Biography: Dr Manoj Kumar Sarkar
Manoj Kumar Sarkar IFS

Dr Manoj Kumar Sarkar, IFS

Dr Manoj Kumar Sarkar, is an IFS officer of 1986 batch and served the Nation as the additional principal chief conservator of forests of Tamil Nadu forest department, government of Tamil Nadu, India until November 2014. Dr Sarkar is known for his extensive study on the Endemic and Threatened Medicinal Plants of India located in the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR). Based on his comprehensive scientific survey, Dr Sarkar found that of the 1,106 plant species of KMTR, a total of 58 endemic plant species which are of extensive medicinal value are facing various degrees of threats. Dr Sarkar further proposed a total of 201 taxa from all over India to be incorporated in ‘Plant Schedule’ under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. This study acquired a global attention and it was published by the Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu and the National Biodiversity Authority, Government of India. This study initiated an intense discussion in the country on the formulation of ‘National Action Plan’ for ‘Biodiversity Governance’ in India.

Dr Sarkar is an eternal forest lover. His affection for the plant kingdom is depicted in his thoughts where he describes the ‘Plants’ as ‘monks’ and the ‘forest’ as ‘sea of monks’. Dr Sarkar dedicated his life time research work on plants to the ‘Plant Kingdom’. Dr Sarkar has written more than 58 popular articles, books, book chapters and research articles and has been conferred the Brandis Award for the year 2002-2003 for his work on the threatened plants in India. Recently, Dr. sarkar has been conferred the distinguished United Writers’ Association EFFULGENT STAR OF THE DECADE AWARD for the year 2012-2013

Dr Sarkar’s vision is to bring a positive change in the system in protecting the imperiled plants in the service of mankind and conserving the mother earth for future generations. Currently, Dr Sarkar is involved along with Dr Sunil Kumar Verma in establishing a non-profit organization “BioGov” aiming to biodiversity governance of the threatened medicinal plants of India. In the year 2015, the BioGov initiative of Dr Sarkar was recognized by Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) as a national event on biodiversity governance.

Education & Career


Early Years & Education

Dr M. K. Sarkar IFS 1986

Manoj Kumar Sarkar in 1986

Manoj Kumar Sarkar was born at Shibpur, West Bengal on 01 October 1954 to his father, Sri M.N. Sarkar, a teacher at Refugee Primary School and mother Shailya Wala Sarkar. Manoj Kumar Sarkar studied at Presidency College, Calcutta University and completed his B.Sc. in 1975 in Geography. He obtained his M.Sc. in Geography in 1977 and second M.Sc. in Forestry in 1988 from Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Dehra Dun. In 1986, Sarkar also qualified for the Indian Forests Services (IFS) in Tamil Nadu Cadre. In the year 2002-03, Sarkar did his M.B.A.(PGPPM) course in public policy from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. In 2001, Sarkar received his Ph.D. degree in Botany from Bharatidhasan University, Tiruchchirappalli.

Forest Services & Biodiversity Governance in India

In 1986, Sarkar qualified for the Indian Forests Services (IFS) in Tamil Nadu Cadre. His first posting was as District Forest Officer at Dindugul Forest Division in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. After serving there for two months and fifteen days between 16-02-1990 to 30-4-1990, Sarkar joined as Divisional Forest officer in the Social Forestry Division of Tiruchchirappalli, where he served for more than two years. During this time, Sarkar carried out afforestation work in tank beds, poromboke hillocks and fallow lands to increase the forest cover of the country. In May 1993, Sarkar was transferred to Pandiyar Tea Division of Tamil Nadu Tea Plantation Corporation Ltd (TANTEA) as Divisional Manager, where Sarkar untook the management of tea gardens and tea manufacturing factory for almost two years.

In May 1995, Sarkar was appointed as Deputy Conservator of Forests (FEMAS) in the office of Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Tamil Nadu at Chennai. Here, Sarakar contributed on project formulation both of domestic as well as of international level.  He made significant contribution in drafting Tamil Nadu Afforestation Project, (TAP-I, worth of Rs.500 crores) which was approved and Funded by OECF, Japan. This project implemented during 1997 to 2002 in the State.

During June 1998 to July 2001 , Sarkar worked as District Forest Officer at Tirunelveli Forest Division and then at Dindugul Forest Division of Tamil Nadu.

Dr Manoj Kumar Sarkar, IFS, during his Field Research Work in 2008

Dr Manoj Kumar Sarkar, IFS, during his Field Research Work in 2008

In May 2002, Sarkar enrolled at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore for one year full time Post Graduate Programme in Public Policy and Management, which he completed in March 2003. Following this, Sarkar worked until July 2008 in the working plan division of Tiruchchirappalli forest, where he was involved in writing of working plan of Madurai forest division.

