Environment ministry cuts short foreign trip of forest officers

DEHRADUN: After curtailing the Centre and state budget for the forests and wildlife sanctuaries, the environment ministry has cut short the foreign trip of forest officers from two weeks to one week for mid-term training.

Shashi Kumar, director of Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGNFA) told TOI, “The duration of foreign education tour for forest officials for their mid-career training (MCT) has now been cut down from two to one week.”
Meanwhile, forest officers are fuming over this change. “We keep reading about the success stories of other countries in environment sector but watching it and experiencing it in field is an altogether a different experience. The duration of the tour should not have been reduced,” said a forest official.
The forest department is already dealing with a major cut in its annual budget. The officers are of the view that the major reduction in its annual budget will impair all the ongoing projects related to plantation, habitat and infrastructure development which will have long term negative impact.
MCT is an ambitious training programme which aims to provide best training opportunities to the officers by roping in some of the best training institutions in the country and abroad. It is mandatory for officers and is conducted over three phases, called phase 1 ( at 7 to 9 years of service), phase 2 (14 to 16 years of service) and phase 3 ( at 26 to 28 years of service), director of Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy said.

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