Forestry education commenced in India in 1867 when based on the recommendation of Sir Dietrich Brandis, then Inspector General of Forests, Superior officer trainees were sent to Europe for training.  A Forest school was set up to train Rangers and Foresters at Dehradun in 1878 by the then North West Province which was later taken over by the Central Government and designated as the Imperial Forest College. Next mile stone in forestry education in India was establishment of Tamil Nadu Forest Academy by the then Madras Presidency as Madras Forest College in the year 1912.  Mr.F.L.C.Cowley Brown, I.F.S., was its first Principal. The city road abutting the academy has been named after him. The college functioned from the municipal hospital building initially.  Mr.F.A.Lodge, who was the Conservator of Forests in Coimbatore, was instrumental in the establishment of this college.  It was the second Forest Rangers College in India, after Dehra Dun.  It was set up to meet the rising demand of trained Foresters in the country, especially those from the South India.

The foundation of the new college building in a 165 acre forest estate was laid by His Excellency Lord Pentland, The Governor of Madras, on 9th April, 1913 which was also inaugurated by him on 14th October, 1915. The college building with its super quality red-brick finish represents an elegant Indo-Saracenic architecture and is a prominent land mark in Coimbatore.

During the Second World War, the Madras Forest College was closed down and the campus was converted into an evacuee camp from 1939 to 1944. Evacuees from Burmah and Malta were housed here during the period.  The college was revived in 1945 with C.R.Ranganathan as its first Indian Principal.  It was taken over by Government of India in 1948 to train more number of Forest Ranger Trainees as the demand was going up after the Independence.

A parallel course was started for Assistant Conservator of Forests trainees between 1948 and 1951 as the Indian Forest College at Dehra Dun was not able to cope up with the increase in the number of trainees.

MFC was subsequently renamed as the “Southern Forest Rangers College” (SFRC) in the year 1955.Under the aegis of Government of India, 31 batches of Forest Rangers passed out from the portals of SFRC after completing rigorous training of two years.

In 1980 State Forest Service College was established in the same campus to train Assistant Conservator of Forests.  It is now renamed as Central Academy for State Forest Service (CASFOS).  The Forest campus also houses the premier Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding (IFGTB) a constituent institute of the apex council of Forestry research in India, the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun. 

Due to policy decision of Government of India, that imparting of induction and in-service training to the Forestry Personnel below the rank of Assistant Conservator of Forests should rest with the State Government, the training activities came to an end on 31.12.1987 in the Southern Forest Rangers College and it was closed with effect from 1.4.88.

The college was officially revived by the Government of Tamil Nadu on 07.2.90, but regular Rangers training did not materialize since the other 3 Southern States were not inclined to share the cost of training on pro-rata basis. However, short term in-service training programmes were conducted from 1990-91 to 1995-96 for Foresters, Rangers and Assistant Conservator of Forests of our State under TNADP/SIDA Schemes.

Apart from these regular training programmes, special refresher courses and theme based courses of short duration ranging from 3 days to 10 days are conducted as and when required under projects like Tamil Nadu Afforestation Project, Project Elephant (Elephant Management Technique), Weapon Training and Computer Training etc., These training programmes are conducted for various categories of Staff and Officers ranging from Ministerial Staff to I.F.S. Officers. In 2012 the TNFA attained the distinction of conducting five day training for senior IAS officers of Tamil Nadu on “Current issues in Forest and Environmental Conservation”.

While restructuring the IFS cadre of Tamil Nadu, the Government have upgraded the post of Conservator of Forests (Training) and Dean and designated it as Chief Conservator of Forests and Director, Tamil Nadu Forest Academy and the name of Southern Forest Rangers College,   Coimbatore was changed to “Tamil Nadu Forest Academy, Coimbatore”     

Later the post of Chief Conservator of Forests & Director, Tamil Nadu Forest Academy, Coimbatore has been further upgraded to Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Director vide G.O.(Ms.) No.26, Environment & Forests (FR.Spl.A) Department dated 15.2.2010.

