Putting an end to the expectations in a host of candidates about their possible lateral entry into the Indian Foreign Service (IGS) without clearing the UPSC examination and holding a professional or doctorate degree in International Relations, the Union government virtually ruled out any such happening in the near future. The speculations were on the high from last year regarding this matter when some of the media reports suggested that the government would strongly consider this in the wake of shortfall of adequate personnel in the Indian Foreign Services.
According to the Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs General V.K. Singh (Rtd.), who informed the Lok Sabha recently, “There is no proposal to allow the entry of professional and those with graduate and doctoral degrees in the fields of international and external affairs into the Indian Foreign Service laterally, without the UPSC exam. Professionals and experts are currently hired in the ministry as consultants. The number of consultants engaged in the MEA varies depending on requirement.”
There were reports in the media doing rounds that the union government might consider taking up people having a doctorate in the international relations directly into IFS. But clearing the year the MEA minister of state said that, “The total sanctioned strength of the IFS is 912. The total strength of MEA personnel at headquarters and missions abroad is 4054. Vacancies arising at various levels in the ministry are filled by direct recruitment and promotions from feeder cadres. The MEA also takes officials from other departments/ministries on deputation.”