A Parliamentary panel has suggested that UPSC should conduct an additional test for all the candidates appearing for Indian Foreign Services. Qualifying the additional paper will be an important part of the selection process.
Citing deterioration in the quality of recruits, the panel has suggested for this amendment. IFS cadre selection is made through the Civil Services Examination. The introduction of the additional paper will help in assessing the knowledge of prospective IFS candidates more precisely. The paper will test the knowledge of international affairs and other required aptitude of the candidates.
In addition to this, the panel has also proposed that the interview board may be asked to indicate their recommendation for diplomatic service, for each candidate interviewed.
Recruitment of low ranked candidates to IFS cadre is one of the important reasons the panel has cited for degradation in the quality of the officers.
Every year only 30-35 officers are recruited in Ministry of External Affairs against the proposed strength of 2700. According to Foreign Secretary has hinted that let alone the intake strength, the proposed strength for IFS cadre is also less.
The Panel has also suggested recruiting NRIs, with the condition to gain proficiency in one Indian Language during probation.
The overall aim of the suggestions and recommendations laid down by the parliamentary panel is to increase the pool of diplomats and induce a ‘better quality’ based selection process.