change possible to home cadre or other desired cadre once it’s allotted to us in IAS/IPS..?

    • NITIN JAWALE said

      @ mohammed ali
      once you are alloted to some cadre , your cadre can change to any other state by the way of marriage to an AIS ( ALL INDIA SERVICE) officer, but no to your home state in any condition. however u can go on deputation for a period of 3 to 5 years to your home state. till 2008 there was no choice of cadre, after that since 2009 batch we can give our preferences for cadres, but once alloted there is no choice left for cadre change other than the way mentioned above.
      guys getting in the service is tough, but serving in the service in a state other than home state is very difficult, particularly when u belong to a good state and are posted in a bad one.

  16. Kmd said

    Hey guys, personally for me IFS is the best job.U always sit in the power corridor @lutyen’s Delhi or go on go abroad on diplomatic mission(postings aren’t bad either as minimum a national capital is assured).most importantly u meet creative people & intellectuals on across the globe & represent ur country(almost as Olympics but diplomatically!).I have seen diplomats working in PMO,finance,RBI,scientific organization.IF u r really capable u can be popular as KR naraynan,lalit man singh,kc singh,shivshankar menon &list simply goes on.This sums up as quality of life & ur work both are at quite high stake.
    yeah one thing i love most about IFS is that u have a political boss who is well educated(natwar singh yashvant sinha,Sm krishna ,Shashi tharoor..) so at least u will feel good to interact with some decent fellow unlike an IAS OR IPS where u have to obey laloo yadav to mulayam singh to shibu soren & some most nuance MP’s n MLA’s ……
    Undoubtedally,IAS are the most powerful lobby out in the government affairs as they control all the cabinet proceedings in centre as well as state.Still,aforementioned causes like cadre,too much political interfrence & some most difficult postings make it a thinkable material & adding to woes comes RTI which makes it more difficult for Babus.
    IPS:A police job will be a police job.IN mid 20’s it feels good 4a vibrant youth to do some action sequence but down the lines after say 15 yrs aged in 40-50’s playing cat-rat games with chatrudhar mahto & kishun ji alias koteshwar rao in jangalmahal(that will be okay)& dealing with thefts,dacoties,rapes,smuggling all your life & awakening late nights to see of a local MP or minister from circuit house & acting like a true securityguards to some goons turned MP or MLA’s….somebody might sy Kiran bedi as an example..yeah she is definately a rol model not only for ips but any service…but at last she was also annoyed about her career posting as CP delhi & a long drama follows.Still u have got it in you some good criminal psychology & passion about eliminating criminals & can put family as your 2nd priority(like dilip sahab in shakti) IPS is the one for U…remeber unlike films here the political pressure can’t be put on a fiasco by beating a CM(salman khan in GARV)…its a REAL life my friend.
    Among other IRS,IAAS,IRTS….jst select as ur preference.
    All the best!

    • Vinay said

      One of the “weak” points against the Foreign Service is that postings in some countries are too risky – In the 1980’s, Khalistani terrorists kidnapped and murdered a diplomat posted at the Indian High Commission in London. Another recent instance is the bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul (apart from IFS Officer, Military Attache was also killed)
      Another “weak” point of the IFS is that “money making avenues” are very rare in IFS compared to IAS.
      i would welcome your views on these points i have raised.

      • KMD said

        @ vinay..it felt gud 2 c that u have raised some considerable issues of importance regarding IFS…bt regarding ur first point all i can say is “terrorism” is the brainchild of “non-state” actors regarding which we can do very little….Anybody can be victimized by this phenomenon & most of the times officers are provided with enough security these days as above mentioned incidents of your’s have set the precedence.
        Regarding your 2nd point do u think it’s worth talking……….we all know if u have 2 be a “money maker” go 4 some entreprenurial job or join some MNC.This “money-making” attitude has imbibed the red-tapism which has led the country to such a place where “babas” n “jholas” r dictating terms to an all powerful popular democartic government & nation has been hold on a ransom with the commoners are feeling as lameduck as our Prime-minister.
        Have some quality times ahaed !