In July 2008, while serving as IFS in Tamil Nadu Cadre, Sarkar was enrolled for a full time doctoral degree programme at Bharathidasan University, Tiruchchirappalli. During his Ph.D., Sarkar worked on the conservation and management strategies for endemic and threatened medicinal plants in Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) of Southern Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, India. Based on his comprehensive scientific survey, Dr Sarkar found that of the 1,106 plant species of KMTR, a total of 58 endemic plant species which are of extensive medicinal value are facing various degrees of threats. Dr Sarkar further proposed a total of 201 taxa from all over India to be incorporated in ‘Plant Schedule’ under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. This study acquired a global attention and it was published as a book by the Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu and the National Biodiversity Authority, Government of India. This study initiated an intense discussion in the country on the formulation of ‘National Action Plan’ for ‘Biodiversity Governance’ in India.

During September 2009 to August 2011, Sarkar worked as chief conservator of forests and Principal, Tamil Nadu forest college, Vaigai Dam, Theni District. Here, Dr sarkar was responsible to conduct various training courses for the personnel working in the Tamil Nadu forest department with basic objectives to enhance capabilities and skill of forest personnel for better management of forests.

Indo German Medicinal Plant Workshop

Indo-German Medicinal Plants Workshop 2015

In August 2011 to September 2014, Sarkar served as chief conservator of forests, working plan at Coimbatore and wrote the management plan of Vettangudi bird sanctuary  and also the working plan of nilgiri north forest division. On 10th of September 2014, Dr Sarkar was appointed as Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (APPCF) of Tamil Nadu. On 30th of September 2014, Dr Sarkar took a graceful retirement from his government duties. Since then, Dr Sarkar is continuously involved in various academic activities and contributing by extending his vast knowledge on the biodiversity governance and forest management in various national and international meeting/ seminar/ conference/ workshop etc.

Currently, Dr Sarkar is involved along with Dr Sunil Kumar Verma in establishing a non-profit organization “BioGov” aiming to biodiversity governance of the threatened medicinal plants of India. In the year 2015, the BioGov initiative of Dr Sarkar was recognized by Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) as a national event on biodiversity governance.

Awards and Honours


MK Sarkar receiving Award

MK Sarkar receiving award frm RBI deputy Governor: Photo 2014

  • 2003: Brandis Award for best scientific article on threatened plants in ‘Indian Forester’ for the year 2002-2003
  • 2014: UWA EFFULGENT STAR OF THE DECADE AWARD** for the year 2012-2013 for making enduring / noteworthy contribution in protection, conservation and propagation of plants in forests landscape in general with special attention to endemic and threatened medicinal plants of India.

Books, Management Plans & Other Publications


The books authored by Dr Sarkar include:

  • Forest Working Plan for Nilgiris North Forest Division (for the period 2015-2025). Published in 3 volumes (2015)
  • The original Gazette Notifications of all the 318 R.Fs and 28 R.Ls of this forest division were collected from various sources and compiled by the Author in book form as part of PART-III in six volumes (2014)
  • Biodiversity Governance for Managing  Endemic and Threatened Medicinal plants in India- A Geoinformatic Approach” with  special reference to Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Southern Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, India (198 pages) (2012)
  • Management Strategies for Endemic and Threatened Medicinal plants in India- A Geoinformatic Approach” with special reference to Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Southern Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, India (594 pages) (2012)
  • A Field Guidebook for Plant Diversity Survey in Tamil Nadu Forests (97 pages) (2005)
  • A Hand book on Common Plants of Tamil Nadu (265 pages) (2005)
  • Forest working plan for Madurai Forest Division (for the period 2005-2015) in 3 volumes.2005: A Hand book on Common plants of Tamil Nadu (265 pages) (2005)

Management & Action Plans

  • Biodiversity Governance India

    Biodiversity Governance for Managing Endemic and Threatened Medicinal Plants in India – A Geoinformatic Approach by Manoj Kumar Sarkar, I.F.S.

    Management Plan of Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary (2011-2012 to2015-2016) (112 Pages) (Published in 2012)

  • Site Matching Atlas of Eucalyptus Clones/Seed Provenances in Tamil Nadu (2008)
  • Management Plan for for the areas of Tamil Nadu Forest Plantation Corporation Ltd. Tiruchchirappalli (for the period 2007-2008 to 2016-2017) (122 Pages) (2007)
  • Management Plan for Kunthakulam Bird Sanctuary, Tirunelveli (2001)
  • Wild Life Management Plan for Black buck sanctuary Vallanadu R.F. Tirunelveli (1999)
  • A Hand book on Common Plants of Tamil Nadu (265 pages) (2005)
  • Forest working plan for Madurai Forest Division (for the period 2005-2015) in 3 volumes.2005: A Hand book on Common plants of Tamil Nadu (265 pages) (2005)

