Upsc Indian Forest Service Exam

About Indian Forest Service (IFos)

The Indian Forest Service (IFoS) is one of the prestigious exams conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in India. It is highly competitive and is considered one of the top Indian service exams, alongside the IAS, IPS, and IFS exams.

As the name suggests, the IFoS officers have the responsibility to manage, conserve, and promote the sustainable development of India’s forests, wildlife, and natural resources. They serve both the state and central governments, holding key positions in the state forest departments and occupying high-level positions.

One notable aspect of the IFoS is that its officers enjoy a significant degree of autonomy and authority within their respective domains. They play a crucial role in formulating and implementing policies, plans, and programs related to forest management, wildlife conservation, and environmental protection. IFoS officers are also involved in conducting research, assessing forest resources, preventing forest fires, engaging with local communities, and promoting eco-tourism.

The IFoS officers are responsible for enforcing forest laws, combating illegal activities such as poaching and illegal wildlife trade, and ensuring the sustainable utilization of forest resources. They also contribute to environmental impact assessments of development projects and collaborate with international organizations on matters related to forests and environment.

Overall, IFoS officers play a vital role in the conservation and sustainable management of India’s forests, protecting wildlife and their habitats, and promoting the ecological balance for the benefit of present and future generations. For more information, you can visit the official site of IFoS, i.e.

Indian Forest Service Exam Eligibility

Educational Qualification

In order to appear for the IFoS exam, one has to have a Bachelor’s degree from a recognised university in one of the mentioned subjects – Animal Husbandry, Botany, Zoology, Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Geology, Agriculture and Forestry.

If you are a candidate with an engineering degree, you can apply.

Candidates who are in the final year of the above mentioned degrees can apply for the exam provided you meet the other eligibility criterias.


The minimum age required for the IFoS exam is 21 years.

The maximum age for candidate in different categories are as follows:
1. General Category- 32 Years
2. Other Backward Class (OBC)- 35 Years
3. Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST)- 37 Years
4. Disabled Defense Service Personnel- 37 Years
5. Person with Benchmark Disabilities (PwBD)- 42 Years


The nationality eligibility criteria are as follows:

Citizen of India.

Subject of Nepal/ Bhutan.

Tibetan refugee who came to India before 1st January 1962 for settling in India permanently.

Indian origin person from – Pakistan, Burma, SriLanka, and East African countries with the intention to settle in India permanently.

Indian Forest Service Exam Pattern

The IFoS (Indian Forest Service) exam consists of three stages: the Preliminary Examination, the Main Examination, and the Personality Test (Interview). Here is a detailed overview of the IFoS exam pattern:

Preliminary Exam

The Preliminary Examination is the initial stage of the IFoS exam and serves as a qualifying test for the Mains examination. The marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination are not added to the candidate’s total marks. It comprises two papers, namely General Studies Paper 1 and General Studies Paper 2. Each paper has a duration of 2 hours.

1. General Studies Paper 1

Duration 2 Hours
  • 1. Current Events
  • 2. Indian History
  • 3. Indian National Movement
  • 4. Geography
  • 5. Indian Polity and Governance
  • 6. Economic and Social Development
  • 7. Environmental Ecology
  • 8. Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • 9. General Science
Total Marks 200

2. General Studies Paper 2

Duration 2 Hours
  • 1. Aptitude and Logical Reasoning
  • 2. Comprehension and Analytical Ability
  • 3. Decision Making and Problem Solving
  • 4. Data Interpretation
  • 5. English Language Comprehension Skills
Total Marks 200

Mains Examination

The Main Examination is the second stage of the IFoS exam, conducted for candidates who qualify in the Preliminary Examination. It is a crucial part of the selection process, as the marks obtained in the Main Examination contribute to the final selection of candidates.It consists of six papers.

1. General English Paper 1

Duration 2 Hours
  • 1. Essay Writing
  • 2. Comprehension
  • 3. Vocabulary
  • 4. Grammar, etc
Total Marks 300

2. General Knowledge Paper 2

Duration 2 Hours
  • 1. Current Affairs
  • 2. Indian History
  • 3. Geography
  • 4. Indian Polity
  • 5. Science & Technology
  • 6. Ecology & Environment, etc
Total Marks 300

Optional Paper 3, 4, 5 and 6

The IFoS (Indian Forest Service) Mains examination includes four optional papers, where candidates can choose two papers from their preferred subjects. Each optional paper is three hours in duration and carries 200 marks.

The optional subjects which you can choose are:
1. Agriculture
2. Agriculture Engineering
3. Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
4. Botany
5. Chemistry
6. Chemical Engineering
7. Civil Engineering
8. Forestry
9. Geology
10. Mathematics
11. Mechanical Engineering
12. Physics
13. Statistics
14. Zoology

Note: There are certain combination optional subjects which the aspirants cannot choose. They are:
1. Agriculture & Agricultural Engineering
2. Agriculture & Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
3. Agriculture & Forestry
4. Chemistry & Chemical Engineering
5. Mathematics & Statistics
6. Any two engineering subjects together.


Candidates who successfully clear the Mains examination of the IFoS (Indian Forest Service) are then selected for the interview round. The interview is a comprehensive assessment that evaluates the candidate’s personality, leadership abilities, intellectual prowess, social awareness, logical reasoning skills, and more.

The interview duration typically lasts around 30 minutes, but it can vary depending on the panel conducting the interview. The interview carries a total of 300 marks, contributing significantly to the candidate’s final evaluation.

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