India recognized the need to conserve and manage the forest, nature, and its adjoining fields almost 150 years ago. The Imperial Forest Service was established in 1867 under the British government. Following Independence, in 1966, Indian Forest Service was re-established under the All India Service Act. Indian Forest Service is one of the most prestigious government jobs in India which maintains ecological stability and prosperity so that India and its population can survive with enough resources. If you wish to be amongst nature and serve the country all your life, this blog on how to join the Indian Forest Service is for you!
This Blog Includes:
- What is IFoS?
- Skills Needed to Join the Indian Forest Service
- Eligibility Requirements
- Guide to Join the Indian Forest Service
- IFS Exam Important Dates for 2023
- Roles and Responsibilities of an Indian Forest Officer
- Employment Sectors
- Salary After Joining the Indian Forest Service
What is IFoS?
Indian Forest Service is one of the 3 All-India Service- Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, and Indian Forest Service. It is the duty of the Indian Forest Officer to ensure that all forest enclosures are working under the National Forest Policy. India was one of the first countries to have formed a department that implements scientific management of forests and nature. The UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) conducts the IFoS examination every year to select the best candidates for the Indian Forest Service. There are three stages that you have to clear if you wish to join the Indian Forest Service.
Also Read: Career in Forestry
Skills Needed to Join the Indian Forest Service
It is important that you ask yourself why you should join the Indian Forest Service and also check the necessary skills for joining the IFoS.
- Decision Making Skills– If you want to join the Indian Forest Service, one thing that you have to ace is at being quick. On the field, there might be scenarios where you have to take swift decisions, calculating the risks and consequences.
- Technical Skills– A lot of responsibilities of an Indian Forest Officer lies in preserving, checking, recording different species and maintaining a huge database. Surveillance and records require you to be well-equipped in Word, Excel, etc.
- Communication Skills– Communication skills are a must in all services. To encounter people of different regions and cultures, communicating without discrimination or offence is extremely important.
Apart from these 3 basic skills, more forest-intensive skills are taught during the training period after you clear all examinations and interviews.
The Indian Forest Service is very rigid when they select its officers. The eligibility criteria can be divided into these categories:
|Physical Eligibility||You have to be physically fit without any long-term illnesses or allergies.|
|National Eligibility||Citizen of India OR
The subject of Nepal or Bhutan People of Indian origin migrated from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and East African countries to permanently settle in India.
Whoever is not a citizen of India but of Indian origin and wishes to join the Indian Forest Service has to proclaim a certificate of Eligibility from the Government of India.
|Academic Eligibility||Bachelor’s degree with at least one of these subjects- Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Botany, Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics and Zoology, Agriculture and Forestry, Engineering. OR
If you are appearing for the undergraduate exam, you can still apply and then submit your passing certificate.
|Age Eligibility||Minimum 21 years of age and maximum 32 years of age.
Minorities are allowed relaxations of up to 10 years on the maximum age eligibility.
Guide to Join the Indian Forest Service
The academic journey of joining the Indian Forest Service starts with your stern decision of preparing for the UPSC Preliminary Exam for the IFoS. Once you have graduated or are in your last year of graduation, you can apply for the UPSC IFoS- Forest Exam.
As mentioned before, there are three stages that you have to complete to join the Indian Forest Service and they are:
|Stage||Total||Average Cutoff (2019)|
|UPSC Preliminary Exam||400 marks ( 2 papers)||116|
|IFoS Main Exam||1400 marks||686|
Looking at the cutoffs, you can see how challenging is the academic journey to become an Indian Forest Officer. You can apply for the exams from the UPSC portal.
Keep a note that you can only give the exams once a year. It is also important to know how many attempts or how many times you can give the Main exam to qualify for the Indian Forest Service.
|SC and ST||No limit|
|Other Backward Classes||9 attempts|
Once you clear the examinations, you will be asked for an interview which will be conducted by UPSC. The sample questions for the same are given below:-
- Questions about the National Forest Policy
- What are tribals? (Sensitive Question)
- What kind of strengths are required for an Indian Forest Officer?
- What is the significance of the years 1972 and 1973?
- Questions about Climate Change
- What is JFM (Joint Forest Management)?
- What will you do if illegal activities occur in your area and your department is under investigation?