The academy received accreditation from Union Ministry of Environment Forests & Climate change for conduct of Induction training for Forest Range Officers in January 2015 vide their letter No.3-1/2009-RT dated. 06.01.2015. The first batch of 37 trainees (including 7 ladies) was inaugurated on 22.04.2015 and passed out on 21.10.2016. Within six months another batch of 39 trainees (including 6 ladies) belonging to six states was allotted by Union Government and the same was inaugurated on 23.11.2015. Third batch has commenced on 20.02.2017 with 38 trainees (including 7 ladies) belonging to the states of Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.   Besides the six months training for Foresters is in progress.

Special modules

We are following the syllabus prescribed by Government of India for training the Forest Rangers. It is quite comprehensive but many of the day to day practical problems of Forest Management & Administration do not figure in it. Some do figure but the coverage is from theoretical perspective only. It is the firm belief and constant effort of our Director that the RFO trainees should not only receive the theoretical inputs but also get exposure to the practical aspects and they should be molded into complete, confident, socially conscious and responsible human beings. Hence, the below listed special modules which are supplementary and complementary to the syllabus have been formulated and are covered during their 18 month course.

  • Forests and Poverty alleviation
  • Interaction with line department Officers
  • Visiting the important Institutions
  • Trek and learn
  • Interaction with eminent personalities
  • Wildlife Post mortem module
  • Seed Technology
  • Awareness creation
  • Interaction with Media
  • Commando training
  • Event management
  • Disaster management
  • Best Practices module
  • Wildlife crime control module
  • Extension activities
  • Vigilance and surveillance module
  • Interface activities
  • Cottage industries and livelihood
  • Non Timber Forest Products and value addition
  • Wood and wood based industries
  • Human animal conflict
  • Rescue operations
  • Ecotourism - impact
  • Module on TCR and Range office management
  • Urban forestry and its importance
  • Climate change and its impact
  • Forest Fire Management Module
  • Module on invasive species
  • Judicial Module
  • Redeeming the degraded forests
  • Intellectual Property Rights in Forestry
  • Module on Wetlands
  • Environmental Impact Assessment Module
  • Module on Eco-sensitive Zones
  • High-tech nursery module
  • Plant Quarantine and Custom Regulation
  • Disaster Management Module
  • Railways, Postal and Container dispatch Module
  • Module on maintenance of store register, stock taking and condemnation of store articles etc.,

Facilities available:

i) Hostel facility:

TNFA has a well maintained and nicely furnished cubicle accommodation for 150 trainees as shown below:

Sl. No. Name of the Hostel Availability of rooms  
1 Gajendra Hostel at Tamil Nadu Forest Academy Campus Ground Floor 25Nos. The ground floor is utilized to accommodate lady trainees.
Ist Floor 25 Nos.
IInd Floor 50 Nos.
IIIrd Floor 50 Nos.
    Total 150 Nos.  


ii) Mess:

The hostel mess has a well equipped and spacious kitchen. The dining hall is large enough to feed 150 trainees.

iii) Class Room’s:

One Examination Hall, one A/c Class Room, three non A/c Class Rooms, one A/c Conference Hall, one A/c Assembly Hall are available in the Academy and these rooms are  more than sufficient to conduct the regular and refresher  training programmes.

iv) Computer cum GIS Laboratory:

TNFA has 2 state of the art computers cum GIS Laboratories with 75 systems.

v) Botany/Engineering Laboratory:

The botany/ engineering laboratory is well equipped and spacious enough.

vi) Play Ground facilities:

TNFA has a large and exclusive playground near to its hostel to host morning PT and evening sports.

vii) Indoor Games facilities:

The Indoor Shuttle Court available in the Campus is at present jointly utilised by Tamil Nadu Forest Academy, Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding and Central Academy for State Forest Service as per the Memorandum of Understanding between the three Institutions.  The hostel hall (Gajendra Hall) is utilized for common room facilities such as Carom, Chess and Table Tennis.

viii) Centenary Auditorium:

A new and modern auditorium has been constructed by PWD.

