IFoS stands for Indian Forest Services, for which UPSC conducts the examinations. It is a tougher exam in comparison to IAS exams. The qualifying marks for IFoS prelims are higher than those for IAS prelims, even though the exam is common for both the services.
The subjects to be covered for IFoS Mains exams are different from IAS and are more nature-based, and related to the Science stream. However, the IFoS exam pattern is similar to IAS. You need to clear Prelims, Mains and Interview round to be a part of the Indian Forest Services. You need to have a science background to be able to attempt an IFoS exam.
Let’s see a detailed analysis of the IFoS exam and its other aspects. And try to answer the question of “Will UPSC allow to choose Agriculture and Forestry as optional for IFoS?”
The IFoS syllabus is very different from IAS. In the Mains exam of Indian Forest Services, the subjects included are:
- General English
- General Knowledge
- Optional Subject 1
- Optional Subject 2
While General English and General Knowledge have a wide range of topics, the subjects included in Optional Subject are as follows:
- Agricultural Engineering
- Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
It is to be taken care of that the candidate has to choose two optional subjects. Also, the two subjects should not be a combination of the below-mentioned subjects.
- Agriculture and Agricultural Engineering
- Agriculture and Forestry
- Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
- Mathematics and Statistics
- Agriculture and Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
- Only one of these subjects can be chosen: Agricultural Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering
Why does UPSC Not Allow Agriculture and Forestry and Other Combinations in IFoS Exams?
If we look at the above-mentioned list of combinations, we can conclude that choosing Agriculture and Forestry as optional for IFoS together is not allowed. You will have to select either of them.
It is to be noted that there are combinations also which are not allowed. If we analyze the combinations closely, we will see a pattern that helps us understand why certain combinations are not allowed.
The subjects having similar background are not allowed for selection. In Agriculture and Forestry, both subjects focus on plants and may cover topics that would be similar. This will give undue advantage to an individual. It may happen with other combinations as well. Hence, the combinations mentioned above are not allowed in the IFoS exams.
There has not been any clarification regarding the disallowed combinations of subjects by the UPSC. Hence, this is the only logical conclusion one can make after analyzing the condition.
What Optional Subjects Can I Choose with Agriculture or Forestry for Good Marks?
Even though the combination of Agriculture and Forestry is not allowed, you can choose another optional subject from the list to ensure that you score the best marks as per your ability.
Before choosing your optional subject 2, you have to consider the following factors:
Availability of Study Material and Guidance
Before choosing a subject, please ensure that the relevant study material is available in the market for the same. Also, ensure that proper guidance is available. If you proceed without proper guidance, you won’t be able to score good marks.
Your Understanding of the Chosen Subject
When you select an optional subject for the IFoS exam, you must consider your understanding of the subject. There is no use of choosing a new subject as optional as you will have to learn everything from scratch, for which you will need more time and resources which won’t be feasible at that stage.
Time Required for Preparation
Time taken for preparation is an essential aspect to be considered while preparing for a subject. Time management is very important while preparing for Indian Forest Services examination. Hence, always ensure that the chosen optional subject does not take a large amount of time for preparation.
Chances of Scoring Good Marks
All the points mentioned above will not be of much importance if the chances of scoring good marks in the selected optional subject are low. Hence, choose a subject in which the chances of scoring good marks are high. After all, marks are what will matter for you to proceed to the next round.
We hope you will select the right optional subject based on your capabilities and other factors mentioned above. Getting selected in Indian Forest Services is a matter of pride and respect as you will be taking care of the forests in India. Apart from this, IFoS officer salary is also good, and you get other benefits which will ensure a promising future for you and your family.
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