Forestry is an art and science of managing and judiciously using forests and forest based resources in a way that is scientifically sound, practically viable, ecologically sustainable and socially acceptable. The forestry sector has made significant contribution in the country by means of different green initiatives to counter the challenges of climate change. In order to make forestry a professionally managed sector, skilled and capable Green managers are required to deliver eco friendly goods & services.
As far as commencement of scientific forestry in India is concerned, it started as early as 1864 to train the forestry personnel for the forest management. However, forestry education at University level in the country was started from the State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) in the year 1985 with the inception of B.Sc. Forestry a four year degree from Dr. Y.S.Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (YSPUHF) Solan, HP and Punjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth PDKV), Akola, Maharashtra. Later this programme was initiated in G.B Pant University of Agriculture and Technology (GBPUA&T), Pantnagar, UK and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore, TamilNadu in 1986 followed by many other SAUs. Beside this, the master and doctoral level programme in forestry with specialization in specific topic of
forestry was also started in some SAUs. The Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) started Post Graduate Diploma in Forestry Management (PGDFM) equivalent to master degree in forest management during 1988 at Bhopal to produce the Green Managers. In the recent past some traditional and private universities and institutes have also started forestry programmes in the country.
In India, the forestry education, research, training and extension is governed by Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun, an apex body in forestry under Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). However, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has made every endeavor in periodically framing and
modifying the syllabus and guideline for the forestry education as per need of time at undergraduate, postgraduate
and doctoral level to SAUs. Presently around 26 SAUs and 40 traditional and private universities and colleges/ institutes are offering forestry education in India.
FORESTRY EDUCATION IN ACADEMIC INSTITUTES IN INDIA
B.Sc. Forestry: B.Sc. forestry is a four year professional degree programme spread in eight semesters. Forestry graduates
study course curriculum similar to Indian forest officers at Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGNFA), Dehradun and Forest Rangers at State Forest Service (SFS) colleges. They are technically qualified, skilled and rigorously undergo one year field exposure under Rural Forestry Work Experience (RFWE) and Experiential Learning Programme (ELP) which can enable them for “earning while learning” and develop a confidence to manage the forestry enterprise as an independent unit. Moreover, the SAUs not only limit the role of forestry graduates to forest department but also train them as managers for green ntrepreneurship in different organizations for green initiatives e.g. CSR activities of corporate, green and sustainable production and supply raw material to various forests produce based industries etc.
M.Sc. & Ph.D. Forestry: Two years professional master degree in Forestry (M.Sc. Forestry) with specialization in Agroforestry, Forest genetic resources, Silviculture, Watershed management, Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Forest products & their tilization, Wood science & Technology, Forest biotechnology, Plantation forestry, wildlife etc. and similarly minimum three ears Doctoral programme as Ph.D. in Forestry is also running in SAUs, traditional Universities and institutes.
Post Graduate Diploma in Forestry Management (PGDFM): IIFM, Bhopal is the only institute awarding two-year residential PGDFM equivalent to master’s degree in Forest Management in India. PGDFM professionals bestowed with managerial skill and knowledge in the field of forestry, environment and natural resource management are suitable as Green Managers.
ADMISSION/SELECTION PROCEDURE OR FORESTRY PROGRAMMES AT STATE AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITIES AND OTHER NSTITUTES/ UNIVERSITIES: For admission in the B.Sc. Forestry (four year degree), one can apply after 10+2 having PCB/PCM/PCMB/ Agriculture group. The admission is either through qualifying the entrance examination or on merit basis. The process of selection in master’s degree is also through exam or on merit basis. Similarly in Ph.D. Forestry, one can take admission in the SAUs or other Institutes/Universities on the basis of qualifying entrance examination or directly as per the norm of the concerned Institutes/Universities. Admission in SAUs for graduate, postgraduate and doctoral level programme in forestry can also be taken by qualifying all India entrance examination of ICAR, New Delhi. In PGDFM a graduate from any discipline can take admission on the basis of score (percentile) obtained in CAT conducted by IIMs or XAT followed by Group discussion and Personal Interview conducted by IIFM.
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES FOR FORESTRY PROFESSIONALS In the era of globalization and industrialization the realization is pouring on sustainability and ecological restoration carbon and energy footprints have also armed importance. These global concerns lead policy initiatives to create a job environment in green entrepreneurship and environment safety regulations to
tackle the global climate change issues. Forestry is one of the options for all stakeholders to provide it a space at all levels.