      • Vinay u Sound Like a Scamstar said

        @ Vinay. You sound like the Next Poster Boy in a Tainted Scam. KMD got it right. IAS is not quick money. Responsibilities Overweight the respect u command. Anyway, there are very courageous people who still want to make money hook or crook. The Era of Liberalization, RTI and Now Lokpal and Media Activism means Those lloking for Quick money will surely be poster boys/girls in a tainted scam like a SCUM.

  17. Gopinath R said

    I feel Indian Forest service(IFS),an All india service gaining momentum and status wise equal to other two All india services IAS and IPS. In the present climate change situation,environmental conservation is the top global agenda so this service have definite scope to play in the world arena.Generally people pay and avail the natural service as tourist but IFS officers paid for visiting and living in the lap of mother nature.Global warming threatens the basic existence of living condition,but IFS have a comfortable and conducive atmosphere to live in the forest bungalows.No more timber extraction (ONCE MAIN ROLE FOR FOREST OFFICERS) now IFS officers role is diverse with lots of variety (management,administration,policing,conservationist,scientist and what not) and IFS officers working in ministries,national boards,authorities,research institutes,planning commission and intl organisations and I strongly believe this is going to be SERVICE OF THE CENTURY.

    • ajay said

      yes,ifs(forest service) is one of the most important in present scenario where environmental degradation,climate changeetc. are most important in every area whether development,to eradicate poverty etc. in future there expertise will be required in every field also in international organisations.ifs occupying posts of directors,secretaries etc. in state &central ministries & their representation is bound to increse in future. it,s truly a challenging and satisfying service which require a mix of administrative & scientific approach.

      • Dr JD Pati said

        My Rank @ IFS 2011 is 37.Hopefully My tenure @ this service ll be a
        successful one.

    • ankit said

      does ifs(forest service) has training like ias after interview and how long is the training?

  18. devdutt w said

    i feel indian foreign service is the best.
    coz i dont think any other service gurantees entry in “VIP AND DIPLOMATS ONLY” lounge at the airports across the world

    • KMD said

      @Devdutt W-:IFS is m y 1st preference too bro…bt donna get confuse wid that tag “VIP and Diplomats” as it depends on what capacity an officer is sent as there are many cases whn An IAS is given a “VIP or Diplomat” tag e.g.Executive director(world bank) or Special representative UNESCO.IPS can also serve in important International assignments E.g UN Peace keeping missions & they too are entitled to avail that facilities.
      Yeah…You can say IFS have these luxuries most of the times as they have max Foreign assignments.

  19. kartik said

    All these services IAS, IFS, IPS, etc are good,…..in their respective domains,….but these services become more good in the following cases- IFS in a developed or developing country,….. IAS in the home cadre,….IPS in some missions like UN MISSION

  20. Ibu Sanjeeb Garg said

    I dont know why the bias against North East.I mean I can understand the fear of getting beaten by tribals ..but how much have u actually visited NE…before you can comment .Also please show me one example where an IAS/IPS officer was harmed in NE.Ne people are the most hospitable and amazing people one can ever find in the whole of India.

    I think if the rest of India is so myopic towards NE then please help ULFA and NSCN -IM in getting the Central Government to declare NE an independent country.

    Oh ya the debate ..its endless ..nice read barring the NE crap!

    • Bharath said

      Fantastic point raised. I am from chennai and visited NE few times. I think, rest of India has wrong opinion on NE which has to be corrected. People of NE are very hospitable and pleasing. I think we should be proud of NE being part of India.
      We need to be very careful when we give our opinions on this kind of sites, we should by no means hurt the feelings of any person or groups of persons.
      Broadly speaking, If an IAS officer dont get his home cadre then he is bound to feel like fish out of pond, but it has to be taken positively and deal with it as the job itself provides a great opportunity to serve the people of “INDIA”.

    • ayush said

      i 100% agree with u bro!!! i will prefer ne after my home cadre rajasthan, people here are very kind and amazing!!!!

