Foreign Affairs Cadre in Bangladesh

The dream of a graduate student revolves around a standard job where he/she can discover honor, dignity, social status, smart salary, power, and most significantly security. A BCS (Bangladesh Civil Service) first class job is where you find everything in one place with the opportunity to serve your country at it’s best and Foreign Affairs Cadre is one of them!

BCS (Bangladesh Civil Service) is a selection procedure by Bangladesh Government for first-class officer/gazette officer for the administration of People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The process of selecting a candidate is multifaceted. One candidate has to triumph over some stages to be appointed as BCS cadre like “Preliminary Examination,” “Written Examination,” “Viva Voce,” “Health Test,” and “Police Verification etc.”

Advantages of a Foreign Cadre –

  • Here you will enjoy the trademark of a “Diplomat” for the rest of your life with tremendous honor and dignity. Unlike other cadres, your target groups will be embassy people and VVIP when you are in Bangladesh.
  • Foreign Service offers you to live a decent and honest life. Though our foreign allowance is not high, it is to some extent manageable to lead a standard life.
  • Your children will enjoy the best quality education, medical and accommodation free in the mission abroad. Also, they will be grown up in an elite environment.

Now, the opposite side of the coin!

This service is very sensitive. You have to work with the highest vigilance every day. Pressure is sometimes mounting too high to withstand. Like another service, you may not post in your desired mission even though u possess the highest efficiency as an officer. Your living cost may sometime seem too high compared to your allowances in some mission. You may feel boring to work consular and protocol works.

Exams and Preparation for Becoming a Foreign cadre | BCS Examination in Bangladesh

Every candidate has to go through the following exams for becoming a Foreign Affairs cadre, it is also called BCS Examination.

Preliminary examination-

This examination is a screening test conducted on the following pattern: Subject: Bengali – 35 Questions, English – 35 Questions, General Knowledge on Bangladesh & International Affairs – 50 Questions, General Science and computer – 30 Questions, Mathematical Reasoning and Mental Ability – 30 Questions, ethics, and good governance -10, geology-10

Duration: 2 hours
Marks: 200
Question type: Objective

Written examination-

There are Nine Compulsory subjects, in which you will have to give written exam.

General Bengali (Part I & II) = 200 Marks
General English (Part I & II) = 200 Marks
Bangladesh Affairs (Part I & II) = 200 Marks
International Affairs = 100 Marks
Mathematical Reasoning and Mental Ability = 100 Marks
General Science and Technology = 100 Marks

Viva-voce (interview)-

Candidates who pass the written phase successfully are qualified for the interview commonly known as viva voce. The success rate in this rigorous phase is quite lower than other phases. Current marks allocation for viva voce is 200.

Final selection

BPSC selects the candidates on the basis of the aggregated marks written (obtained marks out of 900) and viva voce (obtained marks out of 200). 45% of the selection is made on the basis of merit and rest 55% according to several quotas. BPSC recommends the selected qualified candidates to the Ministry of Public Administration.

The ministry publishes the Gazette of the selected candidates after a rigorous inspection of a medical test by DGHS, Police verification, and NSI verification. Generally, the entire process from the advertisement to the final date of joining takes 1 year.

How to Prepare for BCS? – (Foreign Cadre Exams)

Having acquainted with the paraphernalia of BCS, one might get startled. So let’s now make out how we can successfully get ready for the BCS (Foreign affairs Cadre) and do away with the BCS phobia:

Preparation for BCS in Bangladesh (Foreign affairs Cadre) preliminary test –

There is no doubt that BCS is a very competitive examination. It requires a very painstaking long-term preparation. Only reading guidebooks and some selected general knowledge books will not be enough for excelling in the examination. The preliminary test must be taken seriously as this is the first stage and gateway to appear at the next stage of written examination. Generally, a preliminary test is designed including the following subjects:

For Bangla, the candidates should have a vast knowledge of the literature, poetry, dramas, novels, short stories, history of Bangla literature, grammar etc.

To be well-prepared in all these, one should study the guidebooks, Bangla books of Class X, Bangla Grammar of S.S.C. level. It is worth mentioning that Bangla Grammar is very important for the preliminary Bangla objective questions because many questions are set on this subject.

For English, an in-depth knowledge of English literature including, poets, novelists, dramatists, grammar, synonyms and antonyms, sentence completion and analogy is required to do well in the English examination.

For Mathematics, by far the easiest part of BCS examination, candidates should practice Mathematics at the secondary level of the old syllabus and also the new syllabus. For better preparation, English medium secondary level mathematics books can also be very helpful.

The suggestion about the general knowledge examination is that the candidates have to go through the newspapers regularly. Besides, they have to read a book fully from the available books on general knowledge to prepare them well for the examination.

Ways to do away with written test phobia –

This stage is for those who are selected for the preliminary examination. The written test comprises of six subjects including Bangla, English, Mathematical Reasoning and Mental Ability, General Science and Technology, Bangladesh Affairs and International Affairs that carries nine hundred marks.

