How to Prepare Environment and Ecology for UPSC CSE?

UPSC Preparation

Trends | Strategy | Booklist


Table of contents

First step in UPSC Prep is to always look at syllabus.

  • In Prelims - General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • In Mains - (GS 3) - Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

Second Step is to Look at Previous Year Questions and anlyse them thoroghly - This should be done by yourself, referring analysis by someone else is not that useful.
Still for your convenience, We are giving a basic trend analysis of Environment and ecolology here -

In prelims, on average about 20-30 marks questions are from Environment. High weightage is given to Enviorment as UPSC Prelims is conducted common for UPSC CSE and Indian Forest Services
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In Mains, Environment and Ecology forms a part of GS 3, and from following graph, it can be seen that around 25-35 marks questions are asked from this section in UPSC Mains.
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After analysis, next question is sources to follow.

Booklist for Environment and Ecology

  • 12th Bio NCERT - Last 4 Chapters on Ecology
  • Shankar IAS Publication or PMF IAS (only one of these, selective reading)
  • Current Affairs - The Hindu/Indian Express

What to look in current affairs from Environment preparation perspective?

  • Important environmental summits/conferences. Eg. Bonn Convention
  • National Parks in news. eg. Man-Animal Conflict in some national park
  • Species in News. eg. New discoveries, threats etc.
  • New reports / scientific discoveries etc

After first reading, start solving PYQs of both Prelims and Mains. After second reading, start practicing mock tests of any reputed institute. Also, here you should start preparing your own notes.

Approach to study environment

  • Prepare the basics - from NCERT and Shankar
  • Good command over mapping - NP, WLS, Ramsar sites, etc
  • In depth study of Current Affairs
  • Understand the environmental issues and challenges to its core
    • Eg. Pollution, Climate Change, etc.
  • Prepare the National and International efforts to tackle these Environmental Challenges
    • Eg. UNFCCC, Pollution Control Board, etc.
  • Prepare Issues in various international mechanism
    • Financing, Responsibilities etc.
  • Legislations related to Environment (eg. Wildlife Protection Act)

Additional Resources

How to read Environment by Shankar IAS by Abhijeet Y

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