Bhopal: Tiger state Madhya Pradesh may follow Gujarat's model for safety of the big cats by not recruiting "aged and more qualified" forest guards for its reserves.
A proposal in this regard is under consideration of the state forest department.
The move comes after recommendations of a three-member committee on several measures to protect tigers, including one to ban gathering of people in forest areas near tiger reserves where the big cats have been seen.
"No matter what the minimum qualification is but it has been experienced that getting good marks in the test is no guarantee that the aspirant may be mentally and physically suitable to be appointed as forest guard. The guards need to be fit in such a way that they can roam around the forest and live in its far flung areas.
"It will be only possible when the recruitment rules are made on the lines of those formed by Gujarat state to keep suitable person for the job. The conservation of forest is not likely to be done by over aged and over qualified guards," the committee, comprising senior Indian Forest Service officers, said.
As per present recruitment rules, a person has to be Class Xth qualified, secure 70 marks in the written exam and about 9 marks in the interview.
The report also noted that illegal activities like ration shops and cooking gas distribution centres were taking place in the core areas of tiger reserves.
The committee found that none of about 60 forest circles have so far formed "rescue squad" to act in case of emergency, despite several reminders from the government.
The panel has also suggested measures to check 'picnic' activities near forest areas to avoid "man and wild animal conflicts."
Taking note of the committee's recommendation, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Dr P K Shukla, has moved a proposal to recruit suitable persons for appointment as forest guards, as is being done in Gujarat.
As many as 295 posts, including 222 for forest guards, at various levels are lying vacant in six tigers reserves of Madhya Pradesh.


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