Established: 1982, Top-scoring parameters: Leadership & Governance, Campus Life, Accreditation & Linkages
Differentiator: Meets managerial needs of forestry departments
The Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) was established in 1982 by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. IIFM was conceptualized and its perspective plan was prepared by a core group of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad in response to the recommendations of the National Commission on Agriculture. Situated at Bhopal amidst lush green surroundings, the institute’s aim is to meet the need for managerial human resource in forest and its related sectors and providing leadership in professional forestry management.
IIFM offers various programmes like two-year Post Graduate Diploma in Forestry Management (PGDFM), one year MPhil course in Natural Resource Management and four year Fellow Program in Management (FPM) which is equivalent to PhD program of conventional universities. Students (Graduates of all steams) seeking admission in PGDFM at IIFM have to appear for Common Admission Test (CAT) conducted by Indian Institute of Management (IIMs). IIFM uses the CAT scores for short-listing the candidates and then calling them for a group discussion and personal interview.
The faculty at IIFM are a group of qualified academicians/professionals with the faculty-student ratio being an impressive 1:6. Importance is also given to guest and visiting lectures which offer students an opportunity to interact with industry veterans and learn about the latest management practices related to forest conservation, environment, development and livelihood.
The faculty ensures that students learn the application of theoretical concepts to real field situations. This is to ensure that learning is driven by means of participatory problem solving by applying the concepts understood in the classroom teaching. Faculty also play the role of facilitators encouraging students to conduct research through self-study and presentations.
The pedagogy at IIFM focuses on imparting practical knowledge with academic learning to ensure that students receive the best of both worlds. Classroom learning includes case analysis and conceptual discussions, along with review of literature on various topics given as assignments and presentations. These methods encourage self-study and group work among the students which enhance their interpersonal skills and drive team work. A compulsory 10-week summer internship presents students with a chance of applying knowledge acquired to tackle real time management challenges. Two field trips, which are 15 days each, are also arranged for students which include visits to national parks, villages, plantations, co-operatives, NGOs, PSUs, industries, corporate houses and various development project sites. This is an integral part of the PGDFM programme.
IIFM also hosts various student activities and students are encouraged to participate in these. Under the aegis of SAC, there are Sports Club, Cultural Club, Literary Club, Nature Club, Adventure Club and Movie Club which promote various inter-institutional events. The three annual conclaves – entrepreneurial, CSR and environmental – being organized by SAC every year are quite popular among the management schools across the country. These promote interaction among the students and instil the concept of working together.
Apart from above mentioned educational programmes, IIFM also regularly organizes short-term courses, popularly known as MDPs for the in-service professionals of various fields. The faculty of IIFM generate good amount of supplication oriented knowledge through its field based management research and consultancy projects. Such inputs are predominantly used in teaching as well as trainings offered by IIFM. IIFM regularly participates in various activities at the international level like international symposia and congregations. It also has academic collaborations with international organizations like ITTO, ICIMOD, FAO, UNDP, USFS, IDRC, World Bank, Cambridge University, Oxford Forest Institute, Toronto University etc.
IIFM is being rated among the top 25 management schools and top most among the sectoral management institutions in India by most of the annual B-School surveys being conducted by leading management magazines. In addition, IIFM has won prestigious ‘Dewang Mehta Business School Award’ in 2009 for ‘Best B-schools in the Govt. sector’ and in 2010 for “Innovative curriculum leading to development” and “B- School Leadership award” in 2011, 2012 & 2013 by Star/ABP News.