The Forest Research Institute (FRI) is located in pristine territory, amidst lush greenery in Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand. It was first established way back in 1878, initially named as the British Imperial Forest School. This makes it one of the oldest educational institutions, not only for the Indian Subcontinent, but for the entire Asia. In the year 1906, it got renamed as the Imperial Forest Research Institute, before acquiring its present name much later. The campus is a thing of beauty, renowned for its architecture, and covering over a thousand acres of land. In the year 1991, the FRI was recognized as a Deemed University, by the UGC (University Grants Commission). By now, the training and research centres were divorced from the FRI.
A new institute by the name of ICFRE (Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education) was created in 1988, to be the nodal body operating all these different wings of forestry research. The FRI even houses the IGNFA (Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy) within its campus. The IGNFA is in charge of all officer training for those selected to the elite Indian Forest Service (IFS). The Central Academy of State Forest Services (CASFS) is also located here, and likewise run by the MoEF (Ministry of Environment and Forests). The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has now been relocated to a different campus nearby. There are also several museums operated on campus. These are replete with the best of treasures from the areas of- Pathology, Silviculture, Social Forestry, Timber, Entomology and for NWFPs (Non- Wood Forest Products).
The academic courses here at the FRI, begin from the master’s level and go up to the doctorate. At the master’s stage, an MSc. may be pursued for the areas of- Forestry, Environment Management, Cellulose & Paper Technology and in Wood Science & Technology. M. Phil and PhD. may also be pursued in here. Research of course forms a very important part of the FRI. Several conferences and seminars are held on campus. Conversely, the students and the faculty members are also encouraged to visit them off- campus, especially on topics relevant to their academics here. The FRI has also been extremely proactive in in sealing agreements with foreign universities. This helps in research collaboration, facilitating exchange programmes and generating consulting assignments.
Such partners of the Dehradun- based Forest Research Institute are based in Europe and Asia, in the countries of Sweden, Germany and in neighbouring Nepal. These institutions respectively are- the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Georg- August Universidad Gottingen and the Institute of Forestry in Pokhara. With Nepal, there is close collaboration, as this country to has similar Himalayan flora and fauna as the state of Uttarakhand, and other parts of the country. Some such MOUs have even been struck with domestic partners. These are with the Indian Institute of Management in Kashipur, and with the Central Pulp & Paper Research Institute (CPPRI) at Saharanpur. While the former, is likewise also in Uttarakhand, the latter is in the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP).
The entire research described above, is demarcated into sixteen divisions. One of them is for Ecology, Climate Change and Forest Influence. Another is for Botany. Yet another one is in the field of Forest Ecology and Environment. The other such areas are for- Botany, Chemistry, Cellulose & Paper, Forest Entomology, Forest Informatics, Forest Soil & Land reclamation, Forest Products, Extension, Non- Wood Forest Product, Genetics & Tree Propagation, Forest Pathology, Silviculture and for Resource Survey & Management. The sixteenth is the Engineering Cell. The library here is one of the best stocked within the region. Besides the physical books on display, it also provides digital access to en number of international academic journals for research and academic purposes.
In recognition of all this, the Careers 360 magazine has placed the FRI within the AAAA category overall. It has got the 100th rank among universities. The placements are likewise on the right track. Some of the better organizations, where the students of the Forest Research Institute have been placed, include the likes of- Karnataka Forest Corporation, Climate Change Research Institute (CCRI), Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), Direct Dialogue Initiative, Pragya, SIDCUL, GICIA and the Star Paper Mills. The campus is also famous for one more thing. Due to its picturesque setting, several notable Bollywood films have been shot here. The list includes names such as- Krishna Cottage, Paan Singh Tomar, Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein and many more. A number of advertisements too are associated with this campus.
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