Thursday, April 14, 2016

40 Scientific excellence and the forest service. Modernizing the Indian Forest Service-IV.

Mixing science with practice on the job

It must be stated upfront that serving forest officers and officials cannot be expected to build careers as forest scientists, because that would be a full-time undertaking which may not be feasible along with the demands of the regular job. They can, perhaps, bring to bear a scientific approach to forestry, but this will probably be conditioned by their background which will be, by and large, in the physical and biological sciences, rather than the humanities. 

There are, of course, individuals who have come from the Forestry and Agriculture colleges who may have a deeper idea of the  applications of disciplines like genetics, physiology, soil science, etc. to their new profession, and many do go through specialized courses in the Wildlife Institute during the early part of their careers. Some do consciously go out and take up social science courses, especially forest economics  (which used to be the only subject offered to foresters in the Commonwealth Scholarships). 

Because these Commonwealth courses (MSc or PhD) are pursued in either UK or Canada, it becomes difficult for many of them to undertake very deep field studies in India. Sociology and Political Science may have been taken up by some for their Civil Services exams (IAS, IPS and Central Services), and Public Policy is a favourite of those taking up post-graduate courses in the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). Each of these categories will have slightly different possibilities, different needs and will require a different strategy to develop them into forest scientists.

Later in their careers, those foresters who have PhD or higher diplomas in specialized fields like economics or genetics do get involved in technical jobs that may call for using their specialized knowledge and training. But this is not a planned strategy or a predictable eventuality; it is often a matter of chance. Most of the time, individual members of the service are sent to positions that are vacant at a particular point in time. At the initial stages, there is a sense that they should be posted to the field, which is the forest divisions; but because these are coveted posts, young entrants to the cadre used to find themselves in relatively off-stream positions like working plans, silvicultural research, forest corporations, or other special duty positions. In theory, it might appear that their science background could be particularly appropriate in such positions; and no doubt some especially capable officers do take advantage of these positions to initiate research projects and collect basic data. However, the nature of the department does not allow much leeway in exercising one’s own initiative in choosing things to investigate, so certain qualifications may become irrelevant in the particular situation: a wildlife degree doesn’t  get much use in, say, the genetics wing, and so on. Since forest officers have to be ready to take up all sorts of fresh disciplines at short notice, they develop the art of picking up the baton and running along the laid-down paths. Individual research projects, such as would result in highly original contributions, are generally put on the back burner, and usually forgotten after a few years of rattling around the department jobs.

Making scientists of foresters

There are a couple of reasons why mainstream academics think so little of foresters as scientists. One is that the studies the foresters may take up, and the papers they may write, are of a highly applied nature: the response of seedlings to fertilizers, the growth of plantations, the relative performance of different species or varieties, timber properties of different species, and so on. Examples of some of the best in-house research of this type in my experience: the trials carried out by the research wing of Mysore Paper Mills (Karnataka) on varieties and provenances of pulpwood species; the genetic improvement work done at the Institute of Forest Genetics, Coimbatore (an ICFRE Institute); the clonal propagation and farm forestry developed by industries like ITC (Bhadrachalam, Andhra Pradesh), WIMCO (in northwestern India, the same area that had been adjudged a failure by Saxena 1994 on the basis of his PhD thesis), and others. But basic ecology of forests, succession, effect of climate change, and such ‘interesting’ fields are not very successful, although the Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun did have a number of long-term ‘preservation plots’ all over the country to monitor growth and mortality of tree species. Such basic research is very long-term and painstaking, so that even mainstream academic departments have found it difficult to make much of a mark in them; even the Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), at the prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, is better known for Professor Gadgil’s polemical work on forest history and policy, especially the books written in collaboration with Ramachandra Guha, rather than ecological succession or regeneration studies (as would be expected from its name). From the forest service’s viewpoint, moreover, it was mainly the hostility to the forest department that characterized the work of Gadgil and other leading ecologists, and thus made this of limited utility in the application of science to field forestry (see Guha, 2006, for an interesting account of the ecological critique; and Shyamsunder and Parameshwarappa, 2014, for the forester’s account of these battles).

