The Full Form of IFoS is Indian Forest Service which is one of the three All India Services of the government of India along with IAS and IPS. It was constituted in the year 1966 under the All India Services Act, 1951. The main mandate of IFoS service is the implementation of the National Forest Policy which aims to ensure environmental stability and maintenance of ecological balance. An IFS officer is largely independent of district administration and exercises administrative, judicial, and financial powers in their domain. The first Inspector General of Forests, Hari Singh, was instrumental in the development of the Forest Service. All top positions in the state forest department are held by IFoS officers.
Role of IFoS
The responsibilities and roles of an Indian Forest Service official include:
- Forest conservation and development
- Biodiversity and Wildlife management
- Solving environmental issues including Climate Change
- Dealing with forest and wildlife-related crimes
- Afforestation + Agroforestry
- Tribal and hill area development
- Social welfare of tribals and dwellers in the forest
- Natural resource management
- Training and capacity building
- R&D + Biotechnology
- Forest Personnel Administration
- Policy Making
Job Roles of Indian Forest Officer (IFoS)
- Principal Chief Conservator of Forest: This officer is the head of the forest force. The major responsibilities of this officer are to manage the forest, wildlife, and environmental issues of different states. Moreover, it is the highest position in the Indian Forest Service.
- Additional Chief Conservator of Forest: Firstly, this officer plays an important role to assist the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest. Secondly, this officer is directly answerable to the chief and should complete the duties assigned by him.
- Deputy Conservator of Forest: This officer is also known as Divisional Forest Officer. Further, the main duties of the officer are to manage the forest, wildlife, and environment-related issues.
- Assistant Conservator of Forest: The responsibility of this officer is to assist higher-level officers. Moreover, they also do some tasks according to their post which are assigned upon joining.
- Forest Range Officer (FRO): This officer is responsible for the effective management of the forest. Also, this officer has custody of government property associated with the forest. Moreover, this officer follows the Deputy Conservator of Forest.
Pros of IFoS?
- The job of IFOS is permanent with attractive employee benefits.
- The salary keeps increasing with experience and promotion.
- Also, there is an added benefit of getting to reside in beautiful homes in some of the most beautiful locations. Nature lovers will be able to pursue wildlife photography as well as spend time in the natural habitat of the wild.
- Further, eco-tourism is one of the perks of being in the Indian Forest Service.
Cons of IFoS?
- Since Forest Range Officers work in the forest, there is risk for animal attacks.
- Forest officers are more accountable for the government property i.e. Forests. Therefore, they need to be more careful in protecting the animals and resources in the forest.
- Officers in the IFoS at times also have to face land mafia, cases related to mining, and even naxal problems.
However, every job has its disadvantages. But the real fun and satisfaction that the job brings is the ability to give back to nature, protect it, the chance to be able to spend time in some of the purest locations. This job is a dream for many, especially for nature lovers.
|Job Profile||Salary Per Annum|
|Principal Chief Conservator of Forest||Rs. 15,00,000|
|Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest||Rs. 14,00,000|
|Inspector General of Forest (Chief Conservator of Forest)||Rs. 13,00,000|
|Deputy Inspector General of Forest (Deputy Conservator of Forest)||Rs. 12,00,000|
|Assistant Inspector General of Forest||Rs. 10,00,000|
Exam Pattern for IFoS
The IFOS exam is divided into 3 parts – Prelims, Mains and Interview.
- It is an objective type paper.
- It has 2 mandatory papers. Each paper comprises 200 questions.
- The duration of the exam is 2 hours.
- Moreover, there is a negative marking (1/3rd) for every incorrect answer. Also, candidates should not select more than one answer.
- The mains exam of IFoS has 6 papers. Paper 3, 4, 5, 6 are based on optional subjects.
- Paper 1 and 2 carry 300 marks. But, Paper III, IV, V, VI carry 200 marks each.
Syllabus of IFoS
To understand the IFoS exam properly, you must have a thorough knowledge of the syllabus. It is the most aptest way to know the demand and extent of any exam.
It should be noted that the syllabus of IFOS Prelims is the same as Prelims of Civil Services.
General Paper 1
- Current affairs that are of national as well as international importance.
- Indian history with more attention on the Indian national movement.
- The world geography with a special focus on India- the physical, social and economic geography of India is particularly important.
- Also, Indian polity and governance- thorough knowledge of the constitution, Panchayati raj, political system, public policies and schemes, fundamental rights, etc.
- Sustainable, economic, and social development, demographics of poverty, employment, inclusion, and social sector initiatives.
