What is the IFS exam and what are its eligibility criteria?

IFS, or Indian Forest Service, is one of the three most prestigious All India Services. The other two are – IAS, that is, the Indian Administrative Service, and IPS – the Indian Police Service. Wanna know more about the IFS exam? Here we go!

IFS (Indian Forest Service) is one of the three most prestigious All India Services. The other two are - IAS and IPS. Know more about IFS exam

If you are an IFS aspirant, this is for you. We have gathered all the important information from the experts who are already in this field. First and foremost, an IFS aspirant should know about all the important information that will help her/him to take steps accordingly. Here you will get to know about the criteria that are mandatory to apply for the exam, about the exams that you need to clear to become an IFS officer. So, without any further delay, let’s get into it.

What is the IFS exam?

The Indian Forest Service is one of the difficult exams of the Civil Services Examination. It is held by the Union Public Commission (UPSC). It is known as one of the prestigious All India Services. The exam is conducted by the government to recruit one of the best officers to scientifically manage the forest area.

Moreover, it is an All India level exam, and it is naturally difficult to clear. But one is extremely ambitious to clear it. We will try our best to provide all the important materials we can with the help of experts.

What is the aim of an IFS officer?

An IFS officer implements the National Forest Policy to help to maintain environmental stability and to balance the ecology. Officials holding this rank are dependent on district administration and exercises administrative, judicial, and financial powers in their own domain. An IFS officer as well controls all the top positions in a state forest department.

What are the exams that an IFS aspirant must clear?

An IFS aspirant has to appear for some of the important exams to become an IFS officer. She/he has to clear an exam which is conducted by UPSC. There are three levels of the exam, they are, preliminary, main exam, and lastly, a personality test. An IFS aspirant has to clear the first level that is preliminary, to appear for the second level, the Main exam.

How do you apply for the IFS exam?

A candidate has to submit a form from an online portal. To apply for the Indian Forest Services exam, you have to submit an online application as UPSC accepts only online applications for the civil services exam. To do so, you just need to read all the instructions carefully and thereafter fill in details accordingly. All the instructions are already written on the UPSC official website. You have to also pay a certain fee for the application.

Who can apply? 

Education qualification for IFS exam

The candidates having a bachelor’s degree in any of the mentioned streams can apply for the exam. In addition, the candidate should graduate from the universities that are incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or from the educational institutions which were established by an Act of Parliament, or universities that are under section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act. In the year 1956.

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

Age limitation

The candidate should be within 21 years to 32 years. However, the upper age limit can vary in the following cases:

  • The candidates who belong from a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe can be up to 5 years
  • For the candidates who belong to other Backward classes, for up to 3 years.
  • Candidates appearing from Jammu & Kashmir, domiciled from 1st January 1980 to 31st December 1989, up to 5 years
  • For ex-servicemen like Commissioned officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years of Military Service, up to 5 years
  • For the candidates with Low Vision, hearing Impaired, and Locomotor disability, up to 10 years.


The candidate must be a citizen of India, or the subject of Nepal, Bhutan, Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January 1962 with the intention of settling in India. Furthermore, a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries like Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia, and Vietnam with the intention of settling in India permanently is eligible for the IFS exam.

Number of attempts

  • General candidates can have 6 attempts
  • Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Candidates has no limitations
  • Other Backward Classes can attempt 9 times
  • Physically handicapped can attempt 9 times.

Note: the candidate with any of the above categories should have a certificate of eligibility given by the Government of India.

What role does IFS play?

The main aim of an IFS officer is to safeguard the heritage of the forest and to preserve it. It an extremely important responsibility. Besides, she/he has to protest the trees from all the illegal activities. An IFS officer has to implement various policies and aim towards planting more trees in the forest.

There are many other things that an IFS should know. So, if you are up for more information on the structure of the exam, visit our website.

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