Union Minister Jairam Ramesh had invited only those IFS officers who had acquired their Ph.D while serving in their forest areas
As many as 13 Indian Forest Service (IFS) officers from Gujarat are among those selected for the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) new action plan discussed by Union Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh.
The new action plan is aimed at changing the work pattern of the Forest Department and designating them the fields of their interest. Ramesh had invited only those officers who had acquired their Ph.D while serving in the forest areas. In all, there were 115 IFS officers across India who had done their PhD in their field of interest while serving in the forests. The discussion was held on January 10.
Ramesh told the forest officers that the main emphasis was on promoting scientific research among the IFS cadre.
Jagdish Prasad, Conservator of Forest, Ahmedabad, who was in Dehradun, told The Indian Express: “For the first time, the MoEF will introduce the National Forest Science Congress; it might be organised this year. There was no discussion on the Forest Department administrative system; Ramesh had invited us only to discuss about promoting scientific research as issues like global warming and climate change are taking centre-stage. Ramesh had stated that he will soon send this action plan to the state department authorities so that there is better coordination.”
He added: “In the last few years, officers of the level of Deputy Conservator of Forests, Conservator of Forests and the Chief Conservator of Forests from Gujarat have done their Ph.D in their field of interest. Ramesh had asked all IFS officers across India to select areas of their interest for the PhD. Generally, the forest officers are given any specific division or areas to cover. The Government of India has emphasised to revive the entire structure. This can be only done when the forest officers are allowed to work in their own area of interest.”
H S Singh, Managing Director, Gujarat State Forest Development Corporation (GSFDC) said: “There are around 112 IFS officers in Gujarat and 13 have done their Ph.d in their areas of interest.”
Singh, who has done his research in Wildlife and is writing a book on leopard and lion poaching in India, further said: “If a forest officer is interested in wildlife, he should be given wildlife only, as this will help not only the state, but other research institutes in India and abroad.”
He said: “All the invitees were asked to continuously be in touch with all the regional research institutes in India so that their research can be put to use with Information Technology, and the same can be applied.”
Prasad said the Government of India has also said of introducing foreign exchange programmes.
“According to Ramesh’s action plan, setting up of germplasm bank will be mandatory in every state, and each germplasm bank will be linked with the Agriculture University and Regional Research Institutes,” Singh said.