UPSC Indian Forest Services Exam and Civil Services Exam

The Indian Forest Services (IFoS) is one of the civil services in India, apart from the IAS, IPS, IFS, etc. The body that conducts the exam for selection of officers to the forest services is the UPSC. The preliminary exam that the UPSC holds for the civil services is common to both the civil services and the forest service. The IFoS was created in 1966 and its chief mandate is the implementation of the National Forest Policy. While you apply for the UPSC CSE prelims exam, you can apply for both the services, provided you satisfy the eligibility conditions.

If you qualify in the first round, i.e., the UPSC Prelims exam, you will be eligible to take the mains exam, which is the Indian Forest Service (Main) Examination (Written and Interview) for the IFoS. This is different from the UPSC CSE mains exam. The following table gives a comparison of the USPC mains exam for both civil services and the forest services:

Difference between Civil Services and Indian Forest Services

Exam

Civil Services

Forest Services

Preliminary Stage Exam

UPSC Prelims Exam

UPSC Prelims Exam

Prelims Exam Date

2nd June 2019

2nd June 2019

How to apply

Online through the UPSC website

Online through the UPSC website

Prelims Application Fees

₹100/-

₹100/-

Mains Exam

UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam

UPSC Indian Forest Service Mains Exam

Mains Exam Date

Starts 20th September 2019

1st December 2019

No. Of papers in Mains

9

6

Personality Test (Final Stage)

Interview

Interview

No. Of vacancies (approx.)

980

110

The eligibility conditions are given below:

Criterion

Civil Services

Forest Services

Nationality

Indian

Same as CSE

Age Limit

32

Same as CSE

Number of attempts

6 with relaxation for some

Same as CSE

Education

Any Bachelor’s Degree

Science or Engineering Bachelor’s Degree*

*Detailed educational criterion for eligibility to the Indian Forest Service:

The candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree with at least one of the following subjects: animal husbandry & veterinary science, botany, chemistry, geology, mathematics, statistics, physics, zoology; OR,

The candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, forestry or engineering.

All the degrees should be from UPSC recognized universities.

Indian Forest Service Exam Pattern

UPSC Indian Forest Service Mains Exam Papers:

Paper

Subject

Total marks

Duration

Paper I

General English

300

3 hours

Paper II

General Knowledge

300

3 hours

Paper III

Optional I

200

3 hours

Paper IV

Optional I

200

3 hours

Paper V

Optional II

200

3 hours

Paper VI

Optional II

200

3 hours

The Interview will be out of a total of 300 marks.

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

  • Agriculture
  • Agricultural Engineering
  • Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  • Botany
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Forestry
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics
  • Statistics
  • Zoology
  • Geology
  • Chemistry

Please note that the candidates will not be allowed the following combination of optional subjects:

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

IMPORTANT: Candidates must also note that all the papers will be only in English and this is the only medium of examination in the IFoS.

All the other conditions like reservation and relaxation in the eligibility conditions for certain communities and the physically handicapped are the same as the UPSC civil services examination.

Another important point to remember is that a physical test will follow the interview for the IFoS. Here, male candidates have to complete a 25 km walk or run in under 4 hours, and female candidates have to complete a 14 km walk or run in less than 4 hours.

Generally, the competition is stiffer in case of the IFoS because of the fewer vacancies in this service. The selection percentage is less than 0.02%.

So, it is possible to take both the exams in the same year provided you satisfy the eligibility conditions. There is a gap of close to two months after the UPSC civil services mains, before the IFoS exam commences. You can prepare for both simultaneously by choosing optional subjects that are common to both the exams.

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