The Government of India appoints officers who act as representatives in different nations. These representatives are officers of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), who are responsible for the execution of India’s foreign policy.
In some nations, they are called ambassadors while in others they are known as high commissioners. There are subtle differences between the two which this article will try its utmost to highlight.
Aspirants can find more Difference Between Articles, by visiting the linked page
The detailed difference between an Ambassador and High Commissioner is given in the table below:
Differences between Ambassador and High Commissioner
|High Commissioner is the term used for representatives to the Commonwealth of Nations. It is what they use to address each other as well. For example, the representative of the Government in India in Australia is known as the High Commissioner||In addition to the Commonwealth Nations, the representative of the Government of India in other nations is known as an Ambassador. For example, the representative of India in Russia is called the Indian Ambassador to Russia|
|In Commonwealth nations, the office of the Indian Foreign Ministry is called the high commission||The offices of the Indian Foreign Ministry are known as ‘Embassies’ in non-commonwealth countries|
|In the British Empire, High Commissioners were envoys of the Imperial government to manage colonies and tributaries not fully under the sovereignty of the empire||The rise of modern Ambassadors can be traced back to 17th-century Italian states where their role was altered to serve as diplomats. The states being small in size and vulnerable from other larger entities saw it necessary to develop the ambassador system for information dispersion and external protection through non-violent and far more economical means.|
|A high commissioner from one Commonwealth nation to another carries a simple informal letter of introduction from one head of government (In India’s case, the Prime Minister)to that of another.||Ambassadors carry formal letters of credence from their head of state addressed to the head of the host country|
|A High Commissioner would also be put in charge of decolonization, like in the case of the former Crown colony of the Seychelles, where the last Governor became high commissioner in 1975.||Ambassadors not only foster good diplomatic relations between countries but also work for peace by stopping illegal activities such as terrorism, human trafficking, drug trade, etc.|
The Ambassadors and High Commissioners are selected from the ranks of the Indian Foreign Services. For more information about the services they can check the links given below
- Functions of the Indian Foreign Services
- Indian Foreign Services Rank in UPSC
- IFS Salary and Perks
- IAS vs IFS
- List of Top IFS Officers in India
Difference Between Ambassador and High Commissioner – Download PDF Here
Frequently Asked Questions about Ambassadors and High Commissioner
What is the role of an Ambassador?
What is the work of High Commissioner?
Candidates can find the general pattern of the UPSC Exams by visiting the UPSC Syllabus page. For more articles and exam-related preparation materials, refer to the links given in the table below:
|NCERT Books||UPSC Exam Pattern||Current Affairs Quiz|
|IFS Eligibility||World Current Affairs||PIB Summary and Analysis|
|Global Talent Competitiveness index||Administrative Reforms Commission||List of National Parks in India|