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Dr Savita is a world-renowned forestry expert and trailblazer for women in forestry in India.  She chaired the 19th Commonwealth Forestry Conference and has agreed to share her outlook for the future of forests. 


Dr Savita is an Indian Forest Service officer of 1985 Batch belonging to Himachal Pradesh State cadre. She is presently posted as Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Force (PCCF HoFF) of the state of Himachal Pradesh, the first woman officer to be given this important assignment in the state.

Previously, Dr Savita was the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden of the State. In this role, she led the pioneer work of successful reintroduction of Cheer Pheasant and Western Tragopan in the wild.

Dr Savita has a MSc in Botany and in Forestry, a Master Diploma in Public Administration and a Master of Philosophy Degree in Rural Development for her work on “Gender and Legal issues in Joint Forest Management”. She has an MBA from the University of Western Sydney, Australia. Dr Savita did her PhD research work in ‘Governance Issues in Forest Management’ to assess the role of Leadership and Motivation in Effective Forest Management.

Dr Savita has been working in various capacities for the State of Himachal Pradesh. She has been Deputy Secretary and Director at the National Women Commission, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. She was briefly a Professor at the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy and remained the Principal of the Central Academy for State Forest Services, Dehradun for about five years. 

She was the first IFS Woman officer to work as Deputy Director General (Education) in Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education for a year. She was the first woman Director of the Forest Research Institute (FRI) and Vice Chancellor in its 115-year long history.

As a Director of FRI for four years, she has contributed immensely in bringing research outcomes in the form of new technologies to the people, communities and other stakeholders. Her special contribution is in preparing a Detailed Project Report on “Forestry Interventions for Rejuvenation of Ganga”, a pioneer work done by the institute.

She successfully organized the 19th Commonwealth Forestry Conference in April 2017 in India after a gap of about 50 years.

The research carried out under her leadership has targeted people’s needs at community level as well as is contributing to the national goals.

Another significant achievement is the modernization of the Silviculture Museum Gallery of FRI after almost 90 years since its inception.

She has published more than 20 articles in world acclaimed journals including Yojana. She is also the author of the book “Leadership in Forest Management”.

Human Resource Management and Development is her forte. A detailed Insight and expertise in organizational behavior has been her strength in running the organizations she headed, successfully.

Dr Savita was appointed Head of Forest Force of HP in September 2020. In this role, Dr Savita has set a priority to increase the green area of the state to 30 % by 2030.

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