Indian Forest Service

Indian Forest Service

The Indian Forest Service (IFS) is the forestry service of India. It is one of the three All India Services of the Indian government, along with the Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service; its employees are recruited by the national government but serve under the the state governments or Central Government.


The Indian Forest Service was created in 1966 for protection, conservation, and regeneration of forest resources.

India was one of the first countries in the world to have introduce scientific forest management. In 1864, the British Raj established the Imperial Forest Department. In 1866 Dr. Dietrich Brandis, a German forest officer, was appointed Inspector General of Forests. The Imperial Forestry Service was organized under the Imperial Forest Department in 1867. The British colonial government also constituted provincial forest services and executive and subordinate services similar to the forest administrative hierarchy used today.

Officers appointed to the Imperial Forestry Service from 1867 to 1885 were trained in Germany and France, and from 1905 on at Cooper's Hill, London, then a noted professional colleges of forestry. From 1905 to 1926, the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, and University of Edinburgh had undertaken the task of training Imperial Forestry Service officers.

From 1927 to 1932, forest officers were trained at the Imperial Forest Research Institute (FRI) at Dehradun, which had been established in 1906. The Indian Forest College (IFC) was established in the 1938 at Dehradun, and officers recruited to the Superior Forest Service by the states and provinces were trained there. Forestry, which was managed by the federal government until then, was transferred to the "provincial list" by the Government of India Act 1935, and recruitment to the Imperial Forestry Service was subsequently discontinued.

The modern Indian Forest Service was established in the year 1966, after independence, under the All India Services Act 1951. The first Inspector General of Forests, Hari Singh, was instrumental in the development of the IFS.

India has an area of 635,400km2 designated as forests, about 22.27 percent of the country. India's forest policy was created in 1894 and revised in 1952 and again in 1988.

Eligibility and selection

Recruitment to the Forest Service is made through the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on the basis of annual competitive civil service examinations. Entry is open to candidates who hold a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, geology, statistics, veterinary science and animal husbandry; or who hold a bachelor's degree in engineering, forestry, or agriculture; or a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, and who are between the ages of 21 and 30 as on July 1 of the year of the examination. Upper age limits are less restrictive for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and Other Backward Classes (SC/ST/OBC).

Notification of the Indian Forest Service Examination is generally in February. The written essay-based examination is conducted in July and is conducted in English. Each paper is of three hours' duration.

Applicants appear for tests on two compulsory subjects, General English and General Knowledge, for 300 marks each. General English consists of essay-writing, precise/summary writing and questions to assess reading comprehension and verbal ability. General Knowledge consists of questions relating to the Indian political system, the Constitution of India, Indian history, Indian and world geography, general science, and national and international current events. Higher secondary level of knowledge is a good base.

Then two optional subjects are selected by the applicant from a list of 14 subjects, which includes among them four branches of engineering (mechanical, chemical, civil, and agricultural). Each optional subject has two papers, and each paper is worth 200 marks. Four combinations of similar optional subjects are not allowed: Chemical engineering and chemistry, mathematics and statistics, agricultural engineering and agriculture, and veterinary science and animal husbandry. Optional subject testing is at least of the Honours degree level.

Candidates who qualify the written examination appear for an interview worth 300 marks. Interview questions revolve around subjects of academics; current affairs; basic knowledge of forest-related issues and policies and the status of their implementation; knowledge of the geographical features, forest cover, wildlife, and economic and cultural issues of one's community.

Within the specified age range, most candidates may attempt up to four times. Other Backward Class (OBC) candidates are allowed a maximum of seven attempts and there are no limitations on number of attempts for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (SC/ST) candidates.

Training and rank structure

Selected candidates are sent for foundation training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration at Mussourie. This is followed by Forest Service-specific orientation at the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy at Dehradun, with training on forest and wildlife management, soil conservation, surveying, Scheduled Tribes, and handling weapons.

After completing the academies, candidates go through a year of on-the-job field training in the state to which he or she is assigned.

There is a probationary period four years. On completion of this, officers are appointed to the Senior Time Scale and are entitled to be posted as the Deputy Conservators of Forests or Divisional Forest Officers in charge of districts/forest divisions.

Ranks of the Forest Service are as follows:
*Assistant Conservator of Forests
*Deputy Conservator of Forests
*Conservator of Forests (CFs)
*Chief Conservator of Forests
*Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests
*Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCFs)
*Director General of Forests - highest post, selected from amongst the senior-most PCCFs of states.

External links

* [ Classified list of forest officials in 1916]

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