The Annual Convocation of 2015-17 Course of IFS Probationers at the Indira Gandhi
National Forest Academy was organized in the Convocation Hall, Forest Research Institute,
Dehradun on 5th May 2017. Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Hon’ble President of India graced the occasion
as Chief Guest.
Dr. Shashi Kumar, Director, Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy in his address informed
the gathering that this institution erstwhile, as Indian Forest Collage and now as Indira Gandhi
National Forest Academy has served the country for last 77 years. He said that all the Indian Forest
Service officers in independent India and around 345 forest officers from 14 of the neighboring
countries have been trained in this institution. He further informed that a total of 45 IFS Probationers
and 2 Foreign Trainees from Royal Govt. of Bhutan have been awarded with the diploma today from
the present 2015-17 Course. There are 1 Ph.D, 36 B.Sc and 10 Post Graduate in this batch. Out of
these, 27 officers have secured more than 75% marks in the aggregate, thereby qualifying to get the
Honours Diploma. All those who have successfully completed the training are being awarded the
Associate of Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy Diploma. He also informed that the IIM
Lucknow Attachment, NGO Attachment, South India Tour, Ministry Conference, and special
overseas exposure visit to Finland/Russia and Spain/Italy were carried out during the training period.
He advised the young Probationers to work with utmost sincerity and devotion and to always keep an
open mind and innovate while dealing with various issues specially the issues concerning the
livelihood of the forest dependent poor people.
At the ceremony, the officers who had shown outstanding achievements were awarded the
different prizes and awards.
Sh. Punit Goyal of Madhya Pradesh cadre became the topper of the 2015-17 training course.
He grabbed a total 04 medals and awards in different categories. The list of other award winners is
Shri Anil Madhav Dave, Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of
Enviornment, Forest & Climate Change congratulated the budding officers over successful
completion of their professional forestry training at IGNFA. He said, the days when forests were
treated as mere resources to be exploited are over and now we want forests to be conserved by
empowering local communities, sustainable sharing of benefits from forests, forests as mitigators of
climate change or as rural livelihood options. He informed that as per forest policy of 1988
involving people in the conservation of forest resources was started in the form of Joint Forest
He emphasized that the role of IFS officers is evolving day by day and a member of the
Forest Service is now called upon to perform complex functions in a complicated mosaic of human
environment with new dynamic parameters. He is equally concerned with the eternal conflict
between the “rights of men” and “rights of nature” while trying to maintain harmony.
Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat also congratulated the
young officers and emphasized that a long and challenging career is awaiting them. He said that we
have a rich history of scientific management of forests in the country, which is one of the oldest in
the world and you are on the threshold of making your own contributions to the same. He also said
the future will bring the responsibilities in connection with the productivity enhancement to
biodiversity conservation and addressing the livelihood concerns and other developmental needs of
the people living in and near the forests. You should remember, in the name of scientific and
developmental activities, the present not be ignored.
Hon’ble Governor of Uttarakhand Dr. K.K. Paul congratulated the young officers and
informed that Uttarakhand accounts for one of the finest forest tracts of our country. A large
population of the state is heavily dependent upon the forests for its livelihood and sustenance. The
first challenge before the state is to get people involved in regenerating and protecting the forests for
their sustainable management. We need programmes not only to conserve the eroding biodiversity
for posterity but also to use it in a sustainable way for economic upliftment of our people. He also
emphasized to use our herbal wealth to develop the traditional healthcare system for the local
population as well as for export market. He congratulated IGNFA also for imparting the valuable
training to the young officers for conserving one of the most important natural resources of the
Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Hon’ble President of India in his Convocation address, congratulated
the officer trainees and noted that the training imparted at the IGNFA prepares the officers for the
tough challenges that lie ahead of the young officers in their jobs. He categorically mentioned how
the journey of professional forest management started in British India and how long we have reached
till now. He emphasized on striking a balance between conservation and development as both are
equally important for humanity. He expressed his satisfaction on increasing of forest cover in India
which has reached to 79.4 million hectare from 64.2 million hectares in around 30 years.
He said that the key is to develop sustainable utilization of natural resources with a strong
commitment to eradicate poverty and hunger globally. This could be achieved most effectively if we
put common people at the centre of this development process. He also advised the young officers to
become the facilitators to convert the threats to forests into opportunity by eradicating poverty. He
stressed that they as a young professionals, the officer should keep in mind that the decisions to be
taken by them shall have far reaching long term consequences of ecological foundation of the nation.
He also advised the foresters’ community to address the climate change impacts which is emerging
as a global concern.
He said to the young officers, that being a Natural Resource Manager it is their first duty to
protect the forests, enhance its productivity and support the local populace in terms of their forest
requirement by scientific means. He also expressed his concern over drying water bodies in the
country. He asked the young officers to provide expert solutions to development versus conservation
debates. He asked to treat development and environment as complementary rather antagonistic
terms. At the end, he congratulated all the young officers and expressed his confidence that the high
standards of professionalism of forest officers would be maintained and further enhanced by them.
The Convocation ceremony was attended by a large number of senior level officers from the
Central and State Government besides the family members of the officers who have passed out