Suggested Reading for Indian Forest Service Exam

Suggested Reading for Indian Forest Service Exam

Make a Good Strategy and Enjoy the Forest

Indian Forest Service (IFS) offers a highly challenging and rewarding career like IAS and IPS. It is also counted among prestigious and powerful services where you can play larger role in the interest of people, environment and country. The maintenance of the natural resources of the country is very essential for a balanced all round development of the country. Maintenance of forests is so important for maintaining the ecological balance that the Indian Forest Service has been set up for this very purpose. They play very crucial role in the management and supervision of the country’s forest reserves and wild life.

IFS is also an All India service like IAS and IPS. The Indian Forest Service was created in 1966 for protection, conservation and regeneration of forest resources. Being an All India Service, the members are recruited by the union level but their services are put under the various State cadres, with the privilege of serving both under the state government and under the Central government. For the recruiting officers of Indian Forest Service, the UPSC conducts the Indian Forest Service Exam every year. The exam generally held in the month of July. The examination for 2009 is going to be held on July 11. The pattern of exam is similar to that of civil services but there are some differences as there is no preliminary test, so selection is done in two phases. Selected candidates are sent for foundation training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, which is followed by specialised orientation for the Forest Service at the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Dehradun. After training candidates are posted as the assistant conservator, district conservator, chief conservator, principal conservator, and the inspector general of forests. The senior most post is that of the Environment Secretary in the Union Government. The number of vacancies to be filled on the results of the 2009 examination is expected to be approximately 75.

Plan of the Examination:

1. The examination comprises: Written Examination in compulsory and optional subjects. Total marks of exam is 1400.
2. Interview for Personality Test of such candidates as may be called by the Commission.


(1) General English and
(2) General Knowledge (300 marks each).


Any two of the following subjects:
(1) Agriculture,
(2) Botany,
(3) Chemistry,
(4) Civil Engineering,
(5) Geology,
(6) Agricultural Engineering,
(7) Chemical Engineering,
(8) Mathematics,
(9) Mechanical Engineering,
(10) Physics
(11) Zoology,
(12) Statistics,
(13) Forestry and
(14) Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science (200 marks each).

Provided that the candidates will not be allowed to offer the following combination of subjects:-
(a) Agriculture and Agricultural Engineering
(b) Agriculture and Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science.
(c) Chemistry and Chemical Engg.
(d) Mathematics and Statistics.
(e) Of the Engineering subjects viz. Agricultural Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering - not more than one subject.

There are conventional (Essay) type questions in all the subjects of the Examination. The standard of question papers in general English and general is expected of a Science/Engineering graduate of an Indian University. The standard of papers in other subjects will be approximately that of Bachelor's degree of an Indian University. There will be no practical examination in any of the subjects. All Question Papers must be answered in English. Question Papers will be set in English only. The duration of each of the papers referred to above will be three hours.

Number of Questions: Total number of questions in the optional papers of optional subjects is eight. All questions carry equal marks. Each paper will be divided into two parts, viz. Part A and Part B, each part containing four questions. Out of eight questions, five questions are to be attempted. One question in each part will be compulsory. Candidates will be required to answer three more questions out of the remaining six questions, taking at least one question from each Part. In this way, at least two questions will be attempted from each Part i.e. one compulsory question plus one more.


The written examination is followed by a Personality Test in the form of personal interview. The maximum marks for interview is 300. The interviews are held by the UPSC soon after the result of written test is declared. The marks obtained in the interview are added to the marks obtained by a candidate in the written test to draw up the final merit list. The objective of personality test is to judge the suitability of candidates as officers of Indian Forest Service. The candidates will be interviewed by a Board of competent and unbiased observers who will have before them a record of this career. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for the Service. The candidate will be expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in his/her subjects of academic study but also in events which are happening around him both within and outside his own State or country, as well as in modern currents of thoughts and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well-educated youth. The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross examination, but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation, intended to reveal mental qualities of the candidate. The Board will pay special attention to assessing the intellectual curiosity, critical powers of observation and assimilation, balance of judgment and alertness of mind, initiative, tact, capacity for leadership; the ability for social cohesion, mental and physical energy and powers of practical application; integrity of character; and other qualities such as topographical sense, love for out-door life and the desire to explore unknown and out of way places.

The candidates appearing in the interview may expect some questions on current affairs, forest related issues, Indian Polity, Planning Process, Budgeting and Economic Geography. The personality test also aims at testing leadership qualities, mental alertness, initiative, balance of judgement, analytical capabilities etc.

Number of Attempts:

Every candidate appearing at the Examination, who is otherwise eligible, shall be permitted four attempts at the examination. The restriction is effective from the examination held in 1984. Provided that this restriction on the number of attempts will not apply in the case of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates who are otherwise eligible. Provided further that the number of attempts permissible to candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes, who are otherwise eligible shall be seven. A candidate shall be deemed to have made an attempt at the examination if he actually appears in any one or more papers. Notwithstanding the disqualification/cancellation of candidature the fact of appearance of the candidate at the examination will count as an attempt.


