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Indian Forest Service (IFS)

Formerly known as Imperial Forest Service, the Indian Forest Service (IFS) is one of the three All India Services of the Government of India. The other two All India Services being the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS). It was constituted in the year 1966 under the All India Services Act, 1951, by the Government of India.

The main mandate of the service is the implementation of the National Forest Policy in order to ensure the ecological stability of the country through the protection and participatory sustainable management of natural resources. An IFS officer is wholly independent of the district administration and exercises administrative, judicial and financial powers in his own domain. Positions in the state forest department, such as Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Conservator of Forests (CF) and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), etc., are held only by IFS officers. The highest-ranking IFS official in each state is the Head of Forest Forces (HoFF).

Earlier, the British Government in India had constituted the Imperial Forest Service in 1867 which functioned under the Federal Government until ‘Forestry’ was transferred to the Provincial List by the Government of India Act, 1935, and subsequent recruitment to the Imperial Forest Service was discontinued.

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, (MoEFCC) under the Government of India, is the Cadre Controlling Authority of the Indian Forest Service. Source

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