The current need has made reach of forestry professionals redefined for green jobs or assignments. Following are some of the broad potential areas where forestry students have avenues to work.
- The forestry professionals having master’sdegree along with NET certificatein Forestry/Agroforestry can join the
academic profession in the Universityteaching, research and extension asan Assistant Professor (AP), ResearchOfficer (RO) and in KVKs as SubjectMatter Specialist (SMS). They can also become scientists (forestry/agroforestry) by qualifying the all India Agricultural Research Services (ARS) examination annually conducted by Agricultural Scientist Recruitment Board (ASRB) of ICAR, New Delhi.
There is also good scope for Forestry graduates in State Forest Services (SFS) as per the policy of the states;.
- They can launch their own entrepreneurship in the field of plant nursery centre, furniture industry; saw mills,
wooden handicrafts units, plywood and bamboo product units, sericulture, value addition of various wild produce and herbal drugs etc. In the banking sector too forestry graduates are appointed as Agriculture officers, Rural Development officers, Extension officers etc in national, private and regional banks.
- In private sector the foresters can take up work either in offices, laboratories, wood based industries or outdoors depending on their field of specialization. The forest based Industries include Paper and Pulp, Plywood, match industry, Wood Workshop and Saw Mills, Wood Seasoning and Preservation Treatment Plants, Katha Making Industry, Resin and Terpentine Industry, Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Units, Carpentry and bamboo crafts etc.
- The scope is also good in big industries as Environmental Expert and quality control manager. PSUs related to hydropower NHPC, Thermal power plants- NTPC, steel plants, Cement plants, National highway authority, pollution control boards and various other infra companies appoint plantation officers for their various greening and environment protection works.
Besides this, tea board; coffee board; rubber and other plantation companies; biomass base industries; landscaping and urban forestry in corporate and civic bodies are also good avenues for forestry degree holder.
- Employment opportunities exist with organizations working in conservation of forest resources and corporate plantations too. There are many reputed NGOs which are working in the forestry/Agroforestry and rural development sectors. Many corporate also take forestry graduates in their CSR activities for rural and tribal areas for linking forestry to livelihood activities.
- The doors are open to experienced Forestry professionals in the international agencies working in the field of forestry viz. IUCN, WWF, World Bank, UNDP, etc.
- The forestry professional can be a consultant to the State and central Project Management Units (PMUs), Pollution Control Boards, Environmental Legal Advisor to the industrial sector and NGOs ; One can also register as Charted Forester (CF) for providing technical and procedural assistance to the people willing to take up forestry on their private holdings.
- Carbon finance is another emerging sector for CDM projects of Aforestation/ reforestation and REDD+ projects where preparation of PDD, planning & monitoring, evaluation all required forestry professionals by UNFCC and state governments & plantation companies.
IMPORTANT INDIAN UNIVERSITIES/ NSTITUTIONS OFFERING UNDERGRADUATE, POSTGRADUATE AND DOCTORAL PROGRAMMES IN FORESTRY
Dr. Y.S.Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan, HP;
Tamilnadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore;
Forest Research Institute-DU, Dehradun, UK;
Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, M.P.;
Kerala Agricultural University, Trichur;
Navsari Agricultural University, Navsari, Gujarat;
Punjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth,Akola, Maharastra;
G.B Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, Uttrakhand (UK);
Chaudhari Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar; Indira Gandhi Agriculture
University, Raipur, Chhattisgarh;
Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology, Bhubaneswar;
Birsa Agicultural University, Ranchi, Jharkhand;
Uttarakhand University of Horticulture and Forestry, Bharsar, UK;
University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, Karnataka;
Jawharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Jabalpur, MP;
Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Sher-e- Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Shalimar, Srinagar, J & K.;
Dr. Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli, Ratnagiri, Maharashtra;
Central Agriculture University, Imphal, Mizoram;
Allahabad Agricultural Institute-DU (Now SHIATS), Allahabad;
North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST), Itanagar;
H.N.B. Garhwal University, Srinagar Garhwal, UK;
Kumaun University, Nainital, UK;
Guru Ghasidas University, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh;
Dolphin (PG) Institute of Biomedical and Natural Sciences, Dehradun, UK;
Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar, Punjab. (The above list is indicative only)
(Dr. Arvind Bijalwan teaches at Indian
Institute of Forest Management (IIFM),
Bhopal; Dr. Manmohan J.R. Dobriyal is
associated with Navsari Agricultural
University, Navsari, Gujarat. Dr.
Bijalwan can be reached at e-mail:
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