Selected candidates are sent for foundation training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy, which is followed by specialised orientation in Forest Service at the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Dehradun with inputs on wildlife management, tribal welfare, soil conservation, forest management, engineering survey, weapon handling etc.


A candidate must be either :-
(a) A citizen of India, or
(b) a subject of Nepal, or
(c) a subject of Bhutan, or
(d) a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India. or (e) a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Srilanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India. Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (b), (c), (d) and (e) shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.

A candidate in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary, may be admitted to the examination but the offer of appointment may be given only after the necessary eligibility certificate has been issued to him by the Government of India.

Age Limits:

(a) A candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 30 years on 1st July, 2009, i.e. he must have been born not earlier than 2nd July, 1979 and not later than 1st July, 1988.
(b) The upper age limit prescribed above will be relaxable :–
(i) upto a maximum of five years if a candidate belongs to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe.
(ii) upto a maximum of three years in the case of candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes who are eligible to avail of reservation applicable to such candidates.
(iii) upto a maximum of five years if a candidate had ordinarily been domiciled in the State of Jammu & Kashmir during the period from the 1st January, 1980 to the 31st day of December, 1989.
(iv) upto a maximum of three years in the case of Defence Services personnel disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof:
(v) upto a maximum of five years in the case of ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service as on 1st July, 2009 and have been released (i) on completion of assignment (including those whose assignment is due to be completed within one year from 1st July, 2009) otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency, or (ii) on account of physical disability attributable to Military Service, or (iii) on invalidment.
(vi) Upto a maximum of five years in the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service as on 1st July, 2009 and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on three month's notice on selection from the date of receipt of offer of appointment.
(vii) upto a maximum of 10 years in the case of blind, deaf-mute and Orthopaedically handicapped persons.

Minimum Educational Qualifications:

The candidate must hold a Bachelor’s degree with at least one of the subjects namely Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science, Botany, Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics and Zoology or a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture, Forestry or in Engineering of any of Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University Under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification.

Examination Centre











































How to Prepare Compulsory Papers

General English:-

Candidates will be required to write an essay in English. Other questions will be designed to test their understanding of English and workmanlike use of words. Passages will usually be set for summary or precis. The standard of papers in General English is such as may be expected of a Science or Engineering graduate of an Indian University.

General Knowledge

General Knowledge including knowledge of current events and of such matters of every day observation and experience in their scientific aspects as may be expected of an educated person who has not made a special study of any scientific subject. The paper will also include questions on Indian Polity including the political system and the Constitution of India, History of India and Geography of a nature which the candidate should be able to answer without special study. The standard of papers in General Knowledge will be such as may be expected of a Science or Engineering graduate of an Indian University.

Suggested Readings

The following topics must be covered for General Studies:-
• Current Affiars National and International
• Indian Polity
• Indian Economy
• Geography of India
• Science and Technology
• History of India and Freedom Movement
• Study of thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal • Nehru and Rabindranath Tagore
• Statistics and General Mathematics Ability

It is essential to read one national newspaper, magazines like Frontline, Mainstream, EPW and any monthly competitive magazine to get mastery over General Studies. At the time of studying the round up of national and international affairs, efforts should not be merely taking up the information but also to understand the issues involved. Go into the background of events.

For History: NCERT books of class XI and XII, Wonder that was India by AL Basham, History of India Vol- 1 and 2, Freedom Struggle by Bipan Chandra

For Geography: Class XII books of Geography (NCERT), a good Atlas.

Indian Polity: Introduction to the Indian Constitution by DD Basu and Our Parliament by Subhash Kashyap

Indian Economy: NCERT and other books on Evolution of the Indian Economy and Indian Economy by Dutta Sunderam

General Science: NCERT books on science, a science magazine or newspaper supplements on science.

Current Events: A national newspaper, A Competitive Magazine.

General Mental Ability: Do the Quantitative Aptitude published in magazines, past years test papers. A practice in writing is required to attempt the paper timely and perfectly. You should not be only informative but analysis the topic. You must carefully read the questions in order to make out what the examiner is asking. Having done that, it is important to organise your thoughts before writing and the sequence of the answer should be from the most important/potent aspect to less important aspects.

Be Careful

  • All Question Papers must be Answered in English. Question Papers will be set in English only.

  • The duration of each of the papers referred to above will be three hours.
    Candidates must write the papers in their own hand. In no circumstances, will they be allowed the help of a scribe to write the answers for them.

  • The Commission have discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all the subjects of the examination.

  • If a candidate’s handwriting is not easily legible, a deduction will be made on this account from the total marks otherwise accruing to him/her.

  • Marks will not be allotted for mere superficial knowledge.

  • Credit will be given for orderly, effective and exact expression combined with due economy of words in all subjects of the examination.

  • In the question papers, wherever required, SI units will be used.

  • Candidates should use only International form of Indian numerals (i.e. 1,2,3,4,5,6 etc.) while answering question papers.

  • Candidates will be allowed the use of Scientific (Non-Programmable type) Calculators at the conventional (Essay) type examination of UPSC.  Programmable type Calculators will however not be allowed and the use of such calculators shall tantamount to resorting to unfair means by the candidates.  Loaning or interchanging of calculators in the Examination Hall is not permitted.