Indian Forest Service is an integrated part of the Civil Services conducted by the  UPSC. This exam filters those candidates who are apt to serve in the Indian Forest Department for preservation and protection. This post asks for some criteria for joining as an official.


The eligibility criteria are as discussed below:

Educational Qualification

Candidate should hold a Bachelor’s degree with at least one of the subjects namely, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science, Geology, Chemistry, Botany, Mathematics, Physics, Zoology, and Statistics. The candidate may also have a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry or Agriculture or Engineering from any university (or equivalent). Candidates who have appeared in degree examination can also apply. But the proof of the same will have to be provided.


There are some other eligibility criteria for the IFS officers. Some physical fitness criteria will be there before recruiting an officer.

  • Citizen of India
  • A subject of Nepal
  • A subject of Bhutan
  • A Tibetan Refugee in India as a permanent resident (until January 01, 1962)
  • Indian origin individual from Burma, Pakistan, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire and Ethiopia, Sri Lanka or from Vietnam to permanently settle in India forever.
  • The candidates in B, C, D and E categories need to have a certificate proof of eligibility which should be issued by the GOI. An offer of appointment/recruitment will be issued only on the submission of the eligibility certificate copy.

Age Limit

Candidate’s age will be a minimum of 21 years and a maximum of 32 years(as in the year of the examination) of the year of examination.

The candidate should be 21 years old. The candidate will not be allowed to appear in the exam if above 29 years. This criterion is for General Category candidates. But SC and ST candidates have a relaxation of upper age up to 35 years. OBC candidates have a relaxation of upper age up to 33 years. The State of Jammu & Kashmir has special provisions for candidates as they have upper age relaxation for up to 35 years ( if they are staying from January 1980 to December 1989). 

Ex-servicemen candidates get relaxation of the upper age limit of up to 35 years. This relaxation is subject to Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs, who have been in the Military Services for at least 5 years in respect to the year of the examination. The ex-servicemen should have completed an assignment or already in the process of completion within the current year. A blind, deaf, dumb and orthopedically handicapped person has a relaxation of 10 years.

Also Read: Indian Forest Service (IFS/IFoS) Exam – Eligibility Criteria

Number of attempts of exam

  • General (category) candidates can attempt 6 attempts 
  • Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe(ST)  Candidates cam have unlimited attempts
  • Other Backward Classes (OBC) candidates can avail 9 attempts
  • Physically handicapped can also avail  9 attempts if a general category and OBC
  • Physically handicapped  SC/ST gets unlimited attempts
  • Attempts are counted from the time of appearing in the Prelims Exam. 

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About the Author

Akshay Palande

Akshay Palande is a passionate teacher helping hundreds of students in their UPSC preparation. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and double masters in Public Administration and Economics, he has experience of teaching UPSC aspirants for 5 years. His subject of expertise are Geography, Polity, Economics and Environment and Ecology.

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