Why there is a need to revamp the Indian Foreign Service?

Why there is a need to revamp the Indian Foreign Service?

‘Indian Foreign Service' is one of the most prestigious jobs in India and it is considered to be a 'hot cake' opportunity for all the UPSC aspirants to serve their nations and represent the nation in a foreign land too. Every year, thousands of graduates appear in this examination to grab this golden opportunity but only a few of them get the chance by proving their potentiality. But, those who are preparing for this dream job, you should know about the Civil Services Examination (CSE) first and the importance of revamping the Indian foreign service as well. 

Why and how? 

Diplomacy, the key to foreign policies is well taught and trained to the candidates who can clear the Civil Service Examination. A grueling training period comprised of different aspects of diplomacy learning goes on to train the candidates to maintain the foreign policies efficaciously. But, this system of old school training should be changed now. The valid reason that demands the change is, diplomacy is not the job of generalist and rather, it needs specialization. It’s not everyone’s job and it’s not that easy that everyone can try their hands at it. A true diplomat serves for his or her country by representing their country and a foot soldier of its foreign policy as well. Because, who doesn’t know that when a good army fight wars and win, good diplomats deter wars and win? 

As previously said, it is a specialized job, diplomacy at foreign services need people who have profound and vast theoretical as well as historical knowledge regarding the subject. Because, before being trained practically, the candidates need to know about diplomacy inside and out to make its proper application. This is crucial because diplomacy is an important aspect of foreign policy that involves the pursuit of the national interest through effective and well-designed policies and initiatives. To perform this job effectively, it requires a clear concept regarding international relations that involves the nature of the state, political systems, international order, etc. in brief, the practitioners of diplomacy require a basic knowledge of international relations to be equipped with it practically.

Findings made by the honorable committee:

 The committee has come up with some astonishing facts in recent years. This has been shown that there is a drastic deterioration of the quality of candidates who were recruited for Indian foreign services. This was a practice in the past that only the higher ranked candidates in civil services examination were recruited for the Indian foreign service job, but, now, the picture is completely different. The lower-ranked candidates with poorer marks are also being recruited at the Indian foreign services causing the deterioration of the quality of services. This is alarming because this will harm the whole Indian Foreign Service system causing a long term and undesirable effect on foreign policies. Add to that, a little more manpower with greater intelligence as well is needed in this sector to ensure the best kind of service.

The change that is required in recruiting: 

From the above discussion, this can be crystal clear that the Foreign Service needs the candidates who truly possess great knowledge regarding international relations. So, the candidates with an academic background of international relations should be preferred for recruiting in IFS. This requires a change in entry rules of IAS ensuring of organizing a separate examination where only the international relations, strategic studies, security studies or foreign policy studies students with good scores can apply.