Mains Paper 2: Governance | Role of civil services in a democracy
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: IFS and its mandate
Mains level: IFS and its role in tribal development
- The Centre has proposed a pro-tribal measure – renaming of the Indian Forest Service as Indian Forest and Tribal Service.
Why such move?
- The move follows a directive from the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) to this effect.
- Forest Service officials have always been the first point of government contact for tribals.
- But there is no awareness among the service officials on the different problems.
- In fact, tribals often complain of harassment like not being allowed to carry out their headloads of minor forest produce.
About Indian Forest Service
- IFS is one of the three All India Services of the Government of India after IAS and IPS.
- It was constituted in the year 1966 under the All India Services Act, 1951.
- The main mandate of the service is the implementation of the National Forest Policyin order to ensure the ecological stability of the country through the protection and participatory sustainable management of natural resources.
- An IFS officer is wholly independent of the district administration and exercises administrative, judicial and financial powers in his own domain.
- Earlier, the colonial govt. had constituted the Imperial Forest Service in 1867 which functioned under the Federal Government until ‘Forestry’ was transferred to the Provincial List by the Government of India Act, 1935.
- Thereafter subsequent recruitment to the Imperial Forest Service was discontinued.