New Delhi, Oct 9 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi commended Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officers on IFS day for furthering India’s national interests globally.
The IFS is the corps of Indian civil servants who serve in the ministry of external affairs and represent the country abroad as diplomats.
Established on October 9, 1946, the IFS on Friday celebrated its 74 years.
In a tweet, the Prime Minister greeted the officers saying, “Their works towards serving the nation, furthering national interests globally are commendable. Their efforts during Vande Bharat Mission and other Covid related help to our citizens and other nations is noteworthy.”
In the last seven decades since Independence, the IFS has seen “India, the largest democracy in the world, emerging as the modern nation we see today,” a statement from the ministry of external affairs said.
The service functions as spokesperson of India to the world. It works as a first line of defence of the country and it pursues country’s economic interests abroad and showcases India’s vibrant culture to the world, the ministry said.
“From the halls of the United Nations to various capitals of the world, IFS officers work 24×7 as foot soldiers of the country.
Around the world, the service remains a call away for Indians, leading from the front in times of distress.”
The ongoing pandemic led to unprecedented disruptions in international travel, with hundreds of thousands of Indian nationals stranded overseas.
The ministry and the service promptly rose to the occasion and created a 24×7 Special Covid cell in March to help stranded Indians abroad and then took up the massive evacuation operation called ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ in May 2020. The service was at the front lines of managing the crisis as first responders.
Under the Vande Bharat Mission, more than 17 lakh Indians have been brought back by air, sea and land across multiple borders.
“The skills, the dedication, the flexibility and the spirit of innovation that resides in the Service became evident in this humongous task of repatriating stranded Indians.”
During the pandemic, Indian pharma industry emerged as an asset not only for India but also for the whole world. As India converted the crisis into an opportunity, IFS officers and their teams worked with other government agencies and private sector, the statement said. India as the pharmacy to the world provided medicines and Covid-19 protective mask and equipment to more than 150 countries during the pandemic overcoming daunting logistical challenges.
With a glorious record of serving the country with distinction, the service is also an equal opportunity employer. “It is a great pride for the service that it has produced President and Vice President of India, Speaker of Lok Sabha, Ministers, Parliamentarians, noted authors, scholars, historians and international public servants from its ranks.”
The ministry said, “The IFS Day is an occasion for all the officers of the service to rededicate themselves to serving India and its people. On this special occasion, the service today remembers those who are serving and have retired, who are in it and with it, to keep India’s flag flying high at home and abroad around the clock, always!”