The Indian Forest Service was
created in 1966 for protection, conservation and regeneration of forest
resources. The recruitment to this Service is made through the Union Public
Service Commission on the basis of annual Competitive Examination. While the
service is an All India Service, it is not to be confused with Indian
Foreign Service, which is commonly thought to be in the same league as
Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest
Service. A separate examination, which is slightly different from the Civil
Services Examination as having Science background compulsory for candidates,
is held for the Indian Forest Service.
India is one of the first
countries in the world to have introduced scientific management of its
forests. In 1864 the then British India Government started the Imperial
Forest Department and in 1866 appointed Dr. Dietrich Brandis, a German
Forest officer, Inspector General of Forests. Having recognized the need to
have a premier forest service to manage the varied natural resources of the
vast country and to organize the affairs of the Imperial Forest Department,
Imperial Forestry Service was constituted in 1867.
Having realized the
importance of a multi-tier forest administration in the federal and
provincial Governments for effective management of forest resources, the
British India Government also constituted Provincial Forest Service and
Executive & Subordinate Services, which were quite similar to the present
day forest administrative hierarchy.
The officers appointed to the
Imperial Forestry Service from 1867 to 1885 were trained in Germany and
France. Thereafter, until 1905 they were trained at Cooper's Hill, London,
which had been one of the prestigious professional colleges of Forestry at
that time. From 1905 to 1926 the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and
Edinburgh had undertaken the task of training the officers of the Imperial
Forestry Service. The Imperial Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun,
popularly known all over the world today as FRI, was established at Dehra
Dun in the year 1906. The baton to train the IFS officers was passed on to
Forest Research Institute, which it did successfully from 1927 to 1932.
Subsequently the Indian Forest College (IFC) was established in the year
1938 at Dehra Dun and the officers recruited to the Superior Forest Service
by the provinces/states were trained there.
The subject of "Forestry"
which was managed by the Federal Government until then, was transferred to
the "Provincial List" by the Government of India Act, 1935 and subsequently
recruitment to the Imperial Forestry Service was discontinued.
The Indian Forest Service,
one of the three All India Services, was constituted in the year 1966 under
the All India Services Act, 1951 by the Government of India. In the
Government of India, at the Centre, the Director General of Forests is the
highest post. The Director General of Forests is selected from amongst the
senior-most PCCFs of all the states.
The main mandate of the
service is the implementation of the National Forest Policy which envisages
scientific management of forests and to exploit them on a sustained basis
for primary timber products, among other things. Since 1935 the management
of the forests remained in the hands of the Provincial Governments and even
today the Forest Departments are managing the forests of the country under
the respective State governments.
India has an area of 635,400
square kilometres notified as forests, representing some 22.27% of
geographic area. India is one of the few countries which have a forest
policy since 1894, revised in 1952 and again in 1988. The main plank of the
current policy is protection, preservation and development of forests.
Creation of Indian Forest Service
The Indian Forest Service
(IFS) was created to cater to the need for inter-state coordination and
uniformity of approach in dealing with the scientific management of forests
and the environment. Mr. Hari Singh was the Inspector General of Forests in
1966 and was instrumental in the creation of the IFS. Being an All India
Service, the members are recruited by the Centre but their services are put
under the various State cadres, with the privilege of serving both under the
State and under the Centre.
Standards and syllabus
General English consists of
essay writing, precise/summary writing and questions to assess your
comprehension and verbal ability in English. General Knowledge paper covers
questions relating to the Indian political system, the Constitution of
India, history of India, geography (India and world), general science and
current events (national and international). Higher secondary level of
knowledge is a good base. As for the optional subjects, the level of testing
is at least of the Honours degree level. A good bibliography for the
subjects provides the base material for study.
The Indian Forest Service
Examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). It
provides the opportunity for direct entry into employment. The candidates
are trained by the government to play a vibrant role at the grassroots level
as also in policy formulation. Within the specified age slot (upper age
limits are relaxed for SC/ST/ OBC and other categories), a general candidate
may get up to four attempts. An OBC candidate is allowed a maximum of seven
attempts and there are no limitations on number of attempts for SC/ST
Expected questions could
revolve around subjects of academics; current affairs; basic knowledge of
forest-related issues / policies and status of their implementation;
knowledge of one's state of domicile with respect to geographical features,
forest cover, wildlife, economic status, cultural outlook. The interview
board wishes to see evidence of leadership qualities, tact, diplomacy,
initiative, alertness, observation, mental and physical energy and
enthusiasm, love for the outdoors, a sense of adventure, curiosity in
surroundings and balance of judgement.
Selected candidates are sent
for foundation training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of
Administration, Mussourie which is followed by specialised orientation for
the Forest Service at the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Dehradun
with inputs on forests management, wildlife management, soil conservation,
engineering survey, tribal welfare and weapon handling. After this comes one
year "on the job" field training in the particular state to which the
candidate is allotted and on successful completion of probation period on
completion of four years of service with reference to the Year of Allotment,
the officers are appointed to the Senior Time Scale. On getting the Senior
Time Scale the officers are entitled to be posted as the Deputy Conservators
of Forests or Divisional Forest Officers in charge of Districts/Forest