Indian Forest Service (IFoS)

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September 8, 2012 by Farzad Minoo Damania

The Indian Forest Service Officer (IFoS) is accountable for managing forests, environment and wildlife related issues of a forest division of a state or union territory.  
Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)  conducts a competitive examination for recruitment to the Indian Forest Service (IFS). The selection process for the Indian Forest Service (IFS) comprises of a written exam followed by an interview (personality test).

Important Dates:
  • Notification of Examination:  February/March every year
  • Conduct of Examination: July every year
Eligibility: Age Limit
  • 21-30 Years on 1st July of the year of examination. 
  • The upper age limit is relaxed for certain categories of persons.
Eligibility : Educational Qualification
  • A Bachelor’s degree with at least one of the subjects namely, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science, Botany, Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics and Zoology or a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture or Forestry or Engineering of a recognised university or equivalent.
  • Candidates appearing at their degree examination (with prescribed subjects) are also eligible to compete. Candidates qualifying on the result of the written part of the examination will be required to submit the proof of passing the requisite examination along with their detailed application form to be filled up at that stage.
Eligibility: Number of attempts
  • Every candidate appearing at the Examination, who is otherwise eligible, shall be permitted four attempts at the examination. 
  • Exception applies to people of certain categories. 
How to apply:
  • Candidates are required to apply online only by using the website
  • Detailed instructions are available on the above mentioned website.
Scheme of Examination:  
The entrance exam consists of two stages, Written exam & Interview (Personality Test). 

Stage 1: Written Examination – Conventional (essay) type:
  • The questions are in conventional essay type. 
  • All question papers are in English language only.
  • The duration of each paper is 3 hours only.
  • Paper pattern:
  • Paper I – General English :300 Marks
  • Paper II – General Knowledge : 300 Marks
  • Paper III, IV, V & VI – Any two subjectto be selected from the list of optional subjects set out below. Each subject will have two papers : 200 Marks for each paper

  • List of optional subjects:
  • Agriculture
  • Agricultural Engineering
  • Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering 
  • Civil Engineering
  • Forestry
  • Geology
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics
  • Statistics
  • Zoology

  • Provided that the candidates will not be allowed to offer the following combination of subjects :
  • Agriculture and Agricultural Engineering
  • Agriculture and Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  • Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Of the Engineering subjects viz. Agricultural Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering – not more than one subject

Stage 2: Interview for Personality Test: 300 Marks:
  • The interview or Personality Test carries 300 marks and is usually a directed and purposive conversation. It is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the eligible candidates.
  • The candidates will be interviewed by a Board of competent and unbiased observers who will have before them a record of their career. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for the Service. The candidate will be expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in his/her subjects of academic study but also in events which are happening around him/her both within and outside his/her own State or Country, as well as in modern currents of thoughts and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well-educated youth.
  • The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross examination, but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation, intended to reveal mental qualities of the candidate. The Board will pay special attention to assessing the intellectual curiosity, critical powers of observation and assimilation, balance of judgement and alertness of mind, initiative, tact, capacity for leadership; the ability for social cohesion, mental and physical energy and powers of practical application; integrity of character; and other qualities such as topographical sense, love for out-door life and the desire to explore unknown and out of way places.

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 training at 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 of three years during which they are posted as Assistant Conservators of Forests. On completion of this training, and after a total period of four years of service in the junior scale, officers are appointed to the Senior Time Scale and are entitled to be posted as Deputy Conservators of Forests or Divisional Forest Officers in charge of districts/forest divisions.
Ranks of the Indian Forest Service are as follows:
  • Probationary Officer / Assistant Conservator of Forests
  • Deputy Conservator of Forests
  • Conservator of Forests (CFs)
  • Chief Conservator of Forests (CCFs)
  • Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Addl. PCCFs)
  • Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) – highest post in a State
  • Director General of Forests – highest post at Centre, selected from amongst the senior-most PCCFs of states.
Job Avenues:
  • Research Fellows/Associates – at Research Establishments such as Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education ,Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Agriculture Universities, Forest Research Institutes
  • Scientists – at Research Organisations such as Indian Agricultural Research Institute (regional centre), Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering & Technology, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, ICAR Research Complex For NEH Region
  •  Subject Matter Specialists – at Krishi Vigyan Kendra
  • Assistant Commissioner Animal Husbandry (over 150 vacancies) – at State Public Service Commissions, for instance, Maharashtra Public Service Commission
  • Foresters – at Cantonment Boards such as Chakrata
  • Inspectors (Fertilisers) – at Central Fertilizer Quality Control & Training Institute
Best Wishes
Farzad Damania
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