#23 Environment & Ecology : Subject Importance & Previous Year Paper analysis:

What is Environment and Ecology? How is it important in a General studies paper ?
Environment and Ecology is covered in general studies paper 3 of the UPSC Mains Exam. The paper is of 250 marks of 3 hours in which 20 questions are asked. Environment is everything that surrounds us, whereas, ecology is how all those work. It refers to the study of interaction of the organism with their environment. Ecology seeks to understand life process, adaptation and biodiversity. This is one of the topics covered in the Mains Exam. This topic is important to both prelims and mains point of view. Sometimes essay topics are also asked from ecology which makes it even more essential.

Questions from this section are asked mainly from current affairs. So it is important to study and formulate the current affairs and correlate it with the subject.

Questions from this section are asked in both prelims and mains.

Here we have analyzed the number of questions asked in prelims in the last five year:

Year

Number of questions

2016

10

2017

15

2018

13

2019

21

  

Here is a brief analysis of the number of questions asked in mains from this section:

Year

Number of questions

2016

3

2017

2

2018

4

2019

2

2020

5

To understand the pattern ,here are the questions which UPSC has asked in the previous years.

2020

  1. How does the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020 differ from the existing EIA Notification, 2006?
  2. What are the salient features of the Jal Shakti Abhiyan launched by the Government of India for water conservation and water security?
  3. Suggest measures to improve water storage and irrigation system to make its judicious use under the depleting scenario
  4. Describe the benefits of deriving electric energy from sunlight in contrast to conventional energy generation. What are the initiatives offered by our Government for this purpose?
  5. What are the key features of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) initiated by the Government of India?

2019

  1. Coastal sand mining, whether legal or illegal, poses one of the biggest threats to our environment. Analyze the impact of sand mining along the Indians coasts, citing specific examples.
  2. Define the concept of carrying capacity of an ecosystem as relevant to an environment. Explain how understanding this concept is vital while planning for the sustainable development of a region.

2018

  1. What are the impediments in disposing of the huge quantities of discarded solid wastes which are continuously being generated? How do we safely remove the toxic wastes that have been accumulating in our habitable environment?
  2. What is a wetland? Explain the Ramsar concept of ‘wise use’ in the context of wetland conservation. Cite two examples of Ramsar sites from India.
  3. Sikkim is the first ‘Organic State’ in India. What are the ecological and economical benefits of an Organic State?
  4. How does biodiversity vary in India? How is the Biological Diversity Act,2002 helpful in the conservation of flora and fauna?

2017

  1. Not many years ago, river linking was a concept but it is becoming a reality in the country. Discuss the advantages of river linking and its possible impact on the environment.
  2. ‘Climate Change’ is a global problem. How will India be affected by climate change? How Himalayan and coastal states of India are affected by climate change?

2016

  1. Give an account of the current status and the targets to be achieved pertaining to renewable energy sources in the country. Discuss in brief the importance of the National Programme on Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
  2. Rehabilitation of human settlements is one of the important environmental impacts which always attracts controversy while planning major projects. Discuss the measures suggested for mitigation of this impact while proposing major developmental projects.
  3. The frequency of urban floods due to high-intensity rainfall is increasing over the years. Discussing the reasons for urban floods, highlight the mechanisms for preparedness to reduce the risk during such events.

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