The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) was established in 1986 by the Government of India primarily to cater to the professional training needs of the Indian Foreign Service and the Ministry of External Affairs. FSI has diversified its activities to include courses for foreign diplomats in its efforts at building bridges of friendship and cooperation with countries around the world, as well as other Indian government services. In 2007, FSI moved to its present location at Baba Gangnath Marg, Old JNU Campus, New Delhi.
Though the Foreign Service Institute started functioning in 1986, the training of Indian Foreign Service officers began with an October 1946 Cabinet decision which stated that “The special knowledge and the professional skill required of a diplomat can only be acquired through careful training.”
Initially, the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer training consisted of a three-month preliminary course in Delhi followed by 18 months in foreign universities, with students under the general supervision of the Indian representative in the country concerned, followed by one year of training at headquarters in India.
On August 30, 1983, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi directed the then Foreign Secretary, Shri M. Rasgotra to take steps to establish a professional Foreign Service Training Institute. The training institute was intended to train not only the new recruits, but also mid-career officers. The Cabinet approved the proposal to establish the Foreign Service Training Institute on December 20, 1983.
In 1993, the Foreign Service Training Institute (FSTI) was renamed as the Foreign Service Institute (FSI). FSI’s new building and six-acre campus were formally inaugurated on November 14, 2007 by the then Minister of External Affairs, Pranab Mukherjee, the current President.
The Indian Foreign Service’s 2006 batch was the first to train on this new campus. FSI is headed by the Dean, a senior Foreign Service officer of the rank of Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. It also has two Joint Secretary-level officers.