India is soon going to get its first forest university. The Telangana legislative assembly approved the University of Forestry (UOF) Act 2022. The ‘University of Forestry (UOF) will be the first of its kind in the country. With only Russia and China having forest universities in the world, globally, this will be the third university of forestry.
The Government of Telangana has decided to expand Forest College and Research Institute (FCRI) in Hyderabad into a full-fledged university. Once the FCRI is upgraded to University, it is proposed to start additional 18 programmes including PhD, diploma, and certificate courses in Urban Forestry, Nursery Management, Agro-Forestry, Tribal livelihood enhancement, Forest entrepreneurship, Climate-smart Forestry & Forest Parks Management.
The number of students studying at the university will also increase to 726. Currently, the FCRI has 366 seats. The employees’ strength will be 210 which is an additional 92 to the present strength of 118.
The Chief Minister of the State will be the Chancellor of the University, as the Chancellor will appoint the Vice Chancellor.
The purpose of the varsity according to the government will be to produce qualified forestry professionals for the conservation and sustainable management of forest resources and foster research and develop appropriate methods for propagation of the plantation crops to meet the demand from industry and domestic needs.
The university will also work to develop Agro-Forestry models suitable for different Agro-ecological situations, apart from conventional forestry operations so as to reduce pressure on natural forests, economic upliftment of farming communities, and enhance ecological conditions.
The Telangana Government under its flagship programme, ‘Telangana Ku Haritha Haram’ has so far planted 268.83 crore seedlings. Due to consistent efforts of the government over the last eight years, green cover in the state has increased by 7.7 per cent and forest cover by 6.85 per cent, according to India State of Forest (ISFR 2021) by Forest Survey of India.