The candidates of the general cadre have to take all these subjects as compulsory. On the other side, the professional cadres have to take all of the subjects except Bangla II paper and General Science and Technology. Instead of these two papers, they have to take their own subjects from B.A and M.A level carrying two hundred marks.

For Bangla, candidates have to go through the history of Bangla literature from the ancient period up to the present. Another thing which is very important for this subject is Bangla Grammar. Here they can take help from the H. S. C level grammar books. Besides, a reliable BCS guidebook will be of great use to them.

English is dreaded by many. But it poses no problem for those who study the subject again and again according to the guidelines.

For English, candidates need to read the history of English literature, names of authors and their writings, literary terms, a pair of words, corrections, phrases and idioms, different rules of English Grammar, structure and use, important essays, précis, and amplification. Besides, they must have good command over the English language to do well in the written test of the BCS.

For Mathematics, candidates should practice S.S.C. level Arithmetic, Algebra, and Geometry of both the old and new syllabus. The subject has to be taken seriously because it makes a huge difference in the overall marks scored.

For General Science, the H.S.C. level science books will be of great help. Besides, there are everyday science books written by assorted writers. These books can also be studied to do better. In the BCS guidebooks also many questions and answers have been given. They can be gone through. Candidates should have adequate knowledge of national and international issues.

For this purpose, they have to study the daily newspapers minutely. The H.S.C. level books on Geography, History, Agriculture, and Civics may be of great help for the improvement of general knowledge. Moreover, books on the current affairs have to be studied regularly.

One thing which is very important to know is that in some BCS guide books there are questions with answers of many BCS examinations of the previous years. They are of great help to the candidates. There goes a proverb that practice makes a man perfect and this can ensure a good result for the candidates.

So, those who desire to sit for the BCS examination must practice all the subjects from the very beginning following a regular routine and without wasting time.

Preparation for the viva-voce

The final stage of the BCS examination is the viva voce examination carrying two hundred marks. For the viva voce, candidates must have a vast knowledge of almost “everything.” They have to be very tactful and smart in their answers because it is the final stage for the BCS cadre. Every question should be answered very technically. The viva board may ask questions on any contemporary issues including the subjects she/he has studied at B.A. and M.A. levels. Some candidates become unnecessarily nervous. This causes a negative impact on the viva board. Candidates must feel comfortable and should take the oral examination lightly. A positive mood of the candidates is essential for a successful result in the viva voce. In addition, the candidates must put on clean and formal clothes for the purpose.

In which cadre category a candidate will be provided is decided mainly after the Viva-Voce. The preparation of any other cadres (General Cadre) and a Foreign affairs Cadre are the same till the written exams. It only differs when the Viva-Voce occurs. A Foreign Affairs Cadre should possess several special qualities and broad knowledge relating to foreign affairs to confirm his selection in the foreign affair category.

BCS Viva Tips For Foreign Affairs

‘Foreign affairs” is such kind of position in the BCS where only eligible candidates get chance through their endless efforts, sacrifice, and overall dedication.

To get chance in foreign affairs a candidate has to possess some specific qualities, covering the areas of complete addressing about himself, his upazila, district, division and above all the present status of the country in the international arena.

Such as in the UN, OIC, SAARC, BIMSTEC, NAM and in other alliance in which Bangladesh is working restlessly to bright the image of its own to the international communities. Also belonging to donor organizations including IMF, WB, USAID, JICA, ADB and IDB, foreign policy, different missions of Bangladesh in abroad.

He/She also should have a crystal-clear knowledge on the status and functions of a diplomat, broad knowledge on the current issues across the world, climatic hazards like global warming or greenhouse effect, earth-quake, exporting products of the country especially the garments sector coupled with remittance and FDI, having a sharp knowledge on map-pointing including rivers, oceans, countries, continents, mountains, lakes, seas etc.

His/Her knowledge also must cover diplomatic knowledge on geo-politics, inns, and outs of economic and military alliance with their full history, the name of capitals and currencies of all countries across the world.

Above all cadre need to give a smart and precise answer including relevant data with a pleasing voice which surely would be helpful to score a outstanding marks on viva-voce to reach to the top of success.

Reading materials for BCS Foreign Affairs:

1) Diplomacy and foreign policy in Wikipedia.
2) History of Bangladesh in Wikipedia
3) Constitution of Bangladesh.
4) For full information on district visit dc@(your district name).govt.bd
5) A book “ Articles on National and International Issues” by M Imam Hossain 6) National budget for the current year
7) An economic review of the Bangladesh govt – current year 8) Guidebooks including Oracle, Professors and Saifur’s publication
9) Regular study of the English newspapers including “The Daily Star”, “The Independent” and “Financial Express”.
10) Collection of the atlas.
11) Website: Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Bangladesh https://mofa.gov.bd/

Links for BCS Update: http://www.bpsc.gov.bd


Contributor: Sabbir Ahmed | From Mawlana Bhashani Science & Technology University