Thesis and Dissertation

  • Conservation and Management Strategies for Endemic and Threatened Medicinal Plants in Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR), Southern Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, India– A Geoinformatic Approach (Ph.D. Thesis submitted to Bharathidasan University, Tiruchchirappalli in 2011)
  • Strategic Management of Medicinal Plants in Tamil Nadu with special reference to KMTR (Dissertation submitted to Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore in 2004)
  • Endangered species protection U.S. – INDIA comparison (With special reference to plant species) (A dissertation paper submitted as part of the Public Policy course in Maxwell School of Syracuse University, Syracuse, USA)
  • An Analysis of Deformation in Conical group of projection for the Map of Eurasia (M.Sc. dissertation submitted at Department of Geography, University of Calcutta in 1978)
  • Gangtok town and its surrounding – An Ecological Survey (Dissertation submitted at Department of Geography, University of Calcutta in 1977)

Project Reports

  • Tamil Nadu Afforestation Programme (TAP) 1997-2002 (A project report for financial assistance from OECF, Japan to Govt. of Tamil Nadu submitted in 1998)
  • Forestry and Dry land farming in 12 Micro watersheds in Tiruchchirappalli District, Tamil Nadu (Technical papers on Forestry and Dry land farming were used by the Department Agriculture, Government of Tamil Nadu submitted in 1992)
  • Forestry and Watershed management in Veeramalai Watershed area, Tiruchchirappalli District, Tamil Nadu (Project Report for the year 1992-93, Department of Forest, Government of Tamil Nadu, submitted in 1991)
  • The concept of Interface Forestry  Programme and its application in Semmalai R.F. (Tiruchchirappalli District for conservation & sustained  development of forest by local people) (Project Report for the year 1992-93, Department of Forest, Government of Tamil Nadu, submitted in 1990)

Peer Reviewed Articles

  • Biodiversity Governance by MK Sarkar Book Release at COP11

    Release of MK Sarkar’s book at COP11 in 2012 at Hyderabad

    THREATENED HEALERS: Protecting medicinal plants in India. Panda, Journal by World Wide Fund 2nd October, 2014.

  • Decalepis arayalpathra (J. Joseph & V. Chandras.) Venter, an endemic and endangered ethno medicinal plant from Western Ghats, India. Natural Product Research, August, 2014.
  • Recovery plan for Bentinckia condapanna berry – an endemic and threatened tree species (palm) of tropical semi- evergreen forests in Southern Western Ghats, India. Indian Forester, 140 (5) : 439-447, May 2014.
  • Rehabilitation approach for Eugenia singampattiana  Beddome an Endemic and critically endangered tree species of southern tropical evergreen forests in India. Current Science, Vol. 91, No. 4, 25 AUGUST 2006.
  • A Framework for Strategic Management of Medicinal plants. IIMB management Review, Vol.17 No.4 , December, 2005.
  • Status, botanical description, Natural distribution, Propagation practices and Conservation efforts of Hildegardia populifolia (Roxb.) Schott & Endl. – A threatened Tree species of Dry Tropical Forest in India. The Indian Forester, Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun, 2002 pp 757 –770, 828.
  • Threatened Tree Species in Tamil Nadu—Poeciloneuron pauciflorum  Bedd. Tamil Nadu Forest Department News Letter Vol-2, No.9; May ,1998.
  • Threatened Tree Species in Tamil Nadu—Hildegardia populifoli. Tamil Nadu Forest Department News Letter Vol-2, No.8; April ,1998.
  • Changes of planning strategies in Forestry sector in Tamil Nadu. Indian Forester, 124 June 440-448.
  • Threatened Tree Species in Tamil Nadu–Coastal Zones. Tamil Nadu Forest Department News Letter Vol-2, No.6; February ,1998.
  • People Participation and Joint Forest Management in Tamil Nadu. Indian Forester, 124. January 7-13, 1998.
  • Threatened Tree Species in Tamil Nadu-ilgiris,Coimbatore,Kodaikanal Tirunelveli and other Districts. Tamil Nadu Forest Department News Letter Vol-2, No.5; January, 1998.
  • Threatened Tree Species in Tamil Nadu- Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari Districts. Tamil Nadu Forest Department News Letter Vol-1, No.4, December, 1997.
  • Slope Analysis of Tea Fields. TANTEA Sciences News Vol-IV, No-1, January 1995.
  • Tamil Nadu Tea Plantation Corporation (TANTEA) – a model non-wood based forest corporation. Non-timber For. Prod., Vol. 2 (3-4): 170-172, 1995.
  • An Analytical Report of Yield Trends (of Green Tea Leaf Harvest) Phase –1, Phase- II & III Tea Divisions of Tamil Nadu Tea Plantation Corporation. Science News in TANTEA Vol-III, No-1 January 1994.
  • Monitoring systems of Green Tea Leaf harvest – An observation and Fact. Science News in Tamil Nadu. Tea Plantation Corporation Ltd (TANTEA) VOL.-III, No-1 January 1994.
  • Changes in occupational pattern of Gangtok town and its surrounding – A Socio- economic survey. ‘Observer’- a Journal by Department of Geography, University of Calcutta, 1977.