The difference between academics in institutes, and government employees, is that the former can freely express opinions even critical of the government, whereas the latter (forest service members or scientists) cannot do so by the dictates of their service rules. However, what the latter lose in freedom, they gain in access to field situations, because they are (at least in principle) supported by the administrative network in the field. Most academics, on the other hand, do not go back to the field after the first intense effort during their own Ph.D. projects; subsequently, they tend to re-process and circulate the material collected from that initial experience, and any fresh field information comes in mainly from their own Ph.D. students (if they are lucky and competent enough to become research guides), or of course from secondary sources like departmental reports, working plans, etc.

This leaves many academics out-of-date with recent developments in the field (especially where forestry is concerned, as not much information comes into the public media), and moreover leads to incessant repetition of the same old statements, which makes the department indifferent to their advice. What is more, the conclusions they have drawn from that first research project, based usually on a small sample or a singular situation, is extended willy-nilly to the whole country, supported by information from old documents or stray encounters on the roadside (anecdotal information). In effect, they are known for their polemical, critical, policy-oriented, expansive works rather than narrowly ‘scientific’ ones. The problem with this genre, and generally with the social sciences is, unfortunately, that almost anything can be written and it will prove right some of the time (but usually mistaken in the long run, like the body of communist literature).

Because of the restricted scope and weak popular interest in most of the foresters’ work, none of them have attained the international acclaim that writers like Gadgil and Guha have. Those foresters who do try to make an entry into this more ‘glamorous’  type of writing (based on social-political aspects) soon find that the major publishing outlets are as insular as any professional body (including the foresters!). At any period, it seems that journals and academics like to encourage only the current flavor of writing. Nowadays, for example, you would have to write about any subject only with a slant to climate change, and even here you would have to support the ruling approach that there is a win-win strategy of encouraging carbon fixation by financial incentives through market mechanisms: nobody needs to sacrifice anything, everybody is better off. But the field forester is skeptical about such magic fixes, and in India at least, it may not be sensible to expect any great contribution from the global bodies as we are already taking a number of actions and our economy is now too big to tug at the donors’ purse strings any more (see my article on REDD+, in the EPW, Dilip Kumar 2014b). During the 1960s and 1970s, it was all about financial efficiency, business models and progressive maximum yields; then in the 1980s international bodies turned to social forestry and farm forestry; the 1990s was the decade of participatory approaches, when joint forest management (JFM) got much support; but after a decade or so of pushing each of these magic formulae, interest waned as a new flavor of the season emerged from the desks of western intellectuals and social scientists[1].

The current millennium started with the conviction that forests have to be handed over to the community, hence the international support for empowerment (in India the result has been various rights-based legislations, like the Forest Rights Act 2006). Any writing has to be slanted in this direction to evoke interest among editors. But it is anybody’s guess how long this topic will last; there are already rumblings (and among social environmentalists, grumblings) that attention will soon shift to international financial arrangements and market mechanisms for carbon sequestration and trading of carbon credits as proposed under REDD+ and the climate change agreements, with the accompanying danger that local communities will be coerced or inveigled into relinquishing their hard-won rights to title and use[2].

There have been a few forest officers (many of them who actually came from the pre-IFS provincial services) who have attained reasonable levels of eminence on the basis of their writings, as well as their body of work in the field and their willingness to be embroiled in controversies. If names are required, we may mention those of Kailash Sankhala, V.B.Saharia, S.R.Chowdhari[3],  and of course S.K.Seth, whom we know mainly for revising H.G.Champion’s Forest Types of India which is a sort of benchmark for Indian foresters[4].In this context, it has to be said that even scientists in the FRI Dehradun (before it became the quasi-autonomous ICFRE) attained what can be termed a status of eminence at least in their fields; again, if names are to be quoted, we can think of the geneticist Kedarnath, timber scientists Shekar and Purushottam, entomologists and pathologists like Sen Sharma and Pratap Singh, botanist  Sahni, and Ramachandra Guha’s own father, Ramdas Guha (a south Indian despite the Bengali-sounding surname) who studied all the tree species of India for their pulping qualities[5].The colonial Europeans who dedicated their lives to studying and publishing are not cited here, as it was probably a character of another era, but they have left behind authoritative treatises on basic subjects like botany and entomology that are still consulted.

