Ahead of parliamentary elections, the Centre has proposed another pro-tribal measure – renaming of the Indian Forest Service as Indian Forest and Tribal Service.
The renaming is based on the recommendation made by the NCST which highlights the close ties between tribals, the forest and forest ecosystem. Merging forest and tribal welfare administrations will further the participation of ‘tribals’ in forest management. Renaming will also engender greater sensitivity on the forest department’s part towards the needs of ‘tribal’ communities.
During the year 1864 the then British India Government started the Imperial Forest Department and appointed Dr. Dietrich Brandis, a German Forest officer Inspector General of Forests in 1866.
Having recognized the need to have a premier forest service to manage the varied natural resources of the vast country and to organize the affairs of the Imperial Forest Department, Imperial Forest Service was constituted in 1867.
The subject of “Forestry” was transferred to the “Provincial List” by the Government of India Act, 1935 and subsequent recruitment to the Imperial Forest Service was discontinued.
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, among other things.