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 mange 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 officers appointed to the Imperial Forest Service from 1867 to 1885 were
trained in France and Germany. Thereafter, until 1905 they were trained at
Cooper's Hill, London, which had been one of the prestigious professional
colleges of Forestry at that time. From 1905 to 1926 the Universities of Oxford,
Cambridge and Edinburgh had undertaken the task of training the officers of the
Imperial Forest Service. The Imperial Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun,
presently & popularly known all over the world as FRI was established at Dehra
Dun in the year 1906. The baton to train the IFS officers was passed on to
Forest Research Institute, which it did successfully from 1927 to 1932.
Subsequently the Indian Forest College (IFC) was established in the year
1938 at Dehra Dun and the officers recruited to the Superior Forest Service by
the provinces/states were trained there.
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
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
The main mandate of the service is the implementation of 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.
Organisation of the Service
The initial constitution of the Indian Forest Service consisted of the four
following categories of the officers