The Minister for Corporate Affairs and Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid has said that officers of the Indian Forest Service face various challenges like the need for striking balance between development works and environmental conservation and political conflict.
However, the education and skills imparted to the officers will enable them to meet these challenges effectively. Khurshid said this while speaking as the chief guest at the 39th convocation of Indian Forest Service probationers from Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGNFA) at the Forest Research Institute convocation hall on Sunday.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion the Minister said that though forests have changed a lot especially during the past couple of decades, the forests have been a vital part of various facets of the Indian civilisation since the time when the earliest historical records were being written. In the ancient times even Ram and Seeta went to live in the forests and set an example in observance of a moral system of living. Though the romance of Indian forests is exhilarating, those entering the IFS will face many challenges.
They will have to facilitate actions which help in establishing the correct balance between development works and environmental conservation while at the same time tackling the repercussions of political and other conflicts. Khurshid also drew attention towards the impending dangers of climate change and water scarcity.
Emphasising that the gross per capital availability of water in the country is going down at an alarming rate, he said that the forest managers will have to deal effectively with the situation so that the nation doesn’t fall into an irreversible trap. In his address, DG Forests PJ Dilip Kumar spoke of the varied challenges which will be faced by the IFS officers.
Presenting the Director’s report, IGNFA director RD Jakati informed the gathering that a total of 29 officers of the 2008-10 professional forestry training course including two trainees from Bhutan have completed their two-year training at the academy.
Fifteen officers have secured more than 75 per cent marks in the aggregate to qualify for Honours Diploma. Those who received awards included Renjitha MH of Haryana cadre who received the award for All Round Outstanding Performance, PS Srinivas Memorial Prize, Topper in Core Forestry Subjects and BN Ganguly Award, Vasantha Reddy KV of Karnataka cadre who received the award for Best All Round Forester, Tripti Sah of West Bengal cadre who received the Sanjay Singh Memorial Prize, RN Mathur prize and KP Sagrieya prize.
The seven probationers who were awarded Hari Singh Fellowship also included Saket Badola, the sole officer from Uttarakhand cadre. Earlier, the IGNFA additional director AK Wahal welcomed the gathering while Professor C Bhaskar proposed the vote of thanks.