COPING UP WITH THE EXAMINATION STRESS - Careers in Agriculture & Forestry

How to Overcome the Study Stress


Speak about examination and often what a student spontaneously plunges into is the imbroglio of anxieties, stress and confusion. Have you ever imagined why some students get so much stressed and disturbed when they are to appear in an examination?

In fact, the examination stress is caused due to apprehension and lack of confidence of not performing as per the expectation in a certain examination. But it has its firm roots in the lack of preparation and absence of chalking out suitable planning well in time for the examination. The fear of examination, generally called the 'examination phobia', not only adversely affects the psychological condition of an examinee but also his academic performance and future career.

However, the psychoanalysts across the world now have started believing that stress, to some extent, is not always pernicious for students; rather it works as a motivation factor that keeps on preventing them from deviation and procrastination. We need to learn following techniques to keep stress under control.


CONSISTENT HARD WORK HAS NO SUBSTITUTE: Consistent hard work has no substitute for accomplishing any task. Passing an examination with marks and results expected is not at all different from this truth.

Who can deny that hard work works like a magic wand in transforming the status of a student?
It bears the miraculous power of converting poor-achievers into highly brilliant students. Diligence hones the inherent talent and unharnessed potential of a student and enables him or her to become confident to face the of examination. The great Chinese teacher and philosopher Confucius had once said, "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." Despite failures galore we must keep on studying sincerely and labouring hard for achieving what we have dreamt. Thoroughly and intensively study the subjects of syllabi and practise more consistently to retain the lessons. This ends up calming and strengthening us to cope up with the pressures of examination, if any.

SPEAKING TO PARENTS AND SEEKING THEIR GUIDANCE MAY PROVE TO BE MAGIC: Examination stress is the most common phenomenon among students and in this situation it is good to speak about your problems to your parents. Better would it also be if students talk openly about the problems with someone whom they confide in and trust most. Sharing the problems this way helps a lot to reduce the level of stresses. The sympathetic and caring attitude of the parents and close friends may prove to be very beneficial to ease the stress which is generally the by-products of unfounded fear and misconception. The teachers too may play vital role in allaying the fears and phobia of examination. They may guide and counsel their students to boost their confidence to substantially dispel the fear or phobia.

ASK YOURSELF WHAT MAKES YOU STRESSED: It is said prevention is better than cure. Identifying the with subjects of Physics, Chemistry and Biology or Agriculture / Horticulture/ Forestry are considered eligible. M.Sc. (Forestry) course is conducted at the following institutes. 

Few of these offer M.Sc. (Horticulture) having close connection to forestry. 

Awadhesh Pratap Singh University, Rewa Navsari Agricultural University, Gujarat Chaudhari Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth, Akola Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, Srinagar, Uttarakhand Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology, Bhubaneswar Pandit Ravishankar Shukla University ,Raipur Bastar University, Jagdalpur, Chattishgarh Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Science & Technology, Jammu/Srinagar Campus Krishi Vidyapith, Dapoli, Maharashtra Ganga Kaveri Institute of Science & Management, Bengaluru Guru Ghasidas University, Bilaspur Kumaun University, Nainital Mizoram University , Aizwal Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana College of Horticulture & Forestry, Jhalawar, Rajasthan Sarguja University ,Ambikapur, Chattishgarh Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Agra Tamilnadu Agricultural University , Coimbatore University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad Uttar Banga Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya Cooch Behar North Eastern Regional Institute of Science & Technology ,Nirjuli, Arunanchal Pradesh Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Solan, Himachal Pradesh College of Horticulture & Forestry, Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh College of Forestry, Velaanikkara, Kerala College of Horticulture & Forestry, Pasighat, Arunanchal Pradesh Uttarakhand University of Horticulture & Forestry, Bharsar, Pauri Garwhal.

The above is only an indicative list. Definitely there are more colleges and universities in India offering courses in forestry/allied subjects.

Most of the institutes/ universities have a general course in forestry. However some of these offer courses with specialization in particular branches in forestry. For example some of the areas of specialization are agroforestry , environment management, forest genetic resources, medicinal & aromatic plants, wood science & technology, watershed management, silviculture, sustainable development, forest biology & tree improvement, forest products & utilization etc.

While some universities take candidates selected through the entrance examination conducted by Indian Council for Agricultural Research, others have their own entrance examination/selection process details of which can be checked with respective websites. Forestry is taught at many overseas institutions also such as University of Forestry, Sofia , Bulgaria; Beijing Forestry University, China; Mosco State Forest University, Yale School of Forestry & Environment Studies, Forestry University of British Columbia and others. Although M.Sc. -Forestry course covers inputs in management to a certain extent, a full-fledged managerial course in Forest Management can also be pursued. Indian Institute of Forest Management at Bhopal is a very well-known for its Postgraduate Diploma in Forest Management equivalent to MBA. It has also launched Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainability Management.

The institute is recognised as research centre for pursuing doctoral research of the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. Some of the organizations which have recruited candidates from this reputed institute are- The Nature Conservancy, Water Aid, World Wildlife Fund, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Grameen Foundation India The Energy and Research Institute, Spandana Sphoorty Financial Corporation, Swades Foundation, Technoserve, Periyaar Tiger Reserve, Microsave, Jaipur Rugs, Jeevikaa Livelihoods Support Organization, etc. Those holding a postgraduate qualification in management with specialization in Agri - Business, Rural Management, Rural Development may also find managerial careers in a forestry related enterprise.

