Among the various Group A and Group B posts for which Union Public Service Commission or UPSC conducts written and interview rounds, the Indian Forest Service Examination is one. UPSC is the central board instituted under the constitution as of Article 320 and 321, to look after the recruitment process into several government departments in the centre. Since it is the highest recruitment body in the country and because it conducts examinations for the higher bureaucracy in the country, plenty of students are in the lookout for advertisements posted by this organisation.
A similar frenzy is seen among the candidates who are aspiring to get into the Indian Forest Service, a dream which can be fulfilled by the Indian Forest Service Examination. Indian Forest Service or IFS is the forestry service of India. It is the service among the three all India level services as nominated under the Government of India. The recruitment of various IFS officers is done by the centre, although they work under the states or central governments. The role of forest department has been prominent in the central government, because these officers are responsible for managing and taking care of the vast forest lands present in the country.
Training and courses
- By the virtue of qualifying in the IFS (Indian Forest Service) Examination, candidates are subjected for competency training at the LBSNAA (Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration) in Mussourie. After this tenure of training, they are required to undergo forest specific training through the IGNFA (Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy) at Dehradun. This training helps a candidate to understand the roles and responsibilities related to forest and wildlife management, soil conservation, surveying, handling Scheduled Tribes and weapons.
After the completion of the training, candidates will have to go for on the job training in the states to which they are assigned. For a period of three years, they get posting as Assistant Conservator of Forests. After successful completion of this period, and an additional four years tenure in the service in junior scale, they get promoted to the senior category and ranked as DCF (Deputy Conservator of Forests) or DFO (Divisional Forest Officers) with a jurisdiction of Districts or any specific Forest Divisions.
The hierarchy of ranks in which the candidates get promotion are:
- ACF (Assistant Conservator of Forests)
- CF (Conservator of Forests)
- DG of Forests (which is the senior most officer in the Indian Forest Department at the centre)
Exam pattern of Indian Forest Service Examination
- For becoming an IFS officer, candidates need to appear in the written exam, which would be conducted by UPSC, usually in the month of July, the notifications of which would be out by February/March. In this written exam, the questions would be of essay type, with Paper I having General English, Paper II having General Knowledge and Paper III, IV and V having questions from any two optional subjects.
- Paper I and II will have 300 marks while the optional papers will carry 200 marks each. This will be followed by the interview round, which carries a weightage of 300 marks, for those candidates who are able to clear the written round.
After clearing the Indian Forest Service Examination, candidates can go for joining the Forest Service, which is considered as one of the most promising opportunity under central government pay scale. The postings will vary and may be in the different states under All India Service Liability. These posts are highly coveted, not only because of the large central scale pay but also because of the challenging and responsible role that people have to undertake. A task which keeps the recruits close to nature and a big responsibility in a country like India will surely be possible to be carried out only by passing a tough exam like the IFS.