Indian Trade Service

Indian Trade Service
Service overview
Formed1965 (CTS), 1985(ITS)[1]
Country India
Training groundFoundation : LBSNAA or affiliated institutes

Professional: Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi[2] Attachments: Major ministries, ports, SEZs, industrial attachment, regional offices, NACEN, Centre for WTO studies

Controlling authorityMinistry of Commerce, Directorate General of Foreign Trade
Legal personalityGovernment, Government service, career bureaucrats
General natureForeign Trade Policy Formulation
Foreign Trade Policy Implementation

International Trade negotiations

Trade disputes settlement

Trade diplomacy

Export promotion activities through training and development (Niryat Bandhu)

Preceding serviceCentral Trade Service
Cadre size180

The Indian Trade Service (ITS), Group ‘A’ Civil Service,[1] was created as a specialized cadre to handle India's international trade & commerce on the basis of the recommendations of the Mathur Committee (Study Team on the Import and Export Trade Control Organization headed by Sri H.C. Mathur, Member of Parliament) in 1965.At present Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT),[3] under Ministry of Commerce, is the cadre controlling authority of the ITS. DGFT has 38 regional offices[4] across India, and plays a significant role in promoting India's international trade with its policy formulation and implementation.

The Department of commerce is headed by a Secretary[5] who is assisted by a Special Secretary & Financial Adviser, three Additional Secretaries, thirteen Joint Secretaries and Joint Secretary level officers and a number of other senior officers. Keeping in view the large increase in workload in matters related to World Trade Organization (WTO), Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs), free trade agreements (FTAs), Special Economic Zones (SEZs), joint study groups (JSGs) etc., two posts each of Joint Secretaries and Directors were created in the Department during 2008-09.

The Department is functionally organized into the following nine Divisions:[6]

  1. International Trade Policy Division
  2. Foreign Trade Territorial Division
  3. Export Products Division
  4. Export Industries Division
  5. Export Services Division
  6. Economic Division
  7. Administration & General Service Division
  8. Finance Division
  9. Supply Division


The recruitment to Indian Trade Service is through Civil Services examinations conducted by UPSC[7].[8] In addition, departmental candidates are also promoted as ITS through career progression.

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