Forests hostage to IFS

Down to Earth - - LETTERS - FARIDA TAMPAL

It was shock­ing to read about the Comp­trol­ler and Au­di­tor Gen­eral's re­port on how of­fi­cials of the In­dian For­est Ser­vice (IFS) are ex­ploit­ing the coun­try's pre­mier forestry re­search body ("Jun­gle raj", May 1-15, 2014). The In­dian Coun­cil of Forestry Re­search and Ed­u­ca­tion (ICFRE) was formed to un­der­take re­search aimed at in­creas­ing the for­est cover and ed­u­cat­ing people about for­est con­ser­va­tion. This calls for sci­en­tific skills and ex­per­tise. The body also needs suf­fi­cient funds. But IFS of­fi­cers who now hold top po­si­tions in the body have played a spoil­sport. Nei­ther do they have the nec­es­sary qual­i­fi­ca­tions to run ICFRE nor do they en­cour­age for­est re­search and de­vel­op­ment. They are only in­ter­ested in se­cur­ing priv­i­leges. If ICFRE sci­en­tists are not al­lowed to func­tion in­de­pen­dently, the coun­try's forests and bio­di­ver­sity will suf­fer.

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