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Nature’s guardian

Managing a forest means treating it as an organisation, managing its flora and fauna, administering it, protecting it and taking care of people dependent on it.

education Updated: Sep 22, 2011 11:06 IST

The lowdown
Managing a forest means treating it as an organisation, managing its flora and fauna, administering it, protecting it and taking care of people dependent on it. To do this, you have to have scientific and technical knowledge related to growth and preservation of forests. You have to learn about silviculture (forest development), protection (legal and other regulations related to forests), forest mensuration (measuring trees), managing natural and other resources

Clock Work
For an IIFM graduate working as a private consultant
7.30am: Read new research/check websites
9.30am: Reach office
10am: Meet industrialist to discuss control of effluents from his factory
1.30pm: Lunch
2.30pm: Work on project with NGO to help villagers
6.30pm: Leave for home
For a deputy conservator of forest
4.30am: Leave home early for site of reported forest fire
10.30am: Return and breakfast
12pm: Leave for site to check on teak plantation
2pm: Lunch with villagers at site, give them inputs on microfinance
5pm: Go to office, check files
6.30pm: Leave for home

The payoff
After the implementation of 6th Central Pay Commission recommendations, the pay scales of posts in the Indian Forest Service are as under:
Principal chief conservator of forests (head of forestry) Rs80,000 per month
Principal chief conservator of forests, Rs75,500 to 80,000 per month
Additional principal chief conservator of forests, chief conservator
of forests and conservator of forests Rs37,400 to Rs67,000 a month. Deputy conservator of forests Rs37,400 to Rs67,000 a month. Ranks below in hierarchy: Rs15,600 to Rs39,100, plus allowances ranging from Rs5,400 to Rs12,000 a month

. Scientific temperament
. Good knowledge of finances
. Great communication skills for teaching and reaching out to tribals / village people
. Quick decision-making abilities
. Authoritative, able and effective leadership
. Love of the outdoors

Getting there
Take up science after Class 12, (preferably botany and zoology). The IIFM and IFS both can lead to great careers. Entrance to the IIFM’s PG diploma in forest management and fellow programme in management is through the Indian Institute of Management’s common admission test. Recruitment to the IFS is through an annual civil service exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. Applicants should hold a BSc degree in maths, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, geology, statistics, veterinary science or hold a bachelor's degree in engineering, forestry or agriculture or be a bachelor of medicine and surgery

Institutes and URLs
. Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Delhi
. Anand Agricultural University, Anand, Gujarat
. Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar, Uttarakhand
. Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Raipur, Chattisgarh
. Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneswar
. Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal
. Forestry Research Institute, Dehradun
. Postgraduate School, Indian Agriculture Research Institute, New Delhi

Pros and cons
. A great deal of satisfaction doing meaningful work
. This profession provides the best workplace environment in the world
. Too much of travelling involved
. Dealing with forest mafia can be dangerous

Forest managers find good job prospects in micro finance, and environmental impact assessment Prof Krishnakumar K Navaladi, PhD, faculty, chairperson- consultancy & media relations, IIFM