Need for conservation of environment and forests has exercised the minds of Indian rulers from the earliest of times. In third century BC, Emperor Ashoka issued edicts to protect forests and natural wealth.
Later during the reign of Emperor Chandragupta Mourya, "Forest free from fear", were identified and protected.
In more recent times, it was the administrators and princely rulers who demarcated and reserved forests as private preserves. It is the art and science of managing forests. Demands of a rapidly increasing population continue to put pressure or surviving forests in India. India currently has 21% forest area of total land. It has 80 national parks and 441 sanctuaries dotted around country. So, many career opportunities are available in forestry and wild life sector.
There are various streams in this career avenue. Silviculture, Forest Engineering and Ecology are main choices for aspirants.
Silviculture is the science which deals with propagation of forest life. These professionals regulate forest wealth and monitor growth and propagation along predetermined planning. Forest Engineers are responsible for entire number of projects related to all type of constructions in forest region. Civil, Mechanical or Electrical engineers with a forest management qualification carry out this work too. Ecologists advise on environment based affairs like climate and altitude etc.
A student after passing 10+2 or equivalent examination from any recognized board or university with Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Mathematics or Environment Science or Forestry subjects can get admission in graduation course i.e. B.Sc.-Forestry or B.Sc. Wildlife Biology conducted by various institutions spread all over India. Some diploma courses are also offered in a number of premier
Later on, in this career stream aspirants can find employment with private or public sector organization, forest based industries, research and consultancies and paper mills. Following in time, getting specialization, teaching is an option too.
Indian Forest Service: Indian Forest Service offers a highly challenging and rewarding career. Recruitment to this service is done by the UPSC through a competitive examination in the month of July every year.
Students, who want to apply for this examination should be graduate with at least one of the Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Mathematics, Statistics, Geology, Agriculture, Forestry and Engineering subjects. Scheme of examination has two phases-Written examination and personal interview.
Some diploma courses are also offered in a number of premier institution.
In Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun, a studentship of Rs.1000/- per month to all admitted students against general category seats in all courses is also available.
Agencies like WWF-India, TERI, BNHS are some names in private sector.
Payment is good, with your earning potential being the same as a class I officer in government sector and if you are in private sector, you can earn Rs.15,000/- or above.