Indian Forest Service (IFS) Examination

The Indian Forest Service, one of the three All India Services, was constituted in the year 1966 under the All India Services Act, 1951 by the Government of India. The main mandate of the service is 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. It has also been assigned with the immense challenges of protection, conservation, regeneration and development of forests and bio-diversity.


Latest IFS exam dates

The recruitment to the Indian Forest Services (IFS) is made by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The candidates selected to the Indian Forest Service are recruited and trained by the Central Government and then allotted to different state cadres.

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There are approximately 85 vacancies that are usually filled on the basis results of the Indian Forest Service examination. This number is liable to change. Reservation is also made for candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and Physically Handicapped Categories in respect of vacancies as may be fixed by the Government.

Eligibility Criteria

Age: The applicant should be between 21 years and 30 years (Upper age limit is relaxable for SCs/STs, OBCs and certain other categories) as on 1st July of the year of applying.

The upper age limit (of 30 years) can be relaxed for:

(i) up to a maximum of 5 years if the candidate is from a Scheduled Caste (SC) or a Scheduled Tribe (ST).

(ii) up to a maximum of 3 years if the candidate is from Other Backward Classes (OBC) who are eligible to avail of reservation applicable to such candidates.

(iii) up to a maximum of 5 years if a candidate had ordinarily been a resident of Jammu & Kashmir during the period between 1st January 1980 – 31 December 1989.

(iv) up to a maximum of 3 years if the candidate is a Defence Services personnel who has been disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as its consequence.

(v) up to a maximum of 5 yearsif the candidates are ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service as on August, 2013 and have been released:
1. on completion of assignment (including those whose assignment is due to be completed within one year from August, 2013) otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency,
2. on account of physical disability attributable to Military Service,
3. on invalidment.

(vi) Up to a maximum of 5 years in the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service as on August, 2013 and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on three month’s notice on selection from the date of receipt of offer of appointment.

(vii) up to a maximum of 10 years in the case of blind, deaf-mute and orthopaedically handicapped candidates.



The date of birth accepted by the UPSC is the one that is entered in:
the Matriculation or Secondary School Leaving Certificate
a certificate recognized by an Indian University as equivalent to Matriculation
an extract from a Register of Matriculates maintained by a University (the extract must be certified by a proper authority of the University)
the Higher Secondary or an equivalent examination certificate.

These certificates need to be submitted only while applying for the Indian Forest Service (Main) Examination (and not while applying for the preliminary examination).

Documents like horoscopes, affidavits, birth extracts from Municipal Corporation, service records etc. will not be accepted as proof for age.

Educational Qualification

The applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree with at least one of the following subjects:

  • Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Geology
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Statistics
  • Zoology


The applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture or Forestry


The applicant must have an engineering degree

These degrees must be from any of Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University Under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification.


The applicant must be either :—
(a) A citizen of India, or
(b) A subject of Nepal, or
(c) A subject of Bhutan, or
(d) A Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India or
(e) A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

The Government of India should have issued a certificate of eligibility in favour of the candidate belonging to categories (b), (c), (d) and (e).

A candidate in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary, may be admitted to the IFS exam but the offer of appointment may be given only after the necessary eligibility certificate has been issued to him by the Government of India.

Number of Attempts

Every eligible candidate will be permitted 4 attempts at the IFS examination.

Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates who are otherwise eligible can attempt this examination as many times as they want.

The number of attempts permissible to candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBC), who are otherwise eligible, shall be seven (7).

A physically handicapped will get as many attempts as are available to other non-physically handicapped candidates of his or her community, subject to the condition that a physically handicapped candidate belonging to the General Category shall be eligible for seven attempts. The relaxation will be available to the physically handicapped candidates who are eligible to avail of reservation applicable to such candidates.


An attempt at a Preliminary Examination shall be considered to be an attempt at the examination.   

If a candidate actually appears for any one paper in the Preliminary Examination, it would be equivalent to having made an attempt at the examination.

Not withstanding the disqualification /cancellation of candidature the fact of appearance of the candidate at the examination will count as an attempt.


Physical Fitness:

Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Indian Forest Service Examination as per regulations given in Appendix-III of the rules for the Indian Forest Service Examination published in Gazette of India in the year of examination or as specified in the examination notification.

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