  21. Taleem said

    Ias or ifs rank

  22. Vinay Kumar said

    hi All,

    i’ve some concerns regarding medium of the exam..
    1. what if a candidate clears this exam as Hindi Medium apirant, can he get in IFS and if he gets then if there would be any additional training for him as in the International assignments he must have to possess the excellent communication skill in English.
    2. Since IFS is classified in three categories-
    a) At an embassy where finally he will be an Ambassador
    b) At an consultate: finally he will be Counsul General
    c) At the Ministry of External Affairs: He will become Secretary
    Can any one explain the criterias to get them and if there would be a choice or one has to go through what ever he is assigned to?
    And can any one enlist the benefit/drawback among them.
    Vinay Kumar

  23. fake id said

    fake id…

    […]Cadre Talks IAS versus IFS -II « But the Obvious![…]…

  24. ankit said

    i wana know the pay scale of newly recruited IAS officer after 6th pay commission…
    and i know know that an IAS as a collector gets a very nice accommodation ,vehicle with red beacon and many othe facilities..
    but what does an IFS gets at home???
    i heard that foreign officers are also appointed at home for a particular span of time, then what do they get in home? all facilities like IAS??
    Are they always posted in delhi when being posted in MEA at home?? vehicle with red beacon??
    one more is here …
    if i become an IFS then, can i take my wife with me there in foreign land having the govt. allowances??
    and as an IFS ,, we become an ambassador after long span like 20 or 30 years??
    while an IAS become immidiatly the Collector i.e the key posting..
    what salary we get as an third secratory as a trainee?
    these things make me think that IAS is better then IFS……
    plz ans my questions…

  25. manas said

    guys…the emerging service of future is IRS…its the only service which can dislodge IAS from its supremacy…..lets have a discussion about this topic…

    • Bharath said

      IRS officers are Tax Managers. They must do their job well than planning to dislodge an IAS officer. Words Speak about Intentions. Intentions can turn into Action.

      Final Toughts – All India Services are Unique to India Unlike any other country.
      They are there to do their service to the nation. I rather quote Constituent Assembly debate ” All India Services are being created and the powers so conferred are justified because, they are the ones who will determine the fate of this country and therefore it is necessary for them to work without fear or favour”

      In Conclusion – All India Services are Public Services, Unlike Jobs. Speaking out going and living in capitals, Why not do it by joining the Corporate sector. Is it because, you dont get to work hard for that in government? Anyways, To Quote ” Srivatsa Krishna – It takes a different DNA to be a Bureaucrat in India” the Gene simply is a rare One!

  26. wayne said

    IDAS service is the service of the future with defence and strategic importance than IAS

    • Dev said

      IDAS (Indian Defence Account Service) is a pure account service and one should opt account & finance service after exercising all other services like:
      IAS – Priority no.1
      IFS – 2
      IPS – 3
      IRS(IT) – 4
      IRS(C&CE) – 5
      IRTS – 6
      IA&AS – 7
      IRPS – 8
      RPF – 9
      IPoS – 10
      ICLS – 11
      IIS – 12
      ITS – 13
      IDES – 14
      IOFS – 15

      If any one who likes account service can give priority like:
      IA&AS (Indian Audit & Account Service) – 1
      IRAS (Indian Railway Account Service) – 2
      ICAS (Indian Civil Account Service) – 3
      IDAS (Indian Defence Account Service) – 4
      IP&TAFS (Indian Post & Telecommunications Account and Finance Service) – 5

      If one who want to exercise Group – ‘B’ Service then priority should be like:

  27. Jasbeer said

    I am inclined for state civil services, just wanna know how are they? I know that one can’t become collector any soon like in IAS but what about the home advantage , even the pay scales are now at par with IAS. So looking at the factors such as 1.)very tough entrance exam, 2.)Allotment of cadres . Is it better to choose state civil service (e.g. R.A.S for rajasthan) over IAS , agreed that position & seniority are very low compared to IAS but state services also offer to work at the ground level.
    The only concern is about the facilities which state civil service person gets are they very low when compared to ias. what abt the respect which they command in society.
    I’d be very happy if someone throws light on it.

    many thanks

  28. i think, we are talking only about IAS/IFS/IPS right? then forget rest of the choices …it may be B’group OR any state services.
    some one told that everybody preparing for IAS keeping in mind only of home cadre….that’s true.but when we get cadre like north east, i mean besides home cadre, we can’t enjoy it that way as like home cadre.if anybody belongs to RESERVE CATEGORY like me, then he can prefer to IFS then IPS and then IAS. because,if he did not get IFS but could get IPS with home cadre. AND IF, he did not get IPS with home cadre, he, then, try next attempt for higher rank with same preference to get either IFS or IPS with HOME CADRE. he can give so many attempts till he did not get EITHER IFS OR IPS WITH HOME CADRE.


