Drawn by the call of the wild?

Green professions What are the career and courses available for wildlife and environment enthusiasts?

Drawn by the call of the wild?

Environmental science

Pollution is a major concern of environmentalists all over the world. They are making efforts to ensure clean air, pollution control, water protection, noise abatement, and waste management. These have created great demands for environmental scientists who deals with problems connected with (beside the above) fly-ash from thermal coal-based power plants; chemical insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, additives, etc.; polythene and other non-biodegradable wastes; hygiene and sanitation, long-life hazardous wastes from nuclear reactors, hazardous radiations from electrical, electronic and microwave instruments/ sources; accidental leaks of chemicals into the atmosphere; and so on.

Wildlife management

The Wildlife Institute, Dehradun, a government institution run by the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, is considered one of the best wildlife programmes. It provides in-service training, has students from the officers rank of the Indian Forest Services and the conservative rank. The institute has a 10-month diploma course and an eight-week capsule course.

The 10-month course is for officers and the eight to nine-week course is reserved for the subordinate staff and rangers. The institute also provides a degree in MSc from the Saurashtra University. This two-year residential course provides for a PhD in Wildlife Management.

One may also apply to the MS University, Baroda; Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai; AVC College, Mayuram and the Bombay Natural History Society.


Formal education in the environmental sciences with a BSc or MSc degree is required for entry into the profession. There are correspondence courses which give a graduate degree in wildlife management. Environmental education in the last 10 or 15 years has gained momentum with more and more students opting for this stream, which in turn has led to more and more universities starting this course.

At the undergraduate level there is no delineation between life sciences and wildlife. However, courses like pollution control, animal and plant biology are available with bridge papers in botany and chemistry.

One can opt for postgraduate and doctoral level courses in environment at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

The Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment offers correspondence courses in ecology and environment. There are postgraduate diploma, bachelor’s and master’s degrees available. Delhi University, H N Bahuguna Garhwal University, Bangalore University, and Assam Agriculture University, Jorhat are some of the institutes which offer such courses.

More institutes

Centre for Environmental Education, Ahmedabad, a non-governmental organisation, also offers courses in environment education. Applicants to the course are screened and short-listed, followed by written tests and interviews, which are held in September.
Salim Ali School of Ecology and Environmental sciences, Pondicherry, a part of Pondicherry University, offers an MS in Ecology (two years) and a PhD programme.

Indian Institute of Forest Management, Nehru Nagar, Bhopal 462 003, offers postgraduate programmes in Forestry Management (2-year residential). Eligibility: 3-year bachelor’s degree in any discipline. Candidates should have obtained 50 pc aggregate (45 percent for SC/ST candidates) both at Higher Secondary/ High School and graduation level. Final year graduating students can also apply.

Combining law and environment is the Diploma in Environmental Law degree. The course is offered by the Centre for Environmental Law, New Delhi and has a duration of five to six months and admissions start in August.

Job opportunities exist in
* Ministry of Environment. 
* Centre for Environment and Education. 
* Multinationals or industries which want to project a green image.
* World Wildlife Fund which has 31 branches in India, often for the post of Education Officers. 
* National Museum for Natural History and similar institutes.
* National parks and sanctuaries.
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