Conference Papers & Abstracts

  • Dr Manoj Kumar Sarkar being felicitated by DAAD officer at Indo-GMP2015 at Hyderabad

    Dr Manoj Kumar Sarkar being felicitated by DAAD officer at Indo-GMP2015 at Hyderabad

    Sustainable Utilization Management and Conservation of Medicinal Plant Bio resources in India. Department of Botany St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous) Tiruchchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India as part of the International Conference  held on 10th & 11thJanuary, 2013 Tamil Nadu Forest Department.

  • Current trends and future needs of forestry Education and Training. Tamil Nadu Forest Academy, Coimbatore as part of the National  Seminar  held on 5th & 6th  of July  2012, Tamil Nadu Forest Department.
  • Increasing Natural Capital outside forests. Tamil Nadu Forest Academy, Coimbatore as part of the National  Seminar  held on 5th & 6th  of July  2012, Tamil Nadu Forest Department.
  • Scope of Tree Culture outside forests in Tamil Nadu – A learning from Tamil Nadu Forest Plantation Corporation Ltd., TAFCORN, Tiruchchirappall. National Workshop on GIS for Natural Resources and Disaster Management held in Department of Geography, Bharathidasan University from 3rd to 7th March, 2008.
  • Approaches For Replanting Of Senile Cashew Area In Tamil Nadu Forest Plantation Corporation Ltd.  Tiruchchirappalli.  Presented in  National Seminar Organized by Cashew Board of India held in 2006.
  • Ethics of Policy Decision Making in Indian Forestry Context. Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, 2002.
  • TANTEA – A model employer in Eco-Development and sustained yield. Abstract paper published by CPR foundation, Madras, January 1996.

Popular Articles

  • The Best Timber (Tectona grandis). The Indian Express, October 26, 1999.
  • Nirmali – A shield Against Pollution,(Strychnos potatorum). The Indian Express, August -24, 1999.
  • Grass that can Fight all odds (Vetiveria zizanoides). The Indian Express, July-13, 1999.
  • Robust shrub (Cassia alata). The Hindu, July 13, 1999.
  • The woods are lovely (On World Forestry Day). The Hindu, March 20, 1999.
  • The Changing Face of Conservation. The Hindu, December 27, 1998.
  • Tropical Wild Almond Tree (Sterculia foetda). The Hindu, April 12, 1998.
  • Tree Species with Potential (Rhizophora apiculata). The Hindu, January 18, 1998.
  • The Medicinal Plants,(Strychnos nuxvomica). The Hindu, September 21, 1997..
  • The Glory Lilly (Gloriosa superba). The Hindu, June 29, 1997.
  • Agave a Multipurpose Dry land Plant (About all agave species found in India). The Hindu, October 24, 1996.

Positions Held


  • MK Sarkar IFS Batch 1986


    1986 Batch of Indian Forest Service Officers with Faculties and Administrators of IGNFA, Dehra Dun

    Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Tamil Nadu (10-9-2014 to 30-9-2014)

  • Chief Conservator of  Forests, Working Plan, Coimbatore (12-08-2011 to 09-09-2014)
  • Chief Conservator of Forests and Principal, Tamil Nadu Forest College, Vaigai Dam, Theni District. (31-07-10 to 10-08-2011)
  • Conservator/Chief Conservator of Forests and Principal,Tamil Nadu Forest College, Vaigai Dam, Theni District (23-9-2009 to 30-7-2010)
  • Research Scholar at Bharathidasan University (04-07-2008 to August 2009)
  • General Manager/ Conservator of Forests, TAFCORN & Part time Research work (15-10-2005 to 03-07-2008)
  • Working Plan Division, Tiruchchirappalli (14-07-2003 to 14-10-05)
  • Trainee on PGPPM course (MBA) (02-05-2002 to 31-03-2003)
  • District Forest Officer, Dindugul Forest Division (23-7-2001 to 2-5-2002)
  • District Forest Officer, Tirunelveli Forest Division (10-6-1998 to 22-7-2001)
  • Deputy Conservator of Forests (FEMAS) o/o. PCCF Chennai (21-04-1995 to 03-06-1998)
  • Divisional Manager, Pandiyar Tea Division, TANTEA (13-05-1993 to 12-1-1995)
  • Divisional Forest officer Social Forestry Division, Tiruchchirappalli (07-05-90 to 04-5-93)
  • District Forest  Officer, Dindugul Forest Division (16-02-1990 to 30-4-1990)

(Biography last updated on 17/04/2016)