    • snakevdt said

      Please clarify How is the question of category affecting the service one gets ? U can put ias on top with home cadre as ur ONLY preference . then ifs then IPS .
      Or is it that u do not prefer ias ?

  29. Adarsh said

    How are the cadres alloted? Like IAS is for top rankers and then sequentially what are next?

  30. Rk said


  31. patil said

    the best service to work for after passing the Civil Services would be Railway Protection Force or Armed Forces Headquarters Civilian Service. Good enough for Biharis and Bhaiyaas who are just about below average in national IQ survey. for Keralites too, say DANICS and Pondicherry Civil Services are good enough for their narrow minded mentality, so goes the same with communist brother’s of these keralites malayalis – the Bengalis.

    • sonu said

      You have got the same intellect brother as what Mrs Pratibha “Patil” has when all the Mercy petitions were lying on her table in dusts& she was sitting pretty as lameduck president due to the mercy of her boss Mrs Sonia Gandhi who is buttering all the bhaiyyas to ensure victory & the same one what Shivraj “patil” as when the IM terrorists were blasting the whole country away mocking the Home ministry away or like Smita “patil” who was Screwed by a MAN who is Begging Votes day in and out from those Bhaiyyas.

    • sonu said

      As far Civil Service is concerned Let me add a little bit to your super-intellect
      T.K.A Nair(Keralite),Shivshankar menon(keralite) NSA,Pulok chatterjee(Bengal)Pr.Secretary to PM,R.K.Singh(Bihar)Home secy,Shashikant Sharma(Bihar) Defence Secy, Ranjit Sinha (Bihar),CBI Director ,Ranjan mathai(keralaite) Foreign Secy,Neeraj kumar(Bihar),Delhi police Commissioner, SC Sinha (Bihar),NIA Chief.(only IAS,IFS,IPS considerd)
      The list is endless & I don’t think if there is some more post important in Civil service then these one’s.
      So You can think Of the Lower Group B seats which are left by these talents on mercy for whom.
      All the Best

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  34. Naman said

    ifs officers get a vehicle with beacon or not if they r posted in india….???

    • Rajj said

      Whats with yr beacons n vehicles stuffs..?..doesn’t that seems a little old-fashioned nowadays? ifs is the job of the world!!..otherwise if u still clamor for power n pelf..go join politics..

  35. Adele said

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    use world wide web for that reason, and get the
    most up-to-date information.

  36. Malavika said

    After reading all the comments I wud just like to say that even though perks and benefits count, reasons to join IAS or IFS shudnt be a red beacon car(btw IAS officers get amber beacons, judiciary is allocated the red one) or ways to make money. If u want to travel the world, make money and rub shoulders with the rich and famous make a career in international business or law, ull b much happier. If u want to stay in India, work for the poor, avoid political interferance and make money, get into Corporate Social Responsibility jobs. IAS and IFS is that uncontrallable urge to be responsible for the changes u want to see at policy and implementation levels in our country. The question i ask myself is, if tomorrow i was stripped off my post and my car and my perks etc for standing up for the truth, will i still walk to my office if i had to and work for the people who have placed their trust in me? am i willing to give up a life of IFS standards for my country’s poor? And really the government does pay u quite above decently in the services. Dont compare with the corporate sector. Evaluate whether wat the govt gives is enough for u to be content. Personally I dont think there is anything wrong with wanting a life of money or better perks, just that if u prefer that life, then go ahead for it. Respect and prestige will follow everywer if u have a character of gold. Example : Ratan Tata, Azim Premji, Indra Nooyi, Chanda Kochar.

    • Ayush said

      Thank you for your wonderful comment….people are misguided that it’s ifs are the best job in India, but they don’t think otherwise….you have very beautifully compared with private jobs….they too have a respect…yes excellent examples

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