Every year UPSC conducts exams to choose candidates for various civil service posts. IFS or Indian Forest Service is one such post. As the name suggests, an IFS officer is responsible for the protection and welfare of the forest area. Moreover, he heads sanctuaries, wildlife parks, and national parks.

In this article, I will explore what is Indian Forest Service? And how to become an IFS Officer?

Indian Forest Service: The Forest is Earth’s Delight

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Well, this is so true. Forests are our lungs and without them, we can imagine our life. In total 19% of land under forest in India is so less as compared to the diversity of Indian biodiversity. Therefore there is an urgent need to protect our diverse range of flora and fauna.

Forests are important for human and animal existence. From clean air to breathe to being home to thousands of species of animals, forests have something for everyone. Then because of human activities forests are disappearing. If we don’t do something to prevent it, the human end is surely near.

Bureaucrats are responsible for executing different policies, so who is responsible for executing forest policies?

Well, here comes the role of an IFS officer. An Indian Forest Service is for formulating and implementing forest policies and protecting India’s diverse vegetation and wildlife.

H3- Basic Information

Former Imperial Forest Service
Country India
Cadre Controlling Authority Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change
General Nature Forestry, Wildlife Science, and Environmental Science
Director-General of Forests Sanjay Kumar
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba
Website ifs.nic.in

Also Read: How to Prepare for IFoS in 6 months without any Coaching? Check this to Find-out!

IFoS as a Career

An IFoS or IFS officer is a civil service of India, similar to IAS, IPS, and IFS. It comes under the authority of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

There are various posts under these civil services and offer attractive salaries plus employee benefits. Moreover, you will get to live among nature and view the most beautiful sceneries.

Imperial Forest Service was renamed India Forest Service in 1966. He is responsible for forestry, wildlife science and environmental science.

Indian Forest Service: Salary for Various Posts

Designations Salaries (INR)
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Head of Forest Force) 2,25,000
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests 2,05,000-2,24,000
Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests 1,82,000-2,04,000
Chief Conservator of Forests 1,44,000-2,18,000
Conservator of Forests 1,30,000-2,13,000
Deputy Conservator of Forests 70,000-2,10,000
Probationary Officer 56,000-1,77,000

 Also Read: Does BSc. in Forestry Help for the IFoS Exam? Check-out the IFoS Exam Requirements & Eligibility

Functions of an IFS Officer

The functions of an IFS Officer are as follows:

# Maintaining ecological stability of India.

# Protection and sustainable management of forest resources.

# Manage National Parks, Tiger Reserve, Wildlife Sanctuaries, etc.

# Managing biodiversity and wildlife.

# Conservation of diverse flora and fauna.

# Improves livelihood opportunities for communities dependent on forests.

# Solve any problem that prevents a flora or fauna from coexisting together.

# Deal with natural or manmade calamities such as deforestation, landslides, hunting, forest fires, illegal capturing, etc.

# Development of areas around the forest.

# Assistant Research & Development for biodiversity.

# Formulate and implement forest policies.

Selection Procedure of IFoS Officer

The selection of IFos consists of two stages:

# UPSC CSE Preliminary Examination is an objective type paper. This stage includes screening and selection of candidates for the IFS Mains examination.

# Indian Forest Service Mains Examination includes written and interview phases. The first phase is a written examination which tests the candidate’s knowledge about forestry or related fields.

Interview phases test the candidate’s personality and potential as an IFS officer.

Those who clear these stages successfully have to undergo a training period and then they get allocated according to their preference.

Also Read: Will UPSC Allow to Choose Agriculture and Forestry as Optional for IFoS?

Exam Pattern for IFoS

Phase Papers Total Marks Time Allotted
Preliminary Exam 2 200 2 hours 
Mains Exams 6 1400 2 hours 
Interview 300 2 hours  

 Preliminary Stage

This is a qualifying stage for mains and interviews. It is the same as other preliminary exams of civil service. This includes GS I and CSAT.

CSAT or GS II is qualifying in nature but with a minimum of 33% of marks.