- Environment, biodiversity, social issues related to the environment, climate change, on a generic basis, Subject specialization is not required.
- General Science.
General Paper 2
- English comprehension
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Logical and analytical reasoning
- Problem-solving and decision making based questions
- General mental ability
- Basic numerical ability- orders of magnitude, number, and their relations, charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency.
- Basic English language, grammar, and vocabulary.
- 1st Paper is on General English
- 2nd paper is on General Knowledge
- Paper III, IV, V, VI are optional subjects
List of Optional Subjects are –
- Agriculture Engineering
- Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
The candidate must know that some subject combinations are not allowed. Also, we have created that list for you –
- Agricultural Engineering and Agriculture
- Forestry and Agriculture
- Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
- Statistics and Maths
- Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science and Agriculture.
- Not more than one engineering subjects
This is the last stage of the examination. However, the candidate must keep in mind that this stage is much more than bookish knowledge. It is about the candidate’s caliber and presence of mind. Also, the selected candidate must possess the following qualities –
- Mind Alertness
- Leadership Qualities
- Balance judgement
- Physical and Mental Caliber
- The desire to explore unknown places and
- Positive attitude to the most unexpected questions
Moreover, a physical test is also a part of the selection process. In this test, the male candidates have to walk 25 km in less than 4 hours and female candidates have to walk 15 km in less than 4 hours. TRAINING: Officers are recruited through an open competitive examination conducted by the UPSC annually and then trained for about two years by the Central Government. As forest service officials, the selected candidates have to perform various duties ranging from administrative, judicial, financial, forest resources-related crime management, thus their training curriculum follows a multi-disciplinary approach. During the training period candidates visit Lal Bahadur Shashtri national academy of Administration, Mussoorie for foundational training of nearly 3 months. After that, they are trained to Indira Gandhi National Forest Institue Dehradun, Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), etc. They also go on tour in India and abroad. DEPUTATION: Their services are placed under various State cadres and joint cadres, being an All India Service they have the mandate to serve both under the State and Central Governments. Thus they might serve in central government, state government, or international organizations.
Eligibility Criteria for IFoS
- The candidates belonging to SC/ST caste have 5 years of relaxation.
- Other Backward Classes have 3 years of relaxation.
- Also, the ex-servicemen have 5 years of relaxation.
- Disabled people have 3 years of relaxation.
Number of Attempts
- General Candidates have 6 Attempts.
- SC/ST candidates have no limit on the number of attempts. The limit is on their age only.
- On the other hand, OBC and other backward classes get 9 attempts.
The candidates must have a passing degree from a government-authorized University or any degree equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in any of the streams from a reputed university.
How to Apply for IFoS
- Log on to IFoS Official Website.
- Go to DAF – Indian Forest Examination.
- Check the official notifications which has all the important dates. Also, check if you have all the required criteria.
- After that, go to UPSC home page, click on the registration link and fill in important details. Also, make sure to upload all required documents to proof.
- After the completion of the application form. Complete the payment step.
- Finally, do keep a printed copy of the application form for future reference.
IAS vs IFoS
- Both IAS( Indian Administrative Service) and IFoS( Indian Forest Service) recruitment happens through the same prelims exam. So, interested students can apply for both of them in the same application form.
- However, the mains and interview stages are different for both the services. There are different syllabi for both and the selection procedure also varies from this stage on.
- IAS is the most prestigious job without a doubt but IFoS is the service you should opt for if you are a nature lover and have to zeal to tackle environment-related issues. Also, you will enjoy your job and make the best out of it when you have the desire to be a part of nature by protecting it. On the other hand, if the candidate wants to make a bigger change in society, then IAS is your way to go.
To sum up, the benefits of both jobs are quite amazing. An IFoS officer deals with forest problems like poachers, environmental degradation, animals, etc. Further, the IFoS officer and the officer’s family will get VIP access to wildlife reserves of the country. This is one of the most cherished benefits of IFoS officers today. Anyways, whether you are an IAS or an IFoS officer, you will be serving the country to the best of your abilities.
- The candidate must prepare thoroughly and do hard work because the vacancies are very less in IFoS.
- The cut off usually goes high due to fewer vacancies and high competition.
- It is advised aspirants not to grab every book or source that you find. Instead, try to find your strengths and weaknesses and keep your sources limited and focus on revision.
- Further, prepare yourself for the physical test as the candidate must be fit in order to clear the last round.
- Finally, focus on yourself and attempt mock tests and Interviews. This is the most reliable way of polishing yourself before the actual day of the exams.