Forests hostage to IFS
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.