UPSC conducts the Indian Forest Service Exam every year for recruiting officers for the Indian Forest Service. It is also an All India service like IAS and IPS. The Indian Forest Service was created in 1966 for protection, conservation and regeneration of forest resources. 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.
Indian Forest Service (IFS), offers a highly challenging and rewarding career. The maintenance of the natural resources of the country is very essential for a balanced all round development of the country. Maintenance of forests is so important for maintaining the ecological balance that the Indian Forest Service has been set up for this very purpose. The Indian Forest Service Officers (IFS) who are recruited through UPSC by the Central Government play a very crucial role in the management and supervision of the country’s forest reserves and wild life.
UPSC conducts the Indian Forest Service Exam generally in the month of July. The pattern of exam is similar to that of civil services, and selection is done in three phases. Selected candidates are sent for foundation training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, which is followed by specialised orientation for the Forest Service at the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Dehradun.
After training candidates are posted as the assistant conservator, district conservator, chief conservator, principal conservator, and the inspector general of forests. The senior most post is that of the Environment Secretary in the Union Government.
Age: A candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 28 years on the first day of July of the year in which examination is held.
The upper age limit may be relaxed in respect of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes and such other categories of persons as may from time to time be notified in this behalf by the Government of India to the extent and subject to the conditions notified in respect of each category.
Educational Qualifications: A candidate must hold a Bachelor's Degree with at least one of the subjects namely, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Botany, Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics and Zoology or a Bachelor's degree in Agriculture, Forestry or in Engineering of a recognized University or equivalent.
Personal Attributes: They must possess considerable physical stamina, endurance, and keen interest in nature conservation and animal protection. They must also have a hardy disposition for facing in unpredictable
Notification along with application forms for the Indian Forest Service Examination will appear in all daily newspapers and the Rozgar Samachar/ Employment News in the month of January / February. The examination is held once a year, generally in the month of July. A candidate seeking admission must apply to The Secretary, UPSC, Dholpur House, New Delhi 110011 on prescribed application form.
Plan of the Examination
Examination Subjects: The following will be the subjects for the written examination:
Compulsory: (1) General English (2) General Knowledge (150 marks each).
Optional: Any two of the following subjects: (1) Agriculture, (2) Botany, (3) Chemistry, (4) Civil Engineering, (5) Geology, (6) Agricultural Engineering, (7) Chemical Engineering, (8) Mathematics, (9) Mechanical Engineering, (10) Physics (11) Zoology, (12) Statistics, (13) Forestry and (14) Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science (200 marks each).
The Examination in all the subjects will be of conventional (Essay) type.
Interview: The written examination is followed by a personality test in the form of personal interview. The interviews are held by the UPSC soon after the result of written test is declared. The marks obtained in the interview are added to the marks obtained by a candidate in the written test to draw up the final merit list.
The main aim of personality test is to judge the suitability of candidates as officers of Indian Forest Service. The candidates appearing in the interview may expect some questions on current affairs, forest related issues, Indian Polity, Planning Process, Budgeting and Economic Geography. The personality test also aims at testing leadership qualities, mental alertness, initiative, balance of judgement, analytical capabilities etc.
Training: Selected candidates are sent for foundation training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy, which is followed by specialised orientation in Forest Service at the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Dehradun with inputs on wildlife management, tribal welfare, soil conservation, forest management, engineering survey, weapon handling etc.
Standard of Papers: The standard of papers in general English and general knowledge will be as may be expected of a Science/Engineering graduate of an Indian University. The standard of papers in other subjects will be approximately that of Bachelor's degree of an Indian University.