What is the history and mandate of Indian Forest Service?

The prestige and importance of the IFoS lies in its long history. India is one of the First countries in the world to have stated scientific management of its forests. During the year 1864 the then British India Government started the Imperial Forest Department and appointed Dr. Dietrich Brandis, a German Forest officer Inspector General of Forests in 1866. Having recognized the need to have a premier forest service to manage the varied natural resources of the vast country and to organize the affairs of the Imperial Forest Department, Imperial Forest Service was constituted in 1867.

 

Having realized the importance of a multi-tier forest Administration in the federal and provincial Governments for effective management of forest resources the British India Government also constituted Provincial Forest Service and Executive & Subordinate Services, which were quite similar to the present-day forest administrative hierarchy. The subject of "Forestry" which was managed by the Federal Government until then, was transferred to the "Provincial List" by the Government of India Act, 1935 and subsequently recruitment to the Imperial Forest Service was discontinued. The Indian Forest Service, one of the three All India Services, was constituted in the year 1966 under the All India Services Act, 1951 by the Government of India.

 

The service implements the National Forest Policy which envisages scientific management of forests and to exploit them on a sustained basis for primary timber products, among other things. Since 1935 the management of the forests remained in the hands of the Provincial Governments and even today the Forest Departments are managing the forests of the country under the respective State governments.