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Environment & Ecology for UPSC Prelims & Mains Exam

Environment Notes for UPSC

Environment is included in both the UPSC CSE (Main) GS III Paper and the General Studies section of the Prelims exam. The weighting of the environmental topic has grown since 2013 when the Indian Forest Services Prelims Exam were integrated with the UPSC Civil Services Prelims. The environment topic can come up in up to 33% of the questions on the General Studies paper, so it is crucial to prepare it thoroughly.

Second, having a solid understanding of this subject will assist aspiring bureaucrats to ensure that they are able to apply their knowledge in formulating policy. Challenges like global warming and climate change have grown to be some of the most significant challenges of the 21st century.

UPSC Environment Notes

Environment & Ecology is one of the important subjects of civil services examination. In both the UPSC Prelims and Mains, questions from this section have been asked often. It is crucial to take notes on crucial environmental themes in preparation for the IAS Exam. Both the UPSC Prelims Syllabus and the UPSC Mains Syllabus (GS III) cover themes pertaining to the environment. Environment-related subjects can occasionally be included in the IAS Mains Essay paper.

You can use the relevant articles on environment and ecology on this page to help you with your preparation for the Civil Services Exam.

Environment and Ecology


Environmental Issues

Climate Change

Clean Energy

  • Solar Energy
  • Wind Energy
  • Hydro Energy
  • Bio Energy
  • Methanol
  • Hydrogen Energy
  • Geothermal Energy
  • Ocean Energy

Sustainable Development

  • Introduction to Sustainable Development
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • SDG and Challenges in achieving SDGs in India
  • Green Economy
  • Blue Economy

Environment Protection Movements in India

International Environmental Conventions and Protocols

Important Laws on Environment Protection in India

National Parks in India

Biosphere Reserve in India

Tiger Reserves and Bird Sanctuaries in India

Environment UPSC Preparation

The syllabus for current events, science and technology, and geography overlaps significantly. Consequently, you will undoubtedly have a competitive advantage in the other subjects if you successfully complete the environment and ecological portion of the syllabus. Here is the pre-planning method developed by professionals in StudyIQ:

  • Read the Syllabus: Look at the course outline for that subject and make an effort to study it so you can map out the contents in your head. You’ll be able to weed out pointless reading material and maintain your preparation’s focus if you do this.
  • Look over the Previous Year Questions: PYQs will provide you with a fundamental idea of the difficulty of the questions that are asked, enabling you to choose your resources wisely.
  • Read Biology NCERT Class XII: The final four chapters of this book provide a clear explanation of all the fundamental ideas. As a result, reading them would familiarise you with some terms that might appear on the test.

Current events Another crucial area in relation to environmental and ecological issues is current affairs. Take notes from editorials from the Hindu and articles from periodicals like Yojana and Kurukshetra. After that, keep editing them so you remember the ideas.

Environment UPSC Syllabus

Environment is every living and non-living thing that surrounds us as well as interacts with us in our day-to-day life. Environment is the natural component in which biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) factors interact among themselves and with each other. These interactions shape the habitat and ecosystem of an organism.

In a biological sense, the environment constitutes the physical (nutrients, water, air) and biological factors (biomolecules, organisms) along with their chemical interactions (chemical cycles – carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle etc.) that affect an organism or a group of organisms. All organisms are dependent on the environment to carry out their natural life processes and to meet their physical requirements (food, energy, water, oxygen, shelter etc.).

Chapter Topics
Conservation What is Biodiversity?, Types of Biodiversity – Genetic, Species, Ecosystem, etc., Importance of Biodiversity – Ecosystem Services, BioResources of Economic Importance, Social Benefits, etc., Reasons for Loss of Biodiversity

Conservation: In-situ & Ex-Situ, Eco-Sensitive Areas, Ecological Hotspots, National Guidelines, Legislations & Other Programmes.

International Agreements & Groupings

Environmental Pollution & Degradation Types of Pollution & Pollutants, Impact of Pollution & Degradation

Ozone Layer Depletion and Ozone Hole, Greenhouse Gas Effect & Global Warming, Eutrophication, Desertification, Acid Rain, Hazardous Waste, etc.

Causes/Sources of Pollution & Degradation, Prevention & Control of Pollution & Degradation, National Environment Agencies, Legislations and Policies

International Environment Agencies & Agreements

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) What is EIA?, Indian Guidelines & Legislations, EIA Process, Need & Benefits of EIA, Shortcomings of EIA in India, Measures to Make EIA Effective
Disaster Management Types of Disasters, Management of Disasters, Community Level Disaster Management, Government Initiatives on Disaster Management


How can I study Environment?

The major tip is to focus on how to prepare Environment for UPSC including reading NCERT books to have better insights into the topics as the NCERT books are more lucid and comprehensive.

Is Environment easy for UPSC?

It depends on the understanding of the candidates, although it is a static subject with some technical aspects.

Which book one should follow for Environment?

There is no specific book for environment as questions asked are mostly from current affairs although for the static portion you can follow Study IQ Environment Book

Which website is best for Environment for UPSC?

Study IQ is without a doubt the best site for preparing Environment and other subjects as asked in UPSC.

Can a very weak student crack UPSC?

Yes there are several aspirants who were “average” students and yet cleared the exam proving that you need not be a topper to crack the IAS Exam.

How many questions come from Environment in UPSC?

On an average 15 to 20 questions are asked from Environment in UPSC

How much time is required to prepare Environment for UPSC?

At maximum 1 to 2 months are required to cover the entire syllabus of Environment

Is NCERT needed for UPSC Environment?

Yes NCERT strengthened the foundation of Environment as a subject.

Which subjects are included in the UPSC General Studies Paper 3?

The GS Paper 3 includes Economy, Environment, Science and Tech, Disaster Management and Internal Security.

How to start preparing for Indian Environment?

One should first go through the Previous Year Questions for understanding the demand of Environment as a subject in UPSC Exam.