How to Become Forest Officer: Eligibility, Step-by-Step Guide to Become IFoS Officer

By K Balaji|Updated : September 14th, 2022

How to Become Forest Officer is the first question that arises in the mind of an aspiring candidate. The post of Forest Officer is a Group ‘B’ post. Whereas to Become Forest Range Officer, one needs to clear the Forest Ranger’s Exam conducted by the State Public Service Commission. Their functions include estimation, survey, conservation, and reporting of biological resources, live creatures, and botanical resources within the jurisdiction area of his posting. How to Become an IFos Officer, one needs to clear the UPSC Exam.

This article will cover how and processes one can become Forest Officer, Forest Range Officer, and even the Indian Forest Service Officer. The article, in detail, covers the eligibility requirements, qualifications, etc. required.

How to Become an IFoS Officer

To become an Indian Forest Service Officer, candidates need to clear three stages of UPSC Exam- UPSC Prelims, UPSC Mains, and Personality Test. IFoS-Indian Forest Service is one of three All-India Services of the Union Government. The other two services include Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS). The UPSC Prelims for both the IFoS and IAS Exam is the same, but the Mains for IFos is different for both exam.

Those who clear the Mains exam will have to go through the interview process. The sum of Mains marks and the marks obtained in the interview will be considered for making the final result. Those candidates who will be able to secure ranks in the final merit list will be recruited as Indian Forest Service officers.

The (IFoS) Indian Forest Service Officer's fundamental purpose is to implement the National Forest Policy, which has been set up to ensure environmental balance and keep the ecological balance in check. IFoS-Indian Forest Service deals with the forestry services of India.

Step-by-Step Guide to Become a Forest Officer

Candidates aspiring to become an Indian Forest Service Officer must apply for the Civil Service Prelims Exam. There is no separate application form for IFoS, and candidates need to fill the same form as for the UPSC Exam. The IFS exam is online, so candidates must apply at UPSC's official website and submit a single application only.

Check Eligibility to Become a Forest Officer

Candidates applying for the IFoS Exam need to satisfy the Indian Forest Service Eligibility, which includes the age limit, educational qualifications, and nationality criteria.

  • For educational qualifications, candidates need to have a bachelor's degree in at least one of the subjects from Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science, Chemistry, Botany, Geology, Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, and Zoology or a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry or Agriculture or Engineering from a recognized university or equivalent.
  • The candidate applying for the IFoS Exam must be a citizen of India.
  • Candidates applying for the Indian Forest Service Exam 2022 should be a minimum of 21 years and a maximum of 32 years on1st August 2022. However, upper age limit relaxation is applicable for selected categories.

Know the Important Dates

The IFoS Exam 2022 Important Dates are mentioned below.

IFoS Exam 2022 Important Dates

IFoS Exam Notification 2022

2 February 2022

IFoS Exam Last Date of Application Form

22 February 2022

IFoS Prelims Date 2022

5 June 2022

IFoS Mains Date 2022

From 16 September 2022

IFoS Exam Final Result

Will be announced

Exam Pattern of the Indian Forest Service Exam

The Prelims Exam for IFoS and IAS is the same. There are a total of 6 papers in the IFoS Mains exam and all of them are descriptive in nature. The total marks of IFoS Mains would be 1400.

Check out the exam pattern of the IFoS-Indian Forest Service Mains below.

Paper

Subject

Total marks

Time Duration

Paper I

General English

300

3 Hours

Paper II

General Knowledge

300

3 Hours

Paper III


Optional I


200

3 Hours

Paper IV

Paper V


Optional II


200

3 Hours

Paper VI

Indian Forest Service Exam Syllabus PDF

Candidates who are aspiring to become an Indian Forest Service officer must analyze the IFoS syllabus properly to level-up their preparation. They must go through the UPSC Prelims Question Papers, and practice UPSC Previous Year Question Papers, to understand the IAS Exam Pattern better.

