Indian Forest Service to be renamed as Indian Forest and Tribal Service

The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has initiated an inter-ministerial consultation note to rename the Indian Forest Service as Indian Forest and Tribal Service. The consultation note also contains the proposal to train the cadre to be more receptive towards tribals and forest dwellers.

Why the proposal has been made?

The proposal has been made according to the recommendations made by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) in its annual report. The NCST had made the following observations in this regard:

  • The NCST highlights the close ties between tribals, the forest and forest ecosystem as a resource-base.
  • NCST recommends the renaming of the Indian Forest Service into Indian Forest and Tribal Service in recognition of the close ties between tribals, the forest and forest ecosystem.
  • NCST argues that merging forest and tribal welfare administrations will further the participation of ‘tribals’ in forest management.
  • The NCST states that renaming will also engender greater sensitivity on the forest department’s part towards the needs of ‘tribal’ communities.

Indian Forest Service

The erstwhile Imperial Forest Service was constituted in 1867 recognising the need to have a premier forest service to manage the varied natural resources of the vast country like India and to organize the affairs of the Imperial Forest Department.
After the subject of Forestry was moved to the “Provincial List” by the Government of India Act, 1935, the recruitment to the Imperial Forest Service was discontinued.
In the year 1966, the government of India constituted Indian Forest Service as one of the three All India Services under the All India Services Act, 1951.
The Indian forest service was provided with the mandate of the implementation of the National Forest Policy which envisages scientific management of forests and to exploit them on a sustained basis for primary timber products, among other things.

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