It is my understanding that in the initial decades after independence, the FRI scientists considered themselves an integral part of the forest establishment, and because of their own unquestioned competence and erudition, attained these levels of recognition in their fields. In more recent decades, a number of forest officers have striven to match their professional attainments with academic and literary efforts, but none of them can be said to have attained a status of eminence, perhaps because of the more egalitarian temper of the times or their lack of true erudition. Their output is more in the nature of what someone (Sharad Lele, if I am not mistaken) characterizes as ‘semi-academic’ work (and a mea culpa is in order here). The situation has been somewhat scathingly described by Guha (2012) in the following words:

"Indian foresters published their papers in house journals, which did not follow the accepted scientific system of impartial, blind, and external refereeing. As a consequence, in a hundred (and more) years of  forestry research under state auspices, no single serving Indian forester has made any kind of name or  impact in the international community of scientists." (Guha, 2012, p.5)

A possible reason that contemporary foresters and forest scientists have failed to achieve recognition is perhaps the failure of the forest research institutions to put out their publications in the marketplace. They do not necessarily have to be published by Oxford or Cambridge to get put on the stock lists of internet vendors and on the shelves of bookshops; it may be enough to send them to the sellers on a commission. As it is, one has to write to the institutes concerned, and wait for a reply, a far cry from the web-based, one-click ordering experience which is the norm today. If the ICFRE volumes on the revised forest types, or the other priced and unpriced volumes could be put on the commercial sellers’ lists, there will at least be publicizing of the titles, even if there are not much sales. One has to understand the temperament of book lovers and bookshop browsers to achieve visibility, and thus recognition.

Developing the scientific talent base in the forest service

If not a status of eminence and international fame, could forest officers aspire to a reasonable level of recognition as scientists in their own right, and moreover contribute to the scientific basis of forestry (what may be termed the ‘scientification’ of forestry)? This was something that considerably exercised the mind of the then minister at the MoEF, and a conference of doctorates in the IFS was actually convened at FRI, Dehradun on 10 January 2010 to brainstorm on this possibility. As per the souvenir issued by the FRI on behalf of the ministry (MoEF, 2010), some 120 IFS doctorate-holders assembled, and were enlisted on four subject-matter groups. This does not include the entire population of doctorates in the IFS, which is estimated at closer to 150 (op. cit., final page), and there will be more if we include the state forest services, persons who have recently retired, etc. This can be vouched for personally, as many of my fellow-PhD scholars at Bangor are not on the list.

Out of the 120 listed, only 14 are from the FRI Deemed University at Dehradun, which has been stridently reviled in the scandal press after a critical report in April 2014 by the Comptroller & Auditor-General (CAG) of India (see dated 7 February 2015). Of the rest, as many as 36 have their doctorates from agricultural universities (mainly Indian Agricultural Research Institute) and a few from veterinary universities. The remaining are distributed liberally among all leading universities and institutes, like Aligarh MU, Banaras HU, Jawaharlal NU, Allahabad U, and so on. Overseas institutes are represented by around 10 doctorates from the Universities of Wales (Bangor, Swansea), Aberdeen, Oxford, Melbourne, Arizona, and Toronto. Hardly half a dozen of all the PhDs can be stated to be totally irrelevant to forestry (mainly the veterinary sciences and one from technology of semi-conductors), if one includes agricultural and botanical studies within the fold of disciplines relevant to forestry sciences.
Speaking of the overseas doctorates, many foresters who stayed back in the host countries after their Commonwealth fellowships did rise to positions of eminence, mainly in the field of forest economics, like J.C.Nautiyal at the University of Toronto and later, Shashi Kant also  at Toronto. The aura of eminence comes from tutoring cohorts of students, supporting PhD scholars, and authoring solid textbooks, rather than just presenting papers at conferences.

All this is just to say that, even discounting the degrees from the FRI deemed university (if it is considered as an in-house facility run by foresters for foresters, which is not entirely true as they also have a number of non-IFS Ph.D. awardees and graduates of the other programmes as well), there is a very solid base of potential experts, the majority from forestry itself or from closely related and relevant fields of research in agriculture, horticulture etc. Some of them have, indeed, managed to produce a fair body of papers and books, and may be counted in the ranks of the reasonably competent scientifically speaking, even if they have not attained the fame of a Gadgil or a Guha. One reason for this may be that, frankly, the caliber of these two as writers (especially Ramachandra Guha, who admits himself that he is the more diligent publisher of the duo) is just  too high for even the best in the IFS to match.