>> Download Indian Forest Service Syllabus PDF

IFoS-Indian Forest Service Optional Paper

As you can see above, candidates need to pick two optional subjects. Each optional subject will have two papers which means there will be four optional papers. That’s why candidates need to carefully choose the IFoS optional paper.

List of optional subjects (two to be chosen) available for the IFoS main exam:

  1. Botany
  2. Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  3. Statistics
  4. Agricultural Engineering
  5. Geology
  6. Physics
  7. Civil Engineering
  8. Mathematics
  9. Forestry
  10. Agriculture
  11. Zoology
  12. Chemistry
  13. Chemical Engineering
  14. Mechanical Engineering

Note- The candidates will not be allowed to have the following combination of optional subjects:

  • Agriculture and Agricultural Engineering
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Agriculture and Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
  • Of the Engineering subjects namely, Agricultural Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering – not more than one subject.

How to Become an Indian Forest Service Officer after 12th?

To Become an Indian Forest Service Officer after the 12th, one should start with the basic necessary reading of the NCERT Books for UPSC. The NCERT books form the basis of most subjects' preparation in the UPSC Preparation Strategy. The NCERT Books do not cover the entire UPSC Syllabus or the IFos Syllabus, but it does cover most of the fundamentals.

After clearing the class 12th exam, opt for the subjects necessary for aspirants to sit in the UPSC IFoS Exam. Candidates need to have a bachelor's degree in at least one of the subjects from Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science, Chemistry, Botany, Geology, Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, and Zoology or a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry or Agriculture or Engineering from a recognized university or equivalent.

>> Check Salary of an Indian Forest Service Officer

Forest Officer Vs. Forest Range Officer

To become a Forest Officer, one needs to have a deep understanding of the environment, forest system, and botanical ranges. The post of Forest Officer is a Group ‘B’ post.

  • A Forest Officer needs to the conservation of the environment, forest system, and green conservation.
  • The post of Forest Officer exists in ministries of Central and State Governments and in some of the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), etc. It is also the Forest Officer's role to conserve and promote zoological and botanical resources in its area of jurisdiction.
  • The vacancies for the Forest Officer are advertised in the weekly Employment News, published by the Publication Division of the Government of India.

To become a Forest Range Officer, one must clear the Forest Services Exam of the respective state, conducted by the state public service commission. Forest Rangers are officers in charge of protecting, safeguarding, and supervising a segment of a public jungle to keep the public safe from threats.

  • The Forest Range Officer exam notification comes only after 2-3 years, and only science stream graduates can apply for the exam. It is essential to mention that this exam differs from UPSC Exam in many ways.
  • The Exam Pattern of the Forest Range Officer is the same as the IFoS Exam. The only difference is that it is conducted in a single phase. The Forest Range Officer Exam is conducted per the Entrance and Training Rules of 2004 for SFS formulated by the Central Government.
  • It is the prime duty of a forest ranger to act during emergencies like wildfires and natural calamities.
  • The pre-requisite to apply for the Forest Rangers’ test is graduation in Forestry, Natural Resource Management, or related fields.

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FAQs on Tips to Become Indian Forest Officer

  • Yes, it is possible to become Indian Forest Service Officer without coaching. There are many cases where candidates have cracked the IFoS exam without coaching. However, one must fully dedicate oneself to studies and follow a robust UPSC Time Table.

  • IFoS- Indian Forest Service is one of three All-India Services, including IAS and IPS. Every year Indian Forest Service Exam is conducted to recruit IFoS officers. Union Public Service Commission conducts this examination, including three stages- UPSC Prelims, UPSC Mains, and Interview.

  • Union Public Service Commission conducts IFoS-Indian Forest Service Exam, and UPSC is known for misleadingly framing the questions, so the exam is tough. An IFoS officer is largely independent of district administration and exercises his/her administrative, judicial, and financial powers in their domain.

  • Becoming an IFoS officer is a good career option as it comes with rewarding pay and several allowances.

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