Forestry Optional For UPSC

forestry optional for upsc

Introduction To The Subject

Forestry is the science as well as an art of establishing, maintaining, cultivating, conserving, and repairing forests, woodlands, and related resources for the benefit of people and the environment.

Students need to choose two different subjects as Optional papers in the Indian Forest Service Examination. Combinations of subjects like Forestry optional for UPSC and Geology Optional and Agriculture are preferred by the aspirants.

Comparison/Similarity With Other Optional Subjects

Forestry optional for UPSC is a subject for descriptive papers and is listed only for Indian Forest Service Examination. It is not a new subject. The entire syllabus is basically an amalgamation of small topics of syllabus of other subjects like Geography, Environment, Agriculture, etc.

Practicing IFoS-Specific questions, Previous year questions, analyzing the nature of questions being asked, focused study material, complete notes, etc can help aspirants in writing effective and high score-fetching answers with limited time investment.

Advantages Of Forestry Optional For UPSC

  1. Time Duration – A good amount of preparation time, approximately 5-6 months is needed for this Optional Subject.
  2. Mastering The Subject From Basics – Proper guidance, Analysis of papers, and practice papers can be of great help in mastering the subject. Forestry is a science subject, that has a well-defined and Manageable Syllabus. Classroom and live-online courses are available along with concise notes and UPSC-level Tests and step mentoring. Current updates are a must for writing impactful answers in the Indian Forest Service (Main) Examination.
  3. Academic Background – Academic Background has no major role in the Forest Services Exams. Many times we see engineers opting for Humanity Subjects and Humanities students opting for Science subjects like Botany, Forestry, etc. Content from books and quality study material is all that one needs to prepare for this subject from scratch.
  4. Overlapping Syllabus with GS/Essay – Forestry paper do have some topics overlapping with the General Studies Section of Prelims and Mains examination. Topics like Cold Desert, Joint Forest Management, Social Forestry, Forest Ecology, Forest Resources and utilization, Forest soils, etc overlap with the Geography and Environment sections of General Studies.
  5. Help In Interview – Questions from Optional Subjects can be asked in the Interview by the panel. Coaching for personality tests can help with interview guidance for UPSC IFS.

Disadvantages Of Forestry Optional For UPSC

  1. It is exclusive to Indian Forest Service Examination. Burdening for students preparing for both CSE and Indian Forest Services.
  2. It is time taking and factual in nature.

See Also – Zoology Optional Syllabus For UPSC

Scores Available

Average marks range from 235 to 260. The highest mark in the year 2020 was 268 out of a total of 500.

Recent Toppers

Some of the recent IFS toppers with Forestry as Optional are listed below:

  1. Avinash Kumar (Rank 46, 2015)
  2. Anshuman Rajhans (Rank 11,2018)

Related – 100 Best Forestry Books of All Time

Standard References

Some of the standard reference books for the Forest Service Exam are listed below:

  1. Principles and Practice of Silviculture by L.S. Khanna
  2. Theory and Practice of Silviculture Systems by Ram Prakash, L S Khanna, K. Manikandan, and S. Prabhu
  3. Forest Protection & Wildlife Biology Indian Forestry by K. Manikandan and S. Prabhu
  4. Forest Management by Prakash Ram
  5. Agroforestry: Indian Perspective by L. K. Jha


Forestry is a comparatively easy optional subject with high ROI. The preparation time needed is also reasonable. Fact-rich, coherent and well-illustrated answers can be curated using concise study material and daily updates.

Building concepts step-by-step and practicing hundreds of questions can help students in framing answers and in turn fetch good scores in the Indian Forest Service Mains Examination and can help them in becoming future IFoS officers.

Related Posts