Who rules the forest? The obvious answer to this question is the king of forest the lion but in reality the competitive examination aspirant knows that in reality the jurisdiction of forests is not ruled by the lion, but by the Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officers. IFoS examination is comparatively a neglected career option by the competitive examination aspirants, mostly due to lack of complete knowledge about this examination and the related career opportunities.
This article tries to throw light on IFoS examination pattern and its related aspects. An IFoS officer is largely independent of District administration and exercises complete administrative, judicial and financial powers in their own domain. All the top positions in state forest department are held by IFoS officers. An IFoS officer moves up the career ladder through appointments like Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) to Conservator of Forests (CF) and ultimately the appointment of Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), respectively. The highest ranking IFoS official in each state is the Head of Forest Forces (HoFF), a cabinet selection post equal in rank to the Chief Secretary for IAS or State Police Chief for the IPS officer.
The eligibility criteria for IFoS examination – include age limit of 21 to 32 years for general category candidates and completion of bachelor’s degree with one of the subjects namely Animal Husbandry, Physics, Statistics and Zoology, Agriculture, Forestry and Engineering, respectively. The stage one of this examination is an objective type of examination called the Preliminary Examination which is same as that of the Civil Services Preliminary Examination. It consists of two papers, where the candidates are tested on areas such as Indian economy, polity, history, geography, environment, awareness of current affairs, reading comprehension, logical reasoning, basic numeracy skills, inter-personal skills and decision making, respectively. Generally, the qualifying cut-off marks of preliminary examination required to qualify for IFoS main examination is higher than that of Civil Services mains examination. The marks of Preliminary Examination are not counted in making final overall merit. The Mains Examination consists of six descriptive papers including two optional subjects (two papers each) from among the subjects allowed by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), one General Studies paper an English language paper, repetitively. The list of optional subject allowed are.
(ii.) Agricultural Engineering (iii) Animal Husbandry & amp; Veterinary Science
However, the following combination of subjects are not allowed for IFoS
(a)Agriculture and Agricultural Engineering.
(b)Agriculture and Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science.
(c)Agriculture and Forestry.
(d)Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.
(e)Mathematics and Statistics.
(f) Of the Engineering subjects viz. Agricultural Engineering, Chemical
Engineering, Civil Engineering and mechanical Engineering (not more than one Engineering subject allowed in combination.)
life and the desire to explore unknown and out of way places is also assessed. Interview test or personality assessment is followed by a medical check up and a physical test which requires all male candidates to complete a 25 km walk/run in less than 4 hours whereas for the female candidates, the distance is reduced to 14 km. The test is usually conducted at the National Zoological Park, Delhi. After selection for the IFoS, the candidates are allocated the respective state cadres based on their female ranking and the availability of vacancies.
It is not necessary that every eligible Engineering or Agriculture graduate should aim for the IFoS as a career option. But it doesn’t mean that the students could afford to remain unaware about different career options available to them based on their eligibility. The ‘informed choice’ about various career options available to the candidates would help them to choose the right destination, right path and right method of preparation about their ultimate dream career. The IFoS examination is also one of the dream career options available to the candidates which requires the correct basic information and the The final stage of IFoS examination is the Personality Test. In addition to these traits of personality, qualities such as topographical sense, love for out-door approach to crack this examination. So believe in yourself and take the first positive step towards success in these competitive examinations.