ix) Library:

TamilNadu Forest Academy has a very good old and established library with 15095 number of books on Forestry and Wildlife with Computer facility.  For the benefit of trainees, new books are also purchased and periodicals and magazines are subscribed.

x) Vehicles for Tour and Field visits:

Academy has in its fleet two buses with 41 & 20 seating capacity.  Besides, whenever the need arises the extra buses are hired to transport trainees, faculty members, tour supporting staff, mess and mess personnel for the study tours.

xi) Faculty members and supporting staff :

The sanctioned strength of faculty and staff in the Academy is given below:

Sl. No. Name of the Post Sanctioned strength
1 Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Director 1
2 Chief Conservator of Forests and Additional Director 1
3 Deputy Conservator of Forests 1
4 Assistant Conservator of Forests 1
5 Forest Range Officer 4
6 Forester 2
7 Forest Guard with Driving License 1
8 Junior Engineer 1
9 Assistant 2
10 Steno Typist Gr-II 1
11 Typist 1
12 Junior Assistant 3
13 Driver 2
14 Lab Assistant 2
15 Physical Trainer 1
16 Office Assistant 3
17 Mali 4
  Total 31

Unique Advantages:

Nestled in the foothills of the Nilgiris, Coimbatore has salubrious climate, an International airport, Central Institutes related to forestry (Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology) and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. Many retired scientists and forest officers have settled here who constitute the pool of self-motivated, erudite and deft guest faculty to TNFA. Icing on the cake; two famous tiger bastions viz., Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve and Anamalai Tiger Reserve are mere an hour drive from TNFA.

Society for Wildlife Interface and Forestry Training (SWIFT):

The Government of Tamil Nadu has sanctioned a grant of Rs.25.00 lakhs for the Centre of Excellence to be started in Tamil Nadu Forest Academy, Coimbatore vide G.O(Ms.)No.22, Environment & Forests (FR-2) Department dated 18.02.2016. A Society for Forestry Training Research & Extension with Wildlife Interface called SWIFT has been started since 18.02.2016 in Tamil Nadu to undertake the following activities of the Centre of Excellence.

  • Adaptation to and mitigation of climate change
  • Developing new strategies for the management of Human - animal conflict
  • Biodiversity conservation and Rural livelihood
  • Hall of Fame has been made in the academy by displaying photo and brief biodata of 25 stalwarts who have made larger than life contribution to Forest and wildlife protection in Tamil Nadu. A bust of Dr.H.F.C.Cleghorn has also been unveiled.

SWIFT is also conducting trainings, undertaking field studies and holding workshops and seminars for other states and other departments of Tamil Nadu Government. Among them the following can be mentioned.

  • International Biodiversity day Workshop on Tiger Landscapes in Western Ghats was conducted in Chennai. SWIFT was a collaborator in this workshop and Executive Director Dr.Rajeev K.Srivastava IFS., presented a lead paper besides a sponsorship of Rs.3.00 lakh.
  • TRAFFIC Workshop on Wildlife Crime prevention was held in TNFA. SWIFT was a co-organizer and also provided a sponsorship of Rs.2.00 lakh.
  • Hall of Fame has been made in the academy by displaying photo and brief biodata of 25 stalwarts who have made larger than life contribution to Forest and wildlife protection in Tamil Nadu. A bust of Dr.H.F.C.Cleghorn has also been unveiled.
  • Three study groups were constituted on the following important topics and the concept notes received from them are being reviewed.
  • Mountain Wetlands and coastal ecosystems
  • Vulture conservation in Moyar valley
  • Biodiversity and livelihood opportunities
  • SWIFT has been entrusted the evaluation of the effectiveness of Elephant Proof Trenches by Chief Project Director, TBGP
  • Eight day training was conducted for JFMC Presidents of Tripura Forest Department in September 2016.

Contact details:

Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Director,

Tamil Nadu Forest Academy,

Forest Campus,


Coimbatore – 641 002.

Phone No.0422 - 2432642

E-mail ID – ccftnfa@tn.nic.in