The other reason, which of course may be criticized as self-serving, is that they have not been given the proper opportunities to exercise their technical specialization. The PhD is, in my understanding, just the start of the process of honing the professional, and not the culmination, as we are too prone to assume. The doctorate is like a basic qualification to go forth and practice, but improvement and growth to a higher level of achievement, even eminence, comes only out of long years of effort, the proverbial 10,000 hours of application that sets apart the professional.

It may also call for a certain amount of mentoring and sponsoring, as every successful person needs an approving audience. The forester, unfortunately, rarely finds this either within the service (as stated previously, such efforts to be better than the average are looked at suspiciously), nor outside (where there is, understandably, a certain amount of jealousy at the favoured position of the officers in relation to the general civilian who feels frustrated because of lack of formal status in the administrative structure). To produce foresters who are at the same time recognized by the world as experts, the forest service would need to consciously provide the required opportunities and a certain freedom lacking in the rigid hierarchical set-up, so that promising individuals are enabled to find approval from independent professional bodies outside the service.

Catching them young and the path to specialization

To carry out the mandate to create this type of expert in the service, a scheme was devised to identify promising young IFS officers and set them on the chosen specialization right after the initial training at the Indira Gandhi National Forestry Academy (IGNFA) by sending them to a course at a premier institute in India for a year. The most popular specialization opted for in the initial years of this programme from 2010-11 (called the Hari Singh award, after the IG Forests who marshalled the reification of the IFS in 1968), was wildlife conservation, at the Wildlife Institute of India at Dehradun. The selection of candidates is done at the IGNFA during the two-year training (potential candidates are supposed to be tagged at the initial entry based on their prior achievements, interests or activities if any), and the officers selected (at around 10% of the batch) are sent off for the specialized course without a break after their training. It was also suggested that they should be given a special facility of earning credits (without actually having to sit through the lectures) in subjects in which they may have already become proficient (this being especially relevant for those, like forestry graduates or post-graduates, who already had degrees or diplomas in the respective subjects). The time saved could (theoretically) be used for advanced work in their special field of interest.

In a way, it was a bit of a miracle to have pulled off this fellowship programme, as the states had to be brought on board and agree to exempt them from the on-the-job training components, and also to foot the bill for the period of specialized training. Apart from wildlife, other disciplines which are covered include remote sensing and photogrammetry, genetics, forest growth and economic modeling, biometrics and inventory, ecology, climate change, environment, natural resources, botany, silviculture, etc.

This is not the whole of the story, because this initial training only sets the officer on a path of specialization. The scheme calls for subsequent mentoring and monitoring, giving the officer suitable postings and responsibilities in the chosen field so that the officer is able to learn and grow through practical experience. One of the crucial requirements for such a scheme of professional development is that the officer should not get alienated from the rank and file, and end up as a critic who rails at the department from the outside (or a glorified ‘jholawala’, as the brief-case carrying officials like to call the sling-bag toting social activist).

Equally, the specialist officers should avoid falling into the trap of viewing all situations with the narrow field of view dictated by the specialization concerned; just because they have a PhD in a discipline does not mean that every decision must be under the control of that discipline. The case of forest economics comes immediately to mind: if every decision is subordinated to the iron criterion of financial efficiency, the end result could well be extremely unsatisfactory from the points of view of long-term sustainability (Dilip Kumar, 1992)[6]. In wildlife conservation, to take another field, field officers are usually unhappy with what appears to them as inordinately intrusive methods advocated in the name of furthering scientific knowledge, such as tranquilizing and collaring wild animals (even Sankhala, that doyen of wildlife conservationists, had his reservations to such intrusive methods, now recorded in a posthumous publication, Sankhala 2008, p.151).  Therefore, specialists’ advice is to be taken as just one of many inputs, and the specialists (officers or scientists) concerned should not feel slighted or suppressed if everything is not done as per their opinions. To attain this broad approach and appreciation, they have to also spend some time doing the routine jobs, facing the challenges and frustrations of the normal officer, so that they acquire a proper appreciation of the people on the ground working ‘in the trenches’, and of the practical aspects of the situation and not just a theoretical or ideological posture and the accompanying jargon.
The chosen officers have, moreover, to possess a stronger than average self-motivation that drives them to strive hard to keep up their learning, keeping records of systematic observations over long periods, reading assiduously, and taking every opportunity to write papers for national and international conferences, developing scripts over long time spans for books and reports, and so on. All this has to be done without compromising on their core responsibilities on whatever position they are assigned to; this calls for liberal burning of the midnight oil and foregoing some of the comforts of life. But the department has to provide a matching support to keep this motivation from flagging. Firstly, there has to be a positive feedback of approval from the seniors in the service: the message that the extra effort is useful, relevant, and valued in the department. In addition, the officers have to be materially supported to produce good studies and reports, that will vie with the best coming from the universities and institutes like the IISc. Support required would include permission and grants for travel, laying out of field plots, engagement of field assistants for continuous recording, establishing mentoring connections with outside experts in India (and, importantly, abroad), and so on. This is how today’s experts like Ullas Karanth (who was an engineer before he took to wildlife) and others have developed their careers, and this internal and external support would be necessary to develop experts of international standing out of our young forest officers.