Paper Total no. of questions Total marks Marks carried by each question Negative marks Time Allotted
1 100 200 2 1/3 2 hours 
2 80 200 33% passing marks 1/3 2 hours 

Mains Examination

UPSC CSE IFoS main examination is different from UPSC CSE Main examination. There are a total of six papers in this and are descriptive.

Paper Paper Name Total marks
I General English 300
II General Knowledge 300
III Optional Subject I 200
IV Optional Subject I 200
V Optional Subject II 200
VI Optional Subject II 200


A Candidate has to face a face-to-face interview of a panel. This phase tries to assess the potential of a candidate for the respective service. The candidates will be judged based on their intellects, curiosity, judgment, alertness, tact, leadership, decision-making, etc.

The interview carries 300 marks.

Also Read: Indian Forest Officer Salary per Month: The IFoS Salary Framework for Officers in the Forest Department

Training Period

After completing the selection procedure successfully, candidates will undergo a two-years the training period. First, they had to complete a basic training period in LBSNAA ( Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie) for 15 weeks.

Then they will be sent to Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy at Dehradun. Here they will undergo intense training and will learn about Forest policies, laws, wildlife management, biodiversity, climate, environment protection, forest dwellers, and many more. They were also taught to handle various weapons and arms.

Application Procedure

Eligibility Criteria



Citizen of India

Subject of Nepal

Immigrants from Pakistan, Burma, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, East African countries like Kenya, Uganda. United Republic of Tanzania, Zaire, Ethiopia, and Vietnam before 1962.

Educational Qualification


Bachelor’s degree from an Affiliated University in any one subject of these

(Animal husbandry & Veterinary Science, Botany, Chemistry, geology, Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Zoology, Agriculture, forestry, and Engineering.

Age Limit


21-32 (on August)
Age Relaxation –       5 years for SCs/STs

–       3 years for OBCs

–       3 years for Defense Services personnel disabled

–       5 years for ex-servicemen

–       5 years for ECOs/SSCOs

–       10 years for a disabled person

Number of Attempts SCs and STs: Nil

OBCs: 9

General: 6

Benchmark Disability: 9

Fees General: 100 INR

SC/ST/PwBD/Female: nil

OBC: 100 INR


Indian Forest Service Syllabus: Analysis

Preliminary Examination

 Paper I

# Current Affairs of National and International relevance

# History of India and INM

# Indian and World Geography

# Indian Polity and Constitution

# Economic and Sustainable development

# Environmental Ecology

# General Science

Paper II

# Comprehension

# Interpersonal skills

# Logical reasoning and ability

# Decision making

# Problem solving

# Mental activity

# Basic numeracy

Main Examination

Paper I General English

Candidates have to write an Essay, solve comprehension and solve basic English exercises

Paper II General Knowledge

Basic General Knowledge such as current events, accomplishments of science fields, Indian Polity, History and Geography.

Paper III Optional Subject I: Paper I

Paper IV Optional Subject I: Paper-II

Paper V Optional Subject II: Paper I

Paper VI Optional Subject II: Paper-II

List of Optional Subjects


Agricultural Engineering

Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science



Chemical Engineering

Civil Engineering




Mechanical Engineering





IFoS is a job with immense responsibility. Protecting the Environment from ill human activities is important for our own sake. India’s forest area is lower than average which is dangerous for India’s rich biodiversity of flora and fauna.

They are our cultural pride. Moreover, more forests will lower the global warming effects and produce fresh air to breathe.

An IFS office offers a lucrative package that keeps on increasing with your experience as high as 2 Lakhs per month.

There are so many reasons why you should choose IFoS, so which one is yours? For sure success in your examination visit UPSC Pathshala. It offers informative courses at reasonable prices, experts advice and all information regarding it.

Also Read: IFS Exam Date 2021: Check-out All the Facts about the Application Form Date, Exam Date & More

Content Protection by DMCA.com
What is Indian Forest Service? How to Become an IFoS Officer?
Article Name
What is Indian Forest Service? How to Become an IFoS Officer?
Indian Forest Service, ever heard about it? Well, it is similar to other civil services such as IAS and IPS. The main work of IFoS is to protect forests. Click to know more.
Publisher Name
UPSC Pathshala
Publisher Logo

About the Author


Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

View All Articles