Environment


Pollution

“Oil Spill” at Sri Lanka’s Coast

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Biomedical Waste Management during pandemic – Explained, Pointwise

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Long-term “nitrogen dioxide”(NO2) exposure affects lungs: Study

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Issue of Nuclear Waste pollution – Explained, Pointwise

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Protected areas

SC refuses to stay demolition of settlements in “Aravalli range” in Haryana

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Maharashtra’s “Chandrapur” district is a hotbed for human-animal conflict

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Issues with NTCA Circular on Shutting Down Tourism in Tiger Reserves

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“Srivilliputhur-Mudumalai Tiger Reserve” and “Vaigai River”

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Bio-Diversity

“Bharitalasuchus tapani”- A carnivorous reptile, lived 240 million years ago

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Govt. report flags lapses in “filovirus study” among Nagaland bats

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“Gharials Conservation” – Odisha Forest department Announces Cash Reward

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Global studies on “vulnerability of animals to Covid-19”

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Legislations and initiatives

“Operation Olivia” to Protect Olive Ridley Turtles

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Issues with NTCA Circular on Shutting Down Tourism in Tiger Reserves

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Maharashtra govt clears an amendment to protect “heritage trees”

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Haryana’s “Pran Vayu Devta Pension Scheme” and “Oxy Van” (Oxygen Forests)

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Climate Change

Breach of Constitutional Propriety by Governor

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 Are courts encroaching on the powers of the executive?  

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Pardoning Powers of Governor 

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Aspect of Mercy petition in India and Judicial intervention

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Organisations and initiatives

UN High- Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land degradation and Drought

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TERI organises “World Sustainable Development Summit 2021”

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“World Environment Day” 2021 observed globally

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IEA releases “World Energy Investment Report 2021”

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Environment and Ecology

“Sea Snot” outbreak in Turkey and its effect on the marine ecosystem

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SC appointed Central Empowered Committee(CEC) report on Sand mining in Rajasthan 

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Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of the Ecosystem Services (NCAVES) India Forum-2021

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EIA

EAC Recommends the Great Nicobar Development Plan for EIA Study

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Centre seeks to replace EIA rules, activists rise in protest

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Amendments to EIA NOTIFICATION, 2006

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How to Read Environment for UPSC?

Environment is part of UPSC IAS Prelims and Mains examination. In Prelims, it is part of General Studies (Paper I) and in Mains, it is part of General Studies Paper III. Every year around 15 to 20% questions are asked from this subject in Prelims and around 2-3 questions are asked in Mains. After 2013, when Prelims for Indian Forest Service got combined with the UPSC Civil Services, the weightage of Environment and Ecology has increased. So, it is very important for the students to prepare well Environment for UPSC.

In this article, we will discuss about How to Read Environment for UPSC. First of all, we will see the past 8 years’ trend of number of questions asked in UPSC Prelims from Environment and Ecology.

YearNumber of questions asked  
202017
201921
201813
201715
201610
201513
201431
201322
Overview of the syllabus of Environment and Ecology:
ExaminationSyllabus
UPSC Prelims- General Studies –Paper IGeneral issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change – (do not require subject specialization)
UPSC Mains- General Studies -Paper IIITechnology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, EIA

Strategy to read Environment for UPSC: Before starting the preparation for Environment and Ecology, it is important for the students to keep in mind that this topic is not a separate topic. It is interlinked with other subjects like Geography, Science, Economy, Government Schemes, Current affairs (National and International). In this era of 21st century, when climate change and sustainable development have become important topics, it is important to pay attention to Environment for UPSC.

  • Start with the syllabus: It is important to start your preparation after going through the syllabus of Environment and Ecology. It will help students when they will read the topics from books, magazines and most importantly newspapers. It will help them to always remain in right track.
  • Selection of reading materials:For good knowledge and content, it is important to select your materials very specifically and revise them again and again rather than referring too many sources. Here we will discuss some important sources for Environment and Ecology:
    • Study material of good institutions and revise them multiple times.
    • Last 4 chapters of Class XII Biology NCERT textbook.
    • One Newspaper which one needs to ready daily to cover current affairs related to Environment and Ecology. It will help in both UPSC Prelims and Mains preparation.
    • One monthly current affairs magazine.
    • One can also refer Down to Earth magazine for enriching their content in Mains.
  • Reading the same sourcing multiple times:If you want to win the race and not fall behind others, then it is important that you read the same materials again and again. This is very important practice for a UPSC aspirants as the sources for UPSC preparation are never ending. So, one needs to stick to the same source to build their command over the subject.
  • Connect and update the static knowledge with the current affairs: If you will keep reading the same static source without updating it with current events, then your materials and notes will become outdated. So, co-relation is very important in this subject as most of the topics are current events based. For example, Ramsar Sites in India.
  • Make a list of important topics: Students need to make a note of important topics for the exam and should go through them multiple times. Some important topics are:
    • International Institutions
    • National and International initiatives
    • Biodiversity
    • Ecology
    • Protected Areas
    • Climate change and pollution
    • Sustainable development
  • Refer previous UPSC Papers: To get the proper idea about which kind of questions are asked in UPSC Prelims and Mains, Past Year UPSC papers are very useful. Through this, one can also analyze from which topic most of the questions are asked. And accordingly, one can continue to their preparation. It will also provide the basic understanding of the level of the UPSC Prelims and Mains exam.
  • Solve multiple MCQs and practice answer writing daily:It is important for the students to solve MCQs just after they complete one chapter. And after completing the whole syllabus, they should solve MCQs on a daily basis at least 20 MCQs. In case of Mains, one should start their answer writing practice after completing the whole UPSC Syllabus for Mains related to Environment and Ecology. Daily answer writing will enhance their writing capability and will also enrich their content. It will help them when they will write the answer finally in Mains exam.

Environment and Ecology is one of the most interesting and important subjects in UPSC syllabus. It has both static as well as dynamic linkage. Students should prepare it well.