Support for middle-level foresters

For this sort of continuing support, the ministry proposals actually envisaged two other programmes: one for the sort of in-service support outlined above, which were proposed should be called the S.K.Seth award (one of the best-known heads of the Forest Research Institute Dehradun, as mentioned earlier) for middle-level officers in the process of developing their careers as experts; and another award for joining higher degree courses abroad, to be named after C.R.Ranganathan (a former President of the FRI Dehradun, and a scientist rather than a forest officer). 

A memo dated 16 April 2010 from the ministry to the IGNFA is available at the link, which gives the outline of all three programmes, but apparently only the Hari Singh scheme (for probationers at the IGNFA) has been brought into operation so far. The other two programmes have not been initiated at the same time as the Hari Singh awards, probably because officials at the ministry did not want to set in motion too many such schemes, and preferred to wait and see whether there is the expected level of seriousness and commitment expected in the officers who are ear-marked for a specialist career, and whether the state forest departments are able to support them with appropriate postings and so on. Of course, the initial batches of Hari Singh fellows still have a few years to go before they enter the middle career stage, although it could be thought appropriate to extend the benefits of the other schemes (for mid-career officers) to the seniors already in the service who may have been benefited by opportunities to prepare and publish papers, articles, and reports, attend conferences, etc. The MoEF note ends with the hope that the

“officers groomed through these programmes of fellowships coupled with mentoring or placement with eminent specialists the world over, will produce a pool of outstanding talent and expertise in the Service, with a broad outlook, in-depth knowledge of the field of specialization, world wide exposure coupled with experience of the ground reality in the Indian context. .. the target will be to develop a pool of specialists of around 10% of the IFS over a period of 10-15 years. It is expected that the officers will anchor themselves sufficiently in their field of specialization to even become strong contenders to occupy positions in multi-lateral organizations like the UNDP, FAO, IUCN, International NGOs like WWF etc. Ultimately they will the torch bearers for the cause of forestry and natural resources conservation in the country as well as at the global level.” (MoEF memo dated 16 April 2010).

Mention may be made of a third proposal, called the Dietrich Brandis award, to support very senior and retired members of the forest service to record their experiences and leave behind their memoires for the future. Indeed the impetus for this proposal came from the advice of the Vice-President of India, Hamid Ansari, in May 2009, at the launch of former Chief Secretary T.S.R.Subramanian’s book GovernMint in India—An Inside View, that civil servants are too reticent to write about their experiences of governance and statecraft (see, and again at the launch ceremony of a book In Service of India Abroad by retired bureaucrat and former Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, R.D. Pradhan, on 10 January 2012, that

“… there is a disinclination amongst civil servants to write about their experiences. I feel it is a net national loss because knowledge has to be transmitted, experiences have to be shared and therefore hidebound as we are to the OSA [Official Secrets Act] … there is room for a lot more being made public… there is room for a little bitof experimentation. The experience has to be recorded” (Vice-President Ansari, 10 January 2012, quoted in  Indian Express /ENS).

The Brandis award was proposed to cover costs of a fellowship, research assistance, secretarial support, travel, books and other equipment, etc., much like the senior fellowships afforded by the national research councils like the Indian Council for Social Sciences Research (ICSSR) or the Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla. The Brandis scheme, approved in principle by the minister, was even forwarded to the ICFRE,  which came up with an estimate of Rs.9.5 lakhs per annum, and proposed award of 10 such fellowships. However this did not progress any further, although ICFRE compensated by instituting a few Chairs under the Special Grant of 100 crores proposed by the central government at the time (not all of which was actually released, however).

