Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGFNA). The government’s personnel department DoPT has found that no IAS officer has responded to its circular dated January 24, 2014 when it asked ministries to send nominations of IAS officers with 12 to 14 years of services to attend an inter-services workshop at IGFNA to be held between February 17 and 21. Now, in another office memorandum, the DoPT has extended the last date for nomination to February 13, 2014. “Since no response has been received from ministries/departments in government of India and state governments/union territories in this regard, it is once again requested to send the nominations of suitable officers positively by 13.02.2014 (Thursday)”, the DoPT’s second OM said.
In fact, the nominated IAS officers don’t need to bear anything from their pocket, as the government reimburses everything, from course fee to food and lodging.
For the record, IGFNA was set up in 1987 by renaming the erstwhile Indian Forest College, which was originally established in 1938 for training senior forest officers. Considered to be the nursery for the budding foresters, who go to that academy after selection by Union Public Service Commission, the IGFNA is located at Chakrata Road, five kilometres away from Dehradun town, and it trains Indian Forest Service officers among others.
“Changed paradigm of forest management demands support of all stakeholders of the sector. Therefore, this academy has also started sensitization programmes for stakeholders other than foresters. Presently, short programs for members of higher judiciary, Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Revenue Service and Indian Railway Traffic Service are conducted,” says the Academy director RK Goel in his message posted in its official website.
Indian Forest Service was created only in 1966, but it was only a revival of a cadre that existed during the British Raj. Way back in 1867, five forest officers were selected and sent to France and Germany for training. Currently, there are about 2,700 Indian Forest Service officers serving in various states and the Central government. One of the interesting tests that such an officer needs to pass even after getting selected through UPSC is completion of a long walk, 25 km for men and 14 km for women in four hours. The test is conducted in Delhi zoo. This is in addition to standard medical tests.