History Of The Academy

Established in 1981, the Central Academy for State Forest Service or CASFOS has the mandate to train newly recruited State Forest Service (SFS) Officers from various States and conduct in-service trainings for serving SFS officers. The Academy is located in the beautiful and sylvan campus of the world-renowned New Forest Campus in Dehradun. The vibrant capital city of Uttarakhand state, Dehradun has been the cradle of forestry education and training in India. 

In the beginning, the forests in India were manned by men drawn from Civil Services and the Army. Dr. Dietrich Brandis, the first Inspector General of Forests, Government of India, after coming to Indiain 1864 recognized the need for fully qualified and scientifically trained officers to help him in the administration and conservation of the forests in the country. Brandis visualized, bringing into existence, fullfledged services of scientifically trained officers, at an early date and therefore made further proposals for providing trained forest officers to man the forests in the country. He recommended:

  • provision of facilities of studying forestry in Europe for untrained forest officers of the Forest Departments in India,
  • selection of probationers from Europe and making arrangements for their training in the continent, and
  • a general scheme for permanently improving the administration of the Forest Departments of India by sending out trained men from Europe.
  • In 1867, five candidates including an Indian, Framjee Rustomjee Desai, son of a Bombay merchant, were selected to undergo training in France. As it was considered necessary to train some officers in Germany also, two more candidates were sent to Hanover for training under Forest Director Burckhardit. The period of training suggested by Brandis was two and a half years. In all, 95 officers were recruited between 1867 to 1886 and trained in the continent of Europe in Germany, France, U.K. at Coopers Hill, Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh.
  • In 1911, a post of Director of Indian Forest Studies was created and A.M. Caccia was appointed to the post. His duties were to maintain general supervision over the studies of the probationers at the three universities in the UK and to personally conduct the men on tours in the Continent and in England. With the outbreak of War in 1914, recruitment ceased. After the cessation of hostilities, Major Caccia , who served in the Army during the War was reappointed to the post for a period of 5 years and continued until 1925 when the post was abolished.
  • Although with the visit of Islington Commission to India in 1913-14, the question of training IFS probationers in India, at Dehradun where a Forest Research Institute had been established in 1906, was considered, the same was, however, turned down on technical grounds. The training of the officers for the Indian Forest Service, therefore, continued at the British Universities.
  • Soon after the war, demand for probationers increased and between 1919 and 1923, 152 probationers were trained. The Government of India desired that all probationers be trained at one Centre. Finally, with the support of the Islington Commission and recommendations by the Lee Commission (1923- 24), which also recommended that the recruitment to the Indian Forest Service should be based on 25% Europeans and 75% Indians, the Governor-General finally decided to inaugurate the training of Indian Forest Service officers at the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, from the 1st of November 1926.


The Indian Forest College (IFC) at Dehradun started in 1926 and 12 students, including 2 probationers selected by the Government of India, attended the first course held during 1926-28. The course continued until 1932, when it had to be closed down due to a lack of demand for officers.

In 1966, the Indian Forest Service (IFS) was constituted. The first batch of Indian Forest Service probationers comprising of 6 trainees together with 5 foreign trainees from Malawi, Nigeria, Indonesia and Afghanistan was trained in the Indian Forest College, Dehradun in the 1968-70 course. Later in 1987, this college was renamed as Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGNFA). It is solely dedicated to the training of Indian Forest Service officers of various levels.

The proposal to constitute a Provincial Service was first mooted in 1891 with a view to meet the increased demand for trained officers at a comparatively lower cost. This service was to form a link between the Imperial Service and the Subordinate Executive Service. In the early years of the inauguration of service, young men mostly of European extraction came into the Service but instructions were soon issued to confine recruitment to the promotion of Rangers of proved meritorious service only.

When the FRI at Dehradun came into existence in 1906, the status of the Imperial Forest School, which had been training Rangers since 1878, was raised to that of a college, called the Imperial Forest College and, in the same year, a third-year course was introduced for training selected Rangers for admission to the Provincial Service.

The training of the gazetted officers of the Forest Department remained suspended from 1933 to 1938 when demand for training such officers arose again. Forest was by then a transferred subject under the control of the various provinces and princely states and recruitment to the Indian Forest Service had ceased. Superior Forest Service was created in the States to replace the Indian Forest Service and a course of training for these officers was started in 1938 at the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. The first batch consisted of 16 students. The College was named the Indian Forest College and was located in one of the blocks of the main building of the Institute.

The Superior Forest Service course continued in the college up to the year 1975. Consequent upon the constitution of Indian Forest Service with effect from 1.10.1966, the subsequent course for the training of State Forest Service officers in the Indian Forest College was termed as State Forest Service course. Initially, the training of Indian Forest Service probationers was conducted combined with the State Forest Service officers from 1971-73 to 1973-75. However, for the Indian Forest Service probationers, additional lectures on certain subjects were included in the course. For the courses 1976-78 onwards, separate courses are being conducted for the Indian Forest Service probationers and foreign trainees in the Indian Forest College, Dehradun. With the separation of the classes of the State Forest Service and the Indian Forest Service, a separate college for the training of State Forest Service officers was started at Burnihat in Assam in May 1976.

To cope with the increase in demand of trained State Forest Service officers, a second State Forest Service college was started at Coimbatore in January 1980. Subsequently, the third State Forest Service college was opened at Dehradun in May 1981.

On 6th August, 2009 all the three State Forest Service colleges at Dehradun, Coimbatore and Burnihat were renamed as Central Academy for State Forest Service (CASFOS). At present, there are three Central Academies for State Forest Services in India. All are under the direct control of the Directorate of Forest Education (DFE), Dehradun under the Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change, Government of India. The Academy at Burnihat, Assam was the first to be set up in India in May 1976. The Academy at Dehradun was the third and so far the last Academy to be set up. It was established in the New Forest campus on 01.05.198l.