population and thrust on economic growth after independence created a large demand on
forests in respect of needs of rural people ( fuelwood, fodder), industrial raw material
and diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes (agriculture, river valley
projects, mining). The signs of ecological degradation and pressure on tribals became
clearly evident by 1970.
The National Commission on Agriculture (1972)
identified low investment leading to low productivity of the Indian forests as the major
cause of failure of forestry sector to cope with the rising demands and suggested
substantial investments into forestry. It tried to achieve a balance between demands of
industries and local people through concepts on production and Social Forestry. Efficiency
of investments required managerial inputs from the field of management science to achieve
the desired productivity.
In 1974, Government of India, accepting the recommendations of
FAO/SIDA Forestry preparatory Mission to India for provision of training unit to provide
instructions in such fields as business cost control, economics of timber harvesting etc.
requested SIDA to support a Business Administration Training Project (BATP) with the
to the improvement of Management abilities in Forest Development Corporations; and
To develop resource for continuous forest business
The ensuing seminars under the project
stressed the need of such training to all the personnel in Forest Departments and forest
related systems. The case for bringing renewable natural resource system under business
management and for training managers on economic and business aspects as suggested by the
Ford Foundation Consultant necessitated the creation of a institute to :
Provide training in economic and managerial aspects of
forest related area of associated primary wood based industries.
Build the staff for conducting research on economic and
management problems facing forest corporations as well as on economic and management
problems growing out of the urgent need for managing all forest and non-cultivated lands.
To create a pool of expert managerial consultants,
which would be available to both public and private corporations or agencies.
In 1978 , SIDA contributed a sum of Rs. 50
lacs to the Government of India which partly financed the collaboration fees for entering
into an agreement with Indian Institute of Management, Ahmadabad (IIMA) for building the
proposed IIFM. The ensuing philosophy behind creation of IIFM were arrived at a seminar
held at IIM Ahemdabad in 1979 which recommended that :
be a national Institute of education in forestry sector, aiming at balanced development,
conservation and utilisation of a forest based ecological system in India, consistent with
the economic and social development of the nation.
Research, education, training and consultancy
activities of the proposed IIFM should be directed towards meeting management education
needs of the entire forestry system, particularly the forest departments and forest
It should have a wide enough degree of freedom to
develop its particular identity and the culture needed within an educational setting to
foster this identity.
As the leader in its field, be concerned with pushing
the frontiers of knowledge, providing specialised knowledge to various parts of system
which related to this field and helping the world of practice to use this knowledge.
A Ten years perspective plan designed by the
core group and Programme office of IIFM at IIMA, laying down the modalities, requirements
and functions of IIFM, was approved by the Government of India in 1981 and IIFM was
registered as a society in January 1982.