- Questions about various forest preservation andolans like the Chipko Movement
After the interview, if you are accepted to the Indian Forest Service, you are put under training for 2 years. Officer trainees are trained for 15 weeks at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration and then transferred to the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy for the rest of their training. After completion, you will be awarded the MSc in Forestry by the Forest Research Institute.
IFS Exam Important Dates for 2023
|UPSC IFoS 2023 Exam|
|Official Notification||February 1, 2023|
|Last Date to Apply||February 2023|
|Prelims||May 28, 2023|
The examination fee for the Indian Forest Service exam is INR 100/- and the below categories are exempted from the application fee:
- Scheduled Tribes
- Scheduled Castes
- PwBD (Person with Benchmark Disability)
Roles and Responsibilities of an Indian Forest Officer
As an officer of the prestigious Indian Forest Service, your roles and responsibilities are of national importance. The primary role of an Indian Forest Officer, at any level, is to conduct sustainable management of resources and wildlife, keeping in mind the National Forest Policy.
These would be your duties as an Indian Forest Officer at your posting:
- Preserving and maintaining the heritage of forest and forest resources
- Check on illegal cutting of forest trees and other such illicit activities
- Plant more trees and promote activities to plant more trees in the forest
- Make legal commercial exploitation for timber plans
- Make reports to be submitted to the ministry
- Regular surveys guarantee that the work is being done by the subordinates
- Ensure wildlife is protected and not exploited
More such post-specific responsibilities are added once you are posted to a certain forest enclosure.
The IFS officers are the backbone of the government in managing the forests, environment, and wildlife-related issues. They volunteer for this job when they are selected for Indian Forest Service. The different job roles of an IFS Officer are:
Principal Chief Conservator of Forest: This is regarded as the highest post/position in Indian Forest Service in a state. The person who holds this position acts as ahead of all forest departments in the respective state and reports to the Chief Conservator of Forest. He also evaluates issues that arise in the department and accordingly, takes appropriate action to resolve them.
Additional conservator of the forest: plays a vital role in assisting the Principal Chief Conservator of the Forest. In case a post of Deputy Conservator or Range Officer is vacant, an Additional Conservator may be deputed to function as such, and till such time a regular office is made available for these positions.
Deputy Conservator of Forest: A deputy conservator of the forest is also considered a Divisional Forest Officer. The major responsibility is the outlook after the forest, environment and wildlife-related issues and assisting the higher-level officials in the department and completing the tasks assigned by them.
Assistant Conservator of Forest: This IFS officer deals with addressing issues pertaining to forestry, environment, and wildlife-related issues. The major responsibility is to assist higher-level officials in completing the tasks assigned by them.
Range Officer (FRO): A Range Officer is responsible for efficient management of the respective forest range, and acts as custodian of all government property associated with forest in the state.
Salary After Joining the Indian Forest Service
The salary of an officer in the Indian Forest Service depends upon your level of duty and experience. These are the posts and salaries given in the 7th Central Pay Commission:
|Posts||Salary per month (INR)|
|Junior Time Scale||56,100-1,77,500|
|Senior Time Scale||67,700-2,08,700|
|Junior Administrative Grade||78,800-2,09,200|
|Deputy Conservator of Forests||1,18,500-2,14,100|
|Conservator of Forests||1,31,100-2,16,600|
|Chief Conservator of Forests||1,44,200-2,18,200|
|Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests||1,82,200-2,24,100|
|Principal Chief Conservator of Forests||2,05,400-2,24,400|
|Head of Forestry||2,25,000|
Yes, you have to first give the UPSC Preliminary exam needed to join the Indian Forest Service.
Free accommodation, free medical treatment, transport, bodyguard, house help and retirement benefits are some of the major perks of joining the Indian Forest Service
You are allowed 6 attempts for the IFoS exam in the general category.
You can be paid as high as INR 2.25 lakhs per month in the Indian Forest Service.
Yes, the interview is a part of the selection process for a candidate of Indian Forest Service.
15 weeks of foundation training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration and a minimum of 2 years of training at the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy is required after your interview and before you become an Indian Forest Officer.
Women are exempted from any application/examination fee for the IFoS exam.
Joining the Indian Forest Service is the dream government job but requires years of dedication and the challenge of cracking the IFoS exam. Hope this blog helped you understand the requisites of how to join the Indian Forest Service. Stay tuned for more informational blogs at Leverage Edu!