Since past few years, some drastic changes have been seen in the UPSC Civil Services Exam. The one visible change that has been witnessed is putting higher weight age on the subject of Environment, Ecology and Biodiversity in its examination syllabus. Environment and ecology as optional subject is quite dynamic in nature. Because of this fact there is scarcity of right resource and book in the market pertaining to subject. The absence of concrete study material and probability of unpredictability in questions asked can put any aspirant in an uncomfortable position.
Environment and ecology is an important topic from the perspective of both the IAS Prelims and mains. Questions from this subject constitute approximately 25-30 per cent of the general studies paper 1. In the IAS prelims, a significant number of questions, precisely between 15 and 20 are asked every year.
As far as the UPSC syllabus is concerned for IAS prelims exam the following has been as mentioned as syllabus:
While for mains exam it is covered in General Studies paper 3. The syllabus has been mentioned as follows:
While preparing for mains exam one should have an elaborate detail of the UPSC syllabus to understand It properly.
The following areas should be covered exclusively:
Study International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), why biodiversity is important for human survival, Red Data Book and Biodiversity Hotspots.
Cover Acid rain, Greenhouse Gases (GHG’s), Photochemical smog, algal bloom, and the Ozone hole.
Cover Biotechnology (bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticides), renewable energy, Biomass gasification.
Study the mitigation measures taken at national and international level (Kyoto protocol, Montreal protocol) as well as recent climate change summits held and the objectives of the summits.
Cover National Parks, Wildlife conservation, Biosphere Reserves, Conservation of natural resources, internationally recognized Wetlands and Biosphere Reserves of India.
Cover the Forest Right Act, National Biodiversity Authority, Environment Protection Act, Protocols and Summits like Nagoya Protocol, Cartagena Protocol, and Lima Conference etc.
Cover the Montreux Record, The three Rio Conventions - Convention on Biological Diversity (CoB), Ramsar Convention, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification – from the 1992 Earth Summit) etc.
The NCERT textbooks are your go-to reference guide to understand the basics. The language used in these books is simple with the right amount of technical jargon that will introduce you to the foundational terminology.
Besides the above-mentioned reference textbooks, you must also refer to the Science Reporter, Down To Earth, and pratiyogita darpan magazine.
4. The Newspaper
News Paper like The Hindu should be referred to keep abreast with all current issues dealing with the topic.
5. The Official Website of The Environment Ministry
The Environment Ministry is responsible for all the laws, practices, problem identification and rectification regarding the environment in India.
Before we get to the perfect method to prepare, here are a few effective tips to get you started:
Just follow these tips religiously and referring only to the above-mentioned sources of study will help you prepare Environment and Ecology for UPSC Mains. To gain the required knowledge, retain relevant information and write expected answers on your d-day, you must make these tips a daily practice.