Jobs & Careers There are different routes to approach forestry as a career. The following description about different opportunities available may be of help.

Forest Guard: To become a forest guard one should have passed 10+2. Recruitments are made at state level. For this position no special qualification in forestry or related subjects is required. Usually vacancies announced are in large numbers but so is the number of candidates as benchmark qualification is not high.

Forest Range Officers: Every state and union territory has requirements of forest range officers/rangers for which they advertise from time to time. For this position also, a formal qualification in forestry is not mandatory and generally graduates from agricultural/ science and technological background are considered eligible. However other things being equal, those with a B.Sc. (Forestry) degree may have some advantage. Selection is usually through a written test followed by interview. Only if you pass the written test, you'll be called for interview. After selection extensive training is offered.

To fulfil the training needs of forest range officers and other employees of state forest departments, good infrastructure has been created. Many states have their own training establishments for the purpose, such as Forest Training Institute, Dharwad, Karnataka Telangana State Forest Academy, Hyderabad Gujarat Forest Rangers College, Rajpipla Central Forest Rangers College, Chandrapur Uttarakhand Forestry Training Academy, Haldwani Tamilnadu Forest Academy, Coimbatore Forest Training Institute, Jaipur Forest Training Institute and Rangers' College, Sunder Nagar Himachal Pradesh Other than induction training, such institutes organize refresher and performance development programmes also.

Indian Forest Service: Most of us are aware about the Civil Services examination conducted annually by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and the prestige associated with being finally selected in the process. UPSC also conducts other All India Services Examinations of which one is Indian Forest Service (constituted in 1966) examin-ation conducted every year. As every district in the country has a district magistrate, district/ divisional forest officers are also appointed in districts and divisions. Indian Forest Service officers are selected for filling up these positions and may reach the positions of deputy conservator of forests, conservator of forests, Chief Conservator of forests, Principal Chief Conservator of forests. To appear in Indian Forest Service examination you should have taken at least one of the following subjects in your graduation-Physics, Chemistry , Zoology, Botany, Mathematics, Statistics, Geology, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science.

Graduates in Agriculture, Forestry or Engineering are also considered eligible. The written examination is divided into two parts. The preliminary examination is conducted with Civil Services (preliminary) examination which has objective type questions. Those declared successful in the preliminary examination have to apply for Indian Forest Service (Main) examination. The number of candidates admitted to main examination will be 12 to 13 times of the vacancies. The preliminary examination consists of 2 papers. The first paper will have questions related to current events of national and international importance, Indian and world history/geography, economic and social development, polity and governance, environment, climate change and general science.

In paper II, candidate's communication skills, logical reasoning, mathematical/ analytical ability, problem solving and decision making and data interpretation skills are tested. The main examination will have 4 papers of which 2 are common and 2 elective. Common papers will be on General English and General Knowledge. Elective papers are prescribed to assess subject knowledge in the chosen subject like Botany, Zoology, Chemistry, Engineering etc. Based on their position in merit list, candidates in a certain ratio of available vacancies, are called for personal interview. Those finally selected are allocated cadre of a particular state/union territory, undergo a long duration induction training at Forest Research Institute, Dehradun which may followed by on the job training and then get their regular posting mostly as Divisional Forest Officer in a forest division.

Academics: For an academic career you may join an agricultural university/college where forestry and related subjects are taught. For the purpose you have to meet the requirements of Universities Grants Commission.

Research: There is ample scope of research in various disciplines of forestry. Research can be pursued at universities, forestry institutes and specialised research agencies established by government bodies. Research can be followed after postgraduation in forestry and allied subjects. Some of the research institutes are as followsArid Forest Research Institute, Jodhpur Institute of Woods Science & Technology, Bengaluru Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Shimla Institute of Forest Productivity, Ranchi Tropical Forest Research Institute, Jabalpur Institute of Forest Genetics & Tree Breeding, Coimbatore Advanced Research Centre for Bamboo & Rattans, Aizwal Centre for Social Forestry & Ecological Rehabilitation, Allahabad Forest Research Centre, Hyderabad Centre for Forestry Resources & Human Resource Development, Chhindwada Rain Forest Research Institute, Jorhat Indian Plywood Training and Research Institute, Bengaluru.

International organizations: Forestry is a globally important issue and as such offers international career opport-unities also.

Those interested may explore opportunities to work with organisations like-Food & Agricultural Organiz-ation (FAO),The International Tropical Timber Organization, Centre for International Forestry Research, Indonesia, Inter-national Union for Conservation of Nature, Switzerland, Bioversity, Italy; International Union of Forest Research Organizations, Austria; World Agroforestry Centre, Kenya and many others. You can see forestry offers all forms of career opportunities-scientific, administrative, academic and managerial. The other way to look at forestry careers may be in terms of the environmental, developmental and conservational needs. Of course requirements and way of approaching these careers may differ, as has been explained in this article. Wildlife Sanctuaries, Paper manufacturing companies, microfinance organizations, conservation bodies, packed food manufacturing companies, wood product companies, pharmaceutical companies in public and private sector offer job opportunities to those educated in forestry.

Requirements for success: A career in forestry can be both physically and mentally demanding, depending on the work and the role you've to play. You should, in general, be physically fit with love for nature and outdoors. You've to be curious with an aptitude for conservation of natural resources. Those desirous of making an academic career will do well to become learning and research oriented.

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