Every year, the UPSC conducts the Indian Forest Service exam to recruit officers into the forest service. The chief mandate of this service is to manage the country’s natural resources and implement the National Forest Policy. This article explains in detail the examination pattern, eligibility, the kind of posts that IFoS officers get into, and the corresponding Indian Forest Service Officer’s salary.

Also Read: What Is The Difference Between Indian Forest Service and Indian Foreign Service?

Indian Forest Service Exam Pattern

The IFoS Exam has three stages to it like other UPSC mandated exams.

  • Stage 1: The prelims exam for IFoS is the same as the UPSC IAS Prelims exam. There are two papers, GS I and CSAT, both objective in nature. The cut off for the IFoS exam is higher than for the IAS exam due to the less number of vacancies.
  • Stage 2: There are 6 papers in the IFoS mains exam. All are descriptive in nature. Each paper is for a duration of 3 hours. There are two optional subjects candidates that have to choose from the list of optional subjects specific to the IFoS Exam, including subjects like Agriculture, Forestry, Animal Husbandry, etc.
PaperSubjectTotal marks
Paper IGeneral English300
Paper-IIGeneral Knowledge300
Paper IIIOptional I200
Paper IVOptional I200
Paper VOptional II200
Paper VIOptional II200
  • Stage 3: The interview will be for a total of 300 marks. A physical test will follow the interview. Here, male candidates have to complete a 25 km walk or run in under 4 hours, and female candidates have to complete a 14 km walk or run in less than 4 hours.

Indian Forest Service Exam Eligibility

The eligibility criterion for nationality, age limit, and the number of attempts is the same as for the civil services exam.

However, when it comes to the educational criteria, the conditions are different for the forest service exam. The candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree in at least one of the following subjects:

  • Animal husbandry & veterinary science
  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Geology
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Physics
  • Zoology
  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Engineering

Also Read: What is the Eligibility Criteria for The UPSC IAS Exam?

Roles and Responsibilities of an IFoS Officer

  • Protect and conserve the heritage of the forest and work towards preserving the forest resources.
  • Preserving the forest trees and keep a check on illegal logging of trees and work with the forest guards and security personnel to be alert at all times.
  • Work towards planting more trees in the forest are and also initiate and participate in such events.
  • Assure their safety and need to prevent any illegal activity that involves hurting or killing animals. Also, be alert of poachers and illegal entry in the forest area.
  • Be responsible for implementing the National Forest Policy.
  • Chalk-out plans for legal commercial exploitation for timber etc.

Indian Forest Service Officers Salary Details

The following table shows the IFoS officers after training period salary and the subsequent rise as they climb up the ladder through promotions.

GradeDesignation in state govt.Designation in GOIBasic Monthly Salary
Junior Time ScaleAssistant Conservator of Forests/Asst. Dy. Conservator of ForestsAssistant Inspector General of Forests₹56,100
Senior Time ScaleDeputy Conservator of ForestsAssistant Inspector General of Forests₹67,700
Junior Administrative GradeDeputy Conservator of ForestsAssistant Inspector General of Forests₹78,800
Selection GradeDeputy Conservator of Forests (Selection Grade)Assistant Inspector General of Forests₹1,18,500
Super Time ScaleConservator of Forests / Chief Wildlife WardenDeputy Inspector General of Forests₹1,50,000
Senior Administrative GradeChief Conservator of ForestsInspector General of Forests₹1,75,000
HAG scaleAdditional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests₹2,00,000
HAG+ ScalePrincipal Chief Conservator of ForestsAdditional Director General of Forests₹2,05,400
Apex ScalePrincipal Chief Conservator of Forests (Head of Forest Force)Director-General of Forests₹2,25,000


The Indian Forest Service is a very honourable cadre and is also the creme de la of the civil service organization as it is one of the most independent cadres. It has its own legislations and exercises its own judicial powers. It is also very difficult to get into it as every year it has a very minimal vacancy of around 90 seats only with around lakhs of applications.

Also Read : Which Degree is Best for IAS? Here’s How to Start Preparing for UPSC in College?

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Indian Forest Service Exam Eligibility: Indian Forest Service Officer Salary and Benefits
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Indian Forest Service Exam Eligibility: Indian Forest Service Officer Salary and Benefits
What is the Indian Forest Sevice? How to become an IFoS Officer? What are the functions, training, salary, etc like for IFoS Officer? Read to know.
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