At any rate, if forest officers in substantial numbers are to go the extra mile in contributing to the knowledge base based on their vast and deep experience, some such schemes of facilitation and motivation at different levels will have to be developed as a conscious, planned, and broadly participative, programme.  

This article, as all others on this site, is the intellectual property of the author, P.J.Dilip Kumar (IFS, Retired). You are welcome to reproduce it with due acknowledgement. Suggested citation is as follows:

[1] Nandini Sundar, in her chapter in the Rights and Resources volume (Sundar, 2012: p.17-18) has inadvertently stumbled on this ‘10-year itch’: “Within a decade, the excitement around JFM gave way to two other processes…” (the running Godavarman case at the Supreme Court, and the FRA 2006). In my view, the fault is not in JFM or any historic transformation, but simply that international attention, academic or donors’, rarely persists for more than a decade on one method or topic. See my blogpost, fn 6; a pdf version is available at
[2] Some of this has been explored further in my blogpost,; a pdf version of the entire article is available at
[3] Of Khairi the tigress fame, see
[4] This was revisited recently and a new volume published in 2013 by ICFRE (, but in keeping with contemporary democratic norms, perhaps it will never come to be associated with any individuals’ names; eminence is based on many factors!
[5] References are not being given to their works, as that is not relevant to the topic on hand. Also, there are a number of other names that could be added; omissions may kindly be pardoned and taken as understood.
[6] The inadequacy of the financial criterion is explored in the blog series ending with, and a pdf of the full article is at


Dilip Kumar, P. J. 1992. Economic analysis and the question of sustained yield in forestry. Presented at the National Seminar on “The Economics of the Sustainable Use of Forest Resources”, 2-4 April 1990, organised by Centre for Science & Environment, New Delhi. Published in the Proceedings of the seminar (Anil Agarwal, Editor, 1992: The Price of Forests).Dilip Kumar, P.J. 2014. Managing India’s Forests: Village Communities, Panchayati Raj Institutions and the State. Monograph #32 of the ISEC, Bangalore.
Dilip Kumar, P.J. 2014. Managing India’s Forests: Village Communities, Panchayati Raj Institutions and the State. Monograph #32 of the ISEC, Bangalore.
Dilip Kumar, P.J. 2014b. Climate Change, Forest Carbon Sequestration and REDD-Plus. The Context of India. Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. XLIX, No.22, May 24, 2014, p.22-25.

Government of India. 2010. Doctorate-IFS Network. Published by Director, Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, for Ministry of Environment & Forests, New Delhi.
Guha, Ramachandra. 2006. How Much Should a Person Consume. Environmentalism in India and the United States. University of California Press, and Permanent Black.
Guha, Ramachandra. 2012. The Past and Future of Indian Forestry. Chapter I in Deeper Roots of Historical Injustice: Trends and Challenges in the Forests of India. Published by Rights and Resources Initiative, Washington, D.C. Available at

IGNFA. 2012. Shaping a Forester. 75Years of Excellence. Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Dehradun. Download at

Khan, Jamshed and Sushant Pathak. 2015. Tehelka Investigation: How Forest Officers Net Their PhDs. webmagazine, Volume 12, Issue 6, 2015-02-07. Available at

Rights and Resources Initiative. 2012. Deeper Roots of Historical Injustice: Trends and Challenges in the Forests of India.Washington, D.C. Available at

Sankhala, Kailash. 2008. Sankhala’s India. Lest We Forget. Edited by Bittu Sahgal, published posthumously by Sanctuary Asia, Mumbai.

Sarin, Madhu. 2014. Undoing Historical Injustice: Reclaiming Citizenship Rights And Democratic Forest Governance through the Forest Rights Act. Chapter 3, in Lele and Menon (Eds.), 2014.
Shyamsunder, S. and S.Parameshwarappa. 2014. Forest Conservation Concerns in India. Bio-Green Books. (Review by Ullas karanth, available at

Sundar, Nandini. Violent Social Conflicts in India’s Forests. Society, State and the Market. Chapter 2 in Deeper Roots of Historical Injustice: Trends and Challenges in the Forests of India. Published by Rights and Resources Initiative